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Ajijic: the way we were Maggie Van Ostrand

In the ancient Nahuatl language, Ajijic means "The Place Where Water Springs Forth." This year marks the 40th anniversary of an historic event: the Great Geyser Eruption. It is said to have been the ta... read more

The Widow Tamez, accidental expatriate Maggie Van Ostrand

Back in the old days of Pirate Island, an island only by definition, located along the Rio Grande near Ysleta and San Elizario in El Paso County, Mexico and the U.S. had a boundary by treaty mdash; the... read more

Border promotions, or the Mexico two-step Maggie Van Ostrand

"You can become anything or anyone you like the day you cross the border," they tell us when we arrive in Mexico. They're right. In Ajijic, a man wearing a U.S. Navy cap and respectfully referred to a... read more

Stars shine in sunny Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

Along with many other expatriates living in Mexico, we occasionally hear of a famous one who lives, or once lived, among us. We know that Helen Hayes, Erich Fromm and Maurice Evans lived in Cuernavaca... read more

Elvira Arellano: saint or sinner? Maggie Van Ostrand

When Elvira Arellano illegally crossed the U.S. border in 1997, she had no idea that one day, she would become a beacon of light in the darkness of U.S. immigration politics, nor that Time magazine wou... read more

Oaxaca: what is it like? Maggie Van Ostrand

Interactive map of Oaxaca What is it like in Oaxaca? It's like no other place in all of Mexico. It is as close to a true mixture of the various Mexican cultures as can be found. Visitors to Oaxaca Cit... read more

Honeybees: have they emigrated to Mexico? Maggie Van Ostrand

There's been a big U.S. flap over the fact that honeybees seem to have gone missing. North Americans are becoming alarmed that, without pollination, foods such as almonds, apples, blueberries, peaches,... read more

Christmas shopping with the sliding US dollar Maggie Van Ostrand

This Christmas will really test a person's ability to stretch a dollar, especially a U.S. dollar, since we've been watching it shrink for quite awhile now. It certainly isn't necessary for big-mouth m... read more

A modern day Rio Grande ferry tale Maggie Van Ostrand

The sun was shining, the breeze was gentle and Mark Alvarez was in a really good mood. "People call me all day when it starts raining," he said. They call because they need to find out if they'll be ab... read more

Ghosts, goblins and Gonzales-Gonzales Maggie Van Ostrand

I am the ghost of Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales, a guy so nice, they named me twice. My mother was a Mexican dancer known as "La Perla Fronteriza" who once danced for Pancho Villa and his men. You can imagin... read more

The fence along the Mexican border Maggie Van Ostrand

The English-speaking people of the world aren't always as smart as, say, Stephen Hawking who writes about cosmic stuff like time, black holes and the universe, but wouldn't you think the people in char... read more

Say Bartender, make mine tuna on the rocks Maggie Van Ostrand

In the Bible, Jesus turns water into wine and multiplies two fishes into enough to feed 12,000 people, including women and children. Can China top that? Seems as though they're going to try. Sun Keman... read more

The Fighting 201st: Mexican heroes of WWII Maggie Van Ostrand

Until yesterday, I had never heard of Charlie Foster. Today, I'm writing about him. One of the benefits of being a writer is the fact-checking, because you can end up with provocative information. That... read more

Yes Virginia, there is another Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

"Move to Mexico? What, are you crazy?" said friends and relatives alike, adding, "Don't you know it's full of drug pushers, kidnappers and corrupt politicians?" This attitude, prevalent among North Am... read more

Las Posadas, 2001 Maggie Van Ostrand

"What is Christmas like in Mexico?" asked my friend, Edward. It didn’t take much encouragement for me to eagerly share this experience: Once upon a Christmas nighttime, in a tiny village on the shor... read more

A Balloon In Cactus Maggie Van Ostrand

By popular demand, this column has reverted to its original title, “A Balloon In Cactus.” Well over three fan letters urged me to go back to the original title. Here’s what I mean: ... read more

How To Correct Misconceptions About Mexico - And Lose Your Friends At The Same Time Maggie Van Ostrand

We who live in Mexico, whether full- or part-time, have a duty to correct the enormous amount of misinformation perpetuated by foreign media. More creatures live with their heads in the sand than the o... read more

Ajijic: God's green room Maggie Van Ostrand

At the Oscars as in all of show business, the green room you hear about is an ordinary place where celebrities wait until it's time to go onstage. It's not really green. Ajijic has been called God's g... read more

The corn is as high as an elephant's eye Maggie Van Ostrand

Oscar Hammerstein II probably didn't realize when he wrote the lyrics for Broadway hit Oklahoma! that "The corn is as high as an elephant's eye," were prophetic words. Corn, at $4.21 a bushel (as of... read more

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto Maggie Van Ostrand

It's unusual for me to write about anything other than Mexico as seen through the eyes of a humorist. But this month's article is different, because someone familiar with the culture around which Gibso... read more

Top ten New Year's resolutions Maggie Van Ostrand

Unable to achieve world peace, though I had resolved to do so last year, it's probably a better idea to keep my New Year's resolutions simple and in line with my limited capabilities. Toward that goal... read more

Deporting Santa Claus Maggie Van Ostrand

Associated Press reports the U.S. Department of Immigration apprehended Santa Claus attempting to illegally enter the United States from Mexico. He was caught maneuvering his sleigh over a fence recent... read more

Our beloved Oaxaca, now on US and Canadian Do Not Visit list Maggie Van Ostrand

Is no one thinking of the ordinary people of Oaxaca and how this event is causing distress and loss of income? read more

The Mexican Maggie Van Ostrand

It's easy to tell an election is coming in the U.S., because here we go again with the border situation, better known as the "Let's build a fence to keep them out" game. If U.S. politicians were really... read more

Dying to become an American Maggie Van Ostrand

There's an easier way to become an American citizen than marching in emotional parades for immigration rights or studying U.S. history and being wait-listed for years, or even marrying into it. You ca... read more
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