Crucecita and Santa Cruz de Huatulco
Despite its newness, Crucecita (Little Cross, pop. 10,000) resembles a traditional Mexican town, with life revolving around a central plaza and adjacent market. Crucecita is where the people who work in the Huatulco hotels, businesses, and government offices live. Although pleasant enough for a walk around the square and a meal in a restaurant, and perhaps an evening at a bar or disco, it’s nothing special—mostly a place whose modest hotels and restaurants accommodate business travelers and weekenders who can’t afford the plush hotels near the beach.
While in Crucecita, be sure to step into the church on the plaza’s west side to admire the heavenly ceiling mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The mural, the largest of Guadalupe in Mexico, is the work of local artists José Ángel del Signo and Marco Antonio Contreras, whose for-sale art is on display locally. Besides the heavenly Virgin overhead, the muralists have decorated the space above the altar with the miraculous story of Don Diego and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The several deluxe hotels and the mostly travel-oriented businesses of Santa Cruz de Huatulco (on Bahía Santa Cruz, south, about two miles from Crucecita) cluster near the boat harbor. Fishing, tour boats, and ocean liners come and go, vacationers sun themselves on the tranquil yellow-sand Playa Santa Cruz (beyond the restaurants adjacent to the boat harbor), while T-shirt and fruit vendors and boatmen hang around the quay watching for prospective customers. After the sun goes down, not much usually happens in Santa Cruz. Tourists quit the beach for their hotels and workers return to their homes in Crucecita, leaving the harbor and streets empty and dark.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition