For a long time I have wanted to visit the small indigenous Chatino communities surrounding Santos Reyes Nopala, more commonly called Nopala. In 2016 I visited Santa Lucía Teotepec, more commonly called Teotepec, for Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead to see how the holiday was observed in Teotepec.
Getting there was the challenge. The public transportation consisted of a truck with two wooden benches, covered by a tarp. After an hour long bumpy ride climbing up a few mountains and forging a few streams I arrived at Teotepec. I have never been to Teotepec and had no idea of what to expect.
The population of Teotepec is 1844. The town has an agricultural based economy, cash crops include coffee and sugarcane. Spanish and Chatino are the spoken languages. There are no banks, hotels or even a restaurant as far as I know.
The town has two churches which are right next to each other. The smaller older church is behind the pine tree in the photo to your right or below. My photo of the insides of the new church hardly give justice to the beauty of the church.
Teotepec is a hour drive from Nopala. The gravel road was well maintained when I was on it November. If you are driving there, be sure to have enough gas as I didn't see any gas stations outside of Nopala. A collectivo, a shared taxi, from Nopala to Teotepec will cost around 50 pesos (11/2016).
Teotepec's patron saint is Santa Lucía, which the town celebrates in the second week of December. If wish to visit Teotepec, this would be the time to do so.
The following two pictures are of the older, mostly unused church.
The following photos are of the graveyard in Teotepec. Every grave had a orange candle and marigold flowers. As I was getting ready to leave, members of the Catholic community came to hold mass at the graveyard. A video of this can be found here: Día de Muertos celebration in Teotepec. The priest said the mass in Spanish and a translator repeated it in Chatino. Then they read from a list, a long list, the names of everyone who was buried in the graveyard telling them to rest in peace.
If you are interested in learning more about Santos Reyes Nopala, you might want to visit: Stelae of Santos Reyes Nopala and Santos Reyes Nopala, a day trip.
Photos taken by Marc Wilkinson. I, the copyright holder, hereby publish these photos under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0).