Anales de Tepoztlán

The Portada de Semillas for the Annual Fiesta on the 8th of September,

“The Nativity and the Legend of del Tepozteco

by Mario S. Flores Oropeza

The creation of the Portada is the responsibility of the merchants who are organized by area and by their unions, which are:

1. The union of the inside of the market.
2. The union in front of the municipal government building
3. The union of vendors on the north side
4. Tianquiztli
5. Union of Revolution Avenue

These unions have representatives who coordinate all the activities concerning the Portada. The work is initiated with a meeting of these representatives in which two things are decided - whether or not they shall create a portada, which has always been an affirmative decision - and the agreement of the contribution which each member merchant shall make.

They also form a commission to visit architect Arturo Demesa who is in charge of making the preliminary drawing with all its symbolism complete. Afterwards, the representatives have meetings area by area where they inform their members about the agreements that have been made. These are accepted since they all view the portada as a responsibility which assists the preservation of our traditions and each of our companions gladly contributes. Basically, all the work is organized in these two meetings.

Later, with the plans ready, in mid July, activity begins. They take down the Portada from last year and clean and repaint its iron framework. This is the only part that will be reused in the next Portada. At the same time, they order the necessary amount of wood which is usually the same as the year before. With the base ready and the wood at hand (between the 20th and 25th of July), they begin to add the sheets of plywood to the metal framework. Meanwhile, each union organizes itself to help with the gluing on of the seeds. They do this in groups of more or less ten, according to whatever each union decides, and they also decide who will bring rolls and coffee to the workers.

Between the 5th and 10th of August, they begin to draw the design on the plywood and at this time the gluing of the seeds commences. This is done by cuatequitl (voluntary communal work). All of this requires some 45 dias of arduous activity in which merchants, artisans, volunteers and (including tourists) participate. The work is completed on the 7th of September and culminates with the installation of the mural on the arch at the entry to the atrium of the Church of the Nativity. This evening becomes a celebration with Mexican snacks and band music to harmonize the fiesta. At the end there is a presentation of the symbolism of the new portada.


Cleaning and preparing the work site

Sr. Gilberto Ortiz Trejo
Sr. Mario S. Flores Oropeza

Arq. Arturo Demesa

Selection and acquisition of the seeds
Sr. Rafael Carrillo Campos

Coordinators of the drawing
Arq. Arturo Demesa
Sr. Rafael Carrillo Campos

Coordinators of the gluing of the seeds
Sra. Maria Flores Garcia
Sr. Simon Rojas Ortiz
Sr. Mario S. Flores Oropeza
Sra. Cecilia Cortes
Arq. Arturo Demesa
Sr. Rafael Carrillo Campos