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Santa Lucía Xantepec is one of the ten Original Settlements of Álvaro Obregón. A small town center surrounds the church and atrium with a few winding cobblestone streets. The atrium acts, as it did through the colonial period, as a focal point for civic and community life. Mature trees and gardens make it into a exceptionally attractive center to the town.
The town came to be some 200 years prior to the Spanish invasion. Originally written Chantepec, it was subject to the Coyoacán altepetl in the 13th century, and noted between the Tlaltenango and San Borja rivers. By the eve of the conquest, it was subject to Tlacopan, the Tepaneca town today called Tacuba. This was true of most of the Cuajimalpa communities to the immediate west.
The town’s Christian dedication came in 1534. Cortés, in taking over the entire Marquessate de Oaxaca, took over Santa Lucía de Chantepeque, too. It grew into a somewhat prominent place on the Royal Road to Toluca. Santa Lucia, the saint, is believed to have replaced Chicomecoátl who was associated with water and thus with Tlaloc.
Xantepec, the Nahuatl name, means simply “house on the hill,” resulting from the combination of chante or chantli: house and tepetl: hill. The town gained legal recognition in 1562 with a land grant. An evangelization process got underway, mostly at the hands of the Franciscans. They involved Carmelites and Dominicans in this effort at times. A later dispute with the residents of Santa Fe over the limits of the land grant led to the construction of the church we see today, and in the location we see today. Building took place between 1629 and 1749. It was The baptistery, sacristy, and a parish house came to be in the 1940s and 50s.
The façade still depicts beans and bean seeds associated with Chicomecoatl. The four great carved corn cobs recall an association with Centeotl, the god of corn and counterpart to Chicomecoatl. Note the indigenous carvings of corn cobs on the big baptismal font, too. A small part of the old graveyard still rests beneath the atrium gardens.
La fiesta patronal de Santa Lucía Xantepec:
historia y tradición de un pueblo
Nitzia Marisol Villa Hernández
Memorias del poniente II : historias de pueblos, barrios y colonias:
segundo concurso de historias de barrios y colonias del poniente de la Ciudad de México
coordinación general, Mario Barbosa Cruz ción operativa, Enrique Ehecatl Omaña Mendoza . — México : UAM, Unidad Cuajimalpa, 2016.