Monday, October 24, 2016

Mexico City's Original Villages | Delegación Benito Juárez: Xoco, the Little Barrio That Survives

Overshadowed by Modernity

San Sebastián Xoco (HO-ko), at the southern border of Delegación Benito Juárez, is a pueblo originario, original indigenous pueblo, that, until a hundred years ago, sat in the countryside on the north bank of a small river the Spanish named Río Mixcoac, flowing from the mountains to the west, where it joined the Río Magdelena, coming from the southto form Río Churubusco, which flowed east to Huitzilopocho (Churubusco).

It is now a tiny barrio walled in by the modern world, at the intersection of main avenues and three Delegaciones: Benito Juárez to the north, Coyoacán to the southeast and Álvaro Obregón to the southwest (the two are on opposite sides of Ave. Universidad, formerly the path of Río Magdelena).

To its north is the modern complex of San Ángel Inn Hospital, as well as modern apartment buildings typical of the predominantly middle and upper-middle class delegación, borough, that was developed as Benito Juárez after World War II.

Modern hospital rises above a mural of San Sebastián Mártir,
on the inner wall of the atrio (atrium)
of the Church of 
San Sebastián Mártir.

To its east, along the broad Avenida México-Coyoacán, is the barrio's former traditional cemetery. Since the Reforms of President Benito Juárez, which took much property from the Catholic Church, it has been a public, but still traditional, Mexican one. In striking contrast, across narrow Calle Real Mayorazgo from the cemetery is the post-modern Cineteca Nacional, whose multi-plex screens show international films. 

Cineteca Nacional
Originally built in 1984,
completely reconstructed in 2011.

To Xoco's west, on Avenida Universidad, is one of the City's most upscale shopping malls, Centro Coyoacán, as well as a major international supermarket and the back-offices of an international bank. To the south is the elevated Río Churubusco expressway, which covers the "entubed" Río Churubusco. On the other side of the highway is Delegación Coyoacán. 

Hence, Xoco is hemmed in and has been nearly obliterated by a wall composed of virtually all the components of the modern, global world.

Centro Coyoacán Mall
Sanborns is a kind of specialty store and restaurant chain,
owned by Carlos Slim, one of the world's wealthiest men.

But there are breaches in this wall. On each side of this intimidating monolith, there is an entrance, a narrow calleja, side-street. Real Mayorazgo (Inheritance of the Eldest Prince) crosses the barrio from east to west and San Felipe (St. Philip) from north to south. Entering either one of these, once we are behind the backs of the modern behemoths, we recognize that we are in a traditional barrio, with its modest houses and family-run shops open to the street. Arriving at the intersection of Real Mayorazgo and San Felipe, we come upon the small but still-living heart of Xoco.

Aerial map of the area around Xoxo, looking south, likely taken in the early 1950s.
Pueblo Xoco is out of the photo to the left of the fields.

Pueblo Axotla is out of the photo to the right
Pueblo Mixcoac is out of the photo below the bottom.

Just below the center is the intersection of the Río Mixoac (from bottom center/northwest)
with the Río Magdalena (coming from the right/southwest),
to form the Río Churubusco (running to the left/east, in a trench).
 All, except a part of La Magdalena running through the Viveros, an arboretum, 

are now covered with roadways.

Ave. Universidad appears to be under construction,
as the University City campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico,

aka UNAM, was built in the early 1950s. 

Fiesta for a Visiting Child Saint

On a couple of initial visits to Xoco, we had found few people in the streets and the church closed. However, on the second visit, we noticed a banner hanging above the door of one house.

"The families Gutiérrez Chávez, Luna Gutiérrez and Juárez Chavéz
invite you next Monday, April 18, to the reception of the image of the
Holy Child Pa of Xochimilco.
At 9:00 am in San Felipe St. at Axis 8 South,
and all day in 91 Mayorazgo, Pueblo of Xoco.
Mass at 4:00 pm in the church of San Sebastián Mártir.
We hope to count on your presence!"
The repeated apellidos, family names of 
Gutiérrez and Chávez
indicate a parentesco, family kinship via paternal and maternal lines.

The announcement triggered several questions in our mind. We had heard of the visits of saints from one pueblo to another on the feast day of the receiving pueblo's patron saint. But San Sebastián's day is January 20. So we were intrigued that a saint was visiting at another time, in this case, shortly after Easter.

We were also intrigued that it was evidently another representation of the Niño Jesús, the Child Jesus, usually the center of Candelaria rituals on February 2. We also didn't know what the word 'pa' meant, as it isn't standard Spanish.

Thirdly, Xochimilco is not a nearby pueblo, but a large delegación some nine miles south. What, we wondered, was this visit all about?

So in the early afternoon of Monday, April 18, with great curiosity, we returned to Calle Real Mayorazgo. In the narrow street, we found a small fiesta in full swing.

The all-important banda

Chinelos, dancers "disguised" in Moorish-style costumes.

Kids having fun.

And a "birthday cake"
"Happy Day of the Child Pa"

A child saint honored with a birthday cake? (Later, we check and find that in Mexico, Day of the Child is celebrated on April 30. So it is close.)

We see a line of people entering and leaving a house whose modest door is decorated with an arch of fresh flowers. They are obviously paying some kind of a formal visit. So we follow them in.

El Niño Pa de Xochimilco

Inside a small, low-ceilinged room of cinderblock walls painted white, on a simple table, surrounded by more fresh flowers, sits El Niño Pa de Xochimilco. He is a simple wooden figure, dressed in an elaborate lime-green dress. People bow their heads in reverence and santiguarse, cross themselves. Some leave simple gifts of candy or flowers. We are even more puzzled and intrigued than before.

Shortly after we leave the house, El Niño is brought out into the street.

The sign says "Be careful with me.
You cannot touch me."

The Child God

El Niño pa (we learn later from Wikipedia en español) is an image of the Child Jesus venerated since Colonial days in Xochimilco. It is a wooden sculpture carved in the sixteenth century from the wood of a native Mexican tree. Scientifically verified to be over 400 years old, it is considered one of the oldest images of Catholic worship in the Americas. 

Spanish missionaries evidently created the image to represent the baby Jesus during Posadas. the "Inns", celebrations held in various streets of a barrio each of the nine nights before Christmas, reenacting Joseph's and Mary's search for a room in an inn in Bethlehem. He was placed in the custody of the indigenous chiefs of Xochimilco and then Spanish landowners. El Niño pa does not have a church dedicated to him but is under the rotating custody of the families in the pueblos of Xochimilco

Currently, El Niño pa is overseen by a committee of representatives of various original pueblos of Xochimilco. Each Candelaria, on February 2, there is a major fiesta at which a new mayordomo takes responsibility for El Niño. He has to oversee El Niño's visits to various private homes during the year, for which he follows a list on which hopeful hosts have inscribed their names. As the list is long, it can take years before El Niño arrives in a particular home. So adults usually inscribe the name of one of their children or even grandchildren!

Clearly, that El Niño comes to visit to Xoco, far from his home in Xochimilco, is quite a special occasion. And a concrete expression of the links binding together the surviving original pueblos of Mexico City.

And the 'pa'? It's a mystery. Asking la gente, the people, we have been given various explanations: that 'pa' is short for padre, father, hence the child who is the father; that it is short for pan, bread, for the child who becomes "the bread of the world", and that it is a Nahuatl word for place, hence "child of this place." (Some time later, in Xochimilco, we confirm that this last interpretation is the correct one. It represents the tie of the Catholic Christian el Niño and his people, his pueblo of Xochimilco to their indigenous past. The name, like the dual Spanish and indigenous names of many Mexican towns, is another vestige of the Spiritual Conquest via which the two cultures were merged. 

Church of San Sebastian the Martyr

El Niño, la banda and los chinelos, followed by los feligreses, faithful parishioners, start down the street in a small but clearly solemn procession. 

Church of St. Sebastian the Martyr
Constructed in 1663

It is a very short walk to la Iglesia de San Sebastián Mártir, St. Sebastian the Martyr. We have encountered San Sebastián before, in the original Spanish parcialidad, sector or quarter, of San Sebastián Atzacoalco, in Centro. Killed by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 288 CE, he is a popular saint in Mexico. We have come across several other churches dedicated to him. We will seek to visit some others next January 20, ójala, God willing.

Los feligreses welcome El Niño
and the Mass begins.

San Sebastián Mártir de Xoco

Communal Memories and Communal Identity

Leaving the church, we begin our walk out of Xoco. At the intersection of Real Mayorazgo and San Felipe everyday life has returned.

Secundaria, middle school, girlfriends hang out after school,
While a street vendor arranges his "rich" mangos.

Across the street from the church, our eyes are captured by a series of street murals such as we have seen in other original barrios and pueblos. 

Indigenous Roots

"Raíz," "Root"
In an Aztec-style iconography 

Tonatiuh, God of the Fifth Sun,
of the Aztec World

"Struggle" "Strength" "Liberty"
All embraced by "Love"

Lucha, struggle, against whatever oppresses,
is a core Mexican value.

"Don't stop believing!"
Exactly what belief is a bit unclear.
Certainly neither traditional indigenous
nor Spanish-Mexican Roman Catholic

We walk east on Real Mayorazgo to return to Avenida México-Coyoacán, where we will hail a taxi back to Coyoacán. Passing the wall enclosing the cemetery, we realize where we need to end our amble in Xoco.

Communal Memory

Xoco Cemetery

Entering the cemetery, with its wide center path and large, old trees, one has the feeling of entering a sanctuary, a primal sacred space. 

The tree is a Peruvian pepper tree,
a reminder that the Spanish ruled
to the end of South America.

Olivera Perales Family

Although the cemetery is now City property, rather than that of Pueblo Xoco, it is still a place of family and shared community, a place of old memories that are still alive. 

And there are flowers everywhere.

Surviving Memories, Surviving Pueblo

So, in el Pueblo San Sebastian Xoco, tradition survives: in lively fiestas in its few remaining narrow streets, in a church bien cuidada, well-cared for, and in a panteón where los antepasados, those who have passed before, ancestors, are also bien cuidados, con respeto, dignidad y honor. And with muchas flores!

El Pueblo Xoco, the village and its people, despite being surrounded and powerfully impinged upon by new "gods"—the forces of the modern, global world—nonetheless, maintain their will for their communal identity to survive through their active cuidado of las tradiciones of old gods, both indigenous ones, and those of the Spiritual Conquest.

Footnote and Foundations

In 2018, in the process of excavations for another major residential tower and commercial complex in Xoco, on the site of the former bank offices, archeologists discovered human remains, pottery and remnants of structures that are some 1,700 years old. They demonstrate that the settlement was an extension of the power and culture of Teotihuacan, the major city in the northern end of the Valley of Mexico.

They also found artifacts from the later period of 600 to 1200 CE, when Tula, a city built by the Nahuatl-speaking Tolteca west of Teotihuacan, ruled the Valley. Artifacts from the time of Azcapotzalco domination (a city ruled by the Tepaneca on the west shore of Lake Texcoco) and then the Mexica (Azteca) (1200-1521) were also found, demonstrating that Xoco is a village that has been in virtually continuous occupation since 300 CE.

Modern world, viewed from el panteón de Xoco.

Delegación Benito Juárez
is bright yellow in north-center of Mexico City,
just south of Centro Histórico
in Delegación Cuauhtémoc (taupe)
and north of Coyoacán (purple)

Delegación Benito Juárez
Colonia Xoco is starred at bottom center

Immediately south are the neighborhoods of colonial Coyoacán.

Colonia Xoco

Boundaries are
North: Avenida Popocatépetl aka 
Eje (Axis Road) 8-South
East: Eje  1-West (Avenida México-Coyoacán)
South: Río Churubusco expressway
West: Avenida Universidad, Eje 2-West

Calle Real Mayorazgo runs from its east side, past the cemetery and Cineteca,
through the center of the barrio, to its west side, next to Centro Coyoacán.

 means first-born son and, hence his inheritance,
so Real Mayorazgo speaks of the property of the eldest Spanish prince.

San Felipe runs north to south, intersecting with Mayorazgo in the center,
the location of the Church of San Sebastián Xoco (blue marker)

Puente Xoco, Xoco Bridge, runs diagonally from the northeast down to Real Mayorazgo.

The official area of Colonia Xoco extends north of Puente
to Avenida Popocatépetl
but that part consists of modern apartment buildings and businesses.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Mexico City's Original Villages-Iztapalapa, Part II: Contemporary Culhuacán, Gods of Darkness and Light

Over the past several months, we have been exploring, the pueblos originariosthe original indigenous villages in Mexico City and the landmarks of their transformation, via the Spiritual Conquest that was the work of the Spanish Catholic friars.

Having explored several of the pueblos of Coyoacán during the summer, we now turn east, to the neighboring Delegación de Iztapalapa and the Pueblos of Culhuacán and Iztapalapa. In our last post, we recounted their history, grounded in their strategic location at the base of Cerro de la Estrella, Hill of the Star, on the peninsula that separated Lake Texcoco from Lakes Xochimilco and Chalco to the south.

Delegación de Iztapalapa

Remarkably, as late as the 1970s, the Delegacion de Iztapalapa continued to be primarily a rural area of farms, canals linked to the remaining waters of Lake Xochimilco and ancient pueblos originarios with significant indigenous population.

Starting in the 1970s, as part of a dramatic increase in the population of Mexico, a large number of people from other states moved into the borough, often creating ad hoc settlements on unoccupied land. Within twenty years, the delegación was transformed, such that now 90% of the land is urbanized. With a population of 1.8 million as of 2010, Iztapalapa is now Mexico City's most populous delegación or borough. It is the fourth largest in area. If it were in the U.S., it would be the fifth largest city.

Delegación Iztapalpa
medium green to right, east of Coyoacán (dark purple in center)

Finding Vestiges of the Indigenous Past Within the Modern batiburrillo

The original pueblo of Culhuacán is now immersed in the urban sprawl that has replaced the milpas, fields, and chinampas, the "floating" man-made island gardens of the now-disappeared lakes. Hence, locating the vestiges of the pueblo in the modern batiburrillo, hodgepodge, is not an obvious task for an outsider entering today's neighborhood.

We have arrived in Culhuacán both via the new "Dorado", Golden, Metro Line 12, which is elevated in this part of its route, and by microbus or taxi via Avenida Taxqueña, which runs straight from Coyoacán, where it intersects with the Calzada de Tlalapan at the southeast corner of our own Colonia Parque San Andrés.

Intersection of Taxqueña Ave, coming from Coyoacán to the west,
with Tláhuac Ave., running north to south. 

Turning north on Tláhuac,
one passes under the brand new elevated Metro Line 12.
The street reminds us of ones in the South Bronx,
dominated by the "El", elevated subway lines, with small shops in their shadows.
Line 12's Culhuacán Station is just south of this intersection.

A few short blocks up Tláhuac, we come to a stone wall covered with the universal urban signatures of grafitti. Beneath the paint, we see it is constructed of tezontle, stone from the local volcanos. 

New, elevated "wall" of the Metro
and old, grafitti-covered wall of tezontle, volcanic rock
Photo: Google Earth

Colonial Culhuacán

Turning up the calleja, narrow side street, we come to a gate in the wall. Leaving our taxi, we enter. 

Estanque de Culhuacán
Reservior of Culhuacán

Inside the walled space, we find ourselves in a true urban oasis, a tree-shaded park surrounding a square pool. A plaque tells us it is the Estanque de Culhuacán, the Culhuacán Reservoir, constructed by the Spanish in the 16th century as a kind of harbor at the edge of Lake Xochimilco to serve as an embarcadero, pier, for shipping goods north to their new Ciudad de México

Later—after Lake Texcoco had been drained and Lake Xochimilco's area reduced—it served the same function on the Royal Canal. After Mexican Independence in the early 19th century, it became known as the National Canal, but more commonly, it was called La Viga, The Beam, after one of its branches leading to Centro Histórico. It remained in use into the 1920s. 

The Viga (former Royal) Canal in 1850
superimposed on a map of Mexico City of 1970.

Culhuacán is just to right of label "Antiguo Canal de la Viga"

(lower left).
Cerro de la Estrella is green area just above Culhuacán.
Iztapalapa is north of el Cerro de la Estrella

Heavy red line up the center is modern outer-ring expressway.
Thin red line up left side is Calzada de Tlalpan,
the former Mexica cuepotli, causeway.

From the blog: Historia: Geografía y Rarezas

On the east side of the Estanque, pretty much hidden behind trees, is the Ex-convento de Culhuacán

Entrance to Ex-convento de Culhuacán
It has been restored by
the National Institute of Archeology and History (INAH),
and is now a museum and community arts center.

In the entrance way, a mural of St. Augustine blessing Augustinian monks. 

The existing convent or monastery was built by Augustinian monks in the mid-1500s and dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. The Augustinians took over a mission that had been established by the Franciscans, the first religious order in Nueva España. The handover took place when the Pope required that the Franciscans distribute some of their missions to later-arriving religious orders. It's a dispute we learned about in our investigation of the Franciscan Church of St. Paul in the San Pablo Teopan-Zoquipan quarter in the Centro Histórico

Then in the mid-18th century, the Augustinians were removed on orders of the Pope—as we've also encountered with other missions—and the complex became a parish church under the bishop's control. During the Reform period of the mid-19th century, the convent was seized by the Mexican government and turned to secular uses.

Central patio,
classic example of Spanish Colonial design

Tranquility embodied

San Lorenzo
The tool he is holding in his hand is grill, used for roasting meat.

He was martyred by being grilled over a fire.

Goal ring from an indigenous ball court.
The convent was built on the site of an indigenous temple
and court for the ritual ball game,
which played out the struggle
between the forces of light (heaven) and darkness (underworld).

Church of St. John the Evangelist

Next door to the convent, but outside its walls, is the parish church of St. John the Evangelist. The building is fairly new in Mexican terms, constructed near the end of the 19th century to replace the original church.

Sunday Mass

The priest is sitting on the steps in front of the altar,
giving a homily in a very animated, story-telling style,
He is evidently popular with his young congregants,
as there isn't a gray hair in the crowd!

So here the vestiges of the Spiritual Conquest are a beautifully restored convent—now serving as a museum and very lively community arts center, as well as a site for weddings and quinceañeras, girls' fifteenth birthday celebrations—and an alive Catholic Church, with a padre que es muy padre, a very cool priest.

Chapel of the Lord of Calvary, the Black Christ

A narrow callejón, alleyway, opposite St. John's leads us to a rather more idiosyncratic and vivid manifestation of the primal confrontation between the indigenous peoples of Mexico and the Spanish, and of the reconciliation that has been constructed via the process known as the Spiritual Conquest.

It is la Capilla del Señor del Calvario, the Chapel of the Lord of Calvary. For starters: He's black!

Chapel of the Lord of Calvary

The chapel, like the Church of St. John the Apostle, was built around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, but its origins go some centuries back. 

It is located next to a cave in the adjoining hillside which is the base of Cerro de la Estrella, the site of the Mexica temple of the Binding of the Years or New Fire that we wrote about in our previous post. The cave was evidently the site of indigenous rituals to gods of the Underworld. 

Legend has it that a couple of hundred years ago, a carving of the figure of Christ, after his Crucifixion, during his time in the Tomb, was found in the cave. The figure is black, like the volcanic rock of the cave.

Cave of the Lord of Calvary

Black Lord of Calvary (a second version, 
the original is a "dead" Jesus, laid out for burial)

A large mural on the side wall of the Chapel depicts the meaning of this anomalous combination of symbols:

The black Lord of Calvary is worshipped in his cave by indigenous people.
There are no Spanish or Catholic priests, 

although the goat is a European introduction.
Cerro de la Estrella rises in the background.

Cristos Negros, Black Christs, have appeared in a number of places in Central America and Mexico. The most famous are those of Esquipulas, Guatamala, and Portobelo, Panama. There are several across southern and central Mexico. There is one in a church in a pueblo in Michoacán and others in the State of Mexico and Pueblo. There is also one in the Cathedral of Mexico City. Most all of them are said to have been miraculously discovered already carved and are the objects of pilgrimages. Virtually all are associated with indigenous pueblos. 

Black Christ in Mexico City Cathedral

Tradition of Black Gods  

Before the arrival of the Spanish, indigenous religions had their black gods. The Mexica and other Nahua peoples worshipped Tezcatlipoca, god of the night, hurricanes, the north (cold), the earth, enmity, discord, temptation, sorcery, war and strife. He was often portrayed with a black and yellow striped face and, sometimes, other black body parts. 

Left: Tezcatlipoca, god of twilight, ruler of the night, hence of the invisible,
associated with the Great Bear constellation;
hence, lord of the cardinal direction North.

Right: Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent (a creature combining forces of earth and sky),
god of light, life and wisdom. Associated with the morning star (Venus), lord of the East.

Mexica myths tell of various conflicts between the two.

Portrayed in mural by Guillermo Ceniceros

Tezcatlipoca was associated with obsidian, the smooth black glass stone produced by volcanic eruptions and used to make "smoking" mirrors for divination and knives for sacrifice. His animal spirit was the jaguar, which, because of its yellow and black coat and its nocturnal life, was the quintessential representative of the Sun when it was immersed in the Underworld of Night, where the battle between the forces of Light and Dark took place. The Maya had Tohil and K'awil, gods of sacrifice associated with obsidian.

On the occasion of his inauguration, a new tlatoani, "speaker", of the Mexica had to pray naked before a statue of Tezcatlipoca, acknowledging his human vulnerability and dependence on the god's support. The god's temple was just south of the Main Temple to Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli. It stood where the Palace of the Archbishop now stands, immediately east of the Metropolitan Cathedral, itself built atop the Temple of the Sun.

So, perhaps, it is not so strange that a black, crucifed Christ was discovered in a cave cut out of black volcanic rock, at the foot of a hill where human sacrifices had been performed in order to feed the Sun and, thereby, strengthen it in its nightly struggle with the forces of the Underworld and Death. Only through such blood sacrifice could the heavenly force rise again the next day and bring continuing life to the world of human beings.
Jesus Christ, God's only Son,....
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
                                                 — Apostles' Creed
(See our later post on the Fiesta of Holy Trinity and Culhuacán's celebration of the Lord of Calvary) 

Memories of a Noble Past

Continuing down the alleyway south of la Capilla del Señor de Calvario, we come upon another distinctive representation of Culhuacán's past—a wall mural created by a group called Nomadas Colectivo, the Nomads Collective.

Quetzalcóatl, the Plumed Serpent

"Culhuacán, you are the cradle
of kings and educators,
of painters and poets,
of hard-working men,
of hard-working housewives,
of studious youths,
and of a beautiful childhood."

Legend of Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl 

Iztaccíhuatl was a princess who fell in love with one of her father's warriors, Popocatépetl. 

The king, opposed to this, sent Popocatépetl to war in Oaxaca, promising him Iztaccíhuatl as his wife when he returned, presuming he would die in battle. 
Iztaccíhuatl was falsely told Popocatépetl had died in battle, and believing the news, she died of grief. 
When Popocatépetl returned to find his love dead, he took her body to a spot outside Tenochtitlan and knelt by her grave. 
The gods covered them with snow and changed them into mountains. 
Iztaccíhuatl means "White Woman" (from the nahuatl iztac "white" and cihuatl "woman"). 
Popocatépetl became an active volcano, raining fire on Earth in blind rage at the loss of his beloved. (Wikipedia)

Pantheon of Gods

Unidentified god,
the style is Maya
Tlaloc, God of the Waters

Tezcatlipoca, God of the Night
Tonatiuh, God of the Fifth Sun

"Culhuacán, the Aztec people admired your progress and valor.
Because of this, they solicited Acamapichtli as a guide"

Acamapichtli was the first tlatoani of Tenochtitlan (1375-1395).
His mother was a princess of Culhuacán and his father a Mexica.
He married another Culhuacán princess.

As Toltecs, the residents of Culhuacán traced their lineage
to the imperial city of Tula (650 to 1150 C.E.).  The marriages of Mexicas of Tenochtitlan
with women of Culhuacán gave them a long royal lineage and legitimacy.


Eagle on a Cactus with a Rattlesnake in its Mouth
was the sign given the Mexica to settle on an island in Lake Texcoco.
It became the symbol of Tenochtitlán
and is the Official Seal of Mexico.

With the election of 
Acamapichtli as tlatloani of Tenochtitlán,
the pueblo attained the status of an atepetl, a city-state,
beginning its rise to power in the Valley of Anahuac.

Culhuacán: Syncretism of Cultures

So in Culhuacán we find a beautifully preserved vestige of the Spiritual Conquest in its Franciscan convent and a vivid and still vital manifestation of the syncretism of indigenous and Spanish Catholic culture and beliefs: the black Lord of Calvary. We also find explicit and proud honoring of its indigenous orgins.

Delegación of Iztapalapa: Colonias and Pueblos

Culhuacán is lower star
Barrios of original Iztapalapa are upper right star
Cerro de la Estrella is between them.
Mexicaltzingo is upper left star.