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Our Lady of the Rosary, beloved patroness of Talpa de Allende Jenny McGill

October 7 is considered the birthday of Nuestra Señora del Rosario (the Virgin of Talpa). The six o'clock morning mass is dedicated to the Virgin, then she begins to receive her well-wishers. This is a very organized neighborhood-by-neighborhood pilgrimage to the church. Every pilgrim has a gift in hand. By 5 o'clock the holy carpet is ready, church bells begin to chime, and The Lady walks. read more

Christmas in the Sierra Madre mountains Jenny McGill

Christmas tree in Talpa
End of year holidays in small Mexican towns have a very special meaning. Folks come home. Milking cows and growing corn or coffee isn't everybody's idea of making a good living, so they try to realize their golden dream and head for the cities, but Christmastime and Mother's Day call them back home. read more

Mexican posadas and a famous Christmas carol Jenny McGill

Christmas posada<br>© Dale Hoyt Palfrey, 1996
Beginning on December 16, Mexican children have their nine days of posadas before Christmas. Two are chosen to dress up like Joseph and Mary and lead the other neighborhood children from house to house singing a request for a place to rest. There are singers inside the houses they pass who are programmed to sing a refusal of lodging. Finally, they arrive at a house where they are received and refreshments are served. read more

Frosty mornings in the sierras: healthy lifestyles in a small Mexican town Jenny McGill

fresh foods from a Mexican market
Life in the mountains may be the secret of longevity. It is not uncommon for mountain folks to live past their nineties and complete more than a century on this earth. Country folks usually eat what they grow on their ranches. Corn plays such a fundamental role in the Mexican diet, as well as beans, chilies, tomatoes and onions. read more

Toyita grows flowers for the Virgin of Talpa Jenny McGill

As in so many Latin American homes in the 1800s and on into the nineteenth century, at least one daughter in the family stayed home and never married. That daughter's responsibility was to cook and care for the parents as they grew older and infirm. Toyita chose to play that role in her family. read more

Politics and women's changing role in Mexico Jenny McGill

In Talpa de Allende, there is a neighborhood girl who calls me her quasi-godmother. We have studied English together for the past few summers, but I find her attention span jumping about like a monkey.... read more

Tianguis: itinerant traders in a traveling Mexican market Jenny McGill

In Talpa, we have tianguis or street markets. Every two weeks, venders come from Guadalajara with their trucks loaded with fresh vegetables and fruit, herbs, ornate plants, cell phones, hair dryers and CD players. We can buy a galvanized milk can or rubber boots to wear in the milking lot. There are clay bean pots, stone metates for grinding the spices for savory salsas and machetes to clear the path through the woods. read more

Sacred places around us: Is Talpa a "power place"? Jenny McGill

&amp;nbsp;The Virgin of Talpa and her church by Guy Garber Guerrero
Quite by accident, I recently ran across a website that lists Talpa de Allende as a sacred power place. Martin Gray spent years visiting and photographing every place he heard was a sacred site, and one of his pilgrimages brought him to Mexico. Apparently, there are different types of sacred sites. Martin classifies Talpa as "miracle-work site." read more

From Talpa to Puerto Vallarta in the 1800s Jenny McGill

I shall never forget the two trips we made to the seashore from Talpa. read more

Doña Chayito, Talpa's treasure Jenny McGill

She talked about the Cristero War (1926-1929) as if it were yesterday. read more

A cold winter for a young man from Mexico Jenny McGill

New Year's Day, 1910 was colder than ever.

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A Mexico mountain feast Jenny McGill

In 1985, there were four Americans living in Talpa. Guy and Bill invited a small group living in Puerto Vallarta to share a weekend with them. The flight usually was about eighteen minutes long, but when folks used to ask me about the flying time, my answer was, "Long enough to say ten Our Fathers and fifteen Hail Marys, if you pray fast." read more

Winemaking in the Mexican sierra Jenny McGill

When he took the first sip of his nectar, Guy thought he could hear the angels sing. read more

The Virgin of Talpa comes calling Jenny McGill

There are secrets to all this pageantry that everybody doesn't know. read more

Virgin hair for the Madonna's new wig Jenny McGill

Many of you know August is the month when Talpa de Allende's image of the Virgin begins walking the back roads, visiting and blessing the ranches, cattle, crops, ponds and creeks along the way. She is accompanied by her devotees for six weeks on this summer trek.< read more

El Bramador: once a bustling colonial mining town Jenny McGill

El Bramador is not the bustling, mining village it must have been in the 1860s, but the old mine shafts are still there. It is a ten-minute donkey ride up the mountainside from what was once the town's main plaza. Sidewalks are laid with flat stones that could have been slate dug from the surrounding hills. Red dust covers the streets, but the houses are clean and appear to have been recently painted. read more

Large families North and South of the border Jenny McGill

Families in Mexico tend to be numerous. I know about big families. I come from one. read more

Wildfires and old men: the legacy of US immigrants in Talpa Jenny McGill

What no one was aware of was that, subtly, Guy and Bill were changing the ideals of the future leaders of a Mexico mountain village. Try Guy's Guy's Gringo Chile Relleno Casserole recipe. read more

Charro wedding in a small Mexican town Jenny McGill

Wedding traditions vary all over the world and Mexico is no exception. Canada and the United States are such international melting pots that we may see Asian, African or English customs demonstrated in the same ceremony. The same is true in Mexico. Margarita wore her wedding veil over a large white velvet sombrero. read more

Mexican folk remedies Jenny McGill

If you have something in your eye, take a hair from the tail of a live cat .... read more

Mexconnect reaches around the world Jenny McGill

I'm constantly amazed how far Mexconnect reaches out -- from little Talpa de Allende, Jalisco, to the direct descendant of a Nobel winner in Germany. read more

A Mexican pig party Jenny McGill

A Mexican pig party plus my recipe for Mexicanized Mexissippi style crackling cornbread read more

September 14, Day of the Charro Jenny McGill

The charro wears a special suit, like none I've ever seen on Billy the Kid or John Wayne. The escaramuza wears her own beautiful attire; she rides and performs side-saddle. read more

Legend of the Virgin of Talpa Jenny McGill

There was no human intervention in the restoration of the image and, if history can be believed, the transformation had to be supernatural, divine or spontaneous combustion mixed with staunch faith. read more
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