Amid the ash, life goes on under Mexico’s most dangerous volcano

For months now, the volcano has been spewing molten rocks and shooting massive columns of ash into the sky.


World News

May 25, 2023 - 4:25 PM

Popocatepetl volcano spews incandescent material as seen from Paso de Cortés on May 23, 2023, in Amecameca, Mexico. Photo by (Cristopher Rogel Blanquet/Getty Images/TNS)

SANTIAGO XALITZINTLA, Mexico — Each spring, residents of this village tucked at the base of one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes trek up to a cave near its crater to make a peace offering.

Their gifts of fruit, flowers and turkey cooked in sweet mole are meant to placate Popocatépetl, the nearly 18,000-foot-high volcano viewed by many here not just as a geological wonder, but also as a mythological being whose whims have long shaped the lives of those in its shadows.

These days, the consensus among villagers is clear: Popocatépetl isn’t happy.

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