On my quest to see a little more of the tiny but fascinating State of Queretaro, I boarded a confusing combination of buses in Bernal and Ezekiel Montes to travel to Tequisquiapan, Mexico. This tiny town’s claim to fame is that it is the geographic center of the country, a fact seemingly confirmed by a monument erected in a plaza near the main square, however Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, all towns located in the central highlands, dispute Tequisquiapan’s claim, each insisting that they are the geographic center of Mexico.
Regardless of whether or not it is the true geographic center of Mexico, the town is an undiscovered gem. Founded in 1551 by an Otomi Indian chief, it has been known as Tequisquiapan since 1656, an Nahuatl word meaning “place of waters and tequesquites (a mineral similar to salt).” Today the narrow cobblestone streets overhung with luscious boughs of Bougainvilla, colonial-era buildings with wrought iron window frames, and especially the Templo de Santa Maria de la Asuncion, an exquisite Neoclassical church that anchors the central Plaza Miguel Hidalgo, make Tequisquiapan an ideal choice for a tranquil weekend getaway.
One of the main pleasures of a visit to Tequis is sitting in Plaza Miguel Hidalgo and enjoying the laid-back, almost sleepy rhythm of this village. A miniature passenger train toots shrilly as it circles the plaza loaded with delighted children, while parents watch from one of the many coffee shops, ice cream shops, and restaurants surrounding. Women in head scarves step into the church to offer midday prayers, while on the other side of the central fountain men congregate in the shade to play cards or have their shoes shined. Continue reading