Cascade Park

Cascade Park

Monday, October 31, 2016

An Afternoon in Celaya

After we checked out of the hotel in Celaya on Sunday morning, Alejandro wanted to explore the "centro histórico" before we headed back to Mexico City.  Our hotel was located on the outskirts of Celaya, so Alejandro set the GPS to give us directions to the center of the city.  I have never really trusted GPS systems...( give me a good road map any day)... and my mistrust was only confirmed that day.  The GPS led us on a wild goose chase, and we ended up on a dirt road far from the city center.  Alejandro was about ready to just find the highway and return to Mexico City, but he asked directions from someone.  We finally made it to downtown Celaya.

Celaya is a busy city with a population of over 300,000.  The historic center is dotted with a number of colonial churches, and the town square is a pleasant plaza lined with sculpted laurel trees.  

Otherwise, I did not find the city to be especially attractive.  But what Celaya lacked in picturesqueness it made up for in its bustling, festive atmosphere on this warm, sunny Sunday afternoon before the Day of the Dead.

On the plaza a band concert was in full swing...

There were several stands where children could have their faces painted for the holiday.

 And children were not the only ones with painted faces.

We walked into the courtyard of the former Augustinian monastery which is now a cultural center.   There the Celaya Youth Band was rehearsing for a concert.  They were playing my favorite contemporary Mexican song, "¿Cómo Te Voy a Olvidar?"

This street performer had a fantastic voice.  She definitely should be on the stage.


These fellows outside of the market were selling caged birds.

This vendor was selling roasted peanuts and garbanzos.

I'm sure that the flower vendors in the market were doing a good business that day.  In fact, see all those empty buckets?  I suspect they were selling out.

The traditional flower for the Day of the Dead is the marigold.  In Mexico it is known by the Aztec name of "cempasúchil".

Before we left Celaya, I stopped in a shop and bought a jar of Celaya's most famous product... "cajeta".  "Cajeta" is a tasty caramel sauce made from goats' milk.  One of my favorite Mexican desserts is crepes with "cajeta".  It is also very good on vanilla ice cream.

It was soon time to leave Celaya and head back to Mexico City. 


  1. This reminds me of an older Mexican guy who I met at my landlord's wedding. When I told him I was from Boston, he said, "Oh yes, Massasúchil." I got a good laugh out of that one -- Boston on the shores of Xochimilco.


    Kim G
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Where the state name is indeed indigenous, but not Nahuatl.

    1. And whenever Alejandro and I walk down Avenida Michoacán, he laughingly calls it Avenida Michigan.