Lesson 201: Tultepec: Mexico’s Skyrocket Central

The small city of Tultepec, a suburb of Mexico City, specializes in the production of fireworks, supplying much of the country known for fireworks in its festivals. In March of each year, Tultepec celebrates with dazzling, flamboyant, and hazardous displays of fireworks that wildly exceed any other in Mexico.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the importance that fireworks played in the tradition and economy of the Mexican town of Tultepec.

Social Studies Standards

Culture A, B, C

Discussion Prompts

  • Analyze the following quote: “Mexico is not a country for bystanders or for the faint of heart. Mexico is a country and a culture for people who want to live life to its fullest.” How does the video support this quote?
  • What is involved in the production of fireworks? Who controls it and why?
  • If you lived in Tultepec, would you want to be involved with making the fireworks? Why or why not?
  • Why does the priest compare Tultepec to Disneyland? What might be some of the similarities and differences?

Lesson Activities

  • Describe the scientific process of making fireworks. Make a list of the ingredients used, materials needed and the steps involved.
  • Create a brochure for tourists using all five senses that illustrates the highlights of Tultepec traditions, customs and culture.
  • Create a presentation inviting five important historic Mexican figures to the fireworks celebration. Explain why the fireworks are so special.
  • Research the science of pyrotechnics including the sight, sound and smell, and explain how it supports the economy in Tultepec.


  • barrage
  • dazzling
  • engulfed
  • fiesta
  • fireworks
  • flamboyant
  • hazardous
  • launch
  • nondescript
  • spectacle