Wow, this little mountain town is surreal.
Capulálpam de Méndez was built in the 1600s.
The town seems as though it was set up and ready for tourists but no one ever came.
Empty gift shops, restaurants, streets.
Where is everyone?
I think we are the only travelers here and we rarely even see locals. The tortilla maker had to check us into our hotel (the only hotel) because there is no one ever at reception.
While walking around the town we wondered if the rapture occurred right before our arrival. Seemed fitting.
After some research, I learned that Capulálpam de Mendez is an extremely closed municipality, meaning they govern themselves and don’t allow outside influences decide the fate of their town. Most residents work in government, education, or business. They used to be a mining town but eventually kicked out all the companies for taking advantage of their native people. In order to keep up their economy, they bottle their spring water, sell gravel and shifted into ecotourism.
Ecotourism is a form of small scale tourism that has minimal impact on their environment in order to preserve and respect the people and support conservation efforts. Tourists are watched closely by the locals.
All the money made in this town goes directly back into social services and to the people. No one goes hungry or lacks healthcare. The healthcare is a healing center that employs traditional healers who provide medicinal plant therapy, massages, temazcal and herbal baths.
I set up an appointment at the healing center where we will experience the healing traditions of this area.
We stumbled into this beautiful mountain town looking for a bridge that’s actually somewhere else and now it’s all starting to make perfect sense! .