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Guadalupe: Where Three Cultures Flourish

Guadalupe is a small Yaqui Indian and Hispanic community that has managed to retain its cultural and ethnic identity. Small is the operative word since the town is only 1 mile square and hemmed in by Tempe and Phoenix. When entering the city limits you immediately notice that the landscape has changed. Signs are in Spanish, the utilities are no longer underground, many buildings are dilapidated and men line the streets in hopes of work.

Avenida Del Yaqui is the main drag and is lined with small shops and markets. A few of the best include:

Flores Bakery is noted as one of the only authentic Mexican bakeries in the Valley. With the display case filled with colorful and tempting goodies, we had a hard time deciding on what to buy.

Guadalupe Farmers Market is colorful with its local produce and products. One of its specialties is home grown honey. A bee hive is on display right in the store. There is a chute from the hive to the roof so the bees can leave to forge for pollen. One fact we learned was that bee hives are maintained at 90 degrees. As it gets colder, the bees bring the temperature up by "flexing their bee muscles." Whatever that means.

El Tianguis is an old style Spanish market place. Unfortunately most of the storefronts are vacant. One exception is the San Diego Bay Restaurant. This is an award winning Mexican seafood restaurant, and may be the best reason to visit Guadalupe.

Mercardo Mexico is filled literally to the ceiling with imports from Mexico ranging from pottery, tiles, and outdoor sculpture.

Dominating the large open plaza in the center of town is Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and the Yaqui Temple. Prominently placed signs warn that photographing the religious celebrations is prohibited by city ordinance.

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