Metepec is a city 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...

 in the State of Mexico in Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and is located directly to the east of the state capital, Toluca
Toluca, formally known as Toluca de Lerdo, is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. It is located west-southwest of Mexico City and only about 40 minutes by car to the...

, at an altitude of 2,635 metres above sea level. The centre of Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 lies some 50 km further to the east. The name Metepec comes from Náhuatl
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...

 meaning hill of the maguey plants. However, it is also known in the Matlatzinca
Matlatzinca is a name used to refer to different indigenous ethnic groups in the Toluca Valley in the state of México, located in the central highlands of Mexico. The term is applied to the ethnic group inhabiting the valley of Toluca and to their language, Matlatzinca.When used as an ethnonym,...

 language as "Nepinta-Tuhi" meaning 'people of corn land' and in the Otomi language
Otomi language
Otomi is an Oto-Manguean language and one of the indigenous languages of Mexico, spoken by approximately 240,000 indigenous Otomi people in the central altiplano region of Mexico. The language is spoken in many different dialects, some of which are not mutually intelligible, therefore it is in...

 as "Ntaguada"."

The city

The city centre lies at the foot of the hill that gives the city and municipality its name. There has been a community here since the Otomis and Matlatzincas settled in this part of the Valley of Toluca: the Matlatzincas reached their cultural peak between AD 1120 and 1450 as part of the Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

 culture. 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...

s conquered this community, along with the rest of the area by AD 1470 by the tlatoani
Tlatoani is the Nahuatl term for the ruler of an altepetl, a pre-Hispanic state. The word literally means "speaker", but may be translated into English as "king". A is a female ruler, or queen regnant....

 (chief) named Axáyacatl
Axayacatl was the sixth Aztec Emperor, a ruler of the Postclassic Mesoamerican Aztec Empire and city of Tenochtitlan, who reigned from 1469 to 1481.He is chiefly remembered for subjugating Tlatelolco, Tenochtitlan's sister city, in 1473....

. The Spanish arrived here in AD 1526 obliterating native rites that were practiced on the "maguey hill" and built a church there, now-called the Ex-convento de San Juan, renaming the area San Juan Bautista Metepec. According the Codex of Metepec the Spanish town was founded in the same year.

The Ex-convento de San Juan is the main religious structure in the town and dates from the 16th century; however, other churches worth visiting include Las Capillas de El Calvario, La Santa Cruz, del Espíritu Santo, San Bartolomé, de San Salvador, de Santa María Magdalena and la Parroquia de San Mateo. The 24th of June is the feast day of Metepec's patron saint, John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

. Additionally, since 1990 the city has an international arts and culture festival called Quimera, which occurs in October.

The Cerro de Maguey (Maguey Hill) has a number of small caves with names like "La cueva del diablo" (The Devil's Cave) that can be explored. While most of the food in Metepec is typical of the region (with dishes such as 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...

, tamale
A tamale — or more correctly tamal — is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa , which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating...

s, and huaraches) it does have a unique drink called "Garañona". It is made from 15 herbs and is a strong, sweet drink. Some locals say it is an aphrodisiac
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable...

. The only place that sells and distributes this drink is a bar called the "2 de Abril", located in the city centre.

Economic activities

Metepec is known for its pottery items and it is still of economic importance. The artisans of this area have organized into the Asociación de Artesanos de Metepec y la Unión de Alfareros de Metepec, A.C. (Association of Artisans of Metepec and the Union of Potters of Metepec). Principal crafts include objects made from clay, glass and includes saddlemaking. The city has about 300 craftsmen as well as 275 family workshops. The craft Metepec is best-known for is the Arbol de la vida ("Tree of Life")
Tree of Life (craft)
A Tree of Life is a theme of clay sculpture created in central Mexico, especially in the municipality of Metepec, Mexico State. The image depicted in these sculptures originally was for the teaching of the Biblical story of creation to natives in the early colonial period...

 which is a traditional pottery representation of the tree from which Adam and Eve ate from in the Biblical story. Monday is market day in the city centre, called plaza, where merchants go to sell fruit, vegetables and even a few electronic items. In recent years, the municipality has increased its economic importance with the construction of shopping malls, commercial plazas and automobile agencies etc.

The following are some of the recognized establishments, restaurants and plazas to be found in this municipality:

Walmart, Sam's Club
Sam's Club
Sam's Club is a chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned and operated by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., founded in 1983 and named after Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. , the Sam's Club chain serves more than 47 million U.S. members...

, Costco
Costco Wholesale Corporation is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. it is the third largest retailer in the United States, where it originated, and the ninth largest in the world...

Mega- is an prefix in the metric system denoting a factor of million . Confirmed in 1960, it comes from the Greek μέγας, meaning great.-Other common examples of usage:* megapixel - 1 million pixels in a digital camera...

Liverpool (store)
Liverpool (store)
Liverpool is mid-to-high biggest chain of department stores in Mexico, operating 79 stores and one luxury shopping center Galerías Insurgentes, throughout Mexico and continuing to grow...

Chedraui is a publicly traded Mexican grocery store and department store chain. It is traded on the Mexican Stock Exchange under the symbol CHEDRAUI.-History:...

, Soriana
Organización Soriana is a Mexican public company and Mexico's largest retailer. Soriana is a grocery and department store retail chain headquartered in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. The company is 100% capitalized in Mexico and is publicly traded on the Mexican stock exchange the Bolsa Mexicana...

, Radio Shack
Radio shack
Radio shack is a slang term for a room or structure for housing radio equipment.-History:In the early days of radio, equipment was experimental and home-built. The first radio transmitters used a noisy spark to generate radio waves and were often housed in a garage or shed. When radio was first...

, McDonald's
McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

, Burger King
Burger King
Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain...

, Taco Bell
Taco Bell
Taco Bell is an American chain of fast-food restaurants based in Irvine, California. A subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., which serves American-adapted Mexican food. Taco Bell serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, other specialty items, and a variety of "Value Menu" items...

, Mercedes Benz, SEAT
SEAT, S.A. is a Spanish automobile manufacturer founded on May 9, 1950 by the Instituto Nacional de Industria , a state-owned industrial holding company....

, Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

, Cinemex
Cinemex is a cineplex company based in Mexico that has built a nationally branded cineplex chain.Cinemex started with a college business plan. Adolfo Fastlicht, Miguel Angel Dávila Guzmán and Matthew Heyman speculated that Mexico was ready for larger movie theaters...

 and Cinepolis
Cinépolis is a Mexican chain of movie theaters. Its name means City of Cinéma and its slogan is La Capital del Cine .Cinépolis is the biggest cineplex chain in Mexico with 205 theaters in 65 cities,...

 among others.
According to INEGI 2005 census figures, the city had a population of 164,182, while the municipality had a population of 206,005 inhabitants. The municipality covers an area of 70.43 km² (27.19 sq mi) and includes several smaller communities besides Metepec. Most commercial activity occurs in the city of Metepec proper and has grown considerably in the past years, along with its population.

The Municipality

As municipal seat, the city of Metepec has governing jurisdiction over the following communities: Barrio Santiaguito, Colonia Álvaro Obregón, Colonia Llano Grande (El Salitre), Rancho el Carmen Progreso, San Bartolomé Tlaltelulco, San Gaspar Tlahuelilpan, San Lorenzo Coacalco (San Lorenzo), San Lucas Tunco (San Lucas), San Miguel Totocuitlapilco
San Miguel Totocuitlapilco
San Miguel Totocuitlapilco is a village located inside the Municipality of Metepec. It has a population of 377 and is 2600 meters above sea level....

, San Sebastián, Santa María Magdalena Ocotitlán, and Tepoluli.

The municipality borders with the municipalities of San Mateo Atenco
San Mateo Atenco
San Mateo Atenco is a city and a municipality located in the State of México in Mexico. It lies west of the Federal District near the municipality of Metepec, in the central part of the state of México, and is part of the Toluca urban area bordering the city to the east. Atenco is derived from the...

, Santiago Tianguistenco
Santiago Tianguistenco
Santiago Tianguistenco, often just simply called Tianguistenco, is a city and municipality located in Mexico State about thirty km south of the state capital of Toluca. It is located in the southwest part of the Valley of Toluca at the edge of the Ajusco mountain range that separates it from Mexico...

, Toluca
Toluca, formally known as Toluca de Lerdo, is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. It is located west-southwest of Mexico City and only about 40 minutes by car to the...

, Chapultepec, Mexico
Chapultepec, Mexico
Chapultepec is a small town and municipality, in Mexico State in Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 10.45 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 12,120....

, Mexicaltzingo and Calimaya
Calimaya is a town and municipality located just south of Toluca, the capital of the State of Mexico in central Mexico. The settlement was probably established around 800 BCE, when the city of Teotenango was in existence. It remained an important town through the colonial period, part of the vast...

 and has a territory of 70.43 square kilometers. Due to its altitude, average temperatures here vary between 14 and 30°C with cold spells down to 7°C that can occur as late as March or April.

Economic activities

Outside of the city of Metepec, the main economic activity is still agriculture, with 5,271.59 hectares devoted to crops. Fish farms comprise 208.18 hectares, with urban areas totaling only 1,193.16 hectares. Livestock raising includes cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, goats, rabbits and various fowl such as turkeys and chickens. Most is raised for autoconsumption and for nearby localities. However, industrial activities have grown in importance with enterprises dedicated to food-processing, bottling, tobacco, clothing, paper products, construction materials, as well as machinery and other equipment.


During the Spanish conquest, Gonzálo de Sandoval and his Otomi allies, conquered Toluca
Toluca, formally known as Toluca de Lerdo, is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. It is located west-southwest of Mexico City and only about 40 minutes by car to the...

, Tenango
Tenango may mean:*Tenango del Aire, Edomex*Tenango de Arista, in the municipality of Tenango del Valle, Edomex*Tenango, Chiapas*Tenango, Hidalgo *Tenango, Morelos...

, Tlacotepec
Tlacotepec is a city and seat of the municipality of General Heliodoro Castillo, in the state of Guerrero, south-western Mexico. It is a town settled by the Aztecs, and it is where Doña Conchita was born....

, Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca, Calimaya
Calimaya is a town and municipality located just south of Toluca, the capital of the State of Mexico in central Mexico. The settlement was probably established around 800 BCE, when the city of Teotenango was in existence. It remained an important town through the colonial period, part of the vast...

 along with Metepec and other Matlatzinca and Mexica
The Mexica were a pre-Columbian people of central Mexico.Mexica may also refer to:*Mexica , a board game designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling*Mexica , a 2005 novel by Norman Spinrad...

 population centers, whose lands were then abandoned by the natives. These lands were then redistributed among the Spaniards who participated in the Conquest and to those local chiefs that supported the Spanish. Lands in and around Metepec were given to Captain Juan Gutiérrez Altamirano, who brought the Franciscans in to evangelize the area, and then these lands passed on to form the estates of the Counts of Santiago. The area was considered an "alcaldía mayor" (literally 'major mayorship') by 1560 with the village of Metepec as its seat. Records of municipal government transactions begin in the 19th century. Finally, the municipality of Metepec was created in 1821; although this was not ratified by the government of the State of Mexico until 1827.

Odd Fact

The original village of Metepec regards the Tree of Life as representative of this municiplity and some local workshops still produce this brightly painted pottery artifact. Look at the album cover of the Beatles' 1967 record Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and you'll be surprised to see a Metepec Tree of Life!

Sister Cities

Metepec is twinned with:
Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico
Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.