The municipality of San Ignacio

Miguel Angel Victoria Fotógrafo

The region that is occupied by the municipality of San Ignacio was known since the beginnings of the conquest in 1531, as Piaztla or Piaxtla; word that has the meaning of “place of pumpkins” or “place of gourds”. According to the toponymy of the towns of Sinaloa, it is believed that the word comes from the Mexican “piaztli”, gourd or squash to carry and drink water and from the locative word, “tlan”.
San Ignacio de Piaxtla, during the first years of colonization, was part of the province of Chametla, pertaining to the New Galicia, until in 1536, due to local indigenous upheavals, the Spanish leave the region.

Don Héctor R. Olea mentions that the toponymy of San Ignacio de Piaxtla means “place that has Saint Ignatius of Loyola as patron saint”, complemented with the form “piaztli” and the vocative “tlan” which mean “place of blues”.

By the middle of the 18th century, San Ignacio de Piaxtla was part of the five main mayorships in which Sinaloa was divided, remaining inside the San José de Cópala authority, along with the towns that currently belong to the municipality, which are: Santa Apolonia, Ajoya, San Agustín, San Juan, Cabazán and San Javier.
In 1732, with the establishment of the sole governorate of Sonora and Sinaloa, the territory is divided into five provinces, two in Sonora and three in Sinaloa: The Province of Sinaloa, from the Mayo River to the Mocorito River; the Province of Culiacan, from the Mocorito River to the Elota River; and the Province of Rosario, which had the Cañas River as its boundary, and it is the one San Ignacio belong to.
During the years following 1786, in which the intendances system was implanted, the demarcation of the region of the Piaxtla River was not altered. In 1813, the constitution of Cadiz came into force; article 310 considers the installation of municipal buildings in towns with more than 1,000 inhabitants.
In 1811, don Jose Maria Gonzalez Hermosillo, an insurgent commander of the army that won in the mineral of El Rosario at the end of December, on January 8th, suffers a defeat in San Ignacio at the hands of the Governor and the General Captain of these provinces, don Alejo Garcia Conde, the few that could scape dispersed in the mountains. Any attempts at insurrection in the northwest were then halted.
In 1824, decree of the Congress of the Union forms the Western State, rejoining the states of Sonora and Sinaloa. The Constitution of 1825 declares that the Western State would be divided into 5 departments, subdivided into parties, two in Sonora and three in Sinaloa. The departments belonging to Sinaloa were those of El Fuerte, formed by the parties of Alamos, Sinaloa and that of its name; the department of Culiacan, integrated with the party of its name and the party of Cosala; and the department of San Sebastian, formed by the party of its name, the party of Rosario and the party of San Ignacio de Piaxtla.
Once the definitive separation of Sonora and Sinaloa into two federal states was decreed, the first local constitution issued in 1831 established the new division in the state, now composed by eleven districts.
This first legislation also decrees that each of the districts will have, added to its name, the name of one of the most outstanding insurgents in the fight for independence; the district of San Ignacio was assigned with the name Abasolo, in honor of don Mariano Abasolo, who was one of the first to join to the cause.

In 1852, the San Ignacio district disappears to join the Cosalá district, remaining as a party, but from 1861, with the new internal division of the state, it returns to be constituted as a district, with a prefecture on the municipal head, and subdivided in municipalities, mayoralties and attendants.

In 1870 four municipalities formed the district of San Ignacio: the municipal head, San Juan, San Javier and Coyotitan, with their respective rural settlements. By decree in 1915, published in the official newspaper on April 8th of that year, the municipality of San Ignacio was created, and its category was approved in the Constitution of 1917 which, in article 12, adopts as a new form of internal government, the division of states into free municipalities.
The devil’s chapel
The municipality of San Ignacio has an endless number of legends. Some are true and the others are stories that people have been creating over time, but have undoubtedly become important icons of this place’s history. One of the biggest attractions that catches the attention of visitors is the “Devil’s chapel”, where the remains of Bernardo Escobosa are resting.
This chapel is located just 100 meters from the crossroads that the syndicate of San Juan leads and which is connected to the state highway, on a small hill which can be reached after climbing for 20 minutes. This one can be dominated in all its splendor once you arrive at the municipal head.

The people who visit San Ignacio for the first time wonder with astonishment about the history of this chapel, and, although nobody knows the history of it, they talk about what they have heard through their ancestors.

Without a doubt, one of the most famous stories is the one of Bernardo Escobosa’s arrival to San Ignacio in 1840 from Spain, bringing with him various haberdasheries, fabrics, mirrors, perfumes, and other articles, which he started commercializing among the inhabitants with the desire of becoming San Ignacio’s most rich and powerful man. His greed was so big, that he decided to sell his soul to the devil. His wish wash fulfilled and he became the most thriving merchant of the municipality. This led him to have enormous properties and extensions of land. Finally, when he died, according to the legend, his relatives took him to the cemetery to bury when a strong wind snatched the coffin and placed it on the hill where the chapel is located, where he then was buried.
Others say that it was his wish to be buried in that place to manage his properties from above, and that he also asked for his family to be buried in that place too, as well as all his male descendants to be named after him. Another very different story tells that in fact
he did arrive from Spain and that he had brought merchandise to sell, which he exchanged for gold. He traveled around the mining territories of San Ignacio from that time, such as Ajoya, San Juan, Los Frailes, El Tambor, San Javier, El Chilar, El Carrizal, Campanillas, among others, thereby developing street trading in success, as early as 1869. He was a very lucky and famous man, which earned him the envy of many people who began to defame him by inventing that the money he had was a product of the pact he had made with the devil by selling his soul.
Bernardo married, had four children, widowed, remarried, and had other children. The Escobosa that exist in Sinaloa descend from this mythical and legendary character, known as the one who sold his soul to “the devil”, and that after more than a century of being dead continues giving reasons to be talked about.

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San Ignacio, Sinaloa
San Ignacio, Sinaloa

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How this Virtual Tour was made

The equipment used to perform virtual tour are the following:

  • Nikon D810 DSLR Camera
  • Lens Sigma 8 mm Fisheye
  • Nodal Ninja NN4 Tripod Head
  • Manfrotto 190 Carbon Fiber Tripod
  • Remote Switch

The software processing of the image was

  • Lightroom to process RAW files
  • PTGui for stitching images
  • Photoshop general and local settings
  • PanoTour Pro for generating virtual tour
At the end of February, a group of friends visited San Ignacio, one of the most beautiful municipalities of Sinaloa. We arrived very early at the house of Professor Eduwiges Vega Padilla and there were already a lot of people waiting for Dr. Efraín Romo Santos to give them a sight examination as part of the social service he provides through his private assistance institution, Buena Vista Sinaloa. My wife and I went to take pictures guided by my friend Guillermo Vega Aguilar throughout the municipality head, capturing images of some places of interest like the Church, the town square, the Municipal Palace, Cristo de la Mesa (or the Christ of the Upland in English), as well as the houses of some beautiful families, including those of Don Alfonso Lafarga Espinoza, Don Adrián Bastidas and Professor Don Rafael Vega. It was an unforgettable day where we enjoyed the hospitality of the inhabitants of this beautiful corner of our estate. We hope to return soon and make another virtual tour.

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Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa

Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa

Traducción al idioma inglés realizada por la Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa a través del Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán. English language translation made by Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa through the collaboration of Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán

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