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Atlacomulco de Fabela
Town & Municipality
Atlacomulco is located in Mexico
Location in Mexico
Coordinates: 19°47′51″N 99°52′28″W / 19.79750°N 99.87444°W / 19.79750; -99.87444Coordinates: 19°47′51″N 99°52′28″W / 19.79750°N 99.87444°W / 19.79750; -99.87444
Country  Mexico
State State of Mexico
Founded 1530s
Municipal Status 1824
 • Municipal President C. Fidel Almaza Monroy
 • Municipality 258.74 km2 (99.90 sq mi)
Elevation (of seat) 2,570 m (8,430 ft)
Population (2005) Municipality
 • Municipality 77,831
 • Seat 20,447
Time zone Central (US Central) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
Postal code (of seat) 50450
Area code(s) 712
Website (in Spanish) Official site

Atlacomulco is a city and municipality located in the northwest of the State of Mexico in central Mexico, 63 kilometres (39 mi) from the state capital of Toluca. The name is derived from the Nahuatl phrase "atlacomulli" which means "where there are wells." The city, with a population of 20,477 is surrounded by rural area in which 75% of the rest of the municipality lives. The municipality has a sizable percentage of indigenous language speakers, mostly Mazahua.[1] The Mazahua name for the area is Embaró, which means "colored rock."[2] Agriculture is still the main economic activity, but the development of a number of industrial parks, such as Atlacomulco 2000, which allowed the seat to reach city statues by 1987.[1] Atlacomulco is also the origin of a political organization called the "Atlacomulco Group" made up of powerful political figures who deny its existence.[3]


The area was originally settled by the Mazahuas but the date of their arrival is not known. This area eventually came under the control of Azcapotzalco during the reign of Tezozomoc, calling it the province of Mazahuacan. Later, it came under the control of Tlacopan or Tacuba. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, Atlacomulco became the encomendero of Francisco de Villegas in 1535. In 1537, the regent of Ixtlahuaca took possession of the area, and relocated Spanish families here to settle. The municipality remained quiet through the rest of the colonial period and during the various wars of the 19th century. The only events of note were the passing of the armies of Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio López Rayón on the edges of the municipality during the Mexican War of Independence.[1]

Atlacomulco officially became a municipality in 1824. During the very late 19th century and early 20th century, Atlacomulco was dominated by a number of large haciendas which include the Toshi Hacienda and the El Salto Hacienda.[1] In 1915, during the Mexican Revolution, Lucio Blanco occupied the city of Atlacomulco with his groups while on his way to the Bajío region. He is known here for sacking almost all of the municipality’s grain, as well as printing money which was circulated in the north of Mexico. During this time period, the municipality’s most famous resident, Isidro Fabela Alfaro was active as a politician and writer.[1]

During the first half of the 20th century, most of the educational institutions here were established. In 1951, the village gained town status and in 1987, it was declared a city.[1]

The city[edit]

The parish of Santa María de Guadalupe was constructed in the 17th century in Plateresque style. In the cupola, there is a painting of the Virgin Mary during the Assumption. In front of the church is the Plaza Arturo Velez Martinez.[1] This church is the seat of the diocese of Atlacomulco. The diocese was established in 1984 by decree of John Paul II, naming Ricardo Guízar Díaz as the first bishop. The current bishop is Constancio Mirada.[4] The Sanctuary of the Señor del Huerto is in Neoclassical style built in the 19th century. It contains three oils that depict the resurrection of Jesus, his flogging and being kissed by Judas. Another notable temple is dedicated to Francis of Assisi and was built in 1984.[1] Public buildings include the municipal palace, (1945), the Venustiano Carranza Sports Center (1944), the Teatro del Pueblo (People’s Theater) (1945), the Lienzo Charro Nicolas Gonzalez Fabela (1951) and the Isidro Fabela Cultural Center, which was built in the 19th century but was remodeled in 1969.[1] In this center there are artistic and cultural workshops.[2]

The main festival for the year is the Festival of the Señor del Huerto (Lord of the Grove). This festival contains both Christian and pagan elements, and takes place on the third week of September. This festival has processions, dances, amusement rides and fireworks. Traditional dances that are performed include Las Pastoras, Los Santiagueros, Los Vaquero and Los Arcos. Processions are accompanied by musicians playing violins, chirimias and drums. The Señor del Huerto is an image of Jesus that was supposedly found with an elderly man who had wandered from his home. The man was found dead sometime after he was noticed missing, but the body was perfectly preserved. This was the first miracle attributed to the image.[1] Like much of the State of Mexico, the cuisine here includes barbacoa and carnitas. One dish that is local is called ensalada de juanes, (juanes salad) which combins nopals, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, pork rinds, cheese and watercress. Pulque is popular here as well.[2]

The city has several notable schools. The oldest of this is the Escuela Normal de Atlacomulco . This is a teachers’ college, which prepares teachers for students from kindergarten through high school (preparatory). The college offers both bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees.[5] Universidad TecMilenio is a university that offers degrees in engineering, business and information technology, as well as masters in information technology.[6] Nationwide private university system ITESM has a preparatory school here, which was founded in 1997. This campus is a subsidiary of Campus Toluca.[7]

In 1979, an industrial zone was created as part of a project called Atlacomulco 2000. Incentives have been given by the state and municipal governments since then to attract investors. It is now one of the largest employers and distribution hubs in northern State of Mexico. Industries located here produce chemical products, electrical devices, textiles, clothing, pharmaceuticals and wood products.[1]

The municipality[edit]

As a municipality, the city of Atlacomulco is the local government for nearly 110 other communities in the area,[8] which cover a territory of 258.74km2.[1] Only about a quarter of the municipality’s population of 77,831 lives in the city proper.[8] The municipality has a large percentage of indigenous peoples for central Mexico, at 20%, compared to 3.8 percent for the rest of the State of Mexico, with 8,820 people speaking a native language as of 2005, with Mazahua dominating. The municipality borders the municipalities of Acambay, Temascalcingo, San Andrés Timilpan, San Bartolo Morelos and El Oro.[1]

The municipality has rugged terrain, filled with mountains and hills.[2] It is located on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, in the Lakes and Volcanos of Anáhuac region. Principle elevations include Cerro Xitije, Cerro Atlacomulco, Cerro La Cruz and Cerro El Cielito. Its altitude varies from 2720 to 3030 meters above sea level. It is part of the Lerma River basin which crosses the territory, as well as a number of streams and fresh-water springs. There three dams in the area, with the main one being J. Trinidad Fabela. Its climate is fairly moist with most rain falling between June and September. Average high temperatures is 19.9C and average low is 7.4C.[1]

Most of the vegetation is mixed- and conifer forests, covering about 20% of the municipality. The most common trees include cedars, holm oaks, eucalyptus, ash, strawberry trees, pines, oaks and weeping willows. Wild animals include small and medium-sized mammals such as squirrels, rabbits and foxes as well as reptiles such as chameleons, rattlesnakes and various small lizards. The northern part of the municipality near the Jocotitlán volcano is now a natural reserve where logging is prohibited and reforestation is underway. It is also a state park called the Isidro Fabela State Natural Park.[1]

Near the community of El Salto is the José Trinidad Fabela dam. In the middle of the lake created by the dam is the Isla de las Aves or Island of the Birds. This island is an ecological sanctuary for migratory birds and contains an aviary. Some of the birds kept and bred here are doves, guinea hens, peacocks and storks. Cabin rentals are available for visitors.[1][9]

Most of the municipality outside the city proper is dedicated to agriculture. Over 90% of what is grown is corn. Other crops include wheat, oats, barley and beans. Livestock is divided mostly among cattle, sheep and domestic fowl. Most of the crops and livestock are produced for auto-consumption. One notable exception is the flower growing region around the locality of San Lorenzo Tlacotepec, which ships fresh flowers to states such as Nuevo León, Coahuila and Tamaulipas. Agriculture employs about one quarter of the population and another quarter is employed by industries. The other half are employed in commerce, tourism and services.[1]

Notable people[edit]

Other PRI politicians:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Atlacomulco is twinned with:

Further reading[edit]

  • Ayuntamiento de Atlacomulco (1997). Plan de desarrollo municipal de Atlacomulco 1997-2000 (in Spanish), Atlacomulco México: Ayuntamiento de Atlacomulco.
  • Marisol del Socorro Arias Flores (1998). Monografía municipal de Atlacomulco (in Spanish). Toluca México: Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México Estado de Mexico Nezahualcóyotl" (in Spanish). Mexico: INAFED. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Atlacomulco" (in Spanish). Mexico: State of Mexico. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ Valenzuela, Angélica (2000-06-29). "De impulsores de la cultura a líderes políticos" [From promoters of culture to political leaders]. El Universal (in Spanish). Mexico City. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Historia" [History] (in Spanish). Atlacomulco, Mexico: Diocese of Atlacomulco. Archived from the original on November 3, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Escuela Normal de Atlacomulco" [Teacher’s College of Atlacomulco] (in Spanish). Atlacomulco, Mexico: Escuela Normal de Atlacomulco. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  6. ^ "TecMilenio Atlacomulco" (in Spanish). Atlacomulco, Mexico: TecMilenio Atlacomulco. Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ "La Historia" [History] (in Spanish). Atlacomulco, Mexico: PrepaTec Atlacomulco. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "INEGI Census 2005" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on March 28, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ "La Isla de las Aves (Estado de México)" (in Spanish). Mexico City: Mexico Desconocido magazine. Retrieved January 26, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-26.