San Mateo Atenco
San Mateo Atenco is a city and a 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 State of México 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...

. It lies west of the Federal District (Distrito Federal)
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...

 near the municipality of Metepec
Metepec is a city and municipality in the State of Mexico in Mexico and is located directly to the east of the state capital, Toluca, at an altitude of 2,635 metres above sea level. The centre of Mexico City lies some 50 km further to the east. The name Metepec comes from Náhuatl meaning hill of...

, in the central part of the state of México, and is part of the 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...

 urban area bordering the city to the east. Atenco is derived from the 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...

 language. It means “In the water’s edge”, from atl(water), tentli (edge) and co (in).

The city

Enormous mammoth
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair...

 fossils have been found near the Lerma
Lerma is a comune in the Province of Alessandria in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 90 km southeast of Turin and about 30 km south of Alessandria....

 River, where San Mateo Atenco is today. The first settlers used mammoth fossils as tools for hunting. This area has been the scene of the development of cultural groups that transited through the Toluca Valley for 20 thousand years. During the pre-Classic period (2000 B.C.), agricultural development created small settlements. During the Classic period (250-900 A.C.), the settlements had cultural relations with Teotihuacán
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...

. Atenco was founded by the Matlazincas (Men of the net). Matlazincas were a militarist society and dominated the Toluca Valley during the period from 750 to 1162. The pre-Hispanic town was founded by Xolotl, the lord of Texcoco in the 12th century.

After the Spanish Conquest, Atenco was governed by Juan Altamirano who was the governor of the Marquise of Toluca. Since, the beginning of evangelization, Atenco was attended by Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

s who gave it the name of San Mateo. San Mateo Atenco was part of the municipality of Metepec until 1726 when it became part of the district of Lerma
Lerma, Mexico State
Lerma is a city and municipality located just east of Toluca and 54 km west of Mexico City in Mexico State, Mexico. The city was founded in the early colonial period and named after the Duke of Lerma in Spain. The municipal area saw two battles of the Mexican War of Independence, the Battle...


During 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...

, Battle of Monte de las Cruces
Battle of Monte de las Cruces
The Battle of Monte de las Cruces was one of the pivotal battles of the early Mexican War of Independence. It was fought between the insurgent troops of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and Ignacio Allende against the royalist troops of General Torcuato Trujillo in the Sierra de las Cruces mountains...

 occurred near here in 1810. The insurgent army tried to cross the Lerma River by the Atenco Bridge. The Royal Army tried to stop the insurgents by destroying the bridge but this was not enough and the insurgents crossed the river. In the morning of October 30, the battle was fought, ending with the victory of the insurgent army.

The population of the city in 2005 was 63,356, which is about 95% of the municipal population of 66,740, making the city nearly co-extensive with the municipality.

The most important sculpture is the equestrian monument of the General Emiliano Zapata
Emiliano Zapata
Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, which broke out in 1910, and which was initially directed against the president Porfirio Díaz. He formed and commanded an important revolutionary force, the Liberation Army of the South, during the Mexican Revolution...

. The most important architectonic work is the Chapel of San Pedro built in the sixteenth century.

The gastronomy is based on corn, bean, fava bean, chili peppers and vegetables like potatoes, quelites, turnips, and chivatos. In addition food stuffs are extracted from the lagoon, like quintonil, watercress
Watercresses are fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plants native from Europe to central Asia, and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings...

, water chestnuts, and chichamol.

While the city is home to a number of large industries, it is best-known for the making of shoes and other leather products, many of which are sold in a famous market.

The municipality

As the city is nearly co-extensive with the municipality, the city of San Mateo Atenco has governing jurisdiction over only three other communities: Santa María la Asunción, Barrio de San Francisco (San Agustín), and Barrio de San Pedro.

As governor of the State of Mexico, Mariano Riva Palacio
Mariano Riva Palacio
Mariano Riva Palacio was a prominent Mexican politician and lawyer during most of the 19th century.He was born in Mexico City to Esteban de la Riva Palacio and Doña María Dolores Díaz and married and Dolores Guerrero, daughter of Gen. Vicente Guerrero, one of the most prominent leaders of the...

, separated the municipality of San Mateo Atenco, from the district of Lerma, on October 12, 1871. San Mateo Atenco has an extension of 18.8 km2. The population of the municipality was 66,740 as of 2005. with 51.08 percent women and 49.92 percent men. The total population is 66740.

San Mateo belongs to the sixth judicial district of the State of Mexico. This consists of San Mateo Atenco and the neighborhoods of San Juan, San Miguel, San Nicolas and Santiago; and by the counties of San Pedro Atenco, La Concepcion, La Magdalena, Guadalupe, Santa Maria, San Francisco, San Lucas and San Isidro; and by the residential areas of Emiliano Zapata, Isidro Fabela, Alvaro Obregon, Reforma (San Antonio), Buenavista and Francisco I. Madero. The municipality of San Mateo Atenco is under control of the city council, with a municipal president, a comptroller, a judge, five deputies and three delegates.

Natural features

San Mateo Atenco is part of the Toluca Valley at a height of 2600 meters, in a flat area with no major features within its borders. The Lerma River
Lerma River
The Lerma Santiago River is Mexico's second longest river. It is a river in west-central Mexico that begins in Mexican Plateau at an altitude over above sea level, and ends where it empties into Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest lake, near Guadalajara, Jalisco...

 flows between urban zone and what little remains of the rural zone.

The weather in San Mateo Atenco has a temperate, semi-arid climate. The warmest weather is experienced before the rain season begins in the early summer. Its temperatures vary betwee 10 to 12 °C.

The flora mainly consists of trees like willow
Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere...

, pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 and cedar. There are also bushes and aquatic plants. The fauna consists of hares, 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, ferret
The ferret is a domesticated mammal of the type Mustela putorius furo. Ferrets are sexually dimorphic predators with males being substantially larger than females. They typically have brown, black, white, or mixed fur...

s, cacomixtles and tlacuaches; birds like sparrows, swallows, matracas, tordos, turtledoves and owls; and reptiles like snakes, lizards, vipers and 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...


Health system

The more frequent diseases in the San Mateo Atenco’s population are: malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

, viral hepatitis
Viral hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is liver inflammation due to a viral infection. It may present in acute or chronic forms. The most common causes of viral hepatitis are the five unrelated hepatotropic viruses Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, and Hepatitis E...

, parasitic infections, pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

, salmonella
Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which grade in all directions . They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction...

, alcoholism
Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing...

 and some stomach diseases. To attend the medical issues, San Mateo Atenco’s community has the following institutions: Centro de Salud C: in San Miguel neighborhood, with one doctor, one deontologist and two nurses. Casa de Salud: located in Guadalupe’s neighborhood, with one doctor and one nurse.

Education and culture

The education in the municipality has the following services: 7 kindergartens, 12 elementary schools, 4 high schools, 1 physical education school, and Centro Tecnologico No. 24 (Technological Center No. 24).

In December 1981, the Museo Regional (Regional Museum) was founded.

80 percent of the population is Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, 15 percent is Evangelist
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 and 5 percent is Spiritualist.

The most important celebration is the day of San Mateo (patron saint of the city), celebrated on September 21. The celebrations are mostly secular. Therefore, the community plays basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, soccer, box
Box describes a variety of containers and receptacles for permanent use as storage, or for temporary use often for transporting contents. The word derives from the Greek πύξος , "box, boxwood"....

, bicycling and athletics
Athletics (track and field)
Athletics is an exclusive collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking...



The highways located in San Mateo Atenco are:

San Mateo Atenco-Toluca to the northeast

San Mateo Atenco- Mexico D.F to the northwest

San Mateo Atenco- Metepec to the southeast

San Mateo Atenco- San Pedro Tultepec to the southwest


The type of soil in the municipality is temporal and the regions near the Lerma River are slimy. The principal agricultural products are 80 percent corn, 10 percent fava bean, 5 percent bean, 3 percent vegetables and 2 percent oats. Cattle raising has fallen considerably because of the drying of the lagoon. The demographic explosion does not allow people to have stables. The principal products are: bovine, porcine, equine and birds.


In San Mateo Atenco for more than 80 years the most important work source has been the production of footwear. Another important activity is fishing. The principal commercial organization is “Union de productores de zapatos de San Mateo”. The principal industry is the footwear industry. There are factories and workshops dedicated to the production of footwear.

External links

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