The Pueblo San Juan de Aragón is one of the original settlements of Gustavo A. Madero. It’s history is at the center of the much larger Aragón area, although the town itself dates to an earlier period.
The area, now densely populated, is today known for the waves of migrants who arrived in the years after World War II. But the town of San Juan began as a part of the fishing territory granted to the Tlatelolca people in the years after the defeat of the Tepaneca people of Azcapotzalco around 1435. They held onto that right through some tumultuous early legal wrangling until they finally leased the land to one Blas López de Aragón from Seville in 1713. Lopez then founded the colonial-era Hacienda de Santa Anna Aragón.
The Hacienda de Santa Anna Aragón was among the most celebrated of the period. Always productive, in 1741, some of the territory was broken away to formerly found the Villa of Guadalupe to the hacienda’s west. After Mexican Independence, the hacienda ceased to operate as such and was divided into multiple ranches and towns. Most of them retained the name of Aragón, and one of these was the population center of San Juan de Aragón.
The town is usually said to have been founded in 1854 by President Ignacio Comonfort who held office from late 1855 through early 1858. The dedication, of the church and thus the town, to Saint John Chrysostom dates from that time.
The town grew over nearly all of the next 100 years. Although the old farmlands were re-purposed for housing, the forest was replanted during the administration of President Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940). As mentioned above, in the post-wars years, still more housing was needed.
Visitors today will not recognize the old fishing territory. But, curiously, this had been early dedicated, too, to Santa Anna who’s name lived on throughout the Hacienda period. Today’s San Juan de Aragón is but one part of the sprawling, complex, and historically significant area. With a number of famous markets, sports and recreation areas, it’s a vital part of what Mexico City means.