Here are two of Mexico’s most popular love stories to bring out the hopeless romantic in you.
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Mexicans are hopeless romantics. Eternal love is always present in art, music, and literature.
But for some reason, tragic love is one of the most popular themes in traditional Mexican love stories. I suppose we just can’t live without the drama!
In keeping with tradition, both of these stories are about star-crossed lovers, but tragedy aside, they are two of the most beloved love stories in Mexico.
Mexican Love Stories That Will Melt Your Heart
The Legend of the Volcanoes
Centuries ago, the mighty Aztec empire ruled over many nations and tribes, demanding a costly tribute from each.
Only one nation had refused to fall under Aztec domination. The kingdom of Tlaxcala remained defiant and free but continuously assailed by the Aztec army.
It was during this dark time that the beautiful princess of Tlaxcala, Iztaccihuatl, fell in love with the kingdom’s most valiant warriors, Popocatepetl.
The brave Popocatepetl askedthe king for the princess’ hand in marriage. The king agreed, but the wedding was to take place only after the kingdom had achieved victory over the Aztecs.
So princess Iztaccihuatl bade a teary farewell to her beloved Popocatepetl, who swore he would soon return to be together forever.
The Tlaxcala army had to wage a long and bloody war to keep the Aztecs from taking over their country. But in the end, the small kingdom managed to drive out the invading army.
Messengers rushed ahead to the capital with news of victory, and Popocatepetl began the march home, his heart longing to reunite with his princess.
Just as Iztaccihuatl was waiting to receive word of her beloved Popocatepetl, a messenger arrived with terrible news: the brave warrior had died in battle.
The princess Iztaccihuatl was overcome with terrible grief. Unable to bear it, the beautiful princess died.
But the news of Popocatepetl’s death was lie. It was a treacherous plan devised by a jealous courtier who was also in love with the princess. His terrible plan to separate the lovers had worked.
When Popocatepetl arrived, he learned that the princess had died. Filled with sorrow, he took her body and carried it to the top of the highest mountain. There, he lit a torch and begged the gods to let him remain with her forever.
The gods granted his wish and turned them both into mountains. One has the figure of a woman lying in peaceful sleep. The other is the faithful warrior who stands beside her, forever vigilant.
The smoke from his torch still rises from the top to this day, a symbol of their eternal love.
The Alley of the Kiss
Three hundred years ago, Mexico was ruled by Spain, and Spanish families were made rich from the profits of the gold and silver of Mexican mines. All over Mexico, mining towns and cities sprang up and were decorated with beautiful Baroque churches and luxurious homes.
But society was divided between pure-blooded Spanish people and those of mixed descent, or “mestizos”. The former lived a life of wealth and privilege, while the latter were seen as second-class citizens.
In the prosperous mining city of Guanajuato, there lived a prosperous Spanish merchant who had an only daughter, Carmen.
Although her father was a mean tempered and possessive man, he allowed Carmen to attend Mass every day with her handmaiden.
It was during those brief, daily outings that she met Luis, a handsome young mestizo man, and they were both immediately attracted to each other.
It was not long before Carmen and Luis fell in love and began wishing they could be together forever. But she was the Spanish daughter of a wealthy man and he was a poor mestizo miner. Carmen’s father would never approve to such a marriage.
One day, Carmen’s father got word that his daughter was being courted by a mestizo miner, and he flew into a rage. He barred her from going out at all, and decided to send her away to Spain and arrange her marriage to rich older man.
Young Luis was devastated. He languished, looking up at his beloved’s window until he noticed something odd. Carmen’s balcony opened up to a narrow alley, and there was a house with another balcony directly across from it. The alley was so narrow that both balconies were only a few inches apart.
Luis arranged to be admitted into the house across from Carmen’s so they could see each other at the balcony. Imagine how delighted Carmen was when she opened her bedroom door and saw Luis standing at her window!
Luis promised her they would never be apart again, and they both leaned close to kiss across their balconies. But suddenly, Carmen’s father came into the room.
Enraged, the man took out his dagger and he stabbed Carmen in the heart with it. He would rather see his daughter dead than married to a lowly mestizo miner.
Luis held Carmen’s hand until she died, and he kissed her one last time. Unable to live without her, he threw himself down the shaft of Guanajuato’s largest mine.
To this day, hundreds of couples visit Luis and Carmen’s balcony above the narrow alley. It is said that if a couple kisses on the third step of the Alley of the Kiss, they will enjoy true love forever.
There are many Mexican love stories, but these are the two most popular ones. There are also dozens of different versions of each, but these are my favorites.
Some say it was Ana and Carlos, not Carmen and Luis. But who really knows?
I hope one day you come to Mexico and see the two volcanoes side by side above the Mexico City skyline. And then you can take a trip to Guanajuato and kiss your sweetheart on the third step of the Alley of the Kiss.
Wouldn’t that make for a great love story?