San Francisco Tecoxpa is centered around the Church of San Francisco de Asís. It’s an ancient village on the southeastern slopes of the Teuhtli volcano. At 2,361 meters, the altitude is quite high. It’s one of the seven Nahua-settled of Milpa Alta’s 12 pueblos originarios. The town is thought to have been settled in about 1409.
The church dates from the 18th century and was dedicated to Saint Francis of Assis, by the Franciscans who evangelized the area. The town still celebrates the St. Francis feast day every October 4th. The festivals include music, fireworks and local dances. The party is generally on the church grounds and in the Plaza San Francisco Tecoxpa just across the avenida Juárez to the north. The atrium of the church and the plaza are both meeting places for the entire community, in part, because the yellow church facade makes it easy to recognize from afar.
Within the church is a 16th-century organ. It’s the only one of the original churches of Milpa Alta to have an organ permanently installed. The paintings date from the 17th century. Detailed wood carvings depict scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi.