Just like most of Mexico, each town at Lake Chapala has its own patron saint and patroness.
Each usually gets its own traditional nine-day novenario, which includes daily processions with Aztec dancers, music, fireworks, and carnival rides.
Chapala’s patron saint is Saint Francis, whose novenario starts on September 26 and lasts until October 4. Each day is sponsored by a different group of people in the town, such as gardeners, carpenters, masons, bus drivers or garbage workers.
The evening processions will start from a different part of Chapala each day, which is different than in years past when the same route has been used for each procession.
The processions will normally start at 6 p.m. every day. On October 3, there will be an additional procession at 4:00 at the bus station.
And then later on October 3 there will be another procession at 6 p.m. starting on Avenue Francisco Madero in front of the 7-11.
All of the processions will end at Church San Francisco near the malecón:
If you have trouble locating the procession, you can use the sound of the exploding rockets, called cohetes, to help you locate the progress of the procession. Just keep your ears open for the loud explosions 100 feet above the town and head in that direction.
This photo shows a cohetero launching a cohete during 2018’s Fiestas de San Andrés in Ajijic:
Last updated October 3, 2019
Photos of Fiestas de San Francisco
Fine Art Photography of Lake Chapala
Aztec Dancer on Mezcala Island
Jaime Rodríguez stands on top of the fort walls on Mezcala Island, a half-mile stretch of land rising out of Lake Chapala, Mexico. A local indigenous group successfully used the island as a fortress against the Spanish during the War of Independence in the early 19th century.