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Metro Xola

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“Los pueblos no guardan memoria” by artist, Ariosto Otero Reyes in the Xola station.

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metro xolaMetro Xola is named for the long avenue that begins here and runs west across the neighborhoods of Alamos II, through the Narvarte neighborhoods (II, III, & IV). It continues across Del Valle to Insurgentes Sur. Perhaps fittingly, the avenue assumes the name “Ohio” for a few blocks in Napoles. Much easier, from The Calzada de Tlalpan, running east, it’s called Napoleon in the Moderna Neighborhood.

Unfortunately, very few Mexico City residents ever ask what the name could mean. The origin is therefore disputed. The Metro system tells us that an old ranch named for the Sola family came to be pronounced as though it were written Schola. Impatient Mexican speakers may have later changed it to the “X” spelling to give the word its present pronunciation, i.e.; shola.

The Metro system does not point out that the word may also derive from the Náhuatl word Xolotl.  This means “monster,” or “clown.” The word forms the basis of guajolote (turkey), and axolote, the amphibious mascot of Xochimilco. Xola may therefore refer to a turkey hen, too.

The Metro Xola station logo recalls a home at Calzada de Tlapan, number 652. In 1920, the owner of the home had a palm tree shipped from Guadalajara. The tree grew so tall that it soon became a neighborhood landmark. Palm trees lined the median strip of the Avenida Xola for many years in the 20th century.

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