Isla de Janitzio is one of the five islands of Lake Pátzcuaro in the state of Michoacán, in Mexico. The picturesque island is popular among tourists and can be reached in about 20 minutes by boat from the dock. The town is famous for its butterfly fishermen who use butterfly-shaped nets to catch the local famous cuisine "pescado blanco". The other famous attraction is the 40-meters high statue of José María Morelos, a great hero of Mexico's independence, located exactly at the center and the highest point of the island. From the center, the land slopes down all around towards the water. Around the shore are a cluster of tightly packed houses.
Photo credit: unknown
Fishing is the main occupation here, and although once the main tool for local fishermen, the traditional "butterfly" nets now appear mostly for photographers. The island’s population now consists entirely of tourism dependent Tarascan Indians. The indigenous community, that inhabits it, has conserved in great part the authenticity of its costumes, such as the vigil of the Night of the Dead, ceremony in which the fishermen come out with their butterfly-form nets and boats lighted up with candles.
José María Morelos’ statue is an impressive monument, erected in 1933. Visitors can climb to the top of the statue by way of a staircase that spirals up the inside. Along the interior walls, the life of Morelos is depicted in murals painted by Ramón Alba de la Canal and other great Mexican muralists. At the top, one can peer through peepholes in the giant raised fist of Morelos, giving a spectacular view of the island, lake and surroundings.
View from the top of the monument. Photo credit
Butterfly nets. Photo credit
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