MexConnect
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Western Mexico: A Traveler's Treasury, 4th edition James Tipton

Western Mexico, A Traveler's Treasury by Tony Burton
As Tony notes in his Introduction, this is "not intended to b a comprehensive guide to all the possible day trips and longer tours in the region…. Rather, it is a personal, idiosyncratic collection of my favorite places in Western Mexico…." The book is filled with whatever Tony finds fascinating… interesting and curious details of history and geography and geology and flora and fauna, and art and architecture and archaeology.... read more

Playing for Pancho Villa Reviewed by James Tipton

Book cover-Playing for Pancho Villa
he year was 1916. Young Frank Holloway "got mercury poisoning working in the Silver Creek Mine in Mogollón, New Mexico." To recover his health, his doctor told him to get away and go have "an adventure."

And so… perhaps lacking judgment because of the mercury poisoning, Frank opted for danger as well as adventure. On Tosca, his beloved mare, he rode south, and fifty miles west of El Paso he crossed the border into Mexico.

Frank, "with a fool's luck, managed to pick his way… between horse thieves from both sides, the Texas rangers who pursued them, Pancho Villa's Dorados, General Pershing's 6,000 gringo troops who were chasing Villa after the raid at Columbus, New Mexico,... read more

An ancient Aztec betrayal Biblical style Ronald A. Barnett ©

Our knowledge of ancient Aztec civilization comes from many different sources: archaeology, codices or painted books, comparative ethnological studies and the like. But it is not until the advent of writing that a clear picture of past history begins to emerge.

That is not to say that historical accounts did not exist before the Conquest. read more

The Dark Side of the Dream Kay Davis

For citizens of both the United States and Mexico, the Mexican-American border, as well as the matter of Mexican immigration are topics of current political dispute, thinly masking a cultural stigmatism that does not fit well with American history or ideals.

Since there have been times when Mexican immigration was sought, The Dark Side of the Dream becomes a very timely read.

It was largely Mexican labor in the fields that kept U.S. troops fed during both World Wars.

In The Dark Side of the Dream, Grattan — himself a mix of cultures with an Irish-American father and a Mexican mother — has given us a sense of real people grappling with everyday challenges... read more

Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan Reviewed by James Tipton

Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan begins in 1906, in those tense years just preceding the Mexican Revolution. A woman in Merida is giving birth to a baby girl, who will be named Amanda Diaz, and who will be one of the principal characters in Xtabentum.

The young Amanda, with the help of her thoughtful father, begins to understand la Casta Divina, the Divine Class, and how most members of this class "considered themselves superior by birth and the lighter color of their skin." read more

A brief history of the Jews in Mexico Mel Goldberg

Mexico today has a Jewish community of between 40,000 to 50,000 with about 37,000 living in Mexico city. The majority of them, Mexican citizens who practice Judaism, are descendents of people who, from 1881 to 1939, found refuge here. Because Mexican economic prosperity allowed religious tolerance, Jews enjoyed the same rights as any other Mexican citizen. read more

The Mango Orchard: The Extraordinary True Story of Family Lost and Found Reviewed by James Tipton

All of his life, Bayley had listened to the stories told to him by his beloved grandmother, stories that usually were about her father, Bayley's great-grandfather Arturo (Arthur Greenhalgh, born 1874 in Tottington, England) who managed a cotton mill in western Mexico in those challenging years immediately preceding the Mexican Revolution.

Worried about life passing him by, in 1898 Arturo "kissed his sweetheart Mariah goodbye and set off on his Mexican adventures."

Bayley, over one-hundred years later, "was plagued by the same fear about life passing me by." read more

El Grito - September 15 or 16?

A streetside stand selling flags and toys with patriotic themes in a Guadalajara suburb. They can be seen from mid August up to Mexico's Independence Day, September 16.
© Daniel Wheeler, 2009
On the night of September 15, 1910, the special envoys stood on the illuminated balconies of the National Palace and watched the fiesta of all fiestas on the Mexcian civil calendar: the grito de independencia, the "cry of independence." But wait. Isn't Mexico's Independence Day on September 16th? read more

2012: Prophecies of the Maya Calendar Allan Wall

Detail of glyphs and numerals. Detaille de glifos y numeros.

Is it true the world will end in 2012? Is the ancient Maya prophecy true? What exactly is supposed to occur on December 21, 2012? Does the Maya calendar really predict a cataclysmic event on that date?

read more

From Tepatitlan, Mexico: The man who could fix anything John Pint

In 1870, the richest man in Guadalajara was, without a doubt, Don Manuel Escandón, owner of La Escoba Yarn and Fabric Company. In this year, however, a terrible setback had befallen him. The brand new and expensive equipment he had recently imported all the way from Germany was now sitting idle. read more

Translation, evangelism and Mexico's classical Aztec literature Ronald A. Barnett ©

Aztec temples were brightly colored.
The Nahuatl (Aztec) song-poems are contained in three collections: the Cantares Mexicanos (Mexico City), the Romances de los señores de Nueva España (University of Texas), and a third fragmentary collection in Paris. read more

Drums in the Hills: A personal story of the Mexican Revolution Reviewed by James Tipton

Drums in the Hills cover art
Frank Dolezal, fighting for Pancho Villa during the Mexican revolution, was captured by some of Venustiano Carranza's troops, taken before a mockery of a trial, and was charged with "Treason against the legitimate government of Mexico." With fifteen other prisoners he was taken to a clearing, offered a final cigarette, and then shot. Miraculously he survived. read more

Was the Aztec's Nahuatl literature a Spanish invention? Translation and evangelism Ronald A. Barnett ©

In ancient Mexico, the spoken word or the oral tradition was greatly reinforced by the use of painted books in which native history and religion were preserved and handed down through successive generations. The Maya had the most advanced system of writing in the Americas at the time Europeans began to arrive, but the Mixtec and Aztec peoples also had a very efficient system of written communication. read more

Architecture of Mexico: the hacienda Tim Street-Porter

The haciendas were the landed estates of Mexico, some with territories as big as Belgium. For visitors to Mexico, they conjure up surreal images of ruined palaces; still possessing a faded grandeur, dominating a desolate landscape of cactus and agave. Before the revolution of 1910, when their lands were confiscated, the haciendas' collective power was enormous. Each one was a rural, autonomous social unit with its own history, and for each, myths accumulate over the centuries. read more

The history of Mexico - a resource page featuring many aspects of Mexican history. Index Page

A comprehensive presentation of Mexico's history including timelines, famous people, ancient history, modern history, the peoples of Mexico, ethnic origins, Indigenous Mexico (Mayan, Huichol, Tarahumar... read more

Mexico - Mexican history time-line overview - resource page

Although all countries have visible remains of their history, Mexico seems to have reminders of its past in just about every town you visit. Due to Mexico's vast history this portion of Mexconnect cont... read more

Paradise Valley Reviewed by James Tipton

"Paradise Valley — five thousand acres of prime, flat, fertile farmland nestled in the Sierra Madre of northeastern Mexico, only a hundred miles from the American border."
Inspired by actual events, several Amish families — finding new state laws impossible to live under because they undermined their faith and way of life — set off in 1922 to begin a new life in Mexico. read more

Revolutionary Days: A Chronology of the Mexican Revolution Reviewed by James Tipton

Revolutionary Days: A Chronology of the Mexican Revolution
Ray Acosta is a second generation Mexican-American His grandparents came from four different parts of Mexico… having fled during the height of the Mexican Revolution. After watching Ken Burns' TV epic on the U.S. Civil War, Acosta was struck by Burns' concluding with "something to the effect that the Civil War still has a profound impact on our lives." read more

Uncovering Tonala's history at the National Ceramic Museum Erin Cassin

Dating back to pre-Hispanic times, the nahual is a shape shifter who switches between human and animal forms and is often characterized as a shaman. read more

This month in Mexico - index page Tony Burton

This Month in Mexico: January/Enero ... read more

Homer and the Aztec muse in Mexican literature Ronald A. Barnett ©

Tribute Page from the Codex Mendoza
Much controversy has recently arisen over several collections of poems in Nahuatl, in particular the Cantares Mexicanos, a manuscript in the National Library of Mexico. These poems are of particular importance because they appear to support a much different picture of the ancient Aztecs than we get from the tzompantli (skull rack) in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán or the horrendous accounts of Aztec human sacrifice left to us by the early Spanish soldiers and missionaries. read more
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