Lakeside Guide to Lake Chapala, Ajijic, Mexico

Sergio Xoñu

At a Glance

This ancient paper art was banned after the Spanish conquest, but today it’s one of Mexico’s most popular handcrafted folk arts.

Street View

Address

Central Plaza Ajijic

More Info

Segio Xoñu puts a lifetime of experience into every paper amate that he creates. It’s a family tradition that’s been carried through the generations.

This paper art is created from tree bark that’s boiled until it’s pliable enough to be hand-formed into geometric designs

Sergio has been making these amates for his entire life, since learning the art from his grandfather. He can be found seven days a week in the northeast corner of the plaza, and if you’re lucky there’s a chance you might catch him while he’s at work making a new piece

Sergio makes the amates in a variety of sizes, from a few inches to a few feet, and most unframed pieces can be easily rolled up to take with you on an airplane. (In fact, in centuries past they’ve been traditionally stored this way.)

Photos