El Barrio La Guadalupita Xochitenco is a tiny neighborhood of just four square blocks. Perhaps, a model of mixed-use zoning, it’s just north of the Cathedral of San Bernardino. The neighborhood faces the cathedral grounds across the long wall that runs along Calle Pino to the neighborhood’s south.
It’s an important and ancient neighborhood. During the colonial period, it was known as Las Ánimas, the Place of the Souls. But the Náhuatl name, even older, is Xochitenco. This can be translated as “place at the edge of the flowers.”
Its chapel is a wonder simply for having squeezed into the crowded little neighborhood. The faithful only finally achieved it in 1927. The neighborhood celebrates its own prominent patron saint each year on December 12.
El Barrio la Guadalupita is often mistaken for just another part of the Barrio del Rosario. Rosario borders on the west and has most of the major sites in the centro. For those en route to the other Barrios; San Diego, San Esteban, and San Lorenzo, you’ll find the routes between the neighborhoods are nearly always festooned. Crossing San Diego from La Guadalupita takes just about ten minutes. The next two are just across the San Diego pedestrian bridge.
For those spending more deliberate time in the Xochimilco Center, at the Market or in and around the Cathedral, La Guadalupita may be one of the first neighborhoods you encounter. It’s a good and quick beginning to seeing more of the 17 historical Barrios Originarios.