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Church Tower
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New Year's Day Revelry
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Cappo d’Anno (New Year's Day)
Early on New Year's Day Chipilo's streets are filled with families going house-to-house asking for sweets. They stand in front of a house, sing a song and treats are given out.
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El Niño
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Cacahuates (Peanuts)
Peanuts (cacahuates) are the traditional treat although now it's typically candy.
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Niña
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Bocce
Every Sunday, a group of men (and it was all men the two times I was there) gather to play bocce, a popular Italian game.
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The Measurement
There are two teams, each with five players (or it could be four). The object is to get your colored balls closer to the one yellow ball than the other team's colored balls.
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¡Salud!
In addition to the game, there's plenty of food and drink, mostly tequila and mezcal.
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Jorge Adjusting La Befana
La Befana is a tradition brought over from northern Italy. Apparently, she's found throughout Italy but stories about her vary. In some places, she's a bad witch but in Chipilo, she's a good witch. Here, Jorge's making some final adjustments to her clothing.
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Moving La Befana
Early in the morning on January 5th, La Befana is moved from the carpenter's shop where she was built to the front of the church.
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La Befana in Front of the Church
La Befana--all 4.5 meters (15 feet) of her will stay in front of the church until night.
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La Quema (The Burning)
La Befana's driven to the local ball field where about 2,000 people witnessed her burning. There are several stories about why this is done: she's guiding the Wise Men to the baby Jesus; she's burning off all the bad things from the previous year; the ashes are spreading good things around the world. I'm sure there are more. Take your pick.
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Flavio and Luís
Flavio and his son posing in their dairy yard.
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Antonio
Gaudencio is a worker in the dairy.
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Guillermo
Guillermo has a dairy, a cheese store and two pizzerias. A busy man.
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Ely
Ely owns a cheese store.
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Desire
I ate at Guillermo's pizzeria in Puebla and it was some of the best pizza I've ever had. I don't know this young man's name but he's the son of the Adrian, who makes the pizzas.
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Zuri Harvesting Darichi (Dandelion)
Zuri is my friend and guide in Chipilo and she's gathering dandelion leaves which are traditionally eaten in a salad.
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Elena
Zuri took me to visit Elena and her family. When I asked permission to take a portrait, Elena wasn't very cooperative--all the first few shots were her staring at the camera. So I said, "Señor, una sonrisa por favor" (M'am, a smile please) and I got the shot I wanted.

Chipilo, Puebla

Chipilo is a pueblo founded on October 2, 1882 by Italians from the Veneto region in northern Italy. In the mid- to late-1800's, the Mexican government encouraged Europeans to settle in Mexico, hoping they'd help modernize the country's agriculture. Most came from Italy and settled throughout Mexico but Chipilo's the only pueblo to maintain its language and traditions.

I was there for a couple of weeks and photographed New Year's Day, where families go through the pueblo asking for treats. It's basically a daytime version of Halloween without costumes. I was also there for La Befana, a tradition brought from Italy.

The pueblo's known for its cheeses and excellent Italian restaurants.