Set on a steep hillside, Papantla is in the center of a vanilla-producing region. Products made from that particular bean, from candies to liqueurs, are sold everywhere; a big vanilla festival draws people to the town every March. The rest of the year, this dusty village goes about its business. Totonac men in flowing white shirts and pants lead their donkeys through the streets, and young couples smooch underneath palm trees that ring the zócalo. Papantla is the home of the voladores, who twirl off an 82-foot pole in front of the town's ornate cathedral.


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