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Missing Order of the Aztec Eagle Marvin West

Placa Orden Aguila Aztecal
Placa Orden Aguila Aztecal
I have waited and waited, patiently seven-eighths of the time. After all these years, after a hundred and a half MexConnect columns about Mexico, most of them favorable, I have not yet been invited into the Order of the Aztec Eagle. Past presidents of this colorful country could have done it with a wave of the magic wand. The present leader needs only speak the words – West next read more

Camino de Guanajuato Allan Wall

Guanajuato City’s colonial downtown, constructed centuries ago, resembles that of old Spain. In colonial times, the mines here were producing a significant part of the world’s silver production. It was the silver that financed the massive building projects which included churches, and the massive Alhondiga. This latter building, built at the end of the colonial period as a corn storage facility, was soon used as a fort, later served as a prison, and is now a museum. read more

New Year's Eve traditions in Mexico Daniel Wheeler

The year-end holidays in Mexico are always known for time honored traditions and a family oriented spirit. You can sing Christmas carols with your friends and family and enjoy some buñuelos, tamales a... read more

December 28 or April Fools? Mexico celebrates the Holy Innocents Sergio Wheeler

In Mexico and all over the Catholic world, December 28 commemorates the Santos Inocentes or Holy Innocents, considered the first Christian martyrs.

In Mexico — as well as Spain and other Latin American countries — December 28 is the equivalent of April Fool's Day.

Although it may seem irreverent, jokes of all kinds are played on the innocents. Fortunately, the jokes are always well taken. read more

Hurting Time for Mothers of Mexico Missing Marvin West

Christmas is family time. We see it in our community. Workers are off for a few extra days. Three generations climb into pickup trucks and go visit relatives – even if it is just across town. They have lunch and dinner gatherings. We see the extra children playing in the neighborhood. It is obvious when there is an empty chair at a table. read more

Mexico's endless Pacific beach: sun, surf, sand, seafood and solitude Gerry Soroka

There's more to the Mexico seashore than skimboards, seafood and sun-bathing bronzed bodies: there is solitude. There are vast stretches of uninhabited or unfrequented beaches lounging serenely beside a roiling sea that stretches westward seemingly into infinity. read more

Our Lady of Guadalupe Luis Dumois

Virgin of Guadalupe - Tree of Life sculptures by Juan Hernández Arzaluz of Metepec.
Our Lady of Guadalupe has accompanied us in war and peace, in joy and grief, in life and death. She was the standard for Hidalgo and Morelos armies. She has been invoked and sought by us in times of despair and destruction, in times of serenity and reconstruction, then and now, as She will be tomorrow. I know that I can be a perfect Catholic and still not believe in Her. But I don't see how can anyone consider herself or himself truly a Mexican without trusting in the Lady from Heaven, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. read more

Myth and History as described in the Mexican Codices Ronald A. Barnett ©

Aztec calendar stone
One of the problems encountered by historians and Mesoamerican scholars is the inextricable intermingling of myths and legends alongside what appear to be sober historical facts in many Mexican codices or painted books from the Valley of Mexico, Yucatan, and the Oaxaca area of southern Mexico. 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

Mexico changes, Mexico remains the same Marvin West

Pesos
The more Mexico changes, the more it remains the same. Despite delusions of assorted miracles, it is still largely a country where the past remains vividly present. We have been hearing about reforms since Enrique Peña Nieto launched his presidential campaign in November 2011. Together we will build a new and better Mexico, he said. As so eloquently added by a TV comedian, exaggerated promises come with “buckets of saliva.” Foreign investors took the bait. Mexico is a potential manufacturing powerhouse. Alas, the proverbial man on the street has been looking everywhere, trying to identify improvements in ordinary living. What he sees is fuzzy. read more

Calabaza con Rajas: Pumpkin with Roasted Poblano Chiles Karen Hursh Graber

Nothing says autumn like pumpkins, and this dish, with the smoky flavor of roasted poblano chiles, captures the colors of turning leaves. Serve it, along with rice and salad, as a vegetarian main dish, or a side dish with grilled or roasted meat or poultry. read more

Pastel de Chocolate y Nueces: Mexican Chocolate Nut Cake Karen Hursh Graber

Ingredients:   1 ½ cups flour ¾ cup sugar ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder (optional) ... read more

Travelers ignore warnings, Mexico wins Marvin West

It works! Advertising actually works. Mexico’s tourism board kept pouring millions of pesos into splashy ad campaigns featuring white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters, Maya ruins, fresh fruit and genuine hospitality. Americans, Canadians, Europeans and several from the Orient ignored dire warnings, bought the sales talk and came to see for themselves. read more

MEXICO SUNLIGHT AND SHADOWS Reviewed by James Tipton

Sunlight and Shadows - book cover
Over the past ten years I have published reviews of over a hundred books about, or set in, Mexico, and so I have discovered dozens of fine authors who, as I do, live here or spend lots of time here, and who indeed love Mexico. Editor Mikel Miller, like the roosters at dawn in this little town of mine (Chapala), has decided it’s time to crow about Mexico Writers.Mikel has put together a collection of essays and stories by 23 different authors, all but four of whom live here full time, some of whom are internationally known, others of whom are just emerging. read more

Ask an old gringo about knife sharpening, a new college, Trump and things to like about Mexico Marvin West

afilador de cuchillo
There is a better way to sharpen your knife. Education can be expensive - for investors. The USA Presidential nomination process crosses the border - Not. How to gain wealth without working too hard. 'Tis the season to be juicy - Mangos and all the local drippings about a new hospital. read more

Something for Nothing - A novel by Robert Richter Reviewed by James Tipton

Robert Richter’s new novel, Something for Nothing, is his third featuring Cotton Waters, ‘not your ordinary roving gringo’, who is called Algo by his Mexican buddies, shortened from the Spanish word for Cotton, algodón. Much of Robert Richter’s work is inspired by his 40-year love affair with Mexico. He has written three Cotton Waters mysteries (all available on Kindle): Something in Vallarta (1991), Something Like a Dream (2014), this latest, Something for Nothing (2015), all set on Mexico’s western Riviera. Richter has also written two non-fiction books about Mexico: Search for the Camino Real: A History of San Blas and the Road to Get There (2011) and Cuautémoc Cárdenas and the Roots of Mexico’s New Democracy (2000). read more

One more win Marvin West

Victor Espinoza, 43, calls himself the luckiest Mexican alive. He was the jockey aboard American Pharoah, winner of the U.S. triple crown of horse racing – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. His name will be forever etched in sporting history. Fame and fortune are likely partners for the rest of his life. Only 11 riders have accomplished this rare feat. The last time it happened was 1978. read more

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

Grow Your Own Salsa: A Mexican Windowsill Garden and More Karen Hursh Graber

Grow Your Own Salsa: A Mexican Windowsill Garden. These are very basic guidelines, and some tips for growing salsa ingredients as well as various uses for that wonderful Salsa Fresca.. read more

Salsa Fresca: Basic Fresh Salsa Karen Hursh Graber

Recipe for basic fresh Salsa and various applications. read more

Mexico finds new gold - with 4 wheels Marvin West

Mexico is now the North American leader in car assembly and export. The Mexico auto industry is booming, a stunning development of world significance. Assembly plants that popped up all around are now expanding. Nearby are convenient parts suppliers, tool shops and even tire manufacturers... read more

Traditional Food Festival in Morelia David Haun

Run, don't walk to the next Michoacan Traditional Food Festival (Cocineras Tradicionales) at the Convention Center in Morelia. The entrance is a stairway to heaven and you are about to eat food fit for gods and goddesses. The name "Traditional" only partially describes the Festival because it is traditional woman, in traditional clothing, cooking traditional recipes, with traditional utensils. However,...

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Cinco de Mayo is more widely celebrated in USA than Mexico Tony Burton

US postage stamp commemorating Cinco de Mayo

Of the many battles fought on Mexican soil in the nineteenth century, only one — the Battle of Puebla, fought on May 5, 1862 — has given rise to a Mexican national holiday.

Why this one? The main reason is that the Battle of Puebla marks Mexico's only major military success since independence from Spain in 1821.

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