Mexico City residents looking to buy Flor de Cempasuchitl (marigolds) to decorate their Day of the Dead altars will find plenty on offer on the capital’s south side.
For a second consecutive year, cempasúchil (Mexican marigold) producers will sell their flowers at the “Agro-touristic Flowers of Mictlán Route” in the borough of Xochimilco. Mictlán is the name of the underworld in Aztec, or Mexica, mythology.
Along this year’s route, which runs through the chinampas (floating gardens) of San Luis Tlaxialtemalco, the town of San Gregorio Atlapulco, and the San Juan Acuexcomatl Plants and Flowers Market, a grand total of 231 producers will be selling some 2.8 million marigolds, which are said to lure souls back from the dead with their bright color and powerful perfume.
Inaugurated on October 14 at a ceremony attended by Mexico City officials and marigold growers, the route will remain open daily through November 2. Anyone interested in following the route can do so on bicycle or foot between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Environment Minister Marina Robles García said the sale of 2.8 million marigolds in Xochimilco will inject some 100 million pesos (US $4.9 million) into the local economy. She described the marigold route as “extremely important” for the area.
Columba López Gutiérrez, general director of the Natural Resources and Rural Development Commission, said that Xochimilco marigold producers not only sell locally but also send flowers to 20 states across the country. She noted that production and sales have increased significantly in recent years, generating additional jobs.
López highlighted the support the Mexico City government has provided to growers via the Altepetl program, which seeks to conserve agricultural land and boost production in a sustainable way. “The economic, social and environmental impact the Altepetl program has had is quite big and we can now reap results, not just with the cempasúchil,” she said.