Mexico: Cuetzalan del Progresso, State of Puebla (November 2018)

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(This banner shows the typical footwear of Indian people in Cuetzalan.)

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Cuetzalan is a small town founded in 1547. It is located in the northern part of the state of Puebla, approximately 170km from the city of Puebla (~3h30 by bus) and 75km (straight line) from the Gulf of Mexico. Sitting on a mountain ridge at an elevation of 900m, its climate is usually warm and humid. The population is mostly of Indian descent, speaking Totonac and Nahuatl. The village is the site of a vibrant indigenous Sunday market.

 

The village:

 

Streets and houses of Cuetzalan.

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Central plaza, with the clock tower at the center and the Parroquia San Francisco de Asis on the right.

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Parroquia San Francisco de Asis.

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Other views of the Parroquia San Francisco de Asis.

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Santuaro de Guadalupe, also called Iglesia de los Jarritos, due to the decoration of its spire with rows of clay jars.

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Capilla de la Purisima Concepcion, the oldest church in Cuetzalan.

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The market:

 

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Danza de los Voladores:

 

The Danza de los Voladores (″Dance of the Flyers″) is an ancient ceremony that is still performed in isolated pockets of Mexico and today it is often associated with the Totonac people. Originally, the ceremony was only performed by men; but in a few places, including Cuetzalan, women have been allowed to be voladores. Actually, one of the voladores below was a woman. The ceremony is not without risks. Jesus Arroyo Ceron, the man who first trained women to become voladores, fell to his death during the Cumbre Tajin 2006 cultural festival.

 

 

 

 

 

Ruins of Yohualichan.

 

Yohualichan is a smaller version of El Tajin, located some 50km north in the northern part of the state of Veracruz. Both cities flourished between 600 and 1200 CE and are believed to have been built and populated by the Totonac people. Their pyramids are characterized by layers of square niches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Botanical garden Xoxoctic:

 

This beautiful garden with plants from the rainforest, such as giant ferns, orchids, and more, is located about halfway between the center of Cuetzalan and the archeological site of Yohualichan.

 

 

 

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