The town – Teotitlán del Valle is a rural town that maintains its Zapotec culture. In the municipal market, people gather at seven in the morning to buy foodstuffs and craft materials for their homes and businesses. Most people here retain ancient customs; a majority of the inhabitants speak Zapotec. Stone from the Zapotec temple that was incorporated into the foundation of the Preciosa Sangre de Cristo church. The two main landmarks in the town are the Preciosa Sangre de Cristo Church and the Community Museum. The Preciosa Sangre de Cristo Church is the main church of the town and municipality and was begun in 1581, although not completed until 1758. The front of the church is made of quarried stone called cantera with decorative stonework in the main entrance and choir window. This church was built on the site of a local Zapotec temple, which was destroyed when the Spanish arrived, replacing it with this church. In the foundations of the church, some of the construction of the original temple can be seen. On the side of the church is a small archeological area. Inside there are traces of 16th century decoration with pre-Hispanic motifs. The interior is also notable for a large number of colonial-era santos or statues of saints, many executed in fine polychrome that is well preserved to the present day. Another religious attraction is the Chapel of Cristo Grande located in a private home on Aquiles Serdan Street.
Community museum – The name of the community museum is Balaa Xtee Guech Gulal, which means “in the shadow of the old village/people.” The museum opened in 1995 and the most recent addition is a display dedicated to the Danza de la Pluma (Feather Dance). The museums contains sign in Spanish, English and Zapotec. There are three main halls, one dedicated to the archaeology of the municipality, one to crafts, and one to traditional weddings. The archeological hall contains mostly etched stones and ceramic items, which visitors can touch. A number of the pieces show signs of Olmec visitation to the area around 500 BCE. The crafts room contains items such as old photographs, looms, exhibits on how wool is processed and dyes are made and used to make textiles. The wedding hall contains a recreation of the groom performing his customary, ceremonial obligations, such as gifts. There is also a wedding mural. According to the Enciclopedia de los Municipios de Mexico, one custom of betrothal involves the prospective groom going to the prospective bride’s parents, bringing gifts such as bread, candles, decorations, chocolate and fruit. Another is to “rob” the girl (quotes in the original), then find someone to negotiate a wedding with the parents. This person generally is someone with a good reputation in the community and usually is a senior citizen. She or he communicates the intentions of the boy and states where the girl is, often with fireworks to indicate the location. After negotiations, the parents set a wedding date and all come together to arrange the wedding. The town’s major festival is the Feast of the Precious Blood of Christ which occurs each year on the first Wednesday of July and lasts about a week. The event has carnival rides and a basketball tournament but the main feature is “Danza de la Pluma” or Feather Dance (called Guyach in Zapotec). Dancers wear elaborate headdresses made from painted feathers, giving rise to the name in Spanish. The dance commemorates the conquest of the Aztec by the Spanish. The town has a tour service called Tourist Yú’ù which brings and orients visitors to such locations as the community museum, the archeological zone, the municipality dam and two natural formations called Picacho and Cuevitas. The most characteristic dishes here include mole negro, mole amarillo, liver with eggs and tamales, which can be filled with mole, corn, cheese, or chicken. Popular local beverages include hot chocolate, atole, atole with pulque, and mezcal.