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Did you know? The Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey originated in Mexico. Tony Burton

Strange but true; the bird now so closely associated with many festive meals is a direct descendant of the wild turkeys still found in many parts of Mexico. How is it possible that a Mexican bird acquired the name turkey?

The first use in English of the word "turkey" to describe the bird dates back to 1555. By 1575 , turkey was already becoming the preferred main course for Christmas dinner. Curiously, the Turkish name for the turkey is hindi, which is probably derived from "chicken of India", perhaps based on the then-common misconception that Columbus had reached the Indies... read more

Did You Know? The Hero of Nacozari Tony Burton

November 7, 2007, marks the centenary of the death of Jesús García, the "Hero of Nacozari." The small town of Nacozari occupies a valley nestled in the foothills of the Western Sierra Madre (Sierra ... read more

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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Did you know? Some tequila is priced at $225,000 Tony Burton

tequila stills
I know what you're thinking: "Tequila prices have been rising for years, but 225,000 dollars for a bottle is ridiculous!"

It may be ridiculous, but it is nonetheless true. The tequila company Tequila Ley .925 issued a press release in July 2006 proudly announcing the introduction of three different presentations of "Tequila Ley .925, Pasion Azteca, Gold and Platinum."

The tequila itself is exclusive, a premium quality 100% blue agave tequila, aged for 6 years. The bottles it comes in are even more special. The company has won several awards previously for its unorthodox designs. This time, each bottle is shaped like a barbed sea shell and engraved by Mexican artist Alejandro Gomez Oropeza. read more

Mexico's place names and their meanings Tony Burton

I’ll break your jaw! (Chalco) In the umbilicus (Xico) Place of the squashed serpent (Coapatongo) [1] Mexico’s place names or toponyms provide a rich and fun source for linguistic analysis. In... read more

Mexico faces an uphill fight against malnutrition Tony Burton

More than 190 countries, including Mexico, have now signed up to the UN Millennium Development Goals, originally agreed in the year 2000. There are eight key goals (see table) and Mexico is well on... read more

American novelist Charles Fleming Embree set his first novel at Lake Chapala Reviewed by Tony Burton

Strange, but true. Charles Embree's A dream of a throne, the story of a Mexican revolt, is based on the story of the Lake Chapala area during the 19th century. read more

El Fuerte in Sinaloa, Mexico, was once the capital of Arizona Tony Burton

Prior to the founding of San Juan de Carapoa (later renamed El Fuerte de Montesclaros) by Francisco de Ibarra in 1564, relatively little is known of the early Indian peoples living in the Fuerte valley... read more

Did you know? The Green Revolution began in Mexico Tony Burton

Most people probably have a vague idea that the Green Revolution was something to do with improving crops in the developing world, but how many realize that it began in Mexico? In fact, the Green Revol... read more

Did you know? The first scientific account of Lake Chapala comes from 1839 Tony Burton

The first detailed scientific account of Lake Chapala was written by Henri Guillaume Galeotti. It was based on a visit to Chapala in February-March 1837. The article was published first in French in 18... read more

Did you know? Mexico's vultures have very different eating habits. Tony Burton

Vultures (zopilotes in Spanish) are among the most conspicuous birds in many parts of Mexico. Commonly misidentified as eagles, these blackish scavengers can be seen almost anywhere, often in large flo... read more

Did you know? Los Mochis and Topolobampo are both examples of "new towns". Tony Burton

The city of Los Mochis ("Mochees", as locals call it) in the northern state of Sinaloa, is one of Mexico's newest cities. It dates back only as far as 1872, when a U.S. engineer, Albert Kimsey Owen (18... read more

Did you know? Chihuahua caves house the world's largest crystals Tony Burton

The world’s largest natural crystals (of selenite, said to enhance sex drive) have been discovered in caverns in Chihuahua. Early in 2001, news emerged of a truly extraordinary discovery in caver... read more

Did you know? Cuautla, Mexico, has the world's oldest railway station building. Tony Burton

In the golden age of steam, railway lines were built all over Mexico. Rail quickly became THE way to travel. Depending on your status and wealth, you could travel third class, second class or first cla... read more

Did you know? 19th century Mexico map maker first sailor through the Georgia Strait, Canada Tony Burton

José María Narváez (1768-1840) is one of Mexico's forgotten heroes. Captain George Vancouver is usually given the credit for exploring the Georgia Strait and discovering the site of the city that n... read more

Did you know? Many common garden flowers originated in Mexico. Tony Burton

Many common garden flowers were developed from samples collected in Mexico by a German botanist financed by Britain's Horticultural Society. Karl Theodor Hartweg (1812-1871) came from a long line of g... read more

Did you know? Mexico has more World Heritage sites than any other country in the Americas. Tony Burton

The status of World Heritage site is a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) denomination. The status is conferred on selected sites under the terms of "The Conventi... read more

Did you know? Mexico has 36 Magic Towns. Tony Burton

One of the Mexican Tourism Secretariat's flagship programs in recent years has been its Magic Towns designation. This is a program after my own heart, and one that was long overdue when it was finally ... read more

Did you know? Diamonds from tequila Tony Burton

..."there's gold in them there hills, and diamonds in that there tequila"... Barrels of tequila© Sergio Wheeler, 2011 I know! You think I'm several sheets to the wind from too many shots of tequ... read more

Did you know? Mexico was once the world's major source of pearls. Tony Burton

This month's Did You Know column highlights the pearl, the beautiful birthstone associated with the month of June. The history of pearl collecting in Mexico goes back a very long way. When Spanish exp... read more

Did you know? An early Jules Verne story was set in Mexico. Tony Burton

An early story by Jules Verne, the science fiction and travel author, was set in Mexico. What's more, he wrote it without ever setting foot in Mexico! Most people know Jules Verne (1828-1905) as one ... read more

Did you know? Sheep and environmental damage in Mexico Tony Burton

Believe it or not, the introduction of sheep to Mexico had serious environmental consequences.   After the Conquest, Spanish settlers introduced numerous Old World species into the New World. The mo... read more

Did you know? Even "microwaves" are signposted along Mexico's roads Tony Burton

One of Mexico's best kept travel secrets for people driving their own vehicle is the multitude of road signs all beginning with the word "microondas" (literally “microwaves”). Even visitors ... read more

Did You Know? Blacks outnumbered Spaniards until after 1810 Tony Burton

By common consent, the history of blacks in Mexico is a long one. The first black slave to set foot in Mexico is thought to have been Juan Cortés. He accompanied the conquistadors in 1519. It has been... read more

Did You Know? Mathieu de Fossey Tony Burton

 Mathieu de Fossey was born in France in 1805, and educated in Dijon. Politically disillusioned following the end of the reign of King Charles X in 1830, Fossey responded enthusiastically to an intrig... read more
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