The Xotepingo Light Rail station is among the best known today on the Xochimilco Light Rail. That’s in part because of the rather pleasing sound of the name. In Nahuatl it means simply the “place of the little chiles.”
It was the name of one of the principle population centers in ancient Coyoacán. Later the name Xotepingo came to be applied to one of the Ranches that existed and coexisted alongside the giant Hacienda of Coapa that came to dominate this part of the valley. This history lasted well through the 19th century, even as the hacienda system was in serious decline in most of the country. To the east of the station, the Colonia Avante recalls that the main hacienda was eventually sub-divided into the land parcels we see today.
The station is often used to begin the (roughly) 15-minute walk to the Anahuacalli Museum. The calle Museo begins just a half-block north of the Station. It leads, in its crooked way, directly to the museum.
But the Xotepingo Ranch legacy lives on throughout the area. The market in the neighborhood to the northwest is named for the ranch. So is the principal park in the same place, a neighborhood named and still known for its parks. You’ll still see the name, “place of little chiles” on all addresses within the territory of the former ranch.