Last Friday I had the honor of giving a tour of the Town I live in to the Director (Lic. Fernando Juarez) of INTEC (A school of Computation), some Teachers & Students. It’s not often that anyone wants to tour Apizaco as it is more of an industrial city than a tourist area, but there are a few interesting things to see.
Apizaco in Nahuatl language means place of thin water or literally “little creek”, it was started by railroad workers in 1866 who were building the first railroad line from Veracruz to Mexico City. At that time is was little more than a camp for the workers. So most of Apizacos history is based around the railroad. They built workshops and a roundhouse and little did they realize back then that it would become a thriving city.
When the first trains started running in Mexico Benito Juarez came down on it to inaugarate the station in Puebla, it did an astounding maximum speed of 32 kilometers per hour. He stopped in Apizaco where he was given a 21 canon salute. And with the modernizing of the transport system it caused a boom in business, suddenly ranchers could get there cattle to market more efficiently, pulque (cactus juice) sales soared , the sport of bullfighting reached new heights, all kinds of new businesses bloomed.
Crime also modernized, on February 20th of 1870, a group of armed horsemen robbed the train of 2700 pesos (pesos were gold back then) and watches, rings, etc., by a bandit leader named Sotero Lozano. As he was departing he gave the Conductor a signed receipt for the amount robbed. Why he did that I have no idea…..maybe he thought if he was caught he would tell the judge he intended paying it back ??
Just 3 weeks later the train was robbed again by a group of bandits lead by Paulino Noriega… this time no receipt. The railroad learned its lessen and the next trains carried a contingent of armed soldiers, thus ending the robberies.
On the tour we visited the Basilica of the Virgen of Mercy, the monument of Railroad Hero, Jesus Garcia who jumped aboard a train of gunpowder and roared out of town (the town of Nacozari, Sonora) and died in a tremendous explosion but saved the town., also we visited the train museum, a miniature train exhibit and the railroad union offices where we were greeted by the Secretary General in charge of the Railway Workers Union, (Mr. Pedro Stevenson) and his brother Marco Antonio Stevenson who explained the murals in the building and train history.
Retired Railway Worker Don Ruben Leon told us many interesting anecdotes & stories about his work with the railroad in Apizaco.
To see more of our tour of Apizaco, go to this link…… http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2062578&id=1162394476&l=1ddc961fb5