“The unexpected beauty of the village…left me spellbound; I’m still walking those cobblestoned streets, up the steep hills, turning a corner and stopping, dumbstruck at the bright colors of the ‘papel picado’ paper streamers festooning the streets and houses…All of it an enormous gift.”


Our roots in the village of Tepoztlán enable us to offer our participants an insider’s look at one of Mexico’s most beautiful and historically rich pueblos, one that has maintained its pre-Hispanic dignity through an impressive array of traditions and proud resistance to over-development.

Heavenly Panorama (Gary Chiappetta

Photo credit: Gary Chiappetta

“Definitely a place that encourages creativity. Also felt somehow ‘outside’ the normal sphere of a busy town or city, and gave a feeling of being in a different realm.”


An hour southwest of Mexico City in the foothills of the great volcanoes, Tepoztlán is famous for its intoxicating air, cobbled streets, adobe houses draped in bougainvillea, and unusual fidelity to pre-Columbian traditions. The village is also known for its elaborate processions and fiestas, which become part of our program for the week.

Tríptico Tepoz

Photos, left to right: Magda Bogin, Loretta Collins, Sebastián Beláustegui

The people of Tepoztlán are descended from the Tlahuica inhabitants of the fertile valley that leads toward nearby Cuernavaca. To this day, the oral traditions of that culture survive in legends handed down from generation to generation, told now in Spanish, though a few old people can still recite the ancient poems in Náhuatl. Their defeat of a proposed golf complex (the so-called “Golf War”) made international headlines in the mid-1990’s and has inspired communities elsewhere in Mexico.

Tepoztlán is a paradise for those inclined to hike, visit nearby ruins, sample the local food or work on their Spanish. For those wishing to enroll in customized classes, we highly recommend Cemanahuac.