Tuxpan, Michoacán

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Tuxpan is a small village in between Zitácuaro and Ciudad Hidalgo in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Tuxpan is located 118 km (73 mi) from Morelia.

Tuxpan is distinguished for its fantastic church dedicated to St. James the Apostle (Santiago Apostol), in which a majestic painting by Cristóbal de Villalpando is exhibited.

Etymology[edit]

The town was born with the name of "Tuspa," which was given by the Otomi People some centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ. It was changed by the Aztecs in 1225 to "Tochpan," which in Nahua, "Tochtli" = Rabbit and "An" = Place. By definition it can be interpreted as, "Place of Rabbits".

Catholic settlers registered Tuxpan as Santiago Tuxpan, in honor of one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. This name continued until the birth of the first Republic of Mexico, when it was changed to "Tuxpan".

History[edit]

The first occupiers of the land of Tuxpan was the indigenous group of the Otomi. The only evidence found of when the Otomi people lived in Tuxpan, are some archeological artifacts that can be traced back to some centuries BC

In the year of 1200 AD the Otomi of Tuxpan formed part of a 340 town strong Tarascan Empire. The Aztecs were never able to conquer this land due to the great power of the Tarascan alliance. This great relationship between them gave Tuxpan over 250 years of peace. In 1464, the Aztec king Axayacatl started a to invade the Tarascan territories. As part of the Tarascan Alliance,the 300 men strong Tuxpan fought against the thousands of Aztec soldiers. Defeat was inevitable, the town was destroyed and burned down. The battle was considered an incredible act of heroism by the Aztecs and Tarascan people. In 1466, the Tarascan Empire swore to protect Tuxpan from any other battle to come.

The target in Michoacán was to move most of the native Indians to newly built or reconstructed towns. Catholic missionaries prepared the land so it could be officially made into a town. On October 4, 1598, a special ceremony was held for the birth of the town of Tuxpan, Michoacán. All sorts of people attended the ceremony, including the Indian chief of the land, government officials, men who had already purchased a large area of land, as well as the many Indians who already lived on the land.

La Fiesta del Pueblo "The Town's Festivities"[edit]

Every year the town celebrates the most important date to Tuxpan on the Saturday before Easter begins. During the following two weeks the town is in a state of celebration. A carnival is setup where people can enjoy all sorts of games, it is very similar to the carnival ambient in the United States. Aside from the typical Mexican dishes (quesadillas, tacos, tamales), the culinary specialty this time of the year is the pasta which is in fact a type of vanilla ice cream. The conserva is also a popular choice, it is a variety of fruits boiled with sugar until it is honey-like.

Sábado de Carreras "Saturday at the Races"[edit]

The first Saturday of every March, a special day is dedicated to the sport of horse racing. It is held in small racetrack on the westside of town. The races star in the afternoon and continue until early evening. During the event, downtown Tuxpan is completely deserted.

La Reina de Carnaval "The Carnival Queen"[edit]

A beauty pageant is organized by the town every year to select a girl worthy of representing Tuxpan during the festivities. The participants are generally 15 to 19 year old girls. The process of choosing a winner is very similar to any other pageant. The queen will also be the main attraction at the parade.

El Desfile "The Town Parade"[edit]

On the first Tuesday after the Sábado de Carreras 'Saturday of the races', the town has a unique parade were all sorts of people can participate. The queen of the beauty pageant along with the runner up and the third place, make up an important role of the parade. The schools also play an important part of the event, from pre-k to high school. The last section is dedicated to the 'charros' were men and woman dress up as such and partake in the parade by horseback riding.

Tourism[edit]

The main natural attraction in Tuxpan is El Salto or 'the jump'. It is a cascade about 2.5 miles northeast of the downtown area. Many people go to see the magnificent scene that the cascade creates. Visitors will usually prepare a barbecue and spend the day swimming and playing games.

El Cerro de la Cruz "The Mountain with the Cross"[edit]

This mountain can be seen from almost anywhere in Tuxpan. In 2004 the municipal government built stairs all the way to the top of the mountain. People from all over enjoy climbing the stairs to the pinnacle and are rewarded by a majestic view of the entire valley.

Coordinates: 19°33′58″N 100°27′45″W / 19.56611°N 100.46250°W / 19.56611; -100.46250