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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

Lancandon Journal - 1969 Reviewed by James Tipton

In July of 1969, Bulgarian born artist-adventurer Dimitar Krustev, almost 50 years old, and his inexperienced young companion named Gary set off, in their folding kayak, to explore, traveling on its waters, the jungles of southern Chiapas, the still largely unknown land of the Lancandon Maya.

In 1969, this culture was already in decline, undermined by the relentless forces of what some still call progress.

Jungle adventures are always challenging. This trip was a very difficult one for Gary, his young companion, and although difficult as well for Krustev, the artist was generally of a calm and philosophically disposed spirit... read more

Ethnic diversity in Mexico Index Page

Mexico is an ethnically diverse country. To understand México, one must understand her peoples, their history and contributions to what is the México of today. Within this section, we consider those ... read more

The Meseta Purepecha in Michoacan

This guide takes you through the highways and backroads of Michoacán, where time seems to have stopped amid the jewels of colonial architecture and life in the Meseta Purépecha. Michoacán is history, culture, tradition, customs, fairs, fiestas, dances, music, arts and crafts, cuisine, architecture, archaeology, and diverse natural beauty. The Meseta Purépecha is the best example of what makes up Michoacán, and that's why Michoacán is the soul of Mexico.

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The indigenous people of Oaxaca John P. Schmal

The Mexican state of Oaxaca, located along the Pacific Ocean in the southeastern section of the country, consists of 95,364 square kilometers and occupies 4.85% of the total surface area of the Mexican... read more

Indigenous Mexico: an overview John P. Schmal

The Republic of Mexico is a very large country, boasting a total area of almost 1,978,000 square kilometers (760,000 square miles) and a population of 103,400,165 (July 2002 estimate). With its central... read more

Indigenous Chihuahua: a story of war and assimilation John P. Schmal

Several million Americans look to the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua as their ancestral homeland. Chihuahua - with a total of 245,945 square kilometers within its boundaries - is the largest state... read more

Did you know? In Chiapas, Mexico's Mam turn to organic farming Tony Burton

Organic farming has helped some indigenous peoples in Mexico to reinvent themselves. How many people are there? According to INEGI figures, about six million Mexicans over the age of five speak at le... read more

The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Back in 1940, just before Pearl Harbour, John Steinbeck and his marine biologist friend, Ed Rickets, chartered a fishing boat, the Western Flyer, in Monterey, California, and sailed down the coast around the Baja into the Sea of Cortez. Their six-week mission was to collect specimens of marine life in the area. They jointly wrote a book about the voyage, largely about marine biology, which was published in 1941. A decade later, Steinbeck himself wrote this more personal book. The result is a mixture of travel writing, journalism, diary-keeping, philosophy, meditation and, yes, there's a lot of stuff about the marine life of the area. After all, the author was something of an authority in that field. read more

Along Party Lines Karina Ioffee

No one had heard of Chiapas until January 1, 1994, when the EZLN seized government offices in the state capital of San Cristobal and five other surrounding towns. Now the Zapatistas are world re-known ... read more

Instituto Cientifico de Na Bolom: a magical place in Chiapas for Maya studies Larry Freeman

For an exotic place and a surprising destination, I strongly recommend The Instituto Cientifico de Na Bolom, the Scientific Institute of Na Bolom (House of the Tiger). It is located in the State... read more

Did you know? Small village in Mexico wins UN Development Prize Tony Burton

Every two years, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) awards the Equator prize (worth 30,000 dollars) to communities that have shown "outstanding achievement in the reduction of poverty thro... read more

Copper Canyon, Chihuahua, Mexico by Richard D. Fisher Reviewed by Allan Cogan

I suspect this may turn out more like a travel article than a book review. In late March we took a tour through the length of the Copper Canyon and I find it difficult to know how to write about this book without bringing in various aspects of the Canyon trip itself. It really is a spectacular journey and Richard Fisher's account does total justice to the subject matter. This is a large format quality paperback and it contains hundreds of excellent photos of the people and places one encounters along the way. I can't imagine a better souvenir to take away. read more

Days of Obligation: An Argument with my Mexican Father by Richard Rodriguez Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Richard Rodriguez is the son of Mexican parents but was born in California. He sounds as though he understands Spanish but admits he doesn't speak it fluently. I definitely found Rodriguez to be a very provocative writer. read more

Mornings in Mexico by D. H. Lawrence

I should confess right off the bat that this one is out of print. Amazon.com doesn’t have any copies. However, I’m sure it’s still available in libraries or used bookstores. In any case, it’s worth looking for. It’s a collection of essays and travel pieces that resulted from Lawrence’s visits to Mexico and New Mexico in the early 1920s. Some wonderful descriptive writing is to be found here. read more

Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California by Bruce Berger Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Bruce Berger is an excellent guide to the Baja. He’s been going there since the mid '60s, having driven the length of the peninsula at least three times when that meant travelling more than 1,000 kilometers of single lane dirt road. One could drive for a day and meet only one other car. And you would never dream of leaving without taking plenty of food, water and gasoline plus whatever extras and spare parts you might need to fix auto problems along the way. read more
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