Sunday, April 24, 2011
During Holy Week, Mexico City becomes a ghost town. Vacationers stream into small towns surrounding the city seeking a respite from the noise and smog. Nestled among towering cliffs and weathered crags, Tepoztlan has long been a destination for weekend trips from the D.F. and during Semana Santa its narrow streets turn into a meandering carnival that stretches along the length of its main street and winds up the steep pathway to the Pre-Columbian temple perched on the mountain above.
While visitors sip micheladas from styrofoam cups and savor the sweet frozen nieves for which the town is famous, residents follow the rhythms of the week's religious ceremonies. On the evening of Good Friday, after many of the tourists had long since returned to their hotels, a candlelight procession slipped through the cramped passageways of the market outside the courtyard of the imposing church.
Later, thunderstorms will break on the hills above the town and sharp lightning will rip through the sky, and fat raindrops will pepper Tepoztlan's now quiet cobblestone streets. Tomorrow, more visitors will come to relax in the town's clear sunlight, and in the evening the storms will come again too.