Let me start this out by saying we never found any hot sauce stores in Cholula (one of our favorite brands of Mexican hot sauce in the states). How are they not capitalizing on this? I need to teach some sales courses at the university….
We stopped in Cholula to break up our very long drive to Oaxaca from Mexico City and had zero expectations or knowledge about this small city, which is really a suburb of Puebla. Turns out is was a really pretty city full of university students and lots of cafes, bars and churches. Lots and lots of churches. It also has the largest pyramid in the New World. The crazy thing is that it does not look like a pyramid because it was never fully excavated on the outside. It looks like a huge hill with a giant church on top. In the 1500s the Spanish (with their sensitive respect towards indigenous cultures) decided that they would build a church on top of this giant pyramid. Turns out the mix of the significance of the ancient civilization to the indigenous cultures, combined with the newer church (new as in 500 years ago), has turned this into a very popular Catholic pilgrimage site. I guess things work out with enough time to buffer history.
On a side note, on our way to Cholula we visited the ruins of Cacaxtla. I had read in National Geographic that this site had the best preserved murals in Mexico. We were literally the only ones there. The murals were indeed impressive, but I would not go out of my way to see them unless you are really into ancient history. The Maya influence in the art perplexed scholars (they did not know the civilizations were interacting).