Across Los Altos

Charro tradition comes to life for horsemen on a six-day adventure in Central Mexico’s high desert.

Active ImageThe seeds of my south-of-the-border adventure had been sown six years earlier, when I met Jorge Serrano Zermeno, aka “Pancho,” at a horse sale held on the Wyoming ranch where he worked at the time. 

As we talked, the Mexican cowboy told me of his life back home, and described for me his family’s hacienda, located near the beautiful town of Lagos de Moreno, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, a few hours west of Mexico City.

Proud of his country’s horsemanship heritage and ranch culture, Pancho said that he dreamed of one day returning to Mexico, and to the hacienda, and of sharing his country’s cowboy traditions with guests from around the globe.

Sure enough, when his stint in Wyoming ended, Pancho returned south and set to work on his project. In March of last year, some fellow riders and I joined him for a horseback excursion across Los Altos, the Mexican high desert. For six days, we rode from hacienda to hacienda, traveling portions of the historic Camino Real and, along the way, working beside charros as they gathered cattle and branded calves.

A year later, I find myself missing the warmth of Mexico’s people. They are generous in their hospitality, proud of their culture, and unmatched in their horse, cattle and rope-handling techniques.


To see more of the photos from this story, pick up the March issue of Western Horseman. Guy de Galard is a Wyoming-based freelance writer and photographer. For more information on attending a hacienda-to-hacienda ride, contact Jorge Serrano Zermeno at indianboymx@yahoo.com.