We visited the nearby town of Tlacotalpan (Nahuatl name meaning “between the rivers”) some 25 miles south of Veracruz on the coast. This lovely colorful town is an UNESCO World Heritage site, the scene of very early settlement and the beginnings of Jarocho culture. Jarocho is a term now applied to any person originating in Veracruz state. Years ago it applied just to the mixed race population around Tlacotalpan, combining indigenous peoples with Spanish and African – more African than Spanish. Nowadays all Mexicans recognize the proud Jarocho traditions of Veracruz.

While in Tlacotalpan, we visited the charming old church of San Miguel, where don Manuel insisted on showing us around. He urged us to ascend the bell tower, where some of these photos were taken. Later, in the cultural center, we came upon a weekend class of youngsters taking a Danzón lesson! Then we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner in a café overlooking the river.

Veracruz Zocalo night life