Living  >  Letters From Mexico
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The servant Stan Gotlieb

In early 1994, when this letter first appeared, I did not have any personal knowledge regarding the practices outlined here; nor do I now. I introduced this subject because there had been persistently ... read more

New kids on the block Stan Gotlieb

In March of 1994, I was contemplating the saying "Mexico: so far from God, so close to the United States", and having a good chuckle over El Sub's interview with Ed Bradley. In March of 1996, Marcos me... read more

Letters to the editor: June - Nov. 1995 Stan Gotlieb

Below are some archives of letters to the editor that Stan has chosen to answer with open responses. November 30, 1995 The Struggle Curious, it seems. My wife and I were on a bus... read more

Screwing the screw fly in Chiapas Stan Gotlieb

San Cristobal in April 1994 looked a lot like the rear command area in any bush war: lots of army, government officials, reporters, human rights observers, and tourists like me. A year after writing th... read more

The customer is always right... but Stan Gotlieb

Carved figure on display at the annual Radish Festival, held each year on December 23. "Mata rile rile ron" is a children's verse, used in a sort of "musical chairs" game. Photography by Diana Ricci S... read more

Excuse me, but do you live here? Stan Gotlieb

This is my first essay, started not long after I arrived in Oaxaca. Later, I added the next-to-last paragraph to reflect my deeper understanding of, and my "upward" movement in, the gringo establishmen... read more

Right time, wrong place Stan Gotlieb

Protest flag, Zocalo, Oaxaca City, 1996: "Death to the PRI government, responsible for the corruption, misery and killing of the Mexican people" Photography by Diana Ricci. The local July 4th party wa... read more

A tale of two students Stan Gotlieb

Meeting the folks in this story was inspiring. It sure blows the stereotype of the "lazy Mexican" all to hell. Photography by Diana Ricci Pablo was the first in his family to move from their mountain ... read more

And now for something a little different Stan Gotlieb

The main gate of the central cemetery of Oaxaca decorated for Dia de los Muertos. "Eternity starts here; worldly aggrandizement is dust" Photography by Diana Ricci. For me, "The Last Waltz", Robert Al... read more

How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm? Stan Gotlieb

In the spring of 1994, I met some young people who had come to the big city of Oaxaca. This is a synthesis of what they told me about the life they left. (The cheerful mezcaleros (makers of mezcal) pic... read more

I'm not the person I used to be Stan Gotlieb

One of several "living statues" created by artist / lithographer / framer Gerardo De La Barrera, for the anniversary of a local bistro situated just far enough off the tourist trails. Photography by Di... read more

Bless this restaurant Stan Gotlieb

Habañero peppers, among the world's hottest. There is probably enough energy here to blow up the whole Central de Abastos (central market), if only someone could figure out how to harness it. Photogr... read more

Sunday in the Zocalo Stan Gotlieb

Zocalo, 1996. "For the right to freely unionize under our government's patronage: hunger strike" A reminder that in the midst of all the tourist magic, regular life goes on. Photography by Diana Ricci ... read more

Letters from Mexico Stan Gotlieb

Carlos Salinas de Gortari, in the ashcan of history. Part of a demonstration in the zocalo of Oaxaca, October 1966. Sign reads "Deposit here: political corruption, bosses and gun thugs, narcopolitics a... read more

Central headquarters Stan Gotlieb

Sra. Ruth Gonzales, Librarian, who knows everyone's card number by heart. Photography by Diana Ricci Remember how quiet libraries used to be? How everyone talked in whispers at the desk, and when you ... read more

Ring them bells Stan Gotlieb

Part of the Dominican church and convent under restoration in Yanhuitlan, about a half hour drive from Oaxaca. Photography by Diana Ricci There are about 75 churches in Oaxaca, a city of about 100,000... read more

Letters from Mexico -norange, anyone? Stan Gotlieb

Pan de Yema, a slightly sweetened egg bread prepared for holiday celebrations. This picture was taken the day before Days of the Dead (Nov 1 & 2), in the Central de Abastos (main market), Oaxaca. P... read more

A conscientious civil servant Stan Gotlieb

The Oaxaca State Flag, being paraded on November 20, "Revolution Day". It reads "Respect for the rights of others is Peace". Photography by Diana Ricci Ernesto is a Mexican of average size, about 55 y... read more

A dying breed Stan Gotlieb

Musicians outside the Artisan's Market attract shoppers during the Christmas shopping season in Oaxaca (1996). Photography by Diana Ricci He is about five-foot-four, and nut brown. His hair is white, ... read more

Paradise is a lot like home Stan Gotlieb

Flower sculpture on display at the Radish Festival, December 23, 1966, in the Oaxaca zocalo. Photography by Diana Ricci Living in paradise would be a lot more idyllic (and a lot less interesting) if i... read more

The meeting Stan Gotlieb

This beautiful detail is from a mural painted inside the state government palace of Oaxaca. The artist, Arturo Garcia Bustos, finished the mural, which actually occupies three spaces in and around the ... read more

The Oaxaca Newsletter volume 5, No. 14: August 15, 2000 Stan Gotlieb

Five years ago, the Cuota (toll road) from Mexico City to Oaxaca was opened. In effect, the Cuota cut the distance between Mexico and Oaxaca in half. Trips that used to take ten hours on the hazardous, twisting, and often potholed road through Huajuapan de Leon, now can be completed in five on a relatively straight, level, smooth roadway. The result was inevitable, although most of us down here in our sleepy little village failed to understand the forces at work until they became manifest in the last couple of years.

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Interview with the curandera Stan Gotlieb

The Eagle struts during the "Sol y Luna" (Sun and Moon) performance at Monte Alban, in which the tale of the Universe's birth is told. Photography by Diana Ricci "Maria" (not her name) is a curandera... read more

Rodolfo Morales - Mexican artist (1925 - 2001) Stan Gotlieb and Diana Ricci

Maestro (master, teacher) Rodolfo Morales, one of the most prominent native Oaxacan artists, succumbed to cancer of the pancreas in a Oaxaca City hospital, at 9:30 p.m. on January 30, 2001. Photography by Diana Ricci

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A visit to the curandera Stan Gotlieb

Amid the reconstructed pyramids of Monte Alban, a pageant is performed commemorating ancient legends of how the sun and the moon and the Earth were born, and were set free to roam the heavens. Designed... read more
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