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Miracles in a Mining Town

By Alba Espinosa |

Tlalpujahua is a mining town whose urban landscape serves as a monument dedicated to its history, and its history inspired people to believe in miracles.


In the state of Michoacan, adjacent to the State of Mexico, lies Tlalpujahua, a destination that’s popular in winter because of the numerous Christmas ornaments that are sold there, but that also houses many other attractions that can be visited year round. DINKtravelers invites you to travel to this mining town whose urban landscape, rich in hills and typical houses, is both rustic and traditional.


Mining did not only determine the trace of the city but it also inspired people to believe in a series of miracles and caused several catastrophes. On the eve of May 27th 1937, while Tlalpujahua’s inhabitants were still asleep, the accumulation of mineral waste plunged onto the town creating a mud avalanche that destroyed everything on its way, including the boroughs of Cuadrilla and El Carmen. In the latter, there was a church of which only the tower survived as a witness of the tragedy.

The easiest way to reach the tower is by car, but we recommend going on foot so that you enjoy walking the streets that lead the way in perfect conjunction with nature. In that sense, don’t forget to pack comfortable clothes and shoes because the road is full of slopes.

Once you’re standing before the tower, the tales of the people who still remember the incident will enrich what you already know about its history. Actually, it turns out that even though the rest of the monument was destroyed, there was a painting of Our Lady of Carmen made on an adobe wall that also remained intact. This inspired devotion in locals and foreigners who nowadays organize pilgrimages to this destination in order to see the painting.

After the avalanche, news of the image having survived the catastrophe was spread. It became so famous that it was finally transported in procession to the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, another touristic attraction that you’ll love to visit thanks to its neoclassic façade and its interior decorated with plant motifs elaborated in painted plaster. The image was installed on the main altar, reinforcing its popularity and turning it into the actual symbol of Tlalpujahua.