Huépac, Sonora, Mexico

The Rio Sonora town of Huépac was established in 1644 by Jesuit missionary Father Jeronimo de la Canal. De la Canal christened the community with the name San Lorenzo de Güepaca – the name Güepaca comes from the Opata language, meaning “wide valley”.

As with some other towns in the Rio Sonora region, Huépac is both the name of the town and of the municipality (a political unit similar to a county in the United States) where it is the administrative center. The municipality of Huépac was originally in the municipality of Arizpe when it was established in 1930. In 1931 it became an independent municipality.

Huépac is located along Sonora highway 8, the Route of the Rio Sonora, which traverses the region of the Sonora River. It is located north of Banamichi and south of the pueblo of Aconchi. As with the other pueblos of the Rio Sonora, the principal economic activity in Huépac is agriculture, mainly cattle ranching.

The town plaza is located along the highway, and on the other side of the plaza is the town’s mission church, the Misión de San Lorenzo de Güepaca.  Also known as the Templo de San Lorenzo, the church is a lovely white building that was originally established in the 17th century.

It still has the saint of San Lorenzo from the original church (in a glass case), along with other beautiful images of saints, which along with the carved mesquite-wood beams of its ceiling make it a truly unique and beautiful sanctuary.

In addition to the church, another place to visit is Huépac’s municipal building which contains an original copy of the Mexican Act of Independence from 1810.

The pueblo celebrates its patron saint, San Lorenzo, on August 8 during the fiestas de San Lorenzo. The fiestas include a ceremonial lighting of candles inside a large paper orb known as La Marmota, a traditional celebration that symbolizes the triumph of Spanish Christians over the Moors.