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Ensa -vs- Enchi & Junípero’s Missions

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

We don’t normally travel back to back days, but we made an exception this one time.  We drove a short distance to another Pueblo Magico that was on our way to one of our main intended destinations.  Our current “home” is in a small town called Jalpan which is in the north of the state of Querétaro. I thought it might make a bit more sense every once in awhile to post a map to give a visual idea of where we’ve been and where we are so…


We’ve driven a total of about 1,800 miles so far in our Trusty Yukon, which we do hope remains trusty for at least that many more miles.

We really enjoyed Xilitla this morning before we left. The market there this morning was huge and bustling.  People in the town were really friendly and the breakfast was excellent.  A friend had told me to try enchiladas con cecina, a local specialty and I’m really glad she did.  We learned that there is little difference between the pronunciation of ensalada con cecina and enchiladas con cecina, but a fairly significant difference in what you get to eat!

ensalada con cecina

What Ky ordered – Ensalada con Cecina (sounds kind of like enchiladas…)

enchiladas con cecina

What I ordered – Enchiladas con cecina. In all fairness, Ky ordered his first, and I was able to more clearly enunciate my request after understanding the misunderstanding. Both were great though!

There were five Franciscan missions built that were accredited to Junípero Serra during his evangelization of this part of Mexico.  He is also the same fellow who founded many missions in California. The five missions in this area of Mexico were declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. We had a good stop in a town called Landa de Matamoros where the last of the five missions, and the most ornate, was completed between  1761 and 1770.

Landa de Matamoros mission world heritage site

We also got to see this beautiful little princess having her photo taken in front of the mission.


The mission in our town for the night, Jalpan, was constructed between 1751 and 1758 – it was the first of the five missions to be built. One of the more unusual aspects of the mission for us was that we saw it at night!

Jalpan Mission chapel Mexico

We have generally been early to bed and early to rise so we have missed most of the Mexican night life.  This town, probably like most, actually comes alive after dark. Especially on Sunday night when families gather at local restaurants and in the park where treats (like the delicious Nutella and strawberry crepe I had), and childrens’ toys are sold.

It was a beautiful night. It cooled down from the 90 degrees it had been in the day, and everyone was enjoying a pleasant winter balmy 70ish degrees. Not trying to rub it in for my friends who are inundated with snow. Stay warm!


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