Bienvenidos a Xochimilco (soo-chee-mill-ko). This indigenous word translates to "place of flowers," or more accurately, little Venice of la Ciudad de Mexico. At one point, Mexico City was comprised a series of lake beds and canals such as in Xochimilco. The indigenous people lived on the banks and navigated the canals with various barcas (boats). Today, Xochimilco is a place for rest, relaxation, fun with good friends and LOTS of fabulous food.
I joined a group of friends (gringas y Mexicano/as) for a birthday celebration at this fabulous location, true Xochimilco style. To celebrate the occasion, we hired a boat and some extremely experienced fourteen-year old boat captains. We also partook in the local cuisine (tacos, chincaron (fried pig skin), avocados, limes, chips, cerveza and some birthday postre).
Each boat is named after an adored woman and her name is posted on a beautiful placard. Traditionally these placards were covered with fresh flowers. Today...its more of a 1980s flourescent theme. As you float down the canals, you are visited by neighboring boats carrying mariachis playing Mexicano cancions, women making corn, quesadillas and the like, and other vendadors selling anything from handmade dolls to giant sombreros.
It was a day to remember in la Ciudad de Mexico. One indicative of the locals' relaxed and friendly demeanor, and true appreciation of time with friends and family.