The Aztec Empire, or the Triple Alliance, began as an alliance of three Nahua altepetl city-states: Mexico-Tenochtitlan and Tlacopan. These three city-states ruled the area in and around the Valley of Mexico from 1428 until the combined forces of the Spanish conquistadores and their native allies under Hernán Cortés defeated them in 1521; the Triple Alliance was formed from the victorious factions in a civil war fought between the city of Azcapotzalco and its former tributary provinces. Despite the initial conception of the empire as an alliance of three self-governed city-states, Tenochtitlan became dominant militarily. By the time the Spanish arrived in 1519, the lands of the Alliance were ruled from Tenochtitlan, while the other partners in the alliance had taken subsidiary roles; the alliance waged wars of conquest and expanded after its formation. At its height, the alliance controlled most of central Mexico as well as some more distant territories within Mesoamerica, such as the Xoconochco province, an Aztec exclave near the present-day Guatemalan border.
Aztec rule has been described by scholars as "hegemonic" or "indirect". The Aztecs left rulers of conquered cities in power so long as they agreed to pay semi-annual tribute to the Alliance, as well as supply military forces when needed for the Aztec war efforts. In return, the imperial authority offered protection and political stability, facilitated an integrated economic network of diverse lands and peoples who had significant local autonomy; the state religion of the empire was polytheistic, worshiping a diverse pantheon that included dozens of deities. Many had recognized cults large enough so that the deity was represented in the central temple precinct of the capital Tenochtitlan; the imperial cult was that of Huitzilopochtli, the distinctive warlike patron god of the Mexica. Peoples in conquered provinces were allowed to retain and continue their own religious traditions, so long as they added the imperial god Huitzilopochtli to their local pantheons; the word "Aztec" in modern usage would not have been used by the people themselves.
It has variously been used to refer to the Triple Alliance empire, the Nahuatl-speaking people of central Mexico prior to the Spanish conquest, or the Mexica ethnicity of the Nahuatl-speaking peoples. The name comes from a Nahuatl word meaning "people from Aztlan," reflecting the mythical place of origin for Nahua peoples. For the purpose of this article, "Aztec" refers only to those cities that constituted or were subject to the Triple Alliance. For the broader use of the term, see the article on Aztec civilization. Nahua peoples descended from Chichimec peoples who migrated to central Mexico from the north in the early 13th century; the migration story of the Mexica is similar to those of other polities in central Mexico, with supernatural sites and events, joining earthly and divine history as they sought political legitimacy. According to the pictographic codices in which the Aztecs recorded their history, the place of origin was called Aztlán. Early migrants settled the Basin of Mexico and surrounding lands by establishing a series of independent city-states.
These early Nahua city-states or altepetl, were ruled by dynastic heads called tlahtohqueh. Most of the existing settlements had been established by other indigenous peoples before the Mexica migration; these early city-states fought various small-scale wars with each other, but due to shifting alliances, no individual city gained dominance. The Mexica were the last of the Nahua migrants to arrive in Central Mexico, they entered the Basin of Mexico around the year 1250 AD, by most of the good agricultural land had been claimed. The Mexica persuaded the king of Culhuacan, a small city-state but important as a refuge of the Toltecs, to allow them to settle in a infertile patch of land called Chapultepec; the Mexica served as mercenaries for Culhuacan. After the Mexica served Culhuacan in battle, the ruler appointed one of his daughters to rule over the Mexica. According to mythological native accounts, the Mexica instead sacrificed her by flaying her skin, on the command of their god Xipe Totec.
When the ruler of Culhuacan learned of this, he attacked and used his army to drive the Mexica from Tizaapan by force. The Mexica moved to an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco, where an eagle nested on a nopal cactus; the Mexica interpreted this as a sign from their gods and founded their new city, Tenochtitlan, on this island in the year ōme calli, or "Two House". The Mexica rose to prominence as fierce warriors and were able to establish themselves as a military power; the importance of warriors and the integral nature of warfare in Mexica political and religious life helped propel them to emerge as the dominant military power prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. The new Mexica city-state allied with the city of Azcapotzalco and paid tribute to its ruler, Tezozomoc. With Mexica assistance, Azcopotzalco began to expand into a small tributary empire; until this point, the Mexica ruler was not recognized as a legitimate king. Mexica leaders petitioned one of the kings of Culhuacan to provide a daughter to marry into the Mexica line.
Their son, was enthroned as the first tlatoani of Tenochtitlan in the year 1372. While the Tepanecs of Azcapotzalco expanded their rule with help from the Mexica, the Acolhua city of Texcoco grew in power in the eastern portion of the lake basin. War erupted between the two states, the Mexica played a vital role in the conquest of Texcoco. By Tenochtitlan had grown into a m
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Born in Medellín, Spain, to a family of lesser nobility, Cortés chose to pursue adventure and riches in the New World, he went to Hispaniola and to Cuba, where he received an encomienda. For a short time, he served. In 1519, he was elected captain of the third expedition to the mainland, which he funded, his enmity with the Governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, resulted in the recall of the expedition at the last moment, an order which Cortés ignored. Arriving on the continent, Cortés executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous people against others, he used a native woman, Doña Marina, as an interpreter.
She bore his first son. When the Governor of Cuba sent emissaries to arrest Cortés, he fought them and won, using the extra troops as reinforcements. Cortés wrote letters directly to the king asking to be acknowledged for his successes instead of being punished for mutiny. After he overthrew the Aztec Empire, Cortés was awarded the title of Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca, while the more prestigious title of Viceroy was given to a high-ranking nobleman, Antonio de Mendoza. In 1541 Cortés returned to Spain, where he died six years of natural causes but embittered; because of the controversial undertakings of Cortés and the scarcity of reliable sources of information about him, it is difficult to describe his personality or motivations. Early lionizing of the conquistadores did not encourage deep examination of Cortés. Modern reconsideration has done little to enlarge understanding regarding him; as a result of these historical trends, descriptions of Cortés tend to be simplistic, either damning or idealizing.
Cortés himself used the form "Hernando" or "Fernando" for his given name, as seen in his signature and the title of an early portrait. William Hickling Prescott's Conquest of Mexico refers to him as Hernando Cortés. At some point writers began using the shortened form of "Hernán" more generally. Cortés was born in 1485 in the town of Medellín, in modern-day Extremadura, Spain, his father, Martín Cortés de Monroy, born in 1449 to Rodrigo or Ruy Fernández de Monroy and his wife María Cortés, was an infantry captain of distinguished ancestry but slender means. Hernán's mother was Catalína Pizarro Altamirano. Through his mother, Hernán was second cousin once removed of Francisco Pizarro, who conquered the Inca Empire of modern-day Peru, not to be confused with another Francisco Pizarro, who joined Cortés to conquer the Aztecs. Through his father, Hernán was related to the third Governor of Hispaniola, his paternal great-grandfather was Rodrigo de Monroy y Almaraz, 5th Lord of Monroy. According to his biographer and friend Francisco López de Gómara, Cortés was pale and sickly as a child.
At the age of 14, he was sent to study Latin under an uncle in Salamanca. Modern historians have misconstrued this personal tutoring as time enrolled at the University of Salamanca. After two years, Cortés returned home to Medellín, much to the irritation of his parents, who had hoped to see him equipped for a profitable legal career. However, those two years at Salamanca, plus his long period of training and experience as a notary, first in Valladolid and in Hispaniola, gave him knowledge of the legal codes of Castile that he applied to help justify his unauthorized conquest of Mexico. At this point in his life, Cortés was described by Gómara as ruthless and mischievous; the 16-year-old youth had returned home to feel constrained life in his small provincial town. By this time, news of the exciting discoveries of Christopher Columbus in the New World was streaming back to Spain. Plans were made for Cortés to sail to the Americas with a family acquaintance and distant relative, Nicolás de Ovando, the newly appointed Governor of Hispaniola..
Cortés was prevented from traveling. He spent the next year wandering the country spending most of his time in Spain's southern ports of Cadiz, Palos and Seville, he left for Hispaniola in 1504 and became a colonist. Cortés reached Hispaniola in a ship commanded by Alonso Quintero, who tried to deceive his superiors and reach the New World before them in order to secure personal advantages. Quintero's mutinous conduct may have served as a model for Cortés in his subsequent career; the history of the conquistadores is rife with accounts of rivalry, jockeying for positions and betrayal. Upon his arrival in 1504 in Santo Domingo, the capital of Hispaniola, the 18-year-old Cortés registered as a citizen. Soon afterward, Governor Nicolás de Ovando granted him an encomienda and appointed him as a notary of the town of Azua de Compostela, his next five years seemed to help establish him in the colony. The expedition leader awarded him Indian slaves for his efforts. In 1511, Cortés accompanied Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, an aide of the Governor of Hispan
Puebla the Free and Sovereign State of Puebla is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 217 municipalities and its capital is the city of Puebla, it is located in East-Central Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Veracruz to the north and east, Hidalgo, México and Morelos to the west, Guerrero and Oaxaca to the south; the origins of the state lie in the city of Puebla, founded by the Spanish in this valley in 1531 to secure the trade route between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz. By the end of the 18th century, the area had become a colonial province with its own governor, which would become the State of Puebla, after the Mexican War of Independence in the early 19th century. Since that time the area around the capital city, has continued to grow economically through industry, despite being the scene of a number of battles, the most notable of which being the Battle of Puebla. Today, the state is one of the most industrialized in the country, but since most of its development is concentrated in Puebla and other cities, many of its rural areas are poor, forcing many to migrate away to places such as Mexico City and the United States.
Culturally, the state is home to the China Poblana, mole poblano, active literary and arts scenes and festivals such as Cinco de Mayo, Ritual of Quetzalcoatl, Day of the Dead celebrations and Carnival. It is home to five major indigenous groups: Nahuas, the Totonacs, the Mixtecs, the Popolocas and the Otomi, which can be found in the far north and the far south of the state; the state is in the central highlands of Mexico between the Sierra Nevada and the Sierra Madre Oriental. It has a triangular shape with its narrow part to the north, it borders the states of Veracruz, Guerrero, State of Mexico and Hidalgo. The state occupies 33,919 km2, ranking 20th of 31 states in size, has 4,930 named communities. Most of its mountains belong to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt; the first is locally called the Sierra Norte del Puebla, entering the state from the northwest and breaks up into the smaller chains of Sierra de Zacapoaxtla, Sierra de Huauchinango, Sierra de Teziutlán, Sierra de Tetela de Ocampo, Sierra de Chignahuapan and Sierra de Zacatlán, although these names may vary among localities.
Some of the highest elevations include Apulco, Chignahuapan and Tlatlaquitepec. The highest elevations are the volcanoes Pico de Orizaba or Citlaltepetl, Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl and Malinche which are found on the state's borders with Veracruz, Mexico State and Tlaxcala respectively. In the south of the state, the major elevations are the Sierra de Atenahuacán, Zapotitlán, Lomerio al Suroeste and the Sierra de Tehuacán. Dividing much of the state from Veracruz is a small chain of mountains called the Sierra Madre del Golfo; the natural geography of the state subdivides into the Huasteco Plateau, Llanuras y Lomeríos zone, Lagos y Volcanes del Anáhuac, Llanuras y Sierras de Querétaro e Hidalgo, Cordillera Costera del Sur, Mixteca Alta, Sierras y Valles Guerrenses, Sierras Centrales de Oaxaca, Sierras Orientales and Sur de Puebla. The Huasteco Plateau and the Llanuras y Lomeríos zone are located in the north and northeast, with the Lagos y Volcanes del Anáhuc in the center and north. Together, they account for over 50% of the state.
The east and northeast are occupies by the Chiconquiaco and Llanudras y Sierras de Querétaro e Hidalgo areas and account for about three percent of the state. The Cordillera del Sur and Mixteca Alta are located in the west and southwest covering less than 2.5% of the state. The Sur de Puebla is in the southwest and accounts for 26% of the state. Other southern subregions include the Sierras y Valles Guerrerenses, the Sierras Centrales de Oaxaca and the Sierras Orientales. Together, they account for about 15% of the state; the hydrology of Puebla is formed by three major river systems. One is based on the Atoyac River, which originates with the melting runoff of the Halos, Telapón and Papagayo mountains along with those from the Iztaccihuatl volcano and waters from the Zahuapan River, which enters from Tlaxcala; this river receives further water from tributaries such as the Acateno, Amacuzac and Cohetzala. The river has one major dam called Manuel Avila Camacho; this river flows west to the Pacific Ocean.
The next system empties into the Gulf of Mexico and consists of the Pantepec, Necaxa, San Pedro/Zun, Apulco, Cedro Viejo, Martínez de la Torre and other rivers on the east side of the state. This system has two major dams called the Mazatepec; the third is based on the large number of small lakes fresh water springs as well as some volcanically heated springs. The best known of these include Chignahuapan, Agua Azúl, Cisnaqullas, Garcicrespo and Rancho Colorado. Lakes include Chapulco, San Bernardino, Lagunas Epatlán, Almoloyan, Pahuatlán, Las Minas and Tecuitlapa. Puebla has many different climates owing to its range of altitudes, it has an average temperature of 16 °C but this varies locally. There is a rainy season from May until October with an overall precipitation of 801 mm; the state has eleven different climate zones. The centre and south of the state has a temperate and semi-moist climate, with an average temperature of 15 °C and 858 mm of rainfall; the southwest has a warm to hot and semi-mois
Totonacapan refers to the historical extension where the Totonac people of Mexico dominated, as well as to a region in the modern states of Veracruz and Puebla. The historical territory was much larger than the named region, extending from the Cazones River in the north to the Papaloapan River in the south and west from the Gulf of Mexico into what is now the Sierra Norte de Puebla region and into parts of Hidalgo; when the Spanish arrived, the Totonac ethnicity dominated this large region, although they themselves were dominated by the Aztec Empire. For this reason, they allied with Hernán Cortés against Tenochtitlán. However, over the colonial period, the Totonac population and territory shrank after 1750 when mestizos began infiltrating Totonacapan, taking political and economic power; this continued into the 19th and 20th centuries, prompting the division of most of historical Totonacpan between the states of Puebla and Veracruz. Today, the term refers only to a region in the north of Veracruz were Totonac culture is still important.
This region is home to the El Tajín and Cempoala archeological sites as well as Papantla, noted for its performance of the Danza de los Voladores. The earliest human settlements in the area date back to about 2000 BCE with agriculture practiced early with those communities on the coast having seafood prominent in the diet mollusks; the area thrived with many small villages and ceremonial center because of abundant agricultural production. The beginning of the Classic period around 300BCE brought great changes to the region as it became part of an important trade route between Teotihuacan and the Mayas. Evidence of Teotihuacan influence become evident including architecture; the name “Totonacapan” is from the Totonac people, who arrived to the area between the 8th and 9th centuries. It was populated by other cultures before this, it is not known how the Totonacs came to occupy and dominate the region, there are several theories, some of which point to links with Teotihuacan and/or a migration from the interior towards the Gulf coast.
Their main archeological sites include El Cempoala and Yohualichan. El Tajín is considered crucial to Totonac identity; the territory extended from the Papaloapan River in the south to the Cazones River in the north, the Gulf of Mexico on the east and into the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains to the west into what is now the Sierra Norte de Puebla and even as far as Tulancingo. However, these western areas had become ethnically mixed due to influxes of Nahuas and Otomis long before the Spanish arrived; when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, the region was dominated by the Totonacs, who were in turn dominated by the Aztec Empire. Because of this, the Totonacs allied with the Spanish against the Aztecs to conquer Tenochtitlán. However, war and forced labor brought the Totonac population down drastically; the Totonac population in Cempoala is estimated to have been about 80,000 when the Spanish arrived in 1519 but with only eighty left in 1550. The Spanish took their lands for cattle raising until the ethnicity occupied only about half of what it used to.
In many areas, the Totonac population was replaced by Spanish and African peoples. Until the 17th century, the Spanish respected Totonac leadership as their help against the Aztec made them non-threatening militarily. Evangelization was slow, with only sixteen parishes in all of Totonacapan by 1750; this means that until 1750, the political and social situation in Totonacapan was stable. However, from this time to the present various political and economic developments have served to weaken and split Totonac control over its historical territory. Mestizos began to take indigenous land and felt sufficiently powerful enough to begin taking political and military power. From 1750 to 1820, there were a series of Totonac revolts against these incursions in the Papantla and Orizaba regions; this rebellion caused the Totonacs to ally with the cause for independence early, led by Serafín Olarte, but they were crushed by royalist forces. The struggle continued after Independence with a new insurrection led by Olarte’s son, Mariano Olarte with the flash point being the prohibition of Totonac Holy Week rites, which the Puebla diocese deemed “too pagan.”
The first president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria, who had fought with Serafín Olarte, mediated the dispute but was unable to get the diocese to relent. The rebellions by the Totonac spurred mestizo and Spanish authorities into a series of moves that resulted in the splitting of historical Totonacapan between the modern states of Veracruz and Puebla, with some small areas now part of Hidalgo over the course of the 19th century. Borders were set by the beginning of Mexican Revolution; the mestizos, were privatizing communally held land, confiscating religious property and prohibiting public worship to weaken the power of indigenous authorities. The Totonacs had some luck in turning the tide during the Mexican Revolution but these gains were lost in the 1930s; the process of dividing Totonacapan into various smaller entities politically and economically continued through the 20th century. One development was the construction of the Mexico City-Tuxpan highway and the development of petroleum extraction in the Poza Rica area.
The Teziutlán-Tlatlauquitepec highway to Tenampulco reinforced a Veracruz/Puebla border. While there is still a population of Totonacs in both states, as Mexico’s tenth largest indigenous group, what is called Totonacapan is only a fraction of former Totonac lands, it refers to a region in Veracruz, wh
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla. The word vanilla, derived from vainilla, the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina, is translated as "little pod". Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlīlxochitl by the Aztecs. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s. Pollination is required to set the vanilla fruit from. In 1837, Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant; the method was not deployed commercially. In 1841, Edmond Albius, a slave who lived on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, discovered at the age of 12 that the plant could be hand-pollinated. Hand-pollination allowed global cultivation of the plant. Three major species of vanilla are grown globally, all of which derive from a species found in Mesoamerica, including parts of modern-day Mexico.
They are V. planifolia, grown on Madagascar, Réunion, other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean. The majority of the world's vanilla is the V. planifolia species, more known as Bourbon vanilla or Madagascar vanilla, produced in Madagascar and neighboring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, in Indonesia. Combined and Indonesia produce two-thirds of the world's supply of vanilla. Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron because growing the vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is valued for its flavor; as a result, vanilla is used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture, aromatherapy. According to other popular belief, the Totonac Aztec-age people, who inhabit the east coast of Mexico in the present-day state of Veracruz, were among the first people to cultivate vanilla in the 15th century. Aztecs invading from the central highlands of Mexico conquered the Totonacs, developed a taste for the vanilla pods, they named the fruit tlilxochitl, or "black flower", after the matured fruit, which shrivels and turns black shortly after it is picked.
Until the mid-19th century, Mexico was the chief producer of vanilla. In 1819, French entrepreneurs shipped vanilla fruits to the islands of Réunion and Mauritius in hopes of producing vanilla there. After Edmond Albius discovered how to pollinate the flowers by hand, the pods began to thrive. Soon, the tropical orchids were sent from Réunion to the Comoros Islands and Madagascar, along with instructions for pollinating them. By 1898, Madagascar, Réunion, the Comoros Islands produced 200 metric tons of vanilla beans, about 80% of world production. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Indonesia is responsible for the vast majority of the world's Bourbon vanilla production and 58% of the world total vanilla fruit production; the market price of vanilla rose in the late 1970s after a tropical cyclone ravaged key croplands. Prices remained high through the early 1980s despite the introduction of Indonesian vanilla. In the mid-1980s, the cartel that had controlled vanilla prices and distribution since its creation in 1930 disbanded.
Prices dropped 70 % to nearly US$20 per kilogram. The cyclone, political instability, poor weather in the third year drove vanilla prices to an astonishing US$500/kg in 2004, bringing new countries into the vanilla industry. A good crop, coupled with decreased demand caused by the production of imitation vanilla, pushed the market price down to the $40/kg range in the middle of 2005. By 2010, prices were down to $20/kg. Cyclone Enawo caused in similar spike to $500/kg in 2017. Madagascar accounts for much of the global production of vanilla. Mexico, once the leading producer of natural vanilla with an annual yield of 500 tons of cured beans, produced only 10 tons in 2006. An estimated 95% of "vanilla" products are artificially flavored with vanillin derived from lignin instead of vanilla fruits. Vanilla was unknown in the Old World before Cortés. Spanish explorers arriving on the Gulf Coast of Mexico in the early 16th century gave vanilla its current name. Portuguese sailors and explorers brought vanilla into Africa and Asia that century.
They called it vainilla, or "little pod". The word vanilla entered the English language in 1754, when the botanist Philip Miller wrote about the genus in his Gardener’s Dictionary. Vainilla is from the Latin vagina to describe the shape of the pods; the main species harvested for vanilla is V. planifolia. Although it is native to Mexico, it is now grown throughout the tropics. Indonesia and Madagascar are the world's largest producers. Additional sources include V. pompona and V. tahitiensis, although the vanillin content of these species is much less than V. planifolia. Vanilla grows as a vine, climbing up pole, or other support, it can be grown in a plantation, or in a "shader", in increasing orders of productivity. Its growth environment is referred to as its terroir, includes not only the adjacent plants, but the climate and local geology. Left alone, it will grow as h
Cazones de Herrera
Cazones de Herrera, or Cazones, is a town and municipality located in the north of the Mexican state of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. While it has tourist attractions along its shore in the Barra de Cazones area, the municipality, including the seat, has a high level of socioeconomic marginalization. Most of the municipality's population works in agriculture; the town of Cazones de Herrera is 321 km from the state capital of Xalapa. It is a small town typical for the area, with a main church, main plaza and municipal palace or government office, it is located next to the Cazones River and there is boat service from the municipal seat to communities on the other side of the river, including boats that carry vehicles. While it is the largest community in the municipality with a population of 4,260 as of 2010, it has a high level of socioeconomic marginalization; the town name comes from the Spanish word for the sharpnose shark. The appendage "de Herrera" is in honor of politician José Joaquín de Herrera.
Its municipal seal contains elements related to the area’s production of citrus fruit and corn as well as a sharpnose sharks. Other elements refer to Farallón Island at the mouth of the Cazones River. In the pre-Hispanic period, the area was part of Totonacapan, although it came under the domination of the Aztecs in the 15th century. After the Conquest, the Totonacs came to dominate the local culture again. After Independence, the area became part of the Papantla municipality; the current municipality was created in 1936 with land that belonged to the municipalities of Papantla and Tuxpan, with the settlement of Cazones designated as a town. The current official name was adopted in 1956; the town of Cazones de Herrera is the local government for 70 other communities which cover an area of 106.11 km2. It borders the municipalities of Tuxpan, Poza Rica and Tihuatlán with the Gulf of Mexico to the east. Aside from the municipal seat, other significant communities are La Unión with 1,850 people, Manilio Fabio Altamirano with 1,214 people, Barra de Cazones with 1,167 people, Rancho Nuevo with 1,065 people.
The municipal government consists of a municipal president, an officer called a “síndico”, four representatives, called “regidors.”The municipality has an average altitude of ten meters above sea level. Its main river is the Cazones, which splits the municipality into two parts and is the traditional dividing line between Totonacapan and La Huasteca; the mouth of the river is here. The municipality’s shoreline faces the Gulf of Mexico and includes a number of beaches, including Playa Chaparrales, where marine turtles come to lay their eggs in March and April; the climate is hot and humid with an average annual temperature of 25C and an average rainfall of 2,000mm. The main ecosystem is high growth perennial rainforest. Remaining forests still have tropical hardwoods; the shoreline has a number of estuaries with mangroves. Wildlife includes rabbits, opossums and coyotes; the shoreline has various estuaries with mangroves. The mangroves on the river are home to various species of crab, some of which are in danger of extinction.
The area today is considered to be in the far southeast of the La Huasteca cultural region, with traditional dances belonging to this region, with danzón as the most traditional music. The municipality organizes regular events to promote and preserve the traditional dances of the Veracruz Huasteca; the establishment of the municipality is celebrated from June 16-23 each year. Carnival is another important annual festival; the local cuisine is rich in local seafood such as shrimp, sea bass and octopus served with mole and chili pepper. One notable non-seafood dish is pork served in garlic sauce. Just over 15% of the population speaks an indigenous language with the rest speaking Spanish; the municipality is considered to have a high level of socioeconomic marginalization. About 34% have problems obtaining sufficient food. Of the municipality’s 71 communities, fifty are considered to be or highly marginalized; as of the 2010 census, there were 5,991 residences. About 58% have running water, less than 47% have drainage.
Over 96% have electricity and access to a landfill. Seventy percent of homes have cement floors with 24% having dirt floors. About 15% have autos, 86% have televisions, 70% have refrigerators, 69% have radios, 34% have cell phones, just over five percent have computers, less than two percent have Internet. About 54% of the working population of the municipality is involved in agriculture and forestry. Principle crops include corn, bananas, green chili peppers, grapefruit. Most livestock is cattle, followed by pigs, sheep and domestic fowl. About 12 percent is involved in mining and utilities. About 32 % is involved including tourism. Tourist attractions in the municipality are related to its shoreline and includes beaches such as Playa Azul, Playa Boquitas, Playa Sur, Playa Chaparrales, as well as the Cazones River; the best known area is Barra de Cazones, where all of the municipality’s hotels are. The community centers on the main boardwalk and docks which were built by the state in 2006; the Cazones lighthouse was built in the 1970s to guide small vessels such as fishing boats.
Farallón is a small island located at the mouth of the Cazones River about half a kilometer from the ocean. In the colonial period, it was a refuge for pirates. One side of the island has a cliff called “El Chivo” eighteen meters high, popular for rappelling; the island
Nahuatl, known as Aztec, is a language or group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl are spoken by about 1.7 million Nahua peoples, most of whom live in central Mexico. Nahuatl has been spoken in central Mexico since at least the seventh century CE, it was the language of the Aztecs, who dominated what is now central Mexico during the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican history. During the centuries preceding the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, the Aztecs had expanded to incorporate a large part of central Mexico, their influence caused the variety of Nahuatl spoken by the residents of Tenochtitlan to become a prestige language in Mesoamerica. At the conquest, with the introduction of the Latin alphabet, Nahuatl became a literary language, many chronicles, works of poetry, administrative documents and codices were written in it during the 16th and 17th centuries; this early literary language based on the Tenochtitlan variety has been labeled Classical Nahuatl, is among the most studied and best-documented languages of the Americas.
Today, Nahuan languages are spoken in scattered communities in rural areas throughout central Mexico and along the coastline. There are considerable differences among varieties, some are not mutually intelligible. Huasteca Nahuatl, with over one million speakers, is the most-spoken variety. All varieties have been subject to varying degrees of influence from Spanish. No modern Nahuan languages are identical to Classical Nahuatl, but those spoken in and around the Valley of Mexico are more related to it than those on the periphery. Under Mexico's General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples promulgated in 2003, Nahuatl and the other 63 indigenous languages of Mexico are recognized as lenguas nacionales in the regions where they are spoken, enjoying the same status as Spanish within their regions. Nahuan languages exhibit a complex morphology characterized by polysynthesis and agglutination. Through a long period of coexistence with the other indigenous Mesoamerican languages, they have absorbed many influences, coming to form part of the Mesoamerican language area.
Many words from Nahuatl have been borrowed into Spanish and, from there, were diffused into hundreds of other languages. Most of these loanwords denote things indigenous to central Mexico which the Spanish heard mentioned for the first time by their Nahuatl names. English words of Nahuatl origin include "avocado", "chayote", "chili", "chocolate", "atlatl", "coyote", "peyote", "axolotl" and "tomato"; as a language label, the term "Nahuatl" encompasses a group of related languages or divergent dialects within the Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The Mexican Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas recognizes 30 individual varieties within the "language group" labeled Nahuatl; the Ethnologue recognizes 28 varieties with separate ISO codes. Sometimes the label is used to include the Pipil language of El Salvador. Regardless of whether "Nahuatl" is considered to label a dialect continuum or a group of separate languages, the varieties form a single branch within the Uto-Aztecan family, descended from a single Proto-Nahuan language.
Within Mexico, the question of whether to consider individual varieties to be languages or dialects of a single language is political. This article focuses on describing the general history of the group and on giving an overview of the diversity it encompasses. For details on individual varieties or subgroups, see the individual articles. In the past, the branch of Uto-Aztecan to which Nahuatl belongs has been called "Aztecan". From the 1990s onward, the alternative designation "Nahuan" has been used as a replacement in Spanish-language publications; the Nahuan branch of Uto-Aztecan is accepted as having two divisions: "General Aztec" and Pochutec. General Aztec encompasses the Pipil languages. Pochutec is a scantily attested language, which became extinct in the 20th century, which Campbell and Langacker classify as being outside of general Aztec. Other researchers have argued that Pochutec should be considered a divergent variant of the western periphery."Nahuatl" denotes at least Classical Nahuatl together with related modern languages spoken in Mexico.
The inclusion of Pipil into the group is debated. Lyle Campbell classified Pipil as separate from the Nahuatl branch within general Aztecan, whereas dialectologists like Una Canger, Karen Dakin, Yolanda Lastra and Terrence Kaufman have preferred to include Pipil within the General Aztecan branch, citing close historical ties with the eastern peripheral dialects of General Aztec. Current subclassification of Nahuatl rests on research by Canger and Lastra de Suárez. Canger introduced the scheme of a Central grouping and two Peripheral groups, Lastra confirmed this notion, differing in some details. Canger & Dakin demonstrated a basic split between Eastern and Western branches of Nahuan, considered to reflect the oldest division of the proto-Nahuan speech community. Canger considered the central dialect area to be an innovative subarea within the Western branch, but in 2011, she suggested that it arose as an urban koiné language with features from both Western and Eastern dialect areas. Canger tentatively included dialects of La Huasteca in the Central group, while Lastra de Suárez places them in the Eastern Periphery, followed by Kaufman.
The terminology used to describe varieties of spoken Nahuatl is inconsistently applied. Many terms are used with multiple denotations, or a single dialect grou