Sitting in front of a cafe, nibbling snacks, they’re basking in the town’s glow and sipping cantaritos, a tequila, citrus, and soda mix they’ve ordered from a bar around the corner.
“The town is a celebration of what being Mexican is all about. The small towns, the villages, the culture, and the ideas,” he says, gesturing at the plaza, then the churches that face each other at either end, where people invariably make the sign of the cross as they pass.
“Our culture is based on religion,” Franco says. “I’m an atheist, but I embrace it because it’s part of who we are.”
“I used to say that Tequila is better known in Moscow than in Guadalajara,” he says, seemingly conflating the town and the drink. “You could come here and see this little town in Mexico — sometimes friends would come with us and say, ‘Is this it?’ But the simplicity is the magic. It’s so simple, but it’s our legacy to the world.
“I like that.”
Joe Ray can be reached at joe-ray.com.