Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/438

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TRAVELS IN MEXICO.

yellow jaspers, presenting an appearance very similar to that of wood. At Lagos may be received the products of the Comanja and Sauceda mines, rich belts which may be worked on the largest scale. The product of the iron works at Comanja is of good quality, and will be largely shipped, and serve in the construction of railroads. To the north of Lagos is encountered the mercurial region of Puesto, and there are also some deposits of tin. From Guadalajara toward the Pacific are mining districts of much importance, near to the routes likely to be taken by the railway. Following the general direction now taken by the San Blas road are, at a short distance from Guadalajara, the mineral districts of Ameca and Etzatlan. Among the hills of the municipality of Ameca exist native gold, sulphurets of silver and copper, magnetic oxides, and hematites of iron. Etzatlan is a mineral district of importance, worked with more or less activity. Following the road toward Magdalena is found, at a little distance, the mine of Hostotipaquillo, and some isolated metalliferous deposits which have not been sufficiently explored. On reaching Tepic, a mineral belt of great value is touched, such as the deposits of Acuitalpico, La Yesca, etc., as well as those which have not been explored, and which must exist in abundance in the Cordilleras of Alica.

"Let us look now at the route the road must take to go to Paso del Norte. According to the concession, it will leave Leon, and must direct itself to Lagos, in order to touch a town whose importance we have already noted. The line goes northward through a productive grain belt, crosses the plains of Tecuan, in which are found rich country estates, whose irrigating facilities may be increased by the sinking of artesian wells, and arrives at the city of Aguascalientes, where there is a population of thirty-five thousand, devoted to agriculture and various industries. The road will continue on toward Zacatecas, crossing the valley of Aguascalientes. On these plains are cultivated the cereals, and in the western region, which is mountainous, are raised other products, and there are also to be had building and ornamental woods. From Zacatecas, famous for its rich mines, the road goes to Durango, a city