chapter
Prologue
ByCasper Jacobsen
Pages 6

Cuetzalan is a hillside town and municipal capital in the state of Puebla, approximately 300 kilometers northeast of Mexico City in the mountainous Sierra de Puebla. The Reform War and the War of the French Intervention caused increasing numbers of wealthy mestizo families to flee from the district capital Zacapoaxtla, 35 kilometers to the south, and seek refuge in Cuetzalan. Indeed, Cuetzalan and other early participant towns were invited to join the program by their respective state governments on behalf of Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism precisely because they were already important tourist destinations. Most people in Cuetzalan are losing on the government-instigated venture in small-town tourism. In Cuetzalan, program resources have mainly financed restoration projects in the central part of town, and the designation as Magical Village has sanctified Cuetzalan as the place to go in the area, while simultaneously consolidating a promotional strategy constructed around an indigenous image.