THE CITY OF ORIZABA: What goes up (the volcano), must come down.
This city of about 100,000 Indians and mixed Spanish blood inhabitants is named for Mt. Orizaba (Citlaltepetl), Mexico’s highest peak and the third highest peak in North America at an elevation of about 18,406 ft. (5,610 meters). Only Mt. McKinley in Alaska and Mt. Logan in Canada are higher. Also referred to as Pico de Orizaba, it can have snow at its upper levels year-round but the climbing season is in Winter, which is just the opposite of the other North American climbs. That makes Orizaba a very popular destination from November through February. The climbers (and tourists) come principally from all over North America with some from Europe and beyond. They almost all speak English, so the English language teaching trade is booming. EFL and ELT professionals, local schools and businesses want and need your services!
There are several interesting websites with information on the volcano, which apparently last erupted in 1687 with prior eruptions in 1613 and 1537. The point is that unlike Mt. Popocatepetl, you won’t have to worry about flying hot rocks, molten lava or steaming craters of asphyxiating volcanic gas and suffocating ash. As with other mountains and natural features in the regions of the Aztecs, there is a legend attached to Citlaltepetl, a name that means “Star Mountain” in Nahuatl – the language of the Aztecs. Legend says that the feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl, was first consumed by sacred flames emerging from the heart of Pico de Orizaba, then took on human form and finally sailed from the Veracruz coast across the sea, vowing one day to return to his beloved people.
A spectacular view of Mt. Orizaba, a volcano and Mexico’s highest peak can be found at:
For a view of the crater of the volcano Orizaba from the summit go to
This view of Mt. Orizaba’s summit is also worth a look or two, or three…
For the more scientific-minded check out the volcano’s stats at:
http://volcano. und. nodak. edu/vwdocs/volc_tour/mex/19Pico_de_Orizaba.html
Another mountain-climbing site with great photo scenes of “Pico”:
GETTING TO AND AWAY FROM ORIZABA:
Orizaba is conveniently located on the main turnpike route between Mexico City in the mountains and the city of Veracruz on the Gulf Coast. There are frequent buses in both directions connecting to the smaller towns and pueblos, so getting there is a snap. Xalapa, the capitol city of the state of Veracruz, and the city of Puebla, which overlooks Mexico’s current volcano-in-action, can be easily reached as well. Travel by first-class ADO bus services is as follows between Orizaba and México City - 4 hours, Veracruz - 2 hours 15 mins. , Xalapa - 4 hours, Puebla - 2 hours 30 mins.
There is train service (El Jarocho) on the Veracruz – México City line, the fare is about 160 pesos one way. Check for an updated schedule in Mexico City or Veracruz in the train ride interests you. Presently, there is one train each way per day. In Orizaba, the train station is on the corner of Poniente 19 and Sur 10.
For English language teaching leads see the companion articles;
“Teaching English in Mexico: Orizaba Language Institutes”
“Teaching English in Mexico: Orizaba Jobs
Additional aspects of living and working in Orizabab can be found in the series;
“Traveling in Mexico: Picture Yourself Living in Orizaba”
“Traveling in Mexico: Hotels in Orizaba”
“Traveling in Mexico: The Food in Orizaba”
Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an ELT Teacher Trainer, English language learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. He has published more than 350 articles and academic papers and presented at numerous EFL teacher training and TEFL conferences throughout North America, South America and Europe. For comments, questions, requests, to receive more information or to be added to his free TESOL articles and teaching materials mailing list, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org