San Francisco Tetecala is one of the 25 original settlements of Azcapotzalco. It’s very close to the Historic Center, and is still fairly easy to remember as a small neighboring town.
There are a number of theories as to the original names. Tetecala derives from the Nahuatl “Tetecalla,” meaning simply “where there are many stone houses.” The alternate name, Tzapotlan, may translate to “place of abundant sapote trees,” or “The place of Tzapotlatenan.” The mother of Tzapotlan, she is understood as a deity associated with a medicinal oil called uxitl or oxitl. The followers of the goddess were called tzapotlanteohuahtzin, and they honored the goddess with offerings of copal, rubber, aromatic herbs and paper.
The tiny church dates only from the end of the 19th century. With its atrium largely intact, it’s still a pretty charming neighborhood center. It was enlarged in 1959, and again in 1976. Today, many visitors will pass through the Metro Camarones station, without quite realizing they’re in an ancient settlement.
Most of the older parts of San Francisco Tetecala, though not quite ancient, are to the north of the Calzada San Isidro. And like much of Azcapotzalco, many parts of the town were industrialized in the 20th century and remain so even today.
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