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Cesar Millan: America's greatest Mexican import Maggie Van Ostrand

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the American people, desperately in need of relief from fears about the future, turned for escape to movie stars Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for champagne a... read more

The unsung Mexican heroes of WWll 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

Cantinflas: super comic, super star, super man Maggie Van Ostrand

Mario Mareno Reyes was the sixth son of 15 children, who became a world-wide cinema super star, was married to the same woman for more than 30 years, and made enormous financial contributions to the Me... read more

How my Mexican relatives came to California and saved the US economy Maggie Van Ostrand

If you are a very lucky person, somebody in your family marries into a Mexican family and you end up with an abundance of diversified riches in your life. Your home rings with laughter in at least two... 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

Don Churrero Maggie Van Ostrand

People say there is a heaven and, if we are very good, we will go there after life ends. Not so. Heaven is right here on earth and it lives in the accomplishments of inspired humans called churrer... read more

Queretaro: cultural mecca with colonial charm Maggie Van Ostrand

Writing a newspaper column about the greatness of another country can earn the writer a good deal of mail running the gamut from "Do you know a good dentist in Morelia?" to "My wife and I would like to... read more

A history of Mexico in 2000 words Maggie Van Ostrand

Twenty-eight thousand years ago B.C., Mexico was discovered by hunters looking for a recipe for Sopa Azteca. A resourceful lot, they created corn by combining two types of grasses. These seekers of goo... read more

Bringing your dogs to Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

Moving to Mexico was the easy decision; bringing my dogs with me was harder. First, how would I get them there? I didn't trust airplanes transporting animals. I thought they might lose my two big dogs... read more

Mexican Army storms Katrina Maggie Van Ostrand

There was a time in history when Mexico was accused by a U.S. NAFTA-opposed politician of making "giant sucking sounds." Well, folks, the giant noises coming from Mexico today are not giant sucking sou... read more

Dateline: Ajijic Maggie Van Ostrand

Great rain clouds filled the sky over Lake Chapala as my friend, Tomas, turned the curve where you first spy Scorpion Island en route from the airport. "You've brought good weather," he said, grinning... read more

The shrewdness of Mexican women Maggie Van Ostrand

At the turn of the 20th century, a scandal erupted in Mexico City. It was called "The Famous 41," and occurred on November 17, 1901. Police raided a private party on La Paz Street and arrested 41 men,... read more

Mexican-American War of ought-five Maggie Van Ostrand

Remember that Mexican-American War (1846-1848) where the U.S. had a thing called "Manifest Destiny?" That meant President James K. Polk believed in the "sea to shining sea" destiny for the U.S.A. and t... read more

Superman is an illegal alian: humor and satire in the corrido Maggie Van Ostrand

Mexicans are lining up on the south side of the Rio Grande and North Americans are lining up on the north side, each group of citizens looking for something from the other. For the North Americans, it'... read more

Fry me to the moon Maggie Van Ostrand

It is widely known that the shortage of cemetery plots in Mexico equals the longevity of bureaucratic plots in Washington. A few years ago, Mexico City officials began encouraging families to cremate ... read more

Ninotchka Maggie Van Ostrand

She was a blue-eyed creature of enormous beauty, so beautiful that she was named after a Greta Garbo Russian film heroine. You'd be proud to take her anywhere, as she was always perfectly attired. She ... read more

Dolores del Rio, a Mexican beauty Maggie Van Ostrand

In a magazine interview, I was asked who had the most beautiful face of all time. I unhesitatingly answered, "Dolores Del Rio." Not Garbo, Dietrich, or Elizabeth Taylor can compare with Dolores Del Ri... read more

New Years resolutions Maggie Van Ostrand

"If I could have anything in the world, I'd want world peace," rhapsodizes every Miss America contestant since the first one back when all the Nielson viewers lived in caves. Today, we ask for more ser... read more

Got flu? Try a sock full of onions Maggie Van Ostrand

Before the days of modern medicine, people relied on folk remedies. To ward off the flu, for example, you might have to wear a sock full of onions or eat a spoonful of hot chilies on a piece of pumpern... read more

Old friends ask about Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

A pair of old friends from New York dropped in to see me for a couple of days. First thing I have to tell you is that we hadn't seen each other in over twenty years. Second thing is that they thought m... read more

A prudent application of guilt Maggie Van Ostrand

Guilt can be a wonderful thing, and very useful. That's why it's so popular in religion, especially the one I grew up in. Catholic. If applied wisely to the tender minds of children, guilt can last a l... read more

The biggest mistake I ever made in Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

You might think the biggest mistake I ever made in Mexico was packing up and driving north to Taos to escape the cinder-bearing, stinging hot winds from Chiapas. But you'd be wrong. Or you might think... read more

Small towns Maggie Van Ostrand

Expatriates are way ahead of the game. They're already in the places other people want to be, small Mexican towns. Small Mexican towns provide interesting fare — one might observe a 10-inch wooden vi... read more

An Evening in Paris with Mom Maggie Van Ostrand

Someone was wearing Evening in Paris perfume the other day, and the scent instantly reminded me of Mom. I haven't smelled Evening in Paris since we lost her, yet its fragrance transported me back to ch... read more

Mexican Samurai Maggie Van Ostrand

In the mid-sixties while others were espousing peace, love, and rock and roll, Gaby Shiraga left Japan and came to Mexico. He spoke only Japanese, ordering his first foreign meal by miming a chicken la... read more
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