Farewell to Don Vasco in the Uruapan hospital town

Uruapan

Faith and history - Purepecha culture

Don Vasco de Quiroga arrived in Michoacán in 1533 to build a modern society based on dignity and work, an unattainable utopia in Europe. Here he founded hospital-towns, where together with churches, they built hospitals known as huatáperas, the meeting place of the community, school and hospital where everyone in need was attended to.

The huatápera de Uruapan was one of the first hospitals in America. Built in the 16th century around a large colonnaded courtyard, it is a spectacular construction. Look at the details: stone columns, carved wooden beams and, above all, spectacular windows beautifully decorated with Moorish filigree. To one side, stands the small chapel of the Holy Sepulcher, which still retains part of the mural painting produced by indigenous artists.

This place is one of the highlights of the Don Vasco Route, since it was here that the bishop and humanist died in 1565. Nothing could have been more fitting for this tireless defender of the Purépecha people than to spend his last hours at one of the hospitals whose foundation he promoted.

Today, the huatápera houses the Museum of Indigenous Art and Tradition, where you can learn about the culture of the four indigenous peoples living in Michoacán: the Purépecha, Nahua, Mazahua and Otomi through their festivals, traditional costumes, craftsmanship and belongings. The museum also provides an explanation of the nine neighborhoods into which Uruapan was originally split, as well as the cuisine of the region, the basis for the declaration of traditional Mexican cuisine as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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We recommend

  • Have lunch at the Antojitos Market, located just behind the Huatápera, where you will able to sample food from all over the region, the basis for the declaration of traditional Mexican cuisine as a Intangible Heritage of Humanity, or try the delicious organic coffee from Uruapan at Café La Lucha, just one block away. Visit other nearby huatáperas such as Angahuan, Zacán and Nurío.

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Vasco de Quiroga s/n, Col. Centro. 60000 Uruapan, Uruapan

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