In Central Mexico volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl are protagonist of an Aztec legend eerily similar to the one of Romeo and Juliet. Pilgrimages, offerings and sacrifices have been performed on their slopes since ancient times. After the arrival of the Spanish, the missionaries’ attempt to impose Christianity succeeded. The purpose of wiping out the indigenous pantheon failed.
Currently more than 80% of Mexican citizens identify with a Roman Catholic faith, but pre-hispanic ceremonies are still performed and local communities maintained throughout the centuries a strong bond with nature, venerated as deified.
In the present time that sees mankind trying to bend nature to its own needs, volcanoes are among the few natural phenomena to instill respect and marvel. The cults which developed in their surroundings see them as alive and sentient beings.