Ameca, located 60 kilometers southwest of Guadalajara, has a small but interesting museum that is well worth visiting if you happen to be in the area.
Why would you happen to be in the area? One reason could be because you’re going to cycle along the section of the Vias Verdes which starts in Ameca. This “rails to trails” bicycle path runs east to La Vega Lake where there’s a picturesque park good for bird watching, and continues on all the way to Tala (a distance of 37 kilometers).
You might also be passing by Ameca in order to get to the Giant Stone Balls of Ahualulco, to the north, or to the fascinating towns of Guachinango, Talpa and Mascota to the west.
The Ameca Museum is located only 250 meters due south of the recently renovated Ameca train station, inside a grandiose old building which once housed Ameca’s Hilarión Romero Hospital.
As is the case with quite a few small-town museums, all the items on display were once part of the private collection of a distinguished local citizen, in this case, the late Filemón Gutiérrez Ramírez, who, we were told, had been keenly interested in archaeology and paleontology during his lifetime. It is thanks to people such as Señor Gutiérrez that many precious archaeological finds remain in Mexico instead of ending up in California or Chicago. These collectors, like Federico A. Solórzano, who recently passed away, deserve a vote of thanks because they succeed as private individuals to accomplish what INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History), the official “protector” of Mexico’s antiquities, has never been able to do.