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July in Oaxaca: The Mexican pageantry of the Guelaguetza Alvin Starkman

Tehuana women in their elaborate traditional dress. © Oscar Encines, 2008
With pageantry unrivalled in all of Mexico, the Guelaguetza is the most colorful and exhilarating of the multitude of festivals in Oaxaca. And in a state with sixteen different indigenous cultures, each with its own unique traditions including language, food, music, dress and dance, it should come as no surprise that the annual two-week July extravaganza draws both Mexican nationals and tourists from all corners of the globe. read more

Three Kings Day in Cajititlan, Mexico Sergio Wheeler

In Mexico, Christmas decorations stay up though January 6. The holiday celebrates Epiphany, when the Three Kings or Wise Men visited the baby Jesus with precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. El Día de los Santos Reyes is celebrated throughout Mexico. Yet nowhere is Three Kings Day more festive than in Cajititlan de Los Reyes, just 6.2 miles from Ajijic, Jalisco. read more

Journey to Patamban, Michoacan Allan Cogan

The Fiesta de Cristo Rey has become as famous as many of the Day of the Dead rites in other communities around Mexico. It's the peak of the flower growing season in Michoacán and the residents not only gather the flowers to decorate the streets but they also paint the streets with incredible and startling floral designs. read more

Guelaguetza Maria Diaz

Monday, July 21, 2014, the colorful pageantry of Mexico's Guelaguetza is reenacted once again during the Lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill. A Zapotec word signifying offering or offertory, Guelaguetza was the term used to describe the Oaxaca ceremony and celebration held each year to propitiate the gods in return for sufficient rain and a bountiful harvest. Today it is one of the most colorful fiestas in Mexico. read more

Season of the Sacred: Rediscovering Christmas in Mexico Sylvia Brenner

I took one look around the tiny, dingy room I had rented and began questioning my sanity. It was December 2 and I was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, after a tiring 24-hour bus ride one thousand mil... read more

December guava fair in Calvillo, Aguascalientes Diodora Bucur

When I first saw guava fruit I mistook it for lemon. It happened on my first trip to Aguascalientes during the summer rainy season when a tree — its branches loaded with tiny round yellow fruit in t... read more

Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico Donald W Miles

There are Mexicans these days who have never attended a Cinco de Mayo celebration. The holiday has taken a back seat to the many saints' days and other festivals. The growth of celebrations in the Uni... read more

Did you know? Mayan architects built world's oldest sound recordings Tony Burton

The Pyramid of Kukulkan, Chichen Itza Photo by Tony Burton Modern sound recordings usually involve tiny disks which can hold dozens of tracks, specially designed to be easily portable an... read more

Semana Santa Holy Week in San Miguel de Allende Geri Anderson

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a misnomer. It s NOT one week! It’s TWO full weeks of parades, processions, parties, prayers and pagentry. For me, it started at 3 a.m. March 16, 1997--two Sundays before Easter. Fireworks. Loud booms. Without a pause. That’s why I remember the exact hour.

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Santa Maria - Morelos Puts Heart Into Its Festivals Julia Taylor

What is at the heart of festivals in Mexico? Mexican festivals have something special that those of us non-Mexicans just have to experience to understand. Santa Maria Ahuacatilan, Morelos is the place ... read more

December in Mazamitla by Ralph Rodriguez with Alan Cogan Allan Cogan and Ralph Rodriguez

December 12th is a very important Catholic holiday in Mexico. It's the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mazamitla is a very small mountain town in Jalisco that celebrates the Virgin's feast day an annual nine-day festival. The final days, we were told, are the best. read more

The Best of San Miguel de Allende 2005 by Joseph Harmes Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Here's a guidebook with a very definite difference. It doesn't just set out in the usual way to give you a rundown on the community and make suggestions on what to do and where to go. Rather, Joseph Harmes, has put together a rather incredible list of 'bests' - some 126 pages of them in fact - to be found in San Miguel de Allende. These range, alphabetically, from Best Art Displays to where to find the Best Yogurt. In between you can mull over several hundred "bests", from Best Views to Best Dance Classes; from Best Tennis Courts to Best Places to Take Out-of-Towners; from Best Parks to Best Hidden Attractions; from Best Tortillas to Best Ways to Avoid Travellers Diarrhea… and so on. read more

In a Village Far from Home Reviewed by Allan Cogan

While living in Guadalajara, Ms. Finerty became acquainted with some Franciscan priests and also with some Huichol Indians who were associated with the Franciscans. Eventually she was invited to visit a Huichol village about a thirty minute flight from Tepic, high in the Sierras in Western Mexico. The only other way to reach this community — Jesús María — was by taking an eight day mule ride. The village wasn't even marked on the map. read more

Living in Timucuy, Yucatan: birth, death and some in-between John G. Gladstein

The Setting Curanderismo The Inhabitants The Physical and Psychological Compadrazco The Beginning Love Is In the Air "I Do" The End of the Game Works Cited ... read more

Sliced Iguana: Travels in Unknown Mexico by Isabella Tree Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Isabella Tree tells about her solitary travels to various parts of Mexico. Is this becoming a sort of literary sub-category - single ladies taking on the world? This book largely consists of a half dozen essays covering specific geographic areas that Ms. Tree visited, including Mexico City, Chiapas and Lake Pátzcuaro. My own personal favorite was "Holy Week," the one on San Miguel de Allende. read more

Surface Tension Mary Ellen Sanger

Only the official registration form on file in the archives and my now-aging memory can attest to Celestino’s entry in the 1952 contest, the year of his biggest loss. The neighbors only saw him carry... read more

Mexico Travelers' Tales Reviewed by Allan Cogan

This is one of the really superior anthologies of articles and stories about Mexico. It's made up of some 48 items about the country taken from a wide variety of sources. And they're almost all interesting. The topics cover the gamut of attractions and delights from a dissertation on mariachis to Carlos Fuentes' essay on Mexico City's main square. read more

Aqui es México Bill Begalke

Of all the most endearing and enduring charms that draw travelers back to Mexico, the effect that the country can have upon a sense of humor is the most magical. It arises out of an initial attitude o... read more

Carnival on Cozumel David Hammer

We could hear the faint sound of drums from our condo. As we walked in the tropical twilight toward the parade the music became louder. We heard a mixture of calypso, reggae, flamingo and pop, each dis... read more

Fiesta de Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta Wendy Devlin

Felipe Avila handed me his burning candle, converting me from spectator to pilgrim in the Fiesta de Guadalupe! My arrival in Puerto Vallarta coincided with the beginning of the weeklong Fiesta de Guad... read more

Charros and Charreadas, a Mexican tradition Susan Dearing

The yearly "Fiestas de Santiago" was going full tilt. And I truly mean tilt, because at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, I noticed quite a few local residents in a very happy mood due to the consumption of ... read more

Fiesta in Chiapas Wendy Devlin

After a long, hot, dry drive through eastern Oaxaca’s Isthmus de Tehuantepec, our van and trailer began climbing the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. The Central Depression of Chiapas spread its valley banqu... read more

Dia de las Madres: Mother's Day in Mexico Vee Webber

In May of 1992, we were still in process of finishing up the remodel of our trailer/ cabaña, to turn it into a real house. Over the previous six months the trailer had been dismantled, two bedro... read more

The San Marcos Fair in Aguascalientes, and what to do afterwards Tony Burton

The San Marcos Fair, held from the second week in April to the first week of May each year, attracts thousands of visitors from all over Mexico and the United States. It dates back to 1604 when a small indigenous Indian settlement, San Marcos, was founded within walking distance of the growing Spanish city of Aguascalientes. The fair's religious origins, long forgotten, have given way to a lively, colorful three week spectacular, in which bullfights, folkloric dancing, mechanical games, cockfights, cultural events and merrymaking all compete for visitor's attentions.

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