Monday, March 17, 2008

Mexico: Visit to Popocatepetl, 1979

About midway between Mexico City and Puebla stand the twin volcanoes Ixtaccihuatl and Popocatepetl. Both of them are visible on a clear day looking east from Mexico City. We had an unexpected opportunity to visit that area shortly into our semester in Mexico.

One of our roommates had a car and offered to take us there. We piled into the car and drove due east from the capital. We took an expressway out of the city and then pulled off at a town called Cuautla. We went a little further and stopped at the town of Amecameca. This town was one of the first small Mexican towns I had seen, with its plaza and church, and one thing I liked a lot - slices of fresh coconut for sale. We took some time to walk into the church and look around, and as we were walking out, one boy looked at the other and said in Spanish as we were walking by, "They're gringos," which for some reason made me crack up.

Further along we went up along the winding mountain road until we reached a lodge close to the summit of Popocatepetl, where there were plenty of tourists. What I liked about the area was that you could walk around and find some little piles of snow on the ground. The top of the volcano was so close that it looked like you could take a stroll there, but we saw a group of mountain climbers returning from the summit in their full gear, reminding us that the climb was not as easy as it looked. In any case the view was spectacular.

Other websites:
Caribbean Folk Arts Network (Caribfolk) - Caribbean cultural network:

Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas (Latin American Cultural Roots) - a nonprofit organization I founded in 1991 that presents Latin American cultural shows, exhibits, and workshops:

Raicesnews - Latin cultural events in the Philadelphia area:

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