Acolman de Nezahualcoyotl is a town and municipality
Municipalities of Mexico
Municipalities are the second-level administrative division in Mexico . There are 2,438 municipalities in Mexico, making the average municipality population 45,616...

 located in the northern part of Mexico State, part of the Greater Mexico City
Greater Mexico City
Greater Mexico City refers to the conurbation around Mexico City, officially called Mexico City Metropolitan Area , constituted by the Federal District—itself composed of 16 boroughs—and 41 adjacent municipalities of the states of Mexico and Hidalgo...

 area, just north of the city proper. According to myth, the first man was placed here after being taken out of Lake Texcoco
Lake Texcoco
Lake Texcoco was a natural lake formation within the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs built the city of Tenochtitlan on an island in the lake. The Spaniards built Mexico City over Tenochtitlan...

. In the community of Tepexpan, the fossilized bones more than 12,000 years old of a man were found in the 20th century. The settlement was founded in the 8th century and was an important commerce center at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. After the Conquest, Acolman became the site of an important Augustinian monastery in the 16th century which still contains important art and architecture from that time period.


According to an ancient myth, when the gods created the first man, they took him from the waters of Lake Texoco and placed him alone in Acolman. The arm of this man, ringed by drops of water from the lake is the Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

A glyph is an element of writing: an individual mark on a written medium that contributes to the meaning of what is written. A glyph is made up of one or more graphemes....

 for the site. The glyph can also be seen on the monastery which dominates the landscape here. Acolman is derived from a Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

 phrase which has been interpreted in various ways. It may mean "man with hand or arm" or "where man is made." Acolman is the modern name but the settlement has been referred to as Oculma, Axuruman and Aculma in colonial era documents.

The municipality is home of the "Tepexpan Man," named after the community in which he was found. The Tepexpan Man is a human fossilized skeleton between 12,000 and 14,000 years old, which was found in the mid-20th century.

The founding of the settlement of Acolman is attributed to the Acolhua
The Acolhua are a Mesoamerican people who arrived in the Valley of Mexico in or around the year 1200 CE. The Acolhua were a sister culture of the Aztecs as well as the Tepanec, Chalca, Xochimilca and others....

s, a Chichimeca
Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua peoples of Mexico generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico and southwestern United States, and carried the same sense as the European term "barbarian"...

 tribe, around the 8th century. The settlement started out independent but was first conquered by the Huexotzincas and remained subject to one dominion or another since. By the time of King Nezahualcoyotl
Nezahualcoyotl was a philosopher, warrior, architect, poet and ruler of the city-state of Texcoco in pre-Columbian Mexico...

, Acolman was an important town in the Texcoco dominion, after it was conquered by the Aztecs in 1396. The town was important because it was the only place in Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

 that specialized in the breeding and raising of dogs (today known as the breed called xoloitzcuintli).

At the time of the Spanish conquest, Acolman was governed by Moctezuma II
Moctezuma II
Moctezuma , also known by a number of variant spellings including Montezuma, Moteuczoma, Motecuhzoma and referred to in full by early Nahuatl texts as Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, was the ninth tlatoani or ruler of Tenochtitlan, reigning from 1502 to 1520...

. After, Acolman became the encomienda
The encomienda was a system that was employed mainly by the Spanish crown during the colonization of the Americas to regulate Native American labor....

 of Pedro de Solis de los Monteros and his son Francisco. The Franciscans arrived first, but the Augustinians
The term Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo , applies to two separate and unrelated types of Catholic religious orders:...

 were in charge of evangelization efforts after 1539, with twenty four friars in residence by 1580. This order built one of the most important early colonial era monasteries in New Spain here.

The 17th and 18th century is marked by severe floodings issues, which caused widespread damage and population shifts. These floods eventually caused the disappearance of towns near Acolman such as Tlacuilocan, Tzapotla and Tescazonco. During one of the attempts to control the rivers in the area, a dam was constructed which cause havoc for the area. During one of the floods, the monastery was sumerged in over six feet of water, covering the church floor with silt and nearly destroyed the cloisters. In the 17th and 18th centuries, epidemics such as smallpox decimated the native population.

After the Mexican War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...

, Acolman became the seat of the municipality of the same name. In 1876, due to political instability, the seat was temporarily moved to a town called Xomotla. In 1877, it returned to Acolman and the appendage "de Nezahualcoyotl" as added.

Another flood affected the municipality in 1925 and affected the monastery, but also spurred the beginning of restoration efforts that would last until the end of the 20th century. The monastery was declared a national monument in 1933.

The torch of the 1968 Summer Olympics
1968 Summer Olympics
The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Mexico City, Mexico in October 1968. The 1968 Games were the first Olympic Games hosted by a developing country, and the first Games hosted by a Spanish-speaking country...

 passed through here on its way to Mexico City.

The town

The most important feature of the town by far is the former monastery of San Agustin, located next to the main plaza. However, there are some other attractions as well. The Central Library and Casa de la Cultura contain paintings and sculptures by a native of Acolman named Parmeno. At the municipal market
Traditional fixed markets in Mexico
Traditional fixed markets in Mexico go by a variety of names such as "mercados públicos" , "mercados municipales" or even more often simply "mercados"...

, foods such as mixiote
A mixiote is a traditional pit-barbecued meat dish in central Mexico; especially in the Basin of Mexico. It can also be prepared in an oven. It is usually made with mutton or rabbit, but chicken is also used. The meat is cubed with the bone and seasoned with pasilla and guajillo chili peppers,...

, barbacoa
Barbacoa is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people, from which the term "barbecue" derives. In contemporary Mexico it generally refers to meats or a whole sheep slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground covered with...

, consume and turkey in mole
Mole (sauce)
Mole is the generic name for a number of sauces used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces...

 can be found as well as pulque
Pulque, or octli, is a milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, and is a traditional native beverage of Mexico. The drink’s history extends far back into the Mesoamerican period, when it was considered sacred, and its use was limited to...


Main festivals include the Feast of Saint Nicholas on 10 September, of the Archangel Michael on 29 September and the Virgin of Guadalupe on 12 December. These are celebrated with traditional dances such as Concheros, Arrieros, Contradance, Pastores, Inditos and Teomates as well as fireworks, amusement rides and music.

The most distinguishing festival for the town is the Feria de la Posada y la Piñata (Piñata
A piñata is a papier-mâché or other type of container that is decorated, filled with toys and or candy and then broken as part of a ceremony or celebration. Piñatas are most commonly associated with Mexico, but its origins are considered to be in China...

 and Las Posadas Fair), which has been held here every December since 1985. Acolman claims to be the origin of the Las Posadas tradition in Mexico as well as the "cradle" of piñatas, as they have been a tradition here for over 420 years. Both kinds of piñatas, those made with clay pots and those made entirely of paper are created here. Participants gather from various communities in the area and the main event is a piñata contest. There are also horse races, bullfighting, nativity scenes, "pastorelas" a type of play based on the Christmas season, regional dance, and popular music shows. Horse racing is a tradition that dates back to the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution...


The monastery

Declared a national monument in 1933, the monastery of San Agustín was built between 1539 and 1580 with most of the work being done after 1550. The walls are of rubble-stone construction and covered in plaster, topped by battlement
A battlement in defensive architecture, such as that of city walls or castles, comprises a parapet , in which portions have been cut out at intervals to allow the discharge of arrows or other missiles. These cut-out portions form crenels...

s, and the overall appearance is that of fortress. The crown of battlements, the single bell tower, the open chapel and the Plateresque facade identify the complex as a classic 16th century religious construction. The fortress appearance of complexes of this time were not literally for protection but rather served to dominate the landscape much as mediaeval castles in Europe did. In areas where there are carefully fitted stones, these stones have been carved. The construction of the monastery is attributed to Andrés de Olmos
Andrés de Olmos
Andrés de Olmos , Franciscan priest and extraordinary grammarian and ethno-historian of Mexico's Indians, was born in Oña, Burgos, Spain, and died in Tampico in New Spain...

. Restoration work has been done in this complex since the 1920s, which has revealed all of the church’s facade and the atrium is terraced down to its original level of construction. This has exposed the flood damage from the colonial period. Most of the murals and frescos had been buried under years of plaster and paints before being restored.
The complex is fronted by a large square atrium
Atrium (architecture)
In modern architecture, an atrium is a large open space, often several stories high and having a glazed roof and/or large windows, often situated within a larger multistory building and often located immediately beyond the main entrance doors...

, and a courtyard before that, the two of which are today separated by a road The most important feature of this atrium area is the 2.4 metres (7.9 ft) high stone cross, which is considered to be an important expression of "tequitqui" or Christian art executed by Indian craftsmen from the very early colonial period. The cross was mostly likely erected between the time that the Franciscans occupied the site and before the architectural sculptures of the current complex. The cross is decorated with plants, flowers and flames at the top (which allude to the Passion of Christ) all sculpted into the stone. There is also a melancholy, mask-like face of Christ, with crown of thorns which projects from the center of the cross. At the foot of the stone cross is a Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

 figures who has been identified as the Virgin of Sorrows and even associated with the goddess Coatlicue
Coatlicue, also known as Teteoinan , "The Mother of Gods" , is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war...

. At the feet of this Virgin is a weathered stone skull and a serpent, an in her breast is imbedded a dark stone disk. This follows the Aztec tradition of placing jades or other precious stones in their statues to symbolize the soul.

To the back of the atrium area is the main church, with its rose/tan Plateresque
Plateresque, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith" , was an artistic movement, especially architectural, traditionally held to be exclusive to Spain and its territories, which appeared between the late Gothic and early Renaissance in the late 15th century, and spread over the next two centuries...

 facade reminiscent of the Colegiata de Santa María in Calatayud
Calatayud is a city and municipality in the province of Zaragoza in Aragón, Spain lying on the river Jalón, in the midst of the Sistema Ibérico mountain range. It is the second-largest city in the province after the capital, Zaragoza, and the largest town in Aragón other than the three provincial...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The facade has Classical composite columns with Plateresque sections below the ribbon garniture, Saint Paul under a deep, Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

-like canopy with a Renaissance angel below. The portal has double Renaisaance doors under archivaults decorated with fruit. Above the doors are seahorses on the main frieze and Moorish
Moorish architecture
Moorish architecture is the western term used to describe the articulated Berber-Islamic architecture of North Africa and Al-Andalus.-Characteristic elements:...

 paneling on the doors themselves. This facade was mostly likely created by Spanish craftsmen and had significant influence on other Augustinian church fronts in New Spain, especial at Yuriria and Cuitzeo in Michaocán and at Metztitlán
Metztitlán is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 814.7 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 20,123....

 in Hidalgo. The church building is 62.5 metres (205.1 ft) long, 17.1 metres (56.1 ft) wide and 21.3 metres (69.9 ft) high, with the interior walls particularly high The interior vault was modified and the interior pilasters and exterior buttress
A buttress is an architectural structure built against or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall...

es were added in 1735. The main altarpiece dates from 1690 and was put here in the 20th century to replace the original. The side altarpieces date from the 18th century. These Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 altarpieces are all sculpted in wood and gilded, decorated with plants, flower, celetial figures and angels. The presbetry has a late medieval ribbed vault and important fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

s in black, white and orange, with images of saints on thrones, priests and Augustine popes.

The small open chapel, or chapel of the Indians
Capilla abierta
A capilla abierta or “open chapel” is considered to be one of the most distinct Mexican construction forms. Mostly built in the 16th century during the early colonial period, the construction was basically an apse or open presbytery, containing an altar, which opened onto a large atrium or plaza...

 is located on the upper part of the wall between the church and the main portal to the cloister area. This chapel contains two murals from the 16th century by unknown authors depicting the Last Judgement and Catherine of Alexandria
Catherine of Alexandria
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius...


The monastery consists of two cloisters. The Claustro Chico or small cloister is of simple architecture, constructed in stone with a cross in the center which has an anagram of Jesus' name. The Claustro Grande or large cloister (also called the Naranjo or Orange Tree cloister) has a more elaborate Plateresque design with "Isabelino" type columns. The small cloister may date from the Franciscan period or might be part of the early Augustinian church. Flatted arches on piers with a barrel-vaulted corridor on the ground level and a wood-roofed second level suggest the simple construction of the very early colonial period. Primitive frescos decorate the walls. The stone cross here is very similar to the Franciscan cross at one of the earliest monasteries in Cuernavaca
Cuernavaca is the capital and largest city of the state of Morelos in Mexico. It was established at the archeological site of Gualupita I by the Olmec, "the mother culture" of Mesoamerica, approximately 3200 years ago...

. The crucifixion fresco on the second level is inspired by various European sources of the 15th and 16th centuries such as German prints, Italian and German ornamental panels. Starkly done in black and white, it reflects the continuing importance of the graphic arts. It also has sun and moon designs, common during the early colonial period, which reflect both old European astrological symbols as well as the importance of these in native art. In the larger, more ornate, cloister, there are medallions with images such as the coat of arms of the Augustine order, a symbol for death, and a symbol representing the union of two worlds. The lower floor has a series of stone etchings with scenes related to the Passion of Christ.

Museo Virrenal

Much of the cloister area is occupied by the "Museo Virrenal" (Colonial Era) founded in 1925 in what were the portico, the kitchen the refectory and the hallway to the refectory. It has three main halls which give a detailed explanation of the construction of the site, the lives of the monks and the collection of paintings and religious objects that are on display. The museum contains more than 120 pieces. Many of the religious artwork and objects are in the third hall and include furniture, cloaks, and other religious garb (some embroidered in gold thread), sculptures in stone, wood and corn stalk paste, and oils from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

A website has been created by INAH to allow for the virtual visitation of the museum. The tour is a series of 360 degree panoramic views of each of the rooms and the pre-Hispanic base over which the monastery was built. Some of the restored rooms that are visible this way include the kitchen and the dispensary. The church is also accessible in this manner.(virtual) The site is at y

The municipality

As municipal seat, the town of Acolman is the governing authority for over sixty other named communities,(inegi) which cover a total area of 86.88 km2. At the 2010 census, the total population of the municipality was 136,558, but only about four percent of this population lives in the town proper.(inegi) The municipality borders the municipalities of Tecámac
Tecámac Municipality is a municipality in Mexico State in Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 153.41 km². The municipal seat lies in the town of Tecámac de Felipe Villanueva...

, San Juan Teotihuacán, San Salvador Atenco
San Salvador Atenco
San Salvador Atenco is the municipal seat of Atenco, in the Mexican state of Mexico.The name "Atenco" comes from a Nahuatl phrase meaning "place on the edge of water". -The town:...

, Tezoyuca
Tezoyuca is a town and municipality in Mexico State in Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 10.9 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 25,372.-References:...

, Chiautla, Tepetlaoxtoc
Tepetlaoxtoc de Hidalgo
Tepetlaoxtoc de Hidalgo is a town and the seat of the municipality of Tepetlaoxtoc, which contains the archeological site of Tepetlaoxtoc, in the State of Mexico in Mexico. The name Tepetlaoxtoc comes from Náhuatl and means in limestone caves, and is used interchangeably to refer to the town, the...

 and Ecatepec
Ecatepec de Morelos
Ecatepec City, once officially San Cristóbal Ecatepec de Morelos, is a city in the State of México and the seat of Ecatepec de Morelos Municipality; however, both the city and the municipality are often known simply as "Ecatepec". The name "Ecatepec" is derived from Nahuatl, and means "windy hill"....


Towns and villages

The municipal seat, Acolman de Nezahualcóyotl, has a population of 5,571 inhabitants, while the largest city (locality) in the municipality, Tepexpan, has a population of 102,667, more than 18 times as big. This is the largest relative difference between any municipal seat and its largest locality of any municipality in Mexico. The largest localities (cities, towns, and villages) are:
Name 2010 Census Population
Tepexpan  102,667
Acolman de Nezahualcóyotl 5,571
Santa Catarina 5,116
San Bartolo 5,099
San Miguel Xometla 4,571
San Marcos Nepantla 4,116
Prados de San Juan 3,081
San Pedro Tepetitlán 2,805
Total Municipality 136,558

The municipality is located on a plain in the northern portion of the Valley of Mexico
Valley of Mexico
The Valley of Mexico is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly coterminous with the present-day Distrito Federal and the eastern half of the State of Mexico. Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, the Valley of Mexico was a centre for several pre-Columbian civilizations, including...

 called the Valley of Teotihuacan. It has only three significant elevations. The eastern border is marked by the Sierra de Patlachique and the west is marked by a mountain called Chiconautla. Chiconautla and Tlahuilco are forested and are protected areas. From the mountains that surround this plain flow a number of streams such as the San José and the San Antonio, which are commonly called the Rio Grande and the Rio Chico. The municipality lacks fresh water springs, with most potable water coming from deep wells. The climate is temperate and semi-arid with rains in the summer. Temperatures can range from 36 °C in the summer to -4 °C in the winter. Forested areas of the municipality contain trees such as ahuehuete, mesquite
Mesquite is a leguminous plant of the Prosopis genus found in northern Mexico through the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Deserts, and up into the Southwestern United States as far north as southern Kansas, west to the Colorado Desert in California,and east to the eastern fifth of Texas, where...

, eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia...

 and Peruvian pepper
Schinus molle
Peruvian Pepper is an evergreen tree that grows to 15 meters . It is native to the Peruvian Andes...

. In the lower, flatter regions, the flora consists of shrubs, grasses, cactus and other plants adapted to dry areas. Wildlife consists mostly of small mammals such as rabbits and skunk
Skunks are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odor. General appearance varies from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored. Skunks belong to the family Mephitidae and to the order Carnivora...

s, small reptiles such as the chameleon
Chameleons are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their parrot-like zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues, their swaying gait, the possession by many of a...

 and insects.


Most of the municipality’s territory is dedicated to agriculture. Major crops include barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, corn, sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

, wheat, maguey, and various vegetables. Orchards also exist here producing capulin
Prunus salicifolia , known as Capulin, is a species of cherry. It is similar to the Jamaica cherry. The capulin is often called the capuli, capoli, capulin, or capolin in both Mexico and Colombia...

s, peaches, pears, figs, plums, white sapote
White sapote
White sapote, Casimiroa edulis, also known as cochitzapotl in the Nahuatl language is a species of tropical fruiting tree in the family Rutaceae, native to eastern Mexico and Central America south to Costa Rica....

, tejocotes and apricots. Livestock includes cattle, pigs, goats and domestic fowl. The second most important economic activity is industry producing process foods, drinks, tobacco products and leather goods. Mining is limited to gravel, sand and other construction materials. There are small deposits of gold, silver, copper, quartz and mercury, but they have not been exploited. Most mines are located near the communities of San Pedro Tepetitlan and Xometla. Commerce is mostly limited to serving local needs.

The municipality has a narrow economic base, based on manufacturing and agriculture, with much of the farmland still in ejido
The ejido system is a process whereby the government promotes the use of communal land shared by the people of the community. This use of community land was a common practice during the time of Aztec rule in Mexico...

 status. Acolman is a bedroom community with many of its workers commuting to places such as Mexico City proper and other cities in the State of Mexico. Of those working in the municipality, less than ten percent of the population is employed in agriculture with the rest evenly split between industry and commerce. Population growth has been significantly slower than in other parts of the Mexico City area.

In 2008, Moody's
Moody's Corporation is the holding company for Moody's Analytics and Moody's Investors Service, a credit rating agency which performs international financial research and analysis on commercial and government entities. The company also ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers using a standardized...

 assigned a classification of (Mexico scale) and Ba3 (Global scale) to the municipality of Acolman. The reasons behind the grades are that while the municipality has a moderate amount of debt and adequate financial development, there have been some management issues in recent years. It also reflects the limited economic base of the area and the need for infrastructure. The municipality needs between 12.5 and 25 million pesos worth of roadwork, which it cannot finance and needs help from the State of Mexico. Unlike other municipalities in the Greater Mexico City area, water supply is based on a system of nineteen water suppliers, with only three owned by the municipality.

The main tourist attractions are the archeological zone of Tepexpan, where the fossilized bones of the Tepexpan man
Tepexpan man
The Tepexpan Man is a Pre-Columbian era skeleton, discovered by archaeologist Helmut de Terra in February 1947, on the shores of the former Lake Texcoco in central Mexico. The skeleton was found near mammoth remains and thought to be at least 10,000 years old. Dr. de Terra's research was funded by...

 were found and the former monastery of San Agustin de Acolman. The Tepexpan Museum is located in the community of the same name, famous due to the discovery of the "Tepexpan Man," a human skeleton which is more than 12,000 years old. It was found in 1945 by Dr. Helmut de Terra and Alberto R. Arellano. The museum exhibits mammoth remains as well as flint and obsidian tools. Other attractions in the municipality include the former haciendas of San Antonio, Tepexpan and Nextlalpan. The San Antonio Hacienda is one of the few colonial-era haciendas what has managed to preserve its original architecture. Today it operates as a recreational center. The Castillo Dam was constructed in the 18th century. Other attractions include the "Cueva de los Gatos" cave, and the Cuevas de la Amistad (Friendship Caves) has areas dedicated to medicinal herbs in addition to the caves. The Sierra de Patlachique is an eco-tourism park with facilities for picnicking, swimming, football, cycling and camping.

One important community outside the seat is called Cuanalán, which is a Nahua community. Fewer than 500 people can still speak an indigenous language, but a number of traditions survive. The community of Cuanalán is noted for its musicians, especially those dedicated to wind instruments. The better known groups include Los Vasquez, Los Juárez and Los Chicanos.

External links

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