San Lorenzo Huipulco is known today as a “barrio” in Tlalpan. In fact, it’s recently been recognized as a “pueblo originario,” that is, as one of the pre-Hispanic towns and villages that retain some characteristics of their pre-colonial history. The town is also well recognized for it’s stop, Huipulco, on the light-rail train, just one stop after that leading to the Estadio Azteca. In fact, for some football fans, the town makes a popular pre-game meeting point.
The Náhuatl name, Huitzpolco, could be translated as “place where the spikes of self-sacrifice are destroyed.”
A well-known book from 2007 refers to Huipulco as the entrada a los pueblos del sur.* That’s to say, it was and is, the first of the important towns and pueblos originarios in the south of the city. During the colonial period, and into the 19th century, it was an important commercial center sandwiched between multiple giant agricultural haciendas. In no small, the town’s history has been somewhat obscured by it’s proximity to Coyoacan which administered the territory until Tlalpan was formally made part of the Federal District in 1928.
Those familiar with Centro Tlalpan will recognize many of the same cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings, here.
San Lorenzo Huipulco Chapel
The parish church is almost unique in Mexico City in having its replacement, from 1982, sharing the same atrium. The old chapel dates from the 17th century, with major renovations made in the 18th. The entire floor was replaced in 1965 and another restoration took place in 1982 along with the construction of the new parish church.
Although entirely Baroque on the outside, the Neo-Classical altar features San Lorenzo in the center, San Judas Tadeo on the left, and the Virgin of Guadalupe on the right. The central tabernacle is unusual but of excellent build. The atrium of the chapel, outside, very nearly connects with the Esplanade park just across the street. The parish also maintains an active Facebook presence for the community.
*San Lorenzo Huipulco entrada a los pueblos del sur:
recuperación de la identidad y la historia de un antiguo pueblo de Tlalpan
Coordinating editors: Esther Gallardo González and Gerardo Mora Jiménez
Publisher: Editorial Praxis, 2007