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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Cajititlan Laguna

Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

(Pronounced Cah-hee-teet-LAHN, Hah-LEES-coh)

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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About 40 minutes from Chapala, Mexico is a small local town of about 8,000 inhabitants. A lovely lagoon with visiting migratory birds is there, and with weather in the mid-70s in winter, it's a great place to visit!

We hired our favorite taxi driver, Arturo, to drive us there and back for 800Pesos or about $42USD.

What a beautiful day!

Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico Large letters of the town

The large letters spelling out the name of the town, Cajititlan

As is the custom in Mexico, the names of the city or town are spelled out in large, colorful letters.

You will find similar style letters in Morelia, Chapala, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara airport, Comitan, El Fuerte, Mazatlan, Tepatitlan, and even the old, old town of Patzcuaro.

Lighthouse at Laguna Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Small lighthouse for the laguna

Laguna Cajititlan is only 9 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide, but on a dark and stormy night, a light such as this would help one find shore. The depth of the lake is about 4.5 meters in the middle. 

Laguna Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Peaceful Laguna Cajititlan

This small lake is formed by runoff rain from the mountains surrounding it.

 

 

 

 

In recent years, there have been some problems with fish dying in this small lagoon due to lack of oxygen. Fixing the issue is still a concern for locals, as fishing is an industry here and a source of food.

Hand painted mural in Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Hand painted mural

We saw a variety of hand painted murals in this delightful town. Here you see the Church of the Holy Kings on the left, a large fountain, the lake and sailing boats.

Murals in any city or town seem to liven them up.

Hand painted mural in Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Another hand painted mural in town

This mural shows an agave plant, the Three Kings, fish from the lake, horses from the Spanish... and I don't know who this man is. Probably someone important from their founding or a favorite friar from the church.

Cajititlan is also known for their Gorditas and roasted quail.

Gorditas can have many fillings such as a picadillo (ground beef with potatos and spices), shredded meat, cheese, beans, chorizo, thin steak and more.

You can get a whole roasted quail for about $1.25USD from the man who raises them on his farm. He comes into town on the weekends.

The Santuario de Guadalupe in Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

The Sanctuario de Guadalupe

 It was in the 1530s that the first evangelistic Spanish Friars came to Cajititlan to convert the locals to Catholicism. In the year 1561, they built this first Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

We tried to get inside, but the doors were locked. The stonework was beautiful.

Small plaza in Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

The small town Plaza

In the background you can see the bell tower of the Church of the Holy Kings.

In Cajititlán, the day of the Holy Kings is celebrated, and every December 31st to January 8th, thousands of people from all over the world come to see the hand carved figures of these three kings ride in a boat through the lagoon of Cajititlán.

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The town dresses up their children as kings, ranging from the largest to the infant with a white beard resembling Melchior.

There is dancing, food, live music, fireworks and processions.

The Church of the Holy Kings in Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

The Church of the Holy Kings

This church was built in the middle of the 16th century, and the figurines of the Three Kings, Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India were carved out of mesquite wood.

Soon, devotion to the Three Kings became a tradition, and these statues are considered to be miraculous.

During the celebration of the Holy Kings, there is much festivity, but also, many pilgrims, prayers and faith.

Inside Church of the Holy Kings, Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Inside the Basilica

All the way to the altar you can see the carved statues of the Three Kings.

It was the custom for local fishermen to ask the Three Magi for a good year of fishing for those who live at the lagoon. Others ask for good health or an answer to a question or problem they might have.

Curiously, in 1905 this church had a fire, and the three statues were burned. One of the friars buried these statues under the church and had new ones made.

Thirty years later, an ant hill was discovered in the church and the head priest asked to have this ant hill removed. One thing led to another, and as the ant hill was being dug out... the original mesquite statues of the Three Kings were found!

Our Lady of Guadalupe in Church of Holy Kings, Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

The Virgin of Guadalupe painted on a window

Inside the church are several painted windows, and The Virgin of Guadalupe is one of them.

Close up of the 3 kings, Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

A Closer view of the Three Holy Kings in their niches

In the bible there is an account about wise men who came “from the east” to worship Jesus in His early childhood and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Many people know them popularly as the Three Kings or Magi named Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar.

 In many Mexican homes, the three kings are the ones who bring gifts instead of Santa Claus.

Also in Mexico it is a tradition to eat the king cake, which is an oval shape bread with candied fruits and has a plastic figurine inside representing the baby Jesus. The person who finds the figurine agrees to host a party and offer tamales and atole, a drink made from corn, on February 2, the Candlemas Day

Looking out from the church towards the Plaza, Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

From inside the Church, looking out

At the front of the Church is a large door, high enough for a rider on a horse to come through.

This is the view out towards the Plaza and the large area in front of the Basilica.

In the center of the photo you can see the bell tower of the Sanctuario de Guadalupe.

An egret on the shores of Laguna Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

A large egret on the shore of Laguna Cajititlan

Here you see a great snowy egret. Whether this particular one is native to Laguna Cajititlan, or has migrated here, this lagoon is a place for birds to take refuge during the winter months.

In Egypt, egrets have been a symbol of prosperity, and in China, it represents strength, purity, patience and a long life.

Looking out onto the lagoon, Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

The lagoon, looking off into the mountains

The town itself was rather sleepy, with several restaurants lining the lagoon.

We found one and ordered lunch which was very tasty.

Sharing a couple of smoked marlin tostadas, some fish tacos, an agua fresca and beer, our bill came to about $16USD for the 2 of us.

sitting at the shore of Laguna Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Sitting in the shade on the shore of Laguna Cajititlan

Except for the occasional loud music blaring from one of the restaurants, the area around the lake was very contemplative. This man rests in the shade of a tree, enjoying the late morning.

Mural of Quetzalcoatl and corn in Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Another beautiful mural in Cajititlan

This mural is a representation of the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, the god of resurrection and death. Corn was also very prominent in the Aztec culture, giving the natives sustenance in many forms. Corn was able to be dried so it was usable all year round, and made into corn flour for tortillas, atole, and various other dishes.

Mural of fish an native symbols in Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Mural of Aztec symbols and a fish from the lagoon

These murals were very brightly colored and in lovely detail. Scattered throughout the town, one could see them from far down the street as we walked around.

Cross out in front of the Basilica Three Holy Kings

The cross in front of the Basilica of the Three Holy Kings

Against a beautiful sky of wispy clouds is the stone statue of the cross.

In the baptistry in the Basilica of the Three Holy Kings, Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

The thick walls of the Baptistery of the Three Holy Kings

You can clearly see here how thick these walls of the church are. The small window carved out from the Baptistery shows how formidable this stone church is.

 

 

 

 

The painting on the right is of St. John the Baptist, baptizing Jesus in the river. The Holy Spirit shines above His head.

Mural of young Aztec woman washing clothes at the lagoon, Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Mural of young Aztec woman washing clothes on a rock at the lagoon

Another mural!

This one shows a young Aztec woman washing clothes at the lagoon. Behind her is an agave plant (from which tequila is made), very common in Jalisco, Mexico.

Panoramic view of Laguna Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico

Panoramic view of Laguna Cajititlan

From the town of Cajititlan, here you see in this panoramic shot of the lagoon, and the countryside on the other shore.

Our taxi driver took us completely around the lagoon, with horse and cattle ranches on the other side. Big, huge rancheros and homes behind high walls made us wonder about the life here at this placid lake.

VIDEOS, VIDEOS, VIDEOS! See Mexico for yourself! Beaches, Bars, Babes, Great Food, Live Music.

For more stories and photos about Mexico, click here

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

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