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Orchids of Mexico Luis Dumois

 
There are an estimated 30,000 orchid species in nature, making them the most extense floral plant family on Earth. There are specimens as big as a tree, and miniatures with flowers as small as a pin head. A family so vast and diverse understands more about exceptions than about rules. Nevertheless, a quality more than any other defines the orchid: the fusion of the feminine portion of the flower - pistils - with the masculine, - stamens. Orchids have three pistils and three stamens, but they differ from other flowers, which present these elements as separate units, in that orchids have them fusioned into one structure called column or gynostemium, located in the center of the labelum, that usually showy and colored lip we admire in the flower. read more

Mexico's endless Pacific beach: sun, surf, sand, seafood and solitude Gerry Soroka

There's more to the Mexico seashore than skimboards, seafood and sun-bathing bronzed bodies: there is solitude. There are vast stretches of uninhabited or unfrequented beaches lounging serenely beside a roiling sea that stretches westward seemingly into infinity. read more

Our Lady of Guadalupe Luis Dumois

Virgin of Guadalupe - Tree of Life sculptures by Juan Hernández Arzaluz of Metepec.
Our Lady of Guadalupe has accompanied us in war and peace, in joy and grief, in life and death. She was the standard for Hidalgo and Morelos armies. She has been invoked and sought by us in times of despair and destruction, in times of serenity and reconstruction, then and now, as She will be tomorrow. I know that I can be a perfect Catholic and still not believe in Her. But I don't see how can anyone consider herself or himself truly a Mexican without trusting in the Lady from Heaven, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. read more

Mexico beauty and genius Marvin West

It has been said that beauty is where you see it and genius is all around, waiting to be identified. Beauty — Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre is an adobe house and little wildlife refuge on the ban... read more

Life on the road Mexico style Marvin West

Laredo International Bridge
Snowbirds are landing in our exciting little corner of Mexico. Merchants say none too soon. We, the Wests, enjoy Christmas at Thanksgiving with our extended family in Tennessee. When the last guest goes home, we follow them out the door, in the general direction of Jocotepec, at the west end (naturally) of Lake Chapala... read more

Cheers for Mexico seat belts Marvin West

Road signs in Mexico.
© Bill Begalke, 2000
I am an advocate of slowing to almost a stop when speed bumps appear high enough to scar mufflers and rattle dental repairs. I believe in seat belts. At my age, I need all the stability I can get.

I always wear my seat belt when zipping around and about Mexico in our 1998 Volkswagen bug, purchased new when we got serious about going international. My safety routine is to buckle up before starting the engine. On one particular day... read more

Come on down to Cabo San Lucas Marvin West

Los Arcos in Baja California
© Dr. Ilya Treyger
Cabo San Lucas, at the south end of Baja California Sur, can stand alone, a sparkling seaside gem.

The convergence of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific makes it special. The thought that pirates once used it as a haven adds drama. Yachts anchored in the bay say "this is the place," a thousand miles from U.S. border strife.

There is a full-grown marina, a shopping center, high-rise hotels, fancy boutiques, expensive restaurants and clubs... read more

Mexico travels: Return to Torreon Marvin West

Monumental statue of Cristo de las Noas near Torreon, Mexico
© Jarekt, 2008
Once, on our way from El Paso to Guadalajara, we paused in Torreon, a city of half a million or more in the state of Coahuila, 275 miles down good roads from the Texas border, out in the middle of the north country as the crow might fly from Monterrey to Los Mochis.

Our primary aim was to see the very large sculpture of Jesus Christ, 70 feet tall, arms outstretched as if blessing or protecting saints and sinners alike.

We knew El Cristo was high on a hill but we were surprised by the religious business development around him, a replica of the Holy Land, a restaurant with a view, a souvenir sales center... read more

Amazing medical mission to Mexico Reviewed by Marvin West

Mr. Alexander Dumas

Stan Brock, an unusual Englishman made semi-famous by his role in the TV series Wild Kingdom, had founded something called Remote Area Medical and was soliciting volunteers for a three-week mission to one of the Tuxpans somewhere in the mountains of Mexico.

He described the poverty, misery and misfortune that plagued the small village. He talked of deadly disease and infant mortality. His plea for the primitive Indians, the Huichols, may have actually triggered a few tears among the tough military trainees...

read more

Mexico main event: Baja 1000 rerun on TV Marvin West

San Felipe desert
The world's toughest motor vehicle race, the Baja 1000, followed an 883-mile desert loop designed by the devil himself, out, up, down and around, across washes and over boulders, on the most inhospitable terrain of the Baja California peninsula, starting and finishing in Ensenada. read more
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