Cuetzalan is located 180 km North East of Puebla City.
is a Nahuatl Indian town which has preserved many of its customs
has an extensive network of underground caves which attract
cavers and potholers from all over the world.
is a 3 1/2 hour drive from Puebla City via Amozoc, Zaragosa,
are direct buses from Puebla and Mexico City
population in the 2001 census was given as 44,959.
of Puebla State
Indian town in Puebla State, Mexico
and Images from Cuetzalan
Indian man in the Sunday "Tianguis"
trader in Cuetzalan
in the Sunday market
Indian woman making "gorditas" at a food stall
is a world away from the modern Mexico of Puebla or Mexico City.
Although most residents can also speak Spanish, Nahuatl is the language
of the streets and markets.
It's a shock to the system for the fluent Spanish speaker, used
to listening in to the general chatter. Nahuatl has no linguistic
relation to Spanish, having an independent grammar and structure.
Evesdropping on two elderly Nahuatl speaking women in the back of
the colectivo pick-up, the only words I picked up were "caballo"
(horse) and café orgánico (organic coffee)
The Aztecs never saw a horse or a coffee plantation until after
the arrival of the conquistadores, so the Indigenous language
had to "borrow" the words from Spanish.
the Spanish language does the same with English, due to the influence
of the powerful neighbour to the north.
At a recent child care conference in Puebla, the chairperson used
phrases like "el know-how" and "el business"
in Cuetzalan zócalo
campesino walking into Cuetzalan for the Sunday market
between market traders before the day's work begins
woman and child