On the beautiful Janitzio Island, in the middle of the Pátzcuaro Lake in Michoacán in Mexico lives Maclovia (María Félix), the beautiful daughter of a leader of Purépecha Indian community (Miguel Inclán). Maclovia loves José María Lopez (Pedro Armendáriz), a young very poor Indian. Maclovia's father refuses to the marriage of the couple. José María hopes to win the favor of the old man. But the arrival of a battalion causing the conflict when the brutal sergeant (Carlos López Moctezuma) develops eyes for Maclovia.