In the fall of 1978, my wife and I were invited by some Mexican friends to visit their Nahua relatives in the pueblo of Tuspa.
That was the original name of today’s city and municipality of Tuxpan, located approximately 90 miles south of Guadalajara. Since we were to have the good fortune of staying with Nahua-speaking natives of Tuspa, we quickly began researching Spain’s province of Tuspa.
According to historical records from local monographs, Tuspan was founded by the Toltec pilgrimage in the year 642. In 1529, the Spanish arrived under the command of Francisco Cortés de San Buenaventura, nephew of Hernan Cortes. Franciscan friars “founded” the village of Tuspa in 1536 and quickly built a convent that year dedicated to San Juan de Bautista. Later, an eight-sided cross was built with a quadrangular base. It is currently considered the oldest colonial monument of Jalisco. Here, from that 1978 point of view, was what we were introduced to.
The area covered by the former Spanish province of Tuspa (the region surrounding Tuxpan, Jalisco) remains one of the few nearby regions which visibly, often dramatically, clings to its colonial past.