Your first stop should be Santa Ana del Valle’s  excellent community museum Shan Dany (tel. 951/562-1705, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 3–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat.), on the town plaza opposite the presidencia municipal. The exhibits include an archaeological section with pre-conquest remains found during a recent plaza-front construction project.
Also notice the ponderous monolith, brought from the mountain above town, carved with the visage of Cocijo, the god of lightning and rain. Another museum section details 1910–1917 revolutionary history, when townsfolk had to flee to the hills and wage a guerrilla war against rampaging forces of “Primer Jefe” General Venustiano Carranza.
Toward the rear of the museum, a pair of excellent displays illustrate more community lore: One shows many of the naturally occurring dyes, including avocado seeds, guaje bark, and copal bark, that local weavers gather and use; the other explains the Danza de la Pluma (Dance of the Feathers), in which a dozen young men dance and brighten the town plaza with their huge, round feathered hats. This dance takes place during the July 26 and August 14–16 split-date festival in honor of Santa Ana.