Xallitic: The heart of Xalapa and the city’s new “Magical Neighborhood”

Veracruz

MÉXICO » News » August 2023 » Xallitic: The heart of Xalapa and the city’s new “Magical Neighborhood”

Published by on July 30, 2023

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For over half a century, the residents of Barrio del Xallitic in Xalapa have united to cherish and restore the fountains, bridge, wash areas, and green spaces, which they consider the heart of their city. Among the prominent advocates for preserving traditions and promoting care is 74-year-old Doña Tebi. Their efforts are now turning Xallitic into the first Magical District in the state of Veracruz.

Maria Tebinda Pérez Barradas, one of the four longest-standing residents who have been part of the Neighborhood Board of Celebrations, Traditions, and Maintenance of Xallitic for five decades, bears witness to the neighborhood’s enchanting allure and its significant cultural, religious, and political events. Xallitic’s central square has been a gathering spot for numerous candidates running for governorship in Veracruz, deputies, and mayors of Xalapa. The belief among politicians was that meeting with the residents brought good luck and ensured victory at the polls.

Jorge Díaz Bartolomé, a member of Xalapa Antiguo A.C., describes Xallitic as the heart of Xalapa, and with its new name as a Magical Neighborhood, it will further promote culture and showcase the origins of the state’s capital.

On the upcoming Monday, August 17, the Xallitic neighborhood will officially be designated as a “Magical Neighborhood.” The honor will be conferred by the Secretary of Tourism of the federal government, Miguel Torruco Marqués, during his visit to the capital of Veracruz.

The aim of the Magical Neighborhoods nomination is to diversify and expand Mexico’s tourist attractions, offering recognition to cities that, due to specific rules governing the Magical Towns of Mexico program, cannot receive this designation, yet remain alluring to tourists. Typically, this recognition is reserved for state capitals.

Jorge Díaz Bartolomé notes that the cobbled streets of Madero and Xallitic form one of the last vestiges of colonial times in central Xalapa. The neighborhood’s origins trace back to pre-Hispanic times when communities settled near water sources. Xalapa, meaning “Spring in the sand,” had numerous springs in its city center.

Originally known as La Barranca, the Xallitic neighborhood gradually took shape, retaining its provincial charm with unique features. Among them are the laundries, dating back to 1790, which are still in use today. Another notable landmark is the bridge that connects Lucio street, an essential engineering feat from the mid-20th century.

The Plaza de Xallitic, adjacent to Plazuela del Carbón (now known as El Árbol), served as a trading hub where people from neighboring towns brought food products and coal, thus earning the area its name. Furthermore, Xallitic served as the starting point for the ancient road to Naolinco, passing through Madero, Pípila, crossing Americas, and the present-day Chedraui Caram area before reaching the municipality, located about 30 kilometers from Xalapa.

In front of the Jáuregui market stands a mural called “El Paso de Hernán Cortés por Xalapa,” an artistic masterpiece by Francisco Salmerón Tinajero, considered a heritage of the city since its creation in 1964.

The transformation of Xallitic into a Magical Neighborhood heralds an exciting future for Xalapa, attracting more tourists and shining a spotlight on its historical and cultural significance.

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