Cuernavaca, Mexico

Sister City since 2008.

Meet Minneapolis is a proud partner with the City of Minneapolis to celebrate Dias de los Muertos in the city of Minneapolis, October 30- November 2. Check out more information about events here.

Featured Event:

Las Flores de Zapata – Film, Ofrenda, and Community

2019 commemorates one hundred years of remembrance of the life and lucha of visionary Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata. El Caudillo del Sur, as he was nicknamed for leading the fight for Mexican Indigenous rights and agrarian reform, was born in Anenecuilco, Morelos, Mexico. An important year to honor and uplift stories of struggle, triumph, and resistance, Minnesota and Morelos are coming together to share in this deep history, and we invite you to join us during Días de los Muertos (Days of the Dead).

On Saturday, November 2nd starting at 3:00 p.m., local Mexican folk artist Monica Vega will lead a talk about the tradition of Días de los Muertos and the significance of ofrenda-making. Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in building the ofrenda by creating a small item of Zapata’s remembrance under the guidance of the artist. Attendees will also be able to take home a small obsequio that they have personally made on-site to help them remember the importance of Zapata’s life on enriching Mexican culture and identity. 

At 4:00 p.m., we’ll present the documentary film Los Últimos Zapatistas, Héroes Olvidados (The Last Zapatistas, Forgotten Heroes), followed by a community conversation and reception with Cuernavaca-based filmmaker Francesco Taboada Tabone, Emiliano Zapata’s grandson Don Manuel Manrique Zapata, and Monica Vega.

All the above programming is free and open to the public. While there is no cost to view the film, we ask that you please register in advance at the Cine Latino website. The community ofrenda will be available for viewing from Friday, November 1st to Sunday, November 3rd during regular museum hours.

The celebration will be attended by dignitaries of the Cuernavaca Sister City delegation hosted by Mayor Jacob Frey and Council Member Alondra Cano. Next year, this Sister City relationship will give way to a more sustained Mexican traditional and folk arts exchange between Minneapolis-based artists and Mexican master artists. We thank the Minnesota State Arts Board for their generous support.

We also thank our current project collaborators: City of Minneapolis, the Weisman Art Museum, Meet Minneapolis, Minneapolis-Cuernavaca Sister City Association, the Minnesota Vikings, and Cine Latino.

To read more about the “Flores de Zapata” event and collaboration, please keep checking


In Los Últimos Zapatistas, Héroes Olvidados (The Last Zapatistas, Forgotten Heroes), a cadre of elderly ex-soldiers who fought beside General Emiliano Zapata in the 1910 Mexican Revolution vividly relate tales of battle and daring, nearly a century after the war’s end. Through colorful and candid interviews, these survivors of the legendary Liberation Army of the South reveal a collective history not to be found in any book. They speak of the failure of the Revolution and of the agrarian, social and ecological challenges still threatening their country today. Los Últimos Zapatistas, Héroes Olvidados was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2003 Ariel Awards.


November 1 – 7, the MSP Film Society presents the 7th Annual Cine Latino Film Festival on Screen #3 at St. Anthony Main Theatre! The region’s only showcase of Latin American and Ibero cinema, Cine Latino features a rich tapestry of narrative and documentary films from across the globe from some of the world’s most acclaimed and up-and-coming Spanish- and Portuguese-language filmmakers. Info and tickets are available on




Francisco Antonio Villalobos Adán

Miles/kms to Minneapolis: 

1832mi/2948.5 kms




Often referred to as Mexico's "City of Eternal Spring", Cuernavaca is a destination prized by tourists for its warm and stable climate. It is located in Mexico's south-central region state, Morelos. The city came to be as a result of an Aztec emperor's (Acamapichtli's) victory, around 1396, over the ruler of the region called 'Tlalnahuatl' in the area south of the Valley of Mexico. Subsequently, the area was then renamed 'Cuauhnahuac', in the Aztec (Nahuatl) language. It is believed that the union of the emperor and a princess of the conquered Tlalnahuatl people resulted in the birth of Montezuma I, the fifth emperor and unifier of all Aztec peoples. Through the 1400s, as the Aztec empire expanded under Montezuma I, Cuernavaca grew in size and strength, subsuming other peoples of the province intro the empire. Then, around 1520, Cortes brought the Spanish to the city, conquering the Aztecs and founding plantations on the fertile surrounding land. In 1526, Cortes built a great palace for his wife in the city, though eventually Cortes moved his family to Altacomulco, the palace remains in Cuernavaca to this day. With the arrival of the Franciscans and founding of their monastery in 1529, the Spanish presence and expansion began. By 1786, the development and reorganizing of "New Spain" resulted in a system of 12 Mexican provinces wherein Cuernavaca became ancillary to Mexico City. It was the war for Mexican Independence (1810-1821) and the signing of the Mexican Constitution in 1824 that led to independence for the state of Morelos and Cuernavaca, as well. And in 1833 the Mexican government declared the Palace of Cortes property of the people.

Independence from Spanish rule, however, was only the beginning of a long struggle to be free. During the Mexican American War (1846-1848), Cuernavaca saw its leadership in Mexico City replaced by a junta who voted in a new president. Then, in 1856, under president Alvarez, Cuernavaca was declared separate from Mexico City. Unfortunately for the city, the result was that during the Franco-Mexican Intervention of 1861, Cuernavaca fell to French control. This governmental arraignment lasted until 1867 when the French-installed ruler fell as fighting broke out between the residents of Cuernavaca and the Mexican Republican army out of Mexico City.

In the end, by 1869, Morelos was designated as its own state within Mexico and Cuernavaca its capital. Thus began the establishment and development of Cuernavaca as the city we know today. The banks, schools, and hotels that were built from this period on now form this hub for tourism and business.


The primary economic activities in Cuernavaca focus on manufacturing. Some of these products include: foods, pharmaceuticals, clothing, textiles, and automobiles. Secondary sources of growth involve service oriented endeavors and agriculture. Sugar is still a large sector of the farming of these climes, in addition to corn, cotton, beans, and tropical fruit grown on orchards.

Did you know?

* "Cuernavaca" was given then nickname "The City of Eternal Spring" by German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.

* The former Palace of Cortes has been restored and dedicated as a history museum. The Museo Regional Cuauhnahuac features many murals painted by Diego Revera that depict the history of the Morelos State.

* The city's Aztec (Nahuatl) name 'Cuauhnahuac' means "surrounded by trees".

* During the "Prohibition" years in American, Cuernavaca was a popular vacation spot for gambling. It attracted celebrities such as Rita Hayworth as well as some notorious figures the likes of Al Capone and Bugsy Segal.

* Temperatures in the region of Cuernavaca rarely go below 15C/55F or above 28C/82F.

* In the late 1950's Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton built an extravagant Japanese style palace on 30 acres in Cuernavaca. Designed by Japanese artist and architects and surrounded by Japanese gardens, the mansion was converted to a hotel and resort. It now operates under the name Camino Real Sumiya.

* Not far from the city are volcanoes towering 20,000 feet above the valley. Archeological digs atop these mountains have traced artifacts dating to pre-Columbian era and the sites allow for compelling excursions into the history of the Morelos region.

* Counter-culture leader of the so-called psychedelic movement, Timothy Leary, was reported to have first tried psilocybin mushrooms while on vacation in Cuernavaca circa 1960.

* Cuernavaca remains a celebrated vacation destination for people around the world having attracted a large number of expatriates. All manner of former diplomats, actors, business executives, and government officials make up the pool of foreign retirees living in the area. Nonetheless, the city draws a good number of young people and students from other countries who come to visit and study here.

* In 1957, "Our Cabana Center" was opened at Cuernavaca by the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Guides.

Why is it a sister city?

*Cuernavaca shares with Minneapolis a rich history, longstanding educational connections, and a serious appreciation of the arts.

*Minneapolis is home to the descendants of many people from Morelos who settled in the Midwest.

*Biotechnology, Agriculture, and Medical research are core enterprises in both cities.


Visit Mexico: Cuernavaca

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