Xochimilco is one of the 16 municipalities of Mexico City. It is located towards the luscious green southern part of the city. At an elevation of 7, 349 ft., Xochimilco offers many qualities unique to its area. In Xochimilco you will find various flower markets, exquisite types of food, and many unique traditions. One of the most famous sites Xochimilco is known for are the floating gardens used by the Aztecs for agriculture.
The floating gardens known as Chinanpas over the years grew roots and are now considered islands. Thousands of tourists come every year to experience a ride along the canals on what they call trajineras. It is not uncommon to see many types of flora and fauna as you ride through the sometimes narrow canals between the islands. They have many kinds of fairs throughout the year like a national ice cream fair, a mole fair, and a mexican marigold flower fair. Their vibrant culture attracts many visitors from all over the world.
Sadly, almost all traditions and events are tied to religion. The is a doll named Niñopa exclusively known and worshipped by the people in Xochimilco. The residents of Xochimilco believe Niñopa can perform miracles. Each year the doll is moved from its previous home to the next. The family hosting Niñopa must dedicate a room exclusively for him. They sing to it every morning, change its clothes, and feed it daily. When it is moved to a different home, they use special transportation like a limousine and cover it from the sun. There is about a 50 year waiting list to host Niñopa.
Xochimilco's rich culture and deep seated traditions are its greatest pitfalls. When long-standing traditions are a way of life, any change or denial of passed down traditions would be inconceivable and is considered betrayal. However, we are going with the power of the Gospel which can break down any barrier. We cannot wait to live with the residents of Xochimilco and to see lives changed by the power of the Gospel!