Catemaco brujos went a step further and commercialized the industry. So
for a large bundle of Pesos you will get a spell to wipe out your competitor
evil spirits. The
limpia price usually includes a raw egg, a few sprinkles of
rose water and some fresh herbs, but no dessert. Charms or amulets are

And then there are the
Chamanes, local "white" witches.  They
occasionally are deeply spiritual and mystic beings who earned their
accolades with hard work and knowledge of their physical environment
and human psychology, and are almost impossible to find for the
tourist, except for the dozens of herbalists and amulet seller around the
central Catemaco market.

Traditional medicine is still a favorite medical recourse for many in Los
Culebreros (snake bite healers) are especially well known in the
region because of its variety of poisonous snakes, as well as
(herbal healer) who take advantage of the profusion of Tuxtlas medicinal
Hueseros (a form of chiropractor) and Yorbateros (massage
healers) are also still popular.
Parteras (midwives) have mostly been
converted into professional nurses.

Catemaco´s major claim to fame, aside from its disappearing flora and
fauna, are these commercial
brujos. The area, lately, seems to be
schizophrenic about their presence. A few years ago a glitzy magazine,
Los Tuxtlas en el Siglo XXI" was printed without a single mention of

In the 1990´s the local
brujos were identified with numerous murders and
drug related mayhem and probably caused the local populace to ignore

If you arrive in Catemaco expecting anything official regarding
forget it. Instead, throngs of motorbike riding shills accost you to steer you
to their most well paying
brujo. The town has tried to put a stop to these
shills, but the system seems so be ingrained.

Gypsies, locally known as
hungaros, have also found Catemaco. Their
haggling to read palms add to the
brujo atmosphere, but they too, are
hounded by the official inquisition.

The first Friday in March (which is actually the first Thursday night)  
celebrates the annual
Congreso Internacional de Brujos when healers,
soothsayers, assorted medicine men and a garden-variety of witch doctors
descend on the town to sell their spells and exploit tourist Pesos.
A fabulous now deceased promoter, "Brujo Mayor" Gonzalo Aguirre, organized a witchcraft
convention in Catemaco in 1970, offering a black mass, row boat races, anthropological
discourses and the presence of brujos, witch doctors, shamans, and like ilk.

Since then, Catemaco has soared in international and Mexican renown as an asylum for
mysticism and witchcraft. The convention is repeated yearly beginning on the first Thursday in
the month of March.
Geographically the Tuxtlas mountainous terrain
essentially isolated it from the rest of Mexico until
the 20th century. The first railroad arrived in 1912.
The first paved highway did not reach here till the

Reliance on curanderos'  (healers) knowledge of
step from curandero to brujo (sorcerer).

And Catemaco and Tuxtlas tropical jungles are
home to many hundreds of medicinal plants. Local
inhabitants and especially the remaining indigenous
people today still rely on these plants for the
treatment of multiple ailments

brujos, shamans, warlocks, or
whatever you choose to call them, occupy a
revered place in Mexican indigenous culture. The
Aztecs classified almost 40 different types of

On the spiritual side, after the Spanish conquest,
Catholicism's attempt to slaughter indigenous
culture was transformed by native peoples into
metamorphed saint worship and, especially in
Veracruz, abetted by a large influx of African
slaves and their jungle heritage.

santeria, Haitian voodoo, and Catemaco
are closely related and promise their
aficionados blissful enlightenment, and, to cover all
bases, even throw in a little devil worship.
Nanciyaga - brujo ritual on the first Friday
Mono Blanco Mountain
The devil's cave
Catemaco Brujos

Brujo Stuff
photos, videos, stories & links

Brujo Tourism History
antecedents of most of the current brujos

First Friday
a personal account of a brujo convention
Posters from 2013
An ad from a "real"  Catemaco brujo - in Spanish