January 23, 1999
The Aztecs dominated this entire region before the Spanish conquered them in 1521. During our Mexico Trek we learned that Mexico City now sits on the former Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán. In the first half of the 14th Century, the Valle de México was comprised of several lakes, and Tenochtitlán was founded on one of its islands. The Aztecs considered themselves the chosen people of their god of war, Huizilopochtli, in accordance with their tribal legends. They were originally nomads that were led from the northern and western parts of Mexico to the islands in the valley by their priests. Soon after their arrival, they rose to become the most powerful people of the region.
The Aztecs joined forces with the two other valley states of Texcoco and Tlacopan, forming the Triple Alliance, which was created to combat the Tlaxcala and Huejotzingo living just east of the valley. The Aztecs were famous for sacrificing the lives of their captured prisoners to "help keep the sun alive" and honor their gods. While some people argue this didn't really happen, the largest rumored sacrifice was for the dedication of the Templo Mayor (Great Temple) in Tenochtitlán, where the Aztec king sacrificed 20,000 prisoners.
The Aztec kings held absolute power over more than a million people. Many of these people were excellent farmers who utilized stone and wooden tools along with advanced irrigation systems. Others were professional soldiers or merchants who extended the empire and brought their acquired goods back to the capital. The Aztecs worshiped many gods and built hundreds of temples in their honor. This devotion proved fatal for the empire when King Ahuizotl's successor Montezuma II mistook Spaniard Hernán Cortés for the feathered serpent god Quetzalcóatl as Cortés landed on the shore of the Gulf Coast in 1519. Montezuma then allowed himself to be captured by Cortés, and soon thereafter the empire fell before the invading Spanish, who ruled for hundreds of years thereafter.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Mexico City
Kidz in La Paz
Plaza of Three Cultures, Much Pain
Abeja and Kavitha...Soap Opera Divas
Mamá Rumba - The Next Best Thing
Tacos al pastor, por favor
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