Tepito is a barrio
Barrio is a Spanish word meaning district or neighborhood.-Usage:In its formal usage in English, barrios are generally considered cohesive places, sharing, for example, a church and traditions such as feast days...

 located in Colonia Morelos in the Cuauhtémoc
Cuauhtémoc, D.F.
Cuauhtémoc, named after the former Aztec leader, is one of the 16 boroughs of the Federal district of Mexico City. It consists of the oldest parts of the city, extending over what was the entire city in the 1920s. This area is the historic and culture center of the city, although it is not the...

 borough 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...

 bordered by Avenida del Trabajo, Paseo de la Reforma
Paseo de la Reforma
Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue that runs in a straight line, cutting diagonally across Mexico City. It was designed by Ferdinand von Rosenzweig in the 1860s and modeled after the great boulevards of Europe, such as Vienna's Ringstrasse or the Champs-Élysées in Paris...

, Eje 1 and Eje 2. Most of the neighborhood is taken up by the colorful tianguis
A tianguis is an open air market or bazaar that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico and Central America. This bazaar tradition has its roots well into the pre-Hispanic period and continues in many cases essentially unchanged into the present day....

 or open-air market. Tepito’s economy has been linked to tianguis
A tianguis is an open air market or bazaar that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico and Central America. This bazaar tradition has its roots well into the pre-Hispanic period and continues in many cases essentially unchanged into the present day....

 or traditional open air markets since pre-Hispanic times. Estimates of the area’s population may vary from 38,000 to 120,000 residents , with an estimated 10,000 more who come in during the day to sell in the market. It also has been a lower-class neighborhood since pre-Hispanic times, which has known crime since the same period. It is famously known as the “Barrio Bravo” or fierce neighborhood. Most crimes here are piracy counterfeit goods
Counterfeit consumer goods
Counterfeit consumer goods, commonly called knock-offs, are counterfeit or imitation products offered for sale. The spread of counterfeit goods has become global in recent years and the range of goods subject to infringement has increased significantly...

 but it is robbery that gives the area its reputation and can cause problems for sellers by scaring away their customers.

Despite this, Tepito is home to a subculture that has attracted the attention of academics and artists. Art exhibitions have been based on Tepito and the area boasts a number of literary journals to which residents contribute.


The name Tepito comes from the Nahuatl teocali-tepiton, meaning small temple or chapel. There is a folk etymology for the name as well. The story states that when a group of policemen were about to go on their rounds one night, one advised the rest that “Si veo a un ratero te pito” (If I see a thief, I'll whistle at you) with the last two words fusing to become the name of the neighborhood. The frequency that the police had to use their whistles in the neighborhood became a sign of fear, of the resignation of authorities and the pride of the locals.

Archeological finds indicate that this was a poor area in early Aztec times that lived by fishing and other activities related to the lake which it was situated at the time. It was subdued by the Aztecs quickly, but its original residents were barred from trading in the large nearby Tlatelolco market. It soon became a place to stay for those bringing goods into this market to sell, leading to the Aztec name Mecamalinco, roughly translating to “for carriers.”

At the time of the Spanish conquest, there was a small temple called Teocultepitan, which the Spaniards shorted to Tepito, eventually making it the name of this area, which was still outside of the city of Tenochtitlan|Mexico City. Similar to Aztec times, this area became filled with inns for caravans of donkeys and other transport bringing goods for the markets of Mexico City. At the same time, indigenous merchants who had lost their wealth and status from the Tlatelolco market settled here to trade They were joined by caravan merchants who decided to stay. Tepito remained outside the city proper until well into the 19th century with life here relatively unchanged. More merchants came into the area as large informal markets (tianguis) were pushed out of the city center over the course of the colonial period and the early decades after Independence.

During the Mexican-American War, residents of Tepito, along with Mixcalco and Candelaria de los Patos fought the army of Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

, throwing things at them from their houses, and stealing horses and killing soldiers under cover of darkness. In retaliation, the General ordered the neighborhood bombarded and razed.

When the railroad was built the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it took over the task of bringing goods to market, and the inns that sheltered merchant travelers became tenements. In 1901, the decision was made to close the El Volador market, the last major tianguis in the city center, just south of the National Palace and relocate the merchants to the Tepito area. El Volador was a “baratillo” or “baratijo,” a tianguis market for selling new goods at very low prices. This is the origin of Tepito’s role as a baratillo. Prior to this, most of the good sold here were used, especially used clothing and utensils.

In the 1920s, many people from Jalisco
Jalisco officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Jalisco is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is located in Western Mexico and divided in 125 municipalities and its capital city is Guadalajara.It is one of the more important states...

 and Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

 came here to escape the Cristero War
Cristero War
The Cristero War of 1926 to 1929 was an uprising and counter-revolution against the Mexican government in power at that time. The rebellion was set off by the strict enforcement of the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and the expansion of further anti-clerical laws...

 and many settled in Tepito. Many were shoemakers, and this area became known for shoes. It also became an important producer of clothing and recycled household electrical items.

The reduction of buildings here to tenements and the crowding from the influx of Cristero War refugees turned the area into Mexico City’s first slum. By 1945, it was considered one of the worst places to live in Mexico. Houses here were not really houses but rooms varying between thirteen and twenty five square meters grouped around common areas without sanitation facilities. These groups consisted of ten to fifty units and called “vecindades.” Given the conditions and cheap rents, the area attracted delinquents such as drunks and prostitutes. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the city froze rents, which was supposed to be temporary. However, the residents here have not permitted a repeal of their low rents, which have essentially remained unchanged since this time, despite attempts by landowners and government to do so.

In the 1950s four permanent markets were constructed for the various trades (foodstuffs, shoes, and secondhand items), confirming the area’s status as a commercial center.

The 1985 earthquake
1985 Mexico City earthquake
The 1985 Mexico City earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake that struck Mexico City on the early morning of 19 September 1985 at around 7:19 AM , caused the deaths of at least 10,000 people and serious damage to the greater Mexico City Area. The complete seismic event...

 destroyed most of the 17th and 18th century buildings, killing many residents and leaving many to find housing elsewhere. This led to a new influx of outsiders into Tepito.

For decades, both government and developers have tried to transform the area. Mayors promise to clean it up and owners of the land there have tried various legal and other methods to get rid of the current residents to sell or redevelop the property. Coordinated plans to transform the area have tried to move residents to the outer parts of the city but residents here have resisted successfully so far.

One of the few successful efforts to evict and demolish tenements here occurred in 2007, when the adjoining properties of Tenochtitlan 40 and Jesus Carranza 33 were demolished. The area was a complex of 144 tenements known as “La Fortaleza” (The Fortress) where about eight kilos of cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 and a half ton of marihuana was moved each day. As the tenements were being destroyed a number of curious finds appeared such as safes, false walls, murals, such as Pancho Villa smoking pot, reserves of cognac
Cognac is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, with the smaller right...

 and champagne and even a Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi is a company that produces whirlpool bathtubs and spas. Its first product was a bath with massaging jets. The term "jacuzzi" is now often used generically to refer to any bathtub with massaging jets.-History:...

. The city’s Secretary of Public Safety stated that 411 convicts or ex-convicts were living in the tenements on Jesus Carranza and Tenochtitlan, most of which had been in jail for assault and/or robbery. The land expropriated by the government was excavated by the National Institute and Anthropology and History (INAH). Findings included both pre-Hispanic and colonial-era items. The site was redeveloped into the Family Integral Development (DIF) community center for Cuauhtemoc borough.


There is a saying here “en Tepito todo se vende menos la dignidad” (in Tepito everything is for sale, except dignity). It has a well-known street market or tianguis, which occupies 25 streets as well as three other markets, one for foodstuffs, one for shoes and one for secondhand items, with most residents here making a living as merchants with about 12,000 doing business here. This market is a Mexican tradition that dates back to pre-Hispanic times, with the word “tianguis” coming from 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...

. The tianguis at Tepito is called a baratillo or baratijo (lit. little cheap ones) for their traditionally low prices. This market has a long tradition here and is the largest and most vibrant in the city in the 21st century. The market is so large and so crowded, that buses must crawl and squeeze their way slowly with only feet to spare at most from the crowds and market stalls.

The sale of counterfeit brands, called “fayuca,” began in the 1970s. It started small, selling from suitcases but rapidly the quantities rose to pickup loads to tractor trailer loads. Sellers like Manuel used go to the U.S. to get merchandise but many now deal with counterfeit goods coming to Mexican ports from China. Many of the Chinese wholesalers even offer credit. Another widespread phenomenon is the selling of pirated audio and video. Venders selling this, most of it copied in Mexico itself, have small television sets with large speakers blaring music at full volume. The electricity for this is tapped illegally, with several stands hooked up to the same cable. It is estimated that street venders earned as much as 80,000,000,000 pesos in 2005 and avoided 22,000,000,000 pesos in taxes.

True to its roots, there is still a used clothing market on Wednesdays on Tenochtitlan Street where garments are sold for as little as one peso. It is generally not stolen but rather bought or bartered for by merchants in lower and middle class neighborhoods. On Sundays, there is a large antiques market on Paseo de la Reforma. A local dish most often sold from wandering shopping carts in the street here is called “migas.” It is a stew made with water, ancho chili, beef and pork bones and pieces of bread.

The street sellers of Tepito and other parts of the city form a large part of the financing of political parties in Mexico City. The Party of the Democratic Revolution
Party of the Democratic Revolution
The Party of the Democratic Revolution is a democratic socialist party in Mexico and one of 2 Mexican affiliates of the Socialist International...

 has governed the city since 2000 and the charge to these vendors to ignore their activities can be anywhere from thirty pesos a week to 100 pesos a day during campaigns. When multiplied by the half million or so street vendors that are estimated in the city, it is a lot of “black money” for politicians.


The area has always been populated by the lower and alienated classes. Even in the pre-Hispanic times, when Mecamalinco’s residents were barred from the Tlatelolco market, there is evidence that some of the merchandise sold here was stolen goods. Most of Tepito is filled with the huge open-air market, or tianguis, and most of the criminal activity occurs here in the form of selling counterfeit items and stolen goods.

Seven out of ten pirated or counterfeit products consumed in Mexico goes through this neighborhood, despite the fact that it is only blocks away from the Procuraduría General de la Republica. In 2009, federal agents confiscated fourteen tons of pirated
Copyright infringement
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

 audio and video, dismantled an audio laboratory and arrested three people during a raid in Tepito. In an earlier raid, federal and city police seized twenty five tones of illegally copied material and contraband cigarettes. PROFECO
The Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor, or Office of the Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer is an organization of the Mexican government, dependent of the Attorney General, designed to protect consumers against abuses or fraud by companies operating in Mexico.Mexico became the second Latin...

 analyzed twenty nine randomly selected alcoholic beverages sold in Tepito and results indicated that all were counterfeit and adulterated, not matching the brand of the packaging.

October 2006 in the early morning hours, a hijacked truck with three men on board was steered to a parking lot in Tepito by two cars without license plates. Waiting for them was a group of youths, who quickly unloaded the truck of its contents – closed boxes with Asian writing on them. In less than half an hour the truck was empty, and the truck, cars, youths and boxes had all disappeared. It is said that each week dozens of trucks are led here to be so treated.

While the sale of counterfeit or stolen goods is still the main crime here, drug trafficking has made inroads as well. The sale of counterfeit goods took off here beginning in the 1970s, until vendors here were bringing it here from ports and the U.S. border by the truckload. Instead of sending the trucks back empty, contact between these merchants and drug traffickers were established so that the trucks now return with loads of marihuana. Their ready availability has now made drugs a problem for youths in the area.

Arms trafficking, including assault weapons, has also escalated in Tepito, a "phenomenon" described in the Mexico City newspaper El Universal on May 4, 2010, and expanded upon in a piece in MexiData.info.

However, the crime which causes the neighborhood's reputation of being “bravo” or fierce is robbery. Thieves track people who come to the market and look to see who makes what kinds of purchases. Then the chosen victims are confronted. Most of these confrontations do not end in violence as the threats are usually enough to intimidate the chosen victim. Another popular method of robbing is to assault a pedestrian while riding by on a motorbike. In 2006, 317 robberies against people in the street were reported for this area. This and police raids have had the effect of scaring away customers from the tianguis’ vendors.

Social structure and values

Despite its problems, most residents who live here do not want to leave, as they were born here and have raised their families here. Resident also have some of lowest rents in the city, which compels many to stay as well. Rather than being ashamed of living here, many residents are proud of it. This was captured in a Mexican movie, Don de Dios. The film's tagline and a character mention: "ser mexicano es un privilegio, pero ser de Tepito es un don de Dios" - which means: "being Mexican is a privilege, but being from Tepito is a gift of God" - a common saying among neighbors. Despite its violent theme, it was filmed in Tepito with the support of tianguis vendors.

This neighborhood has had the most success resisting modernization, preserving many of its traditions and customs. The social system here is communal, rather than individualistic. In many ways, the assemblies and organizations mirror those of village assemblies in the indigenous areas of the country. While there is no formal vote, decision eventually get made through general consensus On the surface, Tepito seems to be a made of neighborhood, economic, social and other organizations governing some small slice of life here. Most leaders are never formally elected. However, the informal social structure is where the power is. If a leader or anyone speaking for the area is doing poorly, the residents talk among themselves until there is a consensus that s/he should be replaced and with whom. Meanwhile, the targeted leader has no idea this is happening until no one pays attention to him/her anymore. When the area needs to address something with city authorities, they choose someone articulate to talk to the city, but officially s/he represents no one. If the agreement reached is acceptable to the residents, they abide by it. If not, they accuse the government of negotiating with an unauthorized person and the process starts again

Many sociologists, writers, singers, filmmakers, journalists and anthropologists have been interested in Tepito and its way of life because in many way it is the origin of many of the attitudes and cultural expressions of Mexico City. Tepiteños (residents of the area) have their own set of slang and other forms of expression, some of which have been copied by the middle and upper classes. This neighborhood has been the political model for many of the very poor neighborhoods in other parts of the city

As a “barrio bravo” there are two “myths” that endure here. The first is summarized with the phrase “a la sombra que infunde respeto.” Literally, this means “to the shadow, which instills respect” meaning that the shadow of the neighborhood’s reputation demands that those from the outside treat with the area with a certain kind of respect. Tepito has its own rules and most outside authorities abide by them as it is a rich source of bribe money. The second is referred to as the “impuesto de la ingenuidad” (naiveté tax). This refers to those who believe that the counterfeit items at extremely low prices are real. While it is possible to find great bargains here, many of the sellers here sell fake and/or defective merchandise.

While the area has had a large amount of success, recent developments have weakened the social structure here. Drugs are a problem among youth, and the seemingly easy money to be made from counterfeit items, stolen goods and drugs has caused more individualistic attitudes. It also causes neighbors to not want to be involved with their other neighbors for risk of becoming involved in something unexpected.

Asian presence

Nowadays, there are approximately 2,500 Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

n merchants operating in Tepito and the eastern streets of the historic center. Chinese and Koreans now own about 75% of the buildings of the 74 blocks where the tianguis is concentrated. The “Chinese,” as most Asians are called in Tepito, began by establishing stalls selling novelties from their homelands. From there, they branched out to cosmetics, tools, toys, fragrances at extremely low prices. However, all of it is counterfeit
To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

. They are involved in more than just the sale of cheap items.

One of the best known Koreans here is Hyo wong Ryu, colloquially called Don Wong. It is not known how he came to Mexico as he is not registered with the Korean embassy, but he is considered to be the principal operative of contraband merchandise coming from Asia. Of Chinese/Korean ethnicity, he speaks Chinese, Korean, Indonesian as well as Spanish. While not proven, it is thought that he has connections with the Chinese mafia See Yee On, which is involved in counterfeit textiles, shoes, toys and other items. It is thought that Don Wong, along with lieutenants, Lee Young Gwang Suck and Han Heung Suck Shoi manage most of the stalls in Tepito along with Park Kang Hyo Sun, owner of the Club Acabar de Mexico.

Tepito and Santa Muerte

The official Catholic saint for the area is Saint Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis. St...

, whose feast day in 4 October. But most consider Santa Muerte
Santa Muerte
Santa Muerte is a sacred figure venerated in Mexico, probably a syncretism between Mesoamerican and Catholic beliefs. The name literally translates to "Holy Death" or "Saint Death." Mexican culture since the pre-Columbian era has maintained a certain reverence towards death, which can be seen in...

 to be the real patron saint of the area.

A believer by the name of Enriqueta Romero Romero, who resides in Tepito, decided to take a life-sized image of Santa Muerte out of her home and build a shrine for it, visible from the street. The image is dressed in different color garb depending on the season, with the Romero family changing the dress every first Monday of the month. Over the dress are large quantities of jewelry on her neck, arms and pinned to her clothing. These are offerings that have been left to the image as well as the flowers, fruits (esp. apples) candles, toys, money, notes of thanks for prayers granted, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages that surround it. Enriqueta considers herself the chaplain of the sanctuary, a role she says she inherited from her aunt, who began the practice in the family in 1962. The shrine is located on 12 Alfarería Street in Colonia Morelos. The house also contains a shop that sells amulets, bracelets, medallions, books, images and other items, but the most popular item is votive candles On the first day of every month, Enriqueta leads prayers and the saying of the rosary
The rosary or "garland of roses" is a traditional Catholic devotion. The term denotes the prayer beads used to count the series of prayers that make up the rosary...

, which lasts for about an hour, with approximately 5,000 in attendance. On the first of November, the anniversary of this altar to Santa Muerte is celebrated. The Santa Muerte of Tepito is dressed as a bride and wears hundreds of pieces of gold jewelry given by the faithful to show gratitude for favors received, or to ask for one. The celebration officially begins at the stroke of midnight of November 1. About 5,000 faithful turn out to pray the rosary. For purification, instead of incense, there is the smoke of marijuana. Flowers, pan de muerto
Pan de muerto
The pan de muertos is a type of bread traditionally baked in Mexico during the weeks leading up to the Día de los Muertos, which is celebrated on November 1 and 2. It is a sweetened soft bread shaped like a bun, often decorated with bone-like pieces...

, sweets and candy skulls among other things can be seen. Food such as cake, chicken with 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...

, hot chocolate, coffee and atole
Atole is a traditional masa-based Mexican and Central American hot drink. Chocolate atole is known as champurrado or atole...

 are served. Mariachi
Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico. Throughout the history of mariachi, musicians have experimented with brass, wind,...

s and marimba
The marimba is a musical instrument in the percussion family. It consists of a set of wooden keys or bars with resonators. The bars are struck with mallets to produce musical tones. The keys are arranged as those of a piano, with the accidentals raised vertically and overlapping the natural keys ...

 bands play.

Notable sites

The Centro Deportivo Tepito is better known as El Maracaná because of its soccer field on which three days a week various teams from the barrio compete against each other. Next to the El Maracaná is the José “Huitlacoche” Medel Gymnasium which houses the boxing ring which is another reason the area is called the “barrio bravo” (fierce neighborhood). Here both men and women learn how to box, with most hoping to go pro. For many here, boxing is a social and economic outlet. The neighborhood has long history of producing professional boxers and other athletes, such as Raúl “El Ratón” Macías
Raul Macias
Raúl Macías Guevara was a former Mexican boxer, actor, and boxing trainer. Born in the same Mexico City barrio as Rubén Olivares, Macías had always expressed pride at being Mexican...

, Rubén “El Púas” Olivares
Rubén Olivares
Rubén Olivares is a former Mexican boxer and current member of the Boxing Hall of Fame. A native of Mexico City, Olivares was a world champion multiple times, and considered by many as the greatest bantamweight champion of all time. He was very popular among Mexicans, many of whom considered him...

, Lorenzo “Halimi” Gutiérrez, who won the national flyweight belt,, Rodolfo Martinez
Rodolfo Martínez
Rodolfo Martínez was a Mexican boxer in the Super Featherweight division. He is a former NABF Super Bantamweight, Bantamweight and the WBC Bantamweight Champion.-Early life:...

 and the most recent phenomenon, wrestler “Místico
Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde is a Mexican luchador enmascarado, or masked professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE, working on its SmackDown brand under the name Sin Cara...


Perhaps the most well-known spot is an area that was once called “La Fortaleza” (The Fortress). It was a complex of 144 tenements located in the adjoining properties of Tenochtitlan 40 and Jesús Carranza 33. It had been one of the main drug distribution sites in Tepito, moving about eight kilos of cocaine and a half ton of marijuana each day.

In 2007, then-mayor Ebrard put forth a plan to expropriate the property. This caused fear in the area that it was a first step to transformation and expulsion of residents. The community organized and got assurances from the city government that was not the case. While not completely reassured, when the government took possession of the land, there was no resistance. Part of the reason for this was that it occurred very early in the morning without warning and many of the neighbors were tired of the “mafias” that were run from there. The government took over 5,600 square meters of land and arrested thirty three as a warning to other drug and gun runners. It also caused seventy-three families to lose their homes. The city demolished the structures on the properties after expropriation.

The land expropriated by the government was excavated by the National Institute and Anthropology and History (INAH), which found pre-Hispanic and colonial-era artifacts. The most significant of the pre-Hispanic finds was a child’s burial, in which an obsidian
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth...

 bead with a duck’s head, two other beads and deep plate-like objects called cajetes were found. The burial was found intact, mostly because of the fact that it was placed deep, about two yards under the first pre-Hispanic structure. Scattered around the site were more cajetes, mortars called molcajete
A molcajete is a stone tool, the traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle tool, similar to the South American batan used for grinding various food products...

s, dishes painted with eagles, serpents, and figures of 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...

 deities, pieces of incensories, parts of musical instruments such as rattles and flutes, obsidian knives and needles made of bone and thorns. Most of these were found around a pre-Hispanic dwelling made of rock and compacted earth.

Finding that date from the colonial era include lebrillos, are clay containers used to store liquids in monasteries and hospitals to store liquids. Many of these have Greek letters, flowers and monograms on them. Lead-glazed pottery (majolica
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance. It is decorated in bright colours on a white background, frequently depicting historical and legendary scenes.-Name:...

) has also been found along with the remains of 19th-century dwellings.
The site is set to become the Family Integral Development (DIF) community center for Cuauhtemoc borough. Construction was begun in September 2008 with a budget of 125 million pesos. Completion of the project has been delayed because it is being supervised by an international organization who damaged that portions of the building under construction be demolished for being defective. The building must meet certain requirements in order to receive ISO-9001:2000 certification.
On the corner of Tenochtitlan and Constancia is the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Although the feast day is 8 December, the crowds come to the church on 13 August to commemorate the apprehension of Cuauhtémoc
Cuauhtémoc was the Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan from 1520 to 1521...

, the last Aztec emperor. This spot is known in Nahuatl as Tequipeuhcan, which means “place where slavery began”. There is a plaque here with a statement Cuauhtémoc supposedly made exhorting Mexica or Mexicans to continue fighting for their own destiny.

Art and literature of Tepito

“Conozca México, visite Tepito” (Know Mexico, Visit Tepito) was an exposition that occurred in September 1973 and gave rise to the “Tepito Arte Acá” (Tepito Art Here) movement. This led to the establishment of three art galleries in the neighborhood in the 1950s, with only the José María Velasco Gallery surviving to the present day. This gallery is located on Peralvillo 55 a few meters from Matamoros Street near where many enter Tepito. The gallery was placed here to entice people to come in and see that the area is more than contraband and drugs. The gallery specializes in exhibitions on themes of everyday life in lower-class neighborhoods like Tepito.

One recent exhibition was put together by photographer Francisco Mata and is called “Tepito ¡Bravo el barrio!” (Tepito, Bravo to the neighborhood!, a play of words on the "fierce neighborhood"). This project is a collection of photographs of everyday life from the streets, alleys, houses, churches and markets of the area. The project was first shown at the José María Velasco Gallery in Tepito, which contained mirrors so that residents could compare themselves to the photos. The purpose of the exhibition is to show a side of the neighborhood other than its bad reputation. The photographer was allowed to meet some of the neighborhood’s most notable members such as Rubén Olivares, known as El Tirantes and Enriqueta Romero Romero, in charge of the first public shrine to Santa Muerte. The photos include 600 portraits including sixty of the best-known and thirty images from the street.

The neighborhood has produced a number of writers, one the best known of which is Fernando Cesár Ramírez. He is the creator and editor of a magazine called “Desde el Zaguán” which gives non-professional writers in the area a chance to publish their work. It is one of many small journals and fanzines that have been published here, some of which date back to the 1970s. Among them are “El Ñero,” “Desde Tepito,” “Tepito y Anexas” and “La Enredadera.” Recently, a number of these writings and publications were put together for an exhibition called “Dos filos” at the Jose Maria Velasco Gallery.

Famous ex-residents

  • Cuauhtemoc Blanco
    Cuauhtémoc Blanco
    Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo is a Mexican professional footballer currently signed for Irapuato in the Mexican Liga de Ascenso.Known for his aggressive yet charismatic personality on the field, playing most of his career as a deep-lying forward and his last years as an attacking midfielder...

     - Footballer
  • Cantinflas
    Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes , was a Mexican comic film actor, producer, and screenwriter known professionally as Cantinflas. He often portrayed impoverished campesinos or a peasant of pelado origin...

     - actor
  • Paquita la del Barrio
    Paquita la del Barrio
    Paquita la del Barrio is the stage name of Francisca Viveros Barradas , a Mexican singer of rancheras and other Mexican styles. She was born in Alto Lucero, Veracruz and started her career in Mexico City in 1970. Her songs usually take a stance against Mexico's sexist male culture. This has made...

     - singer
  • Jaime Bravo
    Jaime Bravo
    Jaime Bravo was a Mexican matador during the 1950s and 1960s. Bravo was known for death defying style and numerous relationships with women and Hollywood starlets.-Early life:...

     - matador
  • Místico
    Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde is a Mexican luchador enmascarado, or masked professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE, working on its SmackDown brand under the name Sin Cara...

     - Wrestler/ Luchador
  • Marco Antonio Barrera
    Marco Antonio Barrera
    Marco Antonio Barrera Tapia is a Mexicanprofessional boxer. He has won numerous world titles in three different weight classes; he is a former two-time WBO super bantamweight , WBC, Lineal, & The Ring featherweight , and WBC & IBF super featherweight champion...

     - Boxer
  • Kid Azteca
    Kid Azteca
    Luis Villanueva Paramo was a Mexican boxer best known as Kid Azteca. Villanueva boxed professionally from 1932 to 1961, making him one of a small number of fighters that fought for four decades...

     - Boxer
  • Raul Burgos – Basketball player
  • Raul Macias
    Raul Macias
    Raúl Macías Guevara was a former Mexican boxer, actor, and boxing trainer. Born in the same Mexico City barrio as Rubén Olivares, Macías had always expressed pride at being Mexican...

     - world champion boxer
  • Ruben Olivares
    Rubén Olivares
    Rubén Olivares is a former Mexican boxer and current member of the Boxing Hall of Fame. A native of Mexico City, Olivares was a world champion multiple times, and considered by many as the greatest bantamweight champion of all time. He was very popular among Mexicans, many of whom considered him...

     - world champion boxer
  • Rodolfo Martinez
    Rodolfo Martínez
    Rodolfo Martínez was a Mexican boxer in the Super Featherweight division. He is a former NABF Super Bantamweight, Bantamweight and the WBC Bantamweight Champion.-Early life:...

    - world champion boxer
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