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A piece of Mexico off the beaten path

During my stay in Estado de Mexico there were plenty of rain. We did however go on some road trips.
Starting a bright morning, we turned north hoping the sun would follow us exploring the colonial village Aculco.


Photo: Robert Freund

From what I have read I was quite excited to visit this, somewhat distant, village. A community of the indigenous Otomi people live here, one of the more important ethnic groups in Mexico, still keeping their culture and traditional clothing style.

Estado de Mexico tourist information have this to say, “The pleasant weather of this enchanting town is perfect for those who seek tranquility.”
I see what they mean, this is a peaceful, or tranquil, village. Maybe even sleepy, there is not much going on here.



As most Mexican cities and villages religion has a big importance in Aculco, here it comes with a legend;
One day the old chapel with an icon of Señor de Nenthé, Lord of the water, caught on fire. Señor de Nenthé is believed to have performed a numerous of miracles and was worshipped all through Aculco. The villager was a afraid they lost their icon to the flames, surprisingly they found the icon undamaged at the foot of a tree from were clear water sprung.
Still today the people of the village take the icon on a procession asking for rain in dry season.
I think they had their procession the morning before we came, we hadn’t been in Aculco more than 20 minutes before the rain came.

It is a nice little village, unfortunately there is nothing to do. Maybe it was due to the rain, but the old cobblestone streets were silent and the beautiful plazas were empty. Without cafés or other places to meet and spend time together I can only guess the citizens stayed at home.
Rain or not, just the fact that Anonymous Alcoholics dispose of the public, very spartan, lavatory probably say something about the way of living and things to do around here.
Still I felt a certain peace and will come back a sunny day. This is a ordinary Mexican village, nothing is done or changed to draw foreign tourists here. It’s just a little bit of Mexico far off the beaten path.

Now, this is just my experience from Aculco. There is much more to see and Mexicans do occasionally go here for vacation.
To be fair, the village have some importance in history. Among other things Miguel Hidalgo stayed here for some time and it is said that here is where the end of the independence war began.
We went home because the rain got worse and did not see much outside of the village, but the nature and landscape around here is amazing. High mountains invites you to go hiking, green forest for camping and rivers for fishing and not to forget La Concepcion and Tixhiñú waterfalls.

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