Otatitlán, Veracruz
Home of "El Cristo Negro"

A Tropical Paradise

Photos and Text by John Todd, Jr.

Protected by Angels
Time to Go
Germán told me lunch would be ready soon, and I was getting a little hungry, too.

It was also getting late, so it was time to head back to his house.

When I visit religious shrines I like to buy a souvenir to take home.

So, we stopped at the booth in front attended by a very old lady, and selected a small version of the Cristo Negro from among the many things to buy.
Fresh pozole
Lunch is Ready
Today it was pozole, a dish that I think originated in Southern Mexico.

It is mostly pozole corn with a lot of other things like tender morsels of pork. It can also be made with seafood, or chicken.

There are side ingredients, according to your own taste, like finely sliced lettuce, diced radishes, fresh avocado slices, oregano, onions, fresh lime, tostadas, and of course, chile sauce.

This time it was the potent red "chile de árbol".

There was a choice of ice cold Coke or a refresco de sabores. Each was ice cold.
The Fixings for pozole
It was good!
To the Dock
Annual River Procession
After lunch, I reluctantly I headed back to the Hotel Don Pepe to pick up my things and check out. Doña Paty asked me when I was coming back.

"You should be here for the fiesta time when the town really fills up."

"Here we celebrate the Day of the Holy Cross and the Señor de Otatitlán from April 29 to May 3."
Back on the Ferry
"It´s very exciting, señor, because we have a procession that starts with floating the Cristo Negro on a special raft down the Papaloapan River from the bridge up river down to our dock."

"A lot of people like to follow in their own boats."

"Each year, we see the miracle repeated, when the river current carries his raft, all on its own, back to the dock in front of our town, and brings us another year of good fortune."
Back to Civilization
Otatitlán is Fine the Way It Is
Then everyone on shore follows the procession as it continues on to our church. I think you would enjoy it, señor."

"No, Doña Paty," I said politely. "I like Otatitlán just the way it is now." She thanked me for staying at her hotel, and wished me a speedy return."

On the way back to the river in the bici taxi, I thanked my neighbor for having invited me to this special place.

She simply said, "I knew you´d like it."

Looking across the river where my car was parked, I had some twinges of regret, having to leave this little town and go back to civilization.

Then I thought, it´s only about 2 hours from Veracruz, and I can always come back. And, I did.

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