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San Luis Tlaxialtemalco, Xochimilco

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San Luis Tlaxialtemalco
Photo by José Cuaxospa courtesy of the San Luis Tlaxialtemalco Tlaxialtemalco Facebook page.

San Luis Tlaxialtemalco is one of the 14 original settlements of Xochimilco. It’s a ruddy chinampa farming town that was a neighborhood of San Gregorio Atlapulco early in the colonial period. Prior to that, it was known as the “place of the censer of the ball game of the god Tlaloc.” This would have lent the town some ritual significance during the ancient period.

The colonial town was separated as part of a reorganization of parishes during the 16th century. It was founded in 1603, although a hermitage had been operating here for the previous 25 years. The hermitage had been part of the Franciscan monastery of San Bernardino, today the Cathedral of Xochimilco.

Today, the town is arguably more famous for the Acuexcomatl Center for Environmental Culture. It occupies the former water works area, a giant Porfiato-period pumping station in the towns northeast. But local town life still centers around the church and the town center. That is, to the extent that local life leaves the farm fields. And the chinampas, the famous floating farm fields extend to all points north.

To the south, the Teuhtli volcano emerges. And that, perhaps surprisingly, contributes the noteworthy outcroppings of black volcanic rock. These appear intermittantly along the town streets. They also contributed building materials for some of the town’s oldest structures. This is most notable in the town church.

The town has long wondered why it’s local public market has never taken off. But that need is met mostly in the famous San Luis Tlaxialtemalco Flower Market in the town’s east. It’s right next to the Acuexcomatl Center.

How to get here
  • San Luis Tlaxialtemalco, Xochimilco, 16610 CDMX

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