There was a time when Santa Fe was off the grid, just a bunch of high-rise apartments and a shopping mall.
Today Santa Fe is an integrated part of it's far flung, most westerly of alcaldias, Cuajimalpa, but the two are also increasingly integrated parts of the city.
Cuajimalpa de Morelos was named for the community of San Pedro Cuajimalpa. The Nahuatl root of the word means "place of sawmills." Cuajimalpa as we know it had been controlled since at least 1342 by the Tepaneca people based in Azcapotzalco. Many more fled to the area with the fall of Azcapotzalco to the Aztec Triple Alliance in the mid 15th century.
Upon another conquest, Hernán Cortés made efforts to secure transport into the Toluca area, and established control over what was then "San Pedro Cuauhximalpa," among many other communities in the area. By the early 17th century, a group of Carmelite monks founded a hermitage and monastery at what is today Desierto de los Leones.
Cualjimalpa became a delegation of Federal District only in 1929, after being the site of numerous skirmishes during both the War for Independence and the Mexican Revolution. Between 1950 and 1980, the population increased by some 900%, particularly in the 1970s.
Since then, both Santa Fe and Cuajimalpa have continued to grow, and as ecological and outdoors destinations, there are few better places to find yourself, even here in the city.
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