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Mexico magic is all around Marvin West

Tecozautla-Hidalgo
Pueblos Majicos
Unbelievable: Mexico has 111 magic towns with more in the hatchery. The Pueblos Mágicos program was launched in 2001 by Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism in conjunction with other federal and stateagencies to promote towns chosen for natural beauty, cultural riches and historical relevance. read more

Ask an old gringo about tax cuts, wind farms, Alebrijes and egg sandwiches Marvin West

The alebrije is a uniquely Oaxacan variety of Mexican folk art. This one depicts a rabbit. © Alan Goodin 2007
Mexico is a very interesting country. If anything hasn’t already happened here, it soon will. Nowhere else in the world are people protesting because taxes are going down. $207 million USD has gone missing. Giant Alebrijes are roaming the streets, and egg sandwiches are missing from grocery stores. read more

Theater in the Chapala lakeside: The Naked Stage Ed Tasca

3A Calle de Zaragoza, Ajijic
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Armando Lozano Ramirez, master sculptor and jeweler: Oaxaca's "man of steel" Alvin Starkman

Some 30 years ago, a youthful 27-year-old acquired a piece of machinery by chance. Not knowing exactly what to do with it, or how it could somehow become a positive factor in his life, he took a gamble... read more

Touring Oaxaca's Art Galleries Alvin Starkman

Many travelers to Oaxaca simply don't have the time, patience or inclination to seriously tour the city's multitude of small storefront art galleries replete with wonderfully unique and provocative offerings. It's understandable, given the number of culturally rich and diverse sites to be taken in over the course of a brief vacation.

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The origin of Mexico's gourds Helyn Bercovitch

A gourd is a member of the squash family. Grown in corn fields here between the stalks, they are harvested and stored in a bodega to dry. Indigenous people used the casings as practical implemen... read more

The covers of the Lake Chapala Review - digital winners 2001 Helyn Bercovitch

Ajijic Grill was abuzz with anticipation with all in attendance waiting for the announcement of the five finalists in our 2nd annual, digital photography contest. Nick Paulini of Café Internet Ajijic ... read more

The art of Javier Zaragoza, Lake Chapala artist Helyn Bercovitch

  This month's cover proudly displays the work of Ajijic native, Javier Zaragoza. The Artist was discovered by Niell James, an author and pioneer in this area. She also was the founder of the LCS (... read more

How the Huichol Indians brought their art to Lake Chapala Ronald A. Barnett

For centuries Indians have been leaving offerings of votive bowls and clay figurines in Lake Chapala for the deities of the waters. Today the Huichol Indians of Jalisco and Nayarit continue the traditi... read more

The Folkloric Ballet (Ballet Folklórico) of Guadalajara, Mexico Darryl Tenenbaum

The whirling skirts of a dancer from the Ballet Folklorico at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara fill this month's cover. The costume belongs to the Jalisco segment of the show, which features traditi... read more

The art of Sherie Stokes Sourelis Ronald A. Barnett

This month's cover features a work in oils by Sherie Stokes Sourelis entitled La Tortilleria. This whimsical, colorful rendering is loosely based on a street in San Antonio Tlayacapan, which caught the... read more

The Mexican art forms of ristras, papel amate and papel picado Helyn Bercovitch

This month's cover is a digital photo of papier-mâché chili peppers taken in Ajijic. These strings of papier-mâché items are known as ristras and are just one of several Mexican paper, art f... read more

Ajijic's answer to the historical mural Helyn Bercovitch

Efren Gonzalez was born and raised in Ajijic, a student of the Santos Degollado, Secondary School, at the top of Encarnacion Rosas. Never did the artist dream he would be the painter commissioned to ad... read more

Sergio Aimar - artist in stained glass Darryl Tenenbaum

There was sunlight pouring through the stained glass window depicted on this month's cover, as I sat down to interview its creator, Sergio Aimar, at his studio and home in Seis Esquinas. Born in Mexico... read more

Huichol Indian art: yarn paintings (cuadros estambrados) Darryl Tenenbaum

This months cover features an example of Huichol yarn painting, Cuadros Estambrados, a transformational art form to the artists and shamans of the Huichol people, who use it to depict their myth... read more

Efren Gonzalez: artist in Ajijic and Puerto Vallarta Darryl Tenenbaum

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Efren Gonzalez at his home in Ajijic, a home he is building entirely from the sale of his paintings. For years he has struggled with the dream of living and... read more

Emilio Fernandez, one of a kind Maggie Van Ostrand

Just when you think you know everything about the golden age of movies, along comes still more information to snap you back to reality. You may not have ever heard of him yourself, but one of the most ... read more

Why are there so few ex-pats living in Morelia? Allan Cogan

It’s a surprise to visit a likeable, livable city like Morelia for the first time and find there’s almost no gringo community there. In fact, one resident put the number at 100 to 150 total. And only a handful of those are the retirees who are so prevelant in Jalisco. Most Americans, for example, are associated with the university in Morelia, as both teachers and students. read more

Dia de los Muertos: the dead come to life in Mexican folk art Mary Jane Gagnier Mendoza

For foreigners, the traditions and celebrations in Mexican homes and cemeteries during the Day of the Dead seem strange, if not incomprehensible. There is mourning and rejoicing; sadness and silliness ... read more

Continuing education in Mexico Karen Blue

I fussed unnecessarily, before moving to Mexico, worrying about how I would continue with my education, with no grasp of the Spanish language. Why unnecessarily? Because I came just before we were able... read more

Enrique Velazquez: master of Mexican landscape art Darryl Tenenbaum

A native of Guadalajara, artist Enrique Velazquez has made his home in Ajijic since 1989, painting and selling from his Arte Estudio on 16 de Septiembre, (a block east of Morelos), which he shares with his wife, Belva, also an artist. 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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In memory of Don Pedro: Alebrije art from a master artist Helyn Bercovitch

A constant fluttering, deafening whirlpool of claws, fangs, fins, tongues and horns bewilder the senses in a frenzied shuttlecock of figures. This is the Mexican art of crafting alebrijes, monsters lovingly formed out of ordinary cardboard. Their grotesque faces and body-parts are delicately sculpted and painted with intricate patterns in a profusion of vibrant colors. Even if the mind tries to identify sections, it is impossible to tell the origin of even one of these beasts, as they are created in the imaginations of the artists and no two are alike. read more
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