Every year around May and June, men from Xico, a small town in the mountains of central Veracruz, make an altitudinal pilgrimage to "hunt" for the Cucharilla flower. They travel in trucks to the highlands of Veracruz, a desert-alpine landscape around 2500m above sea level. There they find the precious flower, which is not really a flower but the base of the leaves of Dasylirion acrotrichum, and serves as raw material to create beautiful artwork that will adorn the trucks and churches of Xico—primarily the church of Maria Magdalena, the female saint that protects Xico. Only men can participate in this syncretic ritual that involves praying, asking for permission from "el señor del monte," and drinking locally distilled and fermented spirits. Men argue that if women were to join them, the flower would be stained red and thus become useless for the beautiful arcos or arches that embellish the temples' facades. This traditional collective and communal experience has been going on for at least a hundred years.