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Not All Who Wander El Zócalo Are Lost

The crowded streets of El Zócalo, where cars are not allowed to pass through, filled with museums and old architecture

Every Sunday Morning, at about 8:45 am, my host mom, a friend, and I embark on our Sunday adventure, beginning with Sunday morning mass. Beginning my day with Mass is beautiful as I am allowed to maintain a practice incredibly important to me at home. Going with my host mom and friend makes it feel like I am with family. We then go to breakfast, feasting on foods ranging from pancakes, to quesadillas, to menudo (known as pancita in the capital) with a cafecito de hoya or an authentic hot chocolate. To help the food settle, we walk, spending hours in different parts of the city. One Sunday, we spent the late morning into the afternoon walking through Coyoacán, through its markets that sell artisanal crafts, clothes, food, books – almost anything you could ask for. Everyone greets you, many of them with the now familiar phrase “Pásele, lo que le agrade” meaning “come on in, see what you would like.” Another Sunday we went to El Zócalo, the downtown of México City, walking down Paseo de la Reforma, a historical avenue, starting from the Angel de la Independencia. It was a long walk, but along the way, since every Sunday the city facilitates “Muévete en Bici” or “Move on a Bike”, we got to observe the entire avenue closed to cars and filled with people biking, skating, running, and walking. El Zócalo, like Coyoacán is filled with street vendors. There is also a lot of music from barrel organs, and people dancing ritual dances in indigenous outfits. With these dances comes the smell of incense and herbs. And everywhere you go, whether in Coyoacán, El Zócalo, or even just making your way to a corner store, there is an abundance of vibrant colors.

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