Cuetzalan is the municipal center fo a large concentration of Nahua peoples; the surrounding towns all have traditional costumes and strong ties to their cultural roots. On Oct 4th there is a Festival of Huipil and Coffee. Bob Freund, 9/17/2004 for more information contact :
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Cuetzalan is located in the northern Sierra of Puebla. It is about 5 hours from Mexico City. Take the Autopista to Amozoc and then highway # 129 north towards Oriental. Follow the signs the roads are well marked.
This is a composite picture of different costume seen in the market of Cuetzalan. Many of the towns have costumes that seem the same but vary in the detail and are distinctive to the local residents.
Narrow cobblestone streets add to the town’s charm, the town is built on a hillside so the streets are very steep. There are lots of tourist services here and lots of stores to shop in.
Oct 4 is the Festival of Huipil and Coffee and the towns saint day an Fransisco. During the festival there is a beauty contest, ten villages send a contestant. The contestant must make a speech in Nahua and Spanish. Most contestants are 14-16 years old and are very beautiful. The winner is carried by the judges through the town.
Market day, here is an example of traditional men's muslin suit. These are generally made by the wife at home.
The town square, in Cuetzalan is a pleasant place. It has a strong indigenous character. Nearby there are ruins from the Totanaca period although the area is now Nahua. The Aztecs conquered this region in the 15th century.