Guzmán's cruelty had destroyed the relationship between the Spanish and the Purhépecha. In a short time, the grand and powerful Purhépecha nation had been completely devastated. Had it not been for the effort of one man whose ideals, good judgment and ability to put into practice the morals that he preached, it is possible that the Purhépechas would not have survived this catastrophe. This man was Don Vasco de Quiroga, who at the age of 60, arrived in Mexico in January 1531, with a mandate to repair both the moral and material damage that had been inflicted upon Michoacán by Guzmán. Quiroga was an idealist who embraced the concept of a utopian society, which he attempted to establish in Michoacan.
While there is controversy concerning Quiroga's role, there are tributes to him throughout the region, and he was known for educating the indigenous people in all the villages around Lake Patzcuaro. He taught the villagers of each area a different craft. These practices persist to this day, and the area is famous for artesanial variety and excellence.
The first town we visited was named for Quiroga, and enjoys a reputation for lacquered wooden products. The first thing we encountered as we sat in the town plaza was this group of children dancing:
While we were enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, a wedding procession came by. Yes, the bride wore GREEN.