Metro Vallejo would be another unknown, or little-known Metro station. It’s one stop before the equally little-known Metro Norte 45. But in Mexico City, the name Vallejo inspires a certain reverence.
One reason is for the UNAM-operated high school, CCH Vallejo, which has inspired a devoted, vocal, and activist alumni, generation after generation. Another reason is precisely because of its location straddling the border between two alcaldías (Gustavo A. Madero and Azcapotzalco) in the north of the city. Like many such border places, Vallejo can have a “no-man’s land” quality no matter which alcaldía you’re in.
The neighborhood, col. Industrial Vallejo, is in Azcapotzalco. So is the station of which we’re speaking. But six more colonia Vallejos are in Gustavo A Madero, including one called simply “colonia Vallejo.” It’s just to the east of the famous La Raza monument on Insurgentes. That’s an important one, because it gives you an idea of the place-name’s origin.
In fact, the old causeway, more likely a rather muddy road, ran from near the center of Tlatelolco, and the pyramid there, to the ancient pyramids at Tenayuca. It was a very important road for the ancients. This is not least because of the the long conflict between Azcapotzalco and Mexico-Tenochtítlan. It continues to be an important street even today. In the early colonial period, that calzada was renamed to honor one of the wealthiest landowners in the area, one Antonio Vallejo. The renamed Calzada Vallejo, the Vallejo Causeway, has been an important artery through the area ever since.
The road itself is a trip into the ancient period in Azcapotzalco. The land was later divided, in 1557, among those who’d become Azcapotzalco’s wealthiest. But this area, these muddy salt flats that stretched to the east to Magdalena de las Salinas, was to remain mostly a salt mining area through the colonial period. It would grow into one of the most important industrial regions in the city, if not the country, only a few years after the Mexican Revolution. It remains important today.
If you’re happening through the area, don’t miss the San Andrés de las Salinas cemetery and chapel ruins just to the south of the station. The cemetery is open during the week. Metro Vallejo is also just a few minutes walk to the Parque Vía Vallejo shopping center.