Jalpan de Serra is a town in the state of Querétaro, where we stopped on our way to the Huasteca. It is also the main city in the Sierra Gorda region. Interestingly, Jalpan is home to one of five Franciscan missions in the Sierra Gorda, Santiago the Jalpan. These were all founded by Junípero Serra, who also founded many of the Franciscan missions of California, which I wrote about in November. The Sierra Gorda seems like a very remote and inaccessible place (I was very surprised I didn't get car sick - the curves were crazy!) but also beautiful. People seemed very surprised to see foreigners!
"The five Franciscan missions of Sierra Gorda were built during the last phase of the conversion to Christianity of the interior of Mexico in the mid-18th century." (UNESCO website.)
The Franciscan Missions of the Sierra Gorda have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003. You can read a brief description and the justification for including them here.
The church in Jalpan was gorgeous and a lot more elaborate than what you would except from a small mountain town. Here are some photos!