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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Casa de los 11 Patios

Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Not far from the aristocratic city of Morelia is a Colonial town with a strong indigenous flavor called Patzcuaro. This town, established in the 1320s, is known for its craftsmanship and the beautiful items the local artisans of the area make.

One of the not-to-be-missed tourist sites is the Casa de los Once (OWN-say) Patios.

Entranceway into the Casa de los 11 Patios

In the mid-1700s these buildings housed the Catholic nuns of the area and it was called the Convent of St. Catherine.
 

 

 

 

These days, the old convent is full of shops and galleries and is an interesting place to explore.

More buildings with a walkway in the center

Shops selling copper, linen, woodwork, jewelry, hand paintings, metal works, candles and handmade guitars fill these shops.

Another entranceway

Artists come from various towns around the area, work in this cooperative and sell their goods.

Santa Clara del Cobre known for its copperware, Tzurumutaro is famous for its handcrafted iron patio furniture, Tzintzuntzan for its ceramics, and Puacuaro for its weavings.

Earthenware patio with fountain quarry

The 11 Patios are a very convenient way to see artisans at work across a variety of skills. Prices are considered to be reasonable, but you could probably get items cheaper if you visited their local village.

 

However, if you did so, you would need to pay for transportation to the village, perhaps a hotel room for the night and most likely a meal or two. So unless you are looking for an adventure, this might be your better choice for shopping.

A wider view of the artisan area

Recent renovations have taken the original 11 patios down to the current five. But these five patios are filled with items such as musical instruments, lacquer ware, hand-painted ceramics, and textiles.

Mexican lacquerware

Mexican lacquerware is one of the country’s oldest crafts.

Before the Spanish arrived, the indigenous used a greasy substance from insect larvae and/or oil from the chia seed. These were mixed with powdered minerals to create protective coatings and decorative designs.

At this time, it was mostly applied to dried gourds, especially to make the cups from which Mesoamerican nobility drank chocolate.

After the Conquest, the Spanish had native craftsmen apply the technique to European style furniture and other items like boxes and plates.

A local artisan painting a design on a lacquered plate

Beautifully hand painted plates, trays and boxes are popular items to bring home from a trip to Patzcuaro.

An old pedal-driven European weaving loom
 

 

 

 

This is an old pedal loom found all over the country of Mexico. Before the Europeans brought this style of loom to the New World, natives used a backstrap loom.

From the main patio looking out

If you are looking for a beautiful hand crafted item to take home from your trip to Mexico, Patzcuaro's Casa de los Once Patios is a good place to browse. The earrings, bracelets, plates or a piece of copperware will be a visual reminder of this lovely and ancient town.

For more stories and photos of Mexico, click here

About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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