Recent columnist articles

I Love Baja! Reviewed by James Tipton

I Love Baja book cover
The title of Mikel Miller's new book, I Love Baja!, was inspired by locals who again and again told him, "I love Baja!". These same locals, reading this new edition of I Love Baja!, are probably saying, "I love Mikel's book," because it is written by a former resident who indeed knows and loves Baja... but it is also useful to those already living there and, in fact, fascinating to all Mexico aficionados... read more

Mexican Design & Style: Overview Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr

Sun-drenched colors of burnt ochre and red ignite massive walls and bring stone-chinked surface patterns to life. Antique wooden doors punctuated with hand-forged iron clavos open to reveal cool, tiled... read more

The Girl from Veracruz Reviewed by James Tipton

Girl from Veracruz book cover
The Girl from Veracruz is the twelfth and latest novel in John Scherber's Murder in Mexico mystery series. Like most of the others, it is set largely in San Miguel de Allende (although there is a trip to Veracruz).

It features the same team of detectives that we have come to care for in the preceding novels: Paul Zacher, age 40, a reasonably popular local artist; the lovely Maya Sanchez, his life partner (for the most part) and now head of the Paul Zacher Agency; and Cody Williams, a retired homicide detective from Peoria, Illinois. We also meet again Licenciado Diego Delgado, their contact with the San Miguel Judicial Police.

The story begins at the morgue... read more

City of Ideas keeps overlooking me Marvin West

View of the Cathedral in the city of Puebla
© Rick Meyer, 1996

Great intellectuals of the world have been talking for seven years about making things better. You can see how that has turned out.

They assemble each November in Mexico, in Pubela, to empower a large paying audience and others with innovative ideas in science, technology, art, design, politics, education, culture, business, entertainment and other areas of very important knowledge.

The City of Ideas, a three-day session, has brought in more than 200 speakers. For some strange reason, I have not been invited...

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Something Like a Dream James Tipton

Something Like a Dream by Robert Richter

Much of the novel, which takes place in 1982, is about the Huichols and Richter means "to introduce the reader to the Huichol people, their culture and religious life centered on peyote visions…."

For the Huichol, "the sacred and the secular are the same world, real and physical, enrapturing and mystical. Body, mind, and spirit; corn, deer, and peyote; nothing separates the idea from the daylight or the dream. It is all the same."

As in the finest of adventure stories — from The Odyssey to the present — Robert Richter´s protagonist, Cotton Waters, "Algo," is a seemingly ordinary man, not particularly successful in the eyes of the world, who for complicated reasons accepts a journey that has extraordinary challenges and that will change him forever...

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Tears from the Crown of Thorns: The Easter Passion Play in San Miguel de Allende Reviewed by Allan Cogan

"People unfamiliar with the Latin culture are curious, confused, and sometimes repulsed by the emphasis on suffering in religious figures. During Easter in North America, the focus is on the resurrection and the delights of spring. The event is concerned with the awe of transformation. There is resistance to facing the suffering that is a major part of this epic…." read more

Mexico shining star: Amazing Queretaro adds fame Marvin West

Queretaro Cathedral
Somebody voted Queretaro the most livable city in Mexico because of economic growth, social stability and quality of life. It is considered the second best place in the country to do business, after Monterrey. It has an immaculately preserved colonial center that UNESCO thinks is a World Heritage site. The Church of San Francisco is in the middle of downtown. On the facade is the image of Saint James, fighting the Moors... read more

Chapala's Feria Maestros del Arte: guardians of the folk art tradition Erin Cassin

"Art is a country's history and, before Mexicans could read or write, they were telling stories through their art. If this art disappears, so does history." read more

Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides: The man who saw too much Erin Cassin

Exploring Enrique Metinides' images is to immerse yourself in those depths of humanity awash in raw emotion, as the 79-year-old photographer has captured some of the most poignant moments to unfold on ... read more

Let the Water Hold Me Down Reviewed by James Tipton

Let the Water Hold Me Down has the makings of a classic.

It is written with skill and with grace, and the old verities that are at the heart of being human are here: loss and grief, guilt and longing, loyalty and love.

Set in modern-day Mexico, it tells the story of Hank Singer and is also about his relationship with César Lobos de Madrid, whose "family was one of the oldest, wealthiest, and most politically connected in Chiapas, if not in all of Mexico."

Hank has arrived just a few weeks before the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, led by Subcomandante Marcos, who on January 1, 1994, declared war against the government and the military... read more
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