Cuetzalan is a town located in the foothills of the Northern Sierra of Puebla State, Mexico. It is municipal seat of "Cuetzalan del Progreso", one of the 217 municipalities in the state of Puebla. One of the main features of the town is that the streets are prominent and marked pending. It was incorporated into "Pueblos Magicos" Mexican federal tourism system (magic towns) in 2002. Its value lies in the development of Native life with large populations that preserve their way of life, including the development of indigenous radio to the area, or anthropological value extensive Sunday market.
Every October 4th, CUETZALAN native people elect a young woman as their "Queen of Huipil", celebrating the traditional female garment worn, called "Huipil", by women at their annual festival to Saint Francis of Assisi. Some young women from Cuetzalan area, which is home to 168 communities, compete for the title, parading before the judges, wearing large and intricate wool headgear, carrying a tassel in their hands, sporting regional dresses and barefoot. Participating in the Huipil contest, women must be 15 to 20 years old, proficient in both Nahuatl and Spanish, and demonstrate a passion for tradition with a speech in both languages about their communities before the judges and public in Cuetzalan’s main square. The panel authority figures (named “Tatiaxkas”), from the native communities and individuals with knowledge about the region’s culture, vote by dropping a tassel in a box of the same color as the one their candidate carries. After all the judges have voted, the box is opened, the sashes are tossed into the air and the colors are tallied. Therefore a new "Queen of the Hipil" is elected in a democratic way.
• RESEÑA: Cada 4 de octubre, los indígenas de CUETZALAN eligen a una joven como su "Reina del Huipil", que celebra la tradicional prenda femenina , llamada "Huipil", que las mujeres usan en su festival anual a San Francisco de Asís. Algunas jóvenes del área en torno a Cuetzalan, que alberga a 168 comunidades, compiten por el título, desfilan ante los jueces, visten tocados de lana grande e intrincada, llevan una cinta en sus manos, lucen vestidos regionales y llevan los pies descalzos. Al participar en el concurso de Huipil, las mujeres deben tener entre 15 y 20 años, tener dominio tanto del náhuatl como del español, y demostrar pasión por la tradición con un discurso en ambos idiomas sobre sus comunidades ante los jueces y el público en la plaza principal de Cuetzalan. Las figuras de autoridad del panel (llamadas "Tatiaxkas"), de las comunidades nativas e individuos con conocimiento sobre la cultura de la región, votan colocando una cinta en una caja del mismo color que la que lleva su candidata. Después de que todos los jueces hayan votado, la caja se abre, las cintas se lanzan al aire y se contabilizan los colores. Por lo tanto, una nueva "Reina del Hipil" es elegida de manera democrática.
• ACTIVITIES: Private tour to Queen of the Huipil.
• ACTIVIDADES: Tour privado a Reina del Huipil.
• TRANSPORT: Private transport from Puebla or Cholula to mentioned activities
• TRANSPORTE: Transporte privado de hotel en Puebla-Cholula a las mencionadas actividades
⊕ Note: For tour request, please email your full name, mobile number, number of passengers, day of tour and hotel name/address.
⊕ NOTA: Para solicitar, por favor mandar por correo su nombre completo, número móvil, número de pasajeros, día del tour y dirección del hotel.
Cuetzalan is a town located in the foothills of the Northern Sierra of Puebla State. It is municipal seat of "Cuetzalan del Progreso", one of the 217 municipalities in the state of Puebla. One of the main features of the town is that the streets are prominent and marked pending. It was incorporated into tourism system of Magical Towns in 2002. Its value lies in the development of Native life with large populations that preserve their way of life, including the development of indigenous radio to the area, or anthropological value extensive Sunday market.
One of the main attractions of the town is "Las Brisas", a waterfall, located within the jungle surrounding the town. There are countless other waterfalls in the jungle and coffee plantations surrounding the town. Upon crossing the river which marks the state boundary of Veracruz and Puebla, the culture and language changes to Totonac.
Cuetzalan belonged to "Totonacapan" cultural area founded in 200 BC by the Totonac as demonstrated in the archaeological zone that exists in the town of Yohualichan corresponding to the municipality of Cuetzalan. When the Spanish arrived in 1519, the Totonac ethnicity dominated this large region, although they themselves were dominated by the Aztec Empire. For this reason, they allied with Hernan Cortes against "Mexico-Tenochtitlan". In 1552, it was submitted by the Spanish and evangelized by Franciscan friars. In 1555, Cuetzalan was regarded as a center of very important social, economic and commercial activities, so it is given the name of "San Francisco Cuetzalan". However, over the colonial period, the Totonac population and territory shrank, especially after 1750 when Mestizos began infiltrating Totonacapan, taking political and economic power. This continued into the 19th and 20th centuries, prompting the division of most of historical Totonacapan between the States of Puebla and Veracruz. Today, the term refers only to a region in the north of Puebla and Veracruz were Totonac culture is still important. This region is home to the El Yohualichan, Tajin and Cempoala archeological sites as well as Cuetzalan and Papantla towns, which are noted for their performance of the "Danza de los Voladores".
Cuetzalan, a community of about 10,000 people located near the Gulf of Mexico, at 1,000 meters above sea level, live every Sunday, the day of "Plaza" or "Tianguis" or "Sunday Market", which invites many Nahua, Totonac and Mestizo, plus domestic and foreign tourists. It is a place where we can understand more of cultural identity, the people who come to the market makes it in a way that their ancestors did, retaining its "Nahuat" (Aztec or Nahuatl dialect) language, mixing with the Totonac and Spanish, this generates linguistic attitudes, we can see so simply that for them the trade language is now the Spanish between Nahua and Totonac, making the bartering between them.
Nestled in the "Sierra Norte de Puebla", Cuetzalan is a magical village ideal for relaxing, enjoying the mist, listening indigenous languages and try dishes with Prehispanic heritage. They use fresh local ingredients to prepare a myriad of delights: beans, corn, mushrooms and fungi abound due to wet weather, cheese and fruits such as passion fruit, pear, macadamia and others. During Lent, there are many options to enjoy meat-free dishes. Just walk down the cobbled streets of the village to run into stalls where snacks and sweets (made of tejocote, banana, pear, apple) and small local craft liquors such as Yolixpa (herb liquor), Xoco Atol (fermented corn) and vines made of passion fruit and coffee. Coffee beans are grown with high quality drink. If you want to try the most typical flea market go to the center and start your meal with a hot soup of mushrooms or wild mushrooms, Cecina (smoked meat), Acamaya (local crustacean), Pipian (pumpkin seed mole), Chilpozole, Chayotestle, Tasajo (pork or beef jerky). For dining, locals eat hand-made corn tortillas. Other local delicacies are the bean and mole tamales. Also Tlayoyos which are a type of "Gordita" (thick tortila filled with grass pea) prepared with avocado leaves and stews with quelites (pigweed).
Ceremonia Ritual de los Voladores (Ritual Ceremony of the Flyers) is an ancient Mesoamerican ritual still performed today, albeit in modified form, in isolated spots in Mexico. It is believed to have originated with the Nahua, Huastec and Otomi people in central Mexico, and then spread throughout most of Mesoamerica. Ritual consists in a dance and climbing a 18 up to 40-meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. The fifth participant remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum. According to one myth, the ritual was created to ask the gods to end a severe drought. Although the ritual did not originate with the Totonac people, today it is strongly associated with them, especially those in and around Cuetzalan and Papantla towns. The "Voladores" ritual was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2009 and refers to three groups of Voladores: Veracruz, San Luis Potosi and Puebla.
Garments made mainly waist-loom as: Huipil blouses, shawls, belts, backpacks and other items like silk shawls, tablecloths, napkins, "Tortillero" (corn tortilla holder) and a huge variety of garments with hand-woven designs.
Visit to a famous local painter's studio who is known for his paintings and artistic vision of Cuetzalan people and culture. This artist represents an identity and culture which wants to thrive in contemporary world.
Cuetzalan is also known for its Carnival dances and masks made in different designs and sizes, as well flutes, cages, dolls, emphasizing the miniature figures that have won national and international recognition. Beeswax candles are produced for domestic consumption, in addition to waxes luxury splendidly worked by craftsmen for the holidays. These candles and paraffin wax can be large with flowers, leaves and different figures are always given away by the steward of the feast of the saints who are celebrated. With coffee beans women make necklaces earrings and bracelets.
This archaeological site is an ancient ceremonial center of the Totonac culture. It is located northwest of Cuetzalan. It was founded in the early Classic period (0-900 AD) and abandoned in the middle of the Post-Classic (900-1519 AD) due to the early expansion of Nahua groups from the center, starting with the Toltec conquest, then the Chichimeca and finally the terrible economic dominance of the Aztecs, who threw ashore Totonac the last vestiges of this area. All structures were covered with a thick layer of stucco roughly finished, however evidence that remain on the boards remains of paint and fret shaped elements made of mortar on slopes. The back of the temple called "La Greca", which is at a higher level of the square is the ball game, this being one of the largest known in Mesoamerica, as the court is almost 90 meters long.