|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
It is very polluted, but in the past was a recreational area for all the Tepic citizens and marked the end of the city. At the moment the local and federal authorities are trying to clean up the river, but all the attempts have been in vain.
Legend has it that, for many centuries before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the Matatipac Valley was inhabited by different peoples ruled by King Trigomil. The constant threats of other indigenous peoples caused uneasiness that filled the region, however, the wisdom of their leader to govern and recognized power managed to maintain peace in their domains.
Mololoa, the only daughter of the King, was endowed by the gods with extraordinary beauty. Such was her exquisiteness that rulers came from distant kingdoms to request her hand in marriage. Slim, dark, large black eyes and long hair, Mololoa was aware of the motives of those who visited and asked her father to allow her to choose her fiancé.
One day she met a young warrior of noble sentiments and acute intelligence named Tépetl. Princess Mololoa spent everyday talking with Tépetl sharing their dreams, feelings and exchanging ideas. It was at the ritual ceremony of the “Corn Harvest” and “Deer Hunt”. Dances were organized around the smoky fire to symbolically ward off the invisible beings of evil, to have an abundant harvest and good hunting that year. They began to hear the sacred drums of the approaching Warlord Sangangüey in the distance. When the soldiers reached the festival wearing plumes of feathers and covered in blood, the party stood mute. Word of this was sent to King Trigomil who ordered the preparation of weapons in defense.
When the King arrived the Warlord requested he be allowed to see the Princess and the King granted the request. Mololoa listened to the warrior and his reasons, she explained that she could not relate to his feelings and therefore would not receive the gifts offered.
Sangangüey replied the princess that even against her will she would be his wife. She sat silent, recalling what was spoken of the superb warrior who was hated by many for his cruelty and disrespect of the people. Princess Mololoa was not afraid of his supernatural powers and asked him to withdraw from her presence.
When Sangangüey realized the Princess was in love with Tépetl he exploded in anger vowing to prevent the wedding of the princess and Tépetl. It was with so much rage and screamed so loud that he shook the very earth.
With the first light of day, Sangangüey entered the bedroom of the princess and kidnapped her. Upon learning of this event, Tépetl immediately went to look for his beloved and defeat the terrible Sangangüey.
Tépetl searched the valley for many days until he found them. A fierce battle ensued between the two warriors and the princess managed to escape fleeing into the forest. From the immense fear and anguish she had cut her feet and tore her clothes. Princess Mololoa climbed to the top of a big rock and sat down sad and fearful to see from a distance, the fight to rid her beloved. Sangangüey and Tépetl fought tirelessly and with extraordinary strength. Both were great warriors and they put their effort to defeat his opponent, knowing that as a reward he would get the Princess.
The fury was so intense that it resulted in smoke and fire venting through the eyes and through the mouth of Sangangüey. Tépetl skillfully dodged the blows and with his shrewd intelligence, started to throw small stones very quickly to completely cover the perpetrator. The fire that came out of the mouth of Sangangüey melted the rocks and he was imprisoned in a great mountain. The entire Matatipac valley was filled with smoke and ash resulting from Sangangüey’s prison. Meanwhile, Tépetl sought the princess Mololoa, but it was such a rain of ash that it kept him from seeing. Tépetl threw a huge rock at the mouth of Sangangüey to quell the fire. This stone divided into two forming the Volcano Sangangüey.
Tépetl then formed a mountain of stones from the top of which he could see the whole valley to search for the princess. While dying, Sangangüey in a last effort to prevent the lovers uniting, launch a big breath of fire that reached Tépetl and melted him into the rocks, forming what is now known as the Cerro de San Juan. Princess Mololoa witnessing the tragedy began to cry. At first her tears formed a thin thread of water, but she never stopped to mourn. Gradually her tears transformed themselves into a river of crystal clear water that ran through the entire valley and out to sea.
Today, all the inhabitants of the Matatipac Valley see daily the rival warriors who have become Volcano Sangangüey and Cerro de San Juan, and the beautiful Princess Mololoa, who is still crying a river that now bears her name.