Editor’s Comment

Jan 4: That's blue sky!  April will be wonderful

Did You Know? January’s weather in Mexico forecasts the rest of the year

Many Mexicans, especially campesinos, who are closer to the land than most, believe that the weather during the month of January serves as a long-range forecast for the entire year. The precise prediction system is thought to be based on long cycles of observations carried out in an age when people depended far more on […]

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Travel

Female turtle at the water's edge, moments before a wave took her out to sea. © Joseph Sorrentino, 2022

Canine beach patrol in Colima: Coco the expert turtle-finding dog

Coco has been finding turtle nests for two years now. “She’s a Mini pin (Miniature Pinscher) and something else,” said Eileen Hoeter, her owner. Eileen and her husband Jedd built Villa Star of the Sea, a resort in Playa del Coco, Colima, Mexico, in 2015, and, as they walked along the beach, would come across […]

Folkloric Dance, Mérida © 2022 Jane Simon

The multi-faceted charms of the city of Merida

Despite two delayed flights and a later than expected check-in to Hotel La Nacional By Kavia, the colorful and charming place where I spent the night, I’m buzzed for my first day in Mérida after a breakfast of chilaquiles verdes o rojos and endless cups of coffee topped with warm cream at Casa Maya Restaurant. […]

Food & Cuisine

Making tortillas by hand , Jocotepec. Credit: Gwen Burton.

Mysteries of the Simple Tortilla

You’re at your favorite Mexican restaurant and decide to enjoy a great tortilla with salsa and cheese. You palm the warm disc and spoon chili along the middle bend. That looks great, especially after you sprinkle cheese over the filling. You fold your masterpiece and take a bite. Great, but a second later, your tortilla […]

History & People

Cathedral in downtown Queretaro

Mexico this month – January

Index to Mexico this month (all 12 months) 1, 1857 Conservative general Tomás Mejía assaults the British consulate in San Luis Potosí and steals $240,000. The British government subsequently demands that this sum be included in the external debt owed them by President Juárez. 1, 1873 The birth in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, of the […]

Author at Cenote Xlacah. © 2022 Jane Simon Ammeson

Visiting Dzibilchaltún: an ancient city in an ancient land

Once a vast city of 40,000 spread across 8 square miles or so of jungle and meadows, Dzibilchaltún was a long-lived Mayan city, a major player in the salt trade, and the ultimate survivor. Founded around 300 B.C., Dzibilchaltún lasted until the arrival of the Spanish in 1540. An architectural marvel even now, as it […]

A Spanish Galleon aground on the Baja California Peninsula, illustration by Gordon Miller. Reproduced by kind permission of the artist; all rights reserved.

Solving the mystery of a lost Spanish galleon on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula

When European ships were wrecked at sea, a Christian burial was usually afforded those whose bodies washed up on the shoreline. That was not the case here. Somewhere on a desolate stretch of a Baja California beach lie the bones and cargo of a once majestic Spanish galleon. It was around 1576 when she vanished […]

This diorama in Mexico City's Templo Mayor museum shows a Tenochtitlan market selling agricultural produce © Anthony Wright, 2013

A Tale of Three Cities: Mexico City, Teotihuacan and Tenochititlan

1. Mexico City On the way to Ecuador, I took a five-day diversion to Mexico City. As souvenirs, I picked up a stomach bug and a rather extreme case of sun-burn. Neither were timetabled, but both easily gained with the correct measure of self-neglect. I was respectively supported by a high altitude that increased the […]

The lintel above the door of this structure is flat. © Joseph Sorrentino, 2021

Site of sacrifice rediscovered in Mexico City: On The Trail Of Xipe Tótec

I first met one of Xipe Tótec’s priests on March 30, 2018. I know the exact date because, happily, my Nikon records the date of every photo I shoot. Me, I’m not that good at keeping accurate records. Fortunately, I didn’t actually meet the priest because Xipe Tótec was the Mexica god of, among other […]

In the Ex-Convento de San Pablo Apostol in Yuriria, Michoacan, graceful arches soar above the lower arcade and adjoin to columns that surround the inner courtyard. The beautiful old convent dates from the 16th century and is one of the largest in Mexico. This original photograph forms part of the Olden Mexico collection. © Darian Day and Michael Fitzpatrick, 2010

Mexico this month – June

Index to Mexico this month (all 12 months) June 1, 1565. Andrés de Urdaneta sets sail from the Philippine Islands on what eventually becomes recognized as a landmark voyage in sailing history. His return to New Spain, by sailing across the Pacific Ocean from west to east, is the earliest documented successful voyage in this […]

Living, Working, Retiring

So, you know Spanish and Mexican culture concerning languages? A bit of advice

Chiapas fruit stand, 2004. Credit: Marisa Burton.

Should You Walk with a Friend in Mexico?

After numerous forays into Mexico over the past six decades, I’ve learned a few things about Mexico and Mexicans. Most of our southern neighbors are honest, trustworthy and friendly to a fault. However, do not trust a Mexican amigo when it comes to accurate walking distances. I don’t care if you’ve known the person for […]

Students at UIEM, San Felipe del Progreso, Mexico State - Estudiantes en la UIEM, San Felipe del Progreso, el Estado de México. © 2021 James Musselman

Higher Education for Indigenous Communities in Mexico

More than 8 million people in Mexico, about 6% of the total population, speak one or more of the country’s 68 original (indigenous) languages. [1] Najo’obiñ’eje, Welcome, bienvenidos, in Mazahua. Pjiekak’joo, “We speak”, the name of the critically endangered Tlahuica language. Despite an official proclamation following the Mexican Revolution of the elimination of racial prejudice […]

Fountain, San Miguel de Allende. © Pat Hall 2021

A Perfect Day in San Miguel de Allende

Pat Hall A Perfect Day in San Miguel Yesterday was rather hot for San Miguel de Allende — about 29°-30°C, but there was a nice breeze and, of course, no humidity. We have a different restaurant for our main meal each day of the week. On Saturdays we always go to one of our favorites […]

Posts of Interest

Aztecs & Maya

Author at Cenote Xlacah. © 2022 Jane Simon Ammeson

Visiting Dzibilchaltún: an ancient city in an ancient land

Once a vast city of 40,000 spread across 8 square miles or so of jungle and meadows, Dzibilchaltún was a long-lived Mayan city, a major player in the salt trade, and the ultimate survivor. Founded around 300 B.C., Dzibilchaltún lasted until the arrival of the Spanish in 1540. An architectural marvel even now, as it […]

Labná

The Maya civilization, cities of the Maya

The material splendor of the Maya culture is appreciated, more than in any other field, in the architecture and ornamentation of their cities. These city-states were the center of power for the king-priests who administered the obedience, the tribute and the manpower of the people who believed in them. Many Maya cities and ceremonial centres […]

Palenque: The Palace seen from the Temple of the Sun

The Maya civilization and cities: a resource page

To the foreigner, the words ‘Maya’ and ‘Mayan’ conjure up images of archeological ruins and a lost society and culture. Currently, the word ‘Chiapas’ brings to mind rebellion, Sub Commandante Marcos and a sense of confusion. What many do not understand is the relationship between the historical Maya and today’s living expression of that culture […]

Aztec calendar stone

Mysteries of the Fifth Sun: the Aztec Calendar

-Valley of Anahuac, New Year’s Eve, 1507. Tenochtitlán, the great island city, capital of the Mexica empire, lies cloaked in darkness. An eerie silence pervades the vast ceremonial center — the Teocalli or Templo Mayor — spreading out over Moctezuma’s splendid palace, with its botanical gardens and well-stocked zoo, across the market places, canals, aqueducts, and within each of […]

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About Mexican Food

Piñata. © Maria Elena, 1999

A Mexican Christmas dinner: tamales, turkey, tejocotes

Mexican Kitchen The usually bustling Mexican markets become even more so in December, when the mountains of fruit for ponche navideño (Christmas punch) compete with a wild array of tinsel-y decorations for shoppers’ attention, and the excitement leading to the posadas and pastorelas builds up. The culmination of all this preparation is, of course, Noche […]

Culture & Arts

Ivonne Kennedy.

Ivonne Kennedy: Oaxacan painter with international sensibility

Don’t let the name fool you, Ivonne Kennedy is a genuine Oaxacan painter—but on her own terms. Kennedy was born in 1971 in the city of Oaxaca. While ‘foreign’ last names are not terribly uncommon in Mexico, they are pretty rare in Oaxaca, and ‘foreign’ first names even more so. So, quickly, before we get […]

Cover, Foreign Footprints in Ajijic

Foreign Footprints in Ajijic: Decades of Change in a Mexican Village (review)

Tony Burton’s most recent book, Foreign Footprints in Ajijic, captures a period of time in Ajijic’s history from the 1940s to the 1980s that is both intriguing and eye-opening. It is hard to imagine the comings and goings that took place in this seemingly quiet fishing village nestled beside Lake Chapala, a stone’s throw from […]

Posts of Interest

Cultural Customs

Chiapas fruit stand, 2004. Credit: Marisa Burton.

Should You Walk with a Friend in Mexico?

After numerous forays into Mexico over the past six decades, I’ve learned a few things about Mexico and Mexicans. Most of our southern neighbors are honest, trustworthy and friendly to a fault. However, do not trust a Mexican amigo when it comes to accurate walking distances. I don’t care if you’ve known the person for […]

Dog Walker in Condesa, Mexico City

Linguistic and cultural language puzzles in Mexico

Pat Hall On one of our first trips to Mexico, my husband asked a perplexing question: “Why are Mexicans using the Welsh word, oi?” My husband is from Wales and, at that point, spoke no Spanish. The British use the word oi as an interjection to call attention, or as a challenge, depending on its […]

Dresses. © Marisa Burton 2018.

La Quinceañera: a celebration of budding womanhood

The transition from childhood to womanhood is a significant passage for adolescent girls in almost all cultures. In Mexico, it is marked with the celebration of the Quinceañera, or 15th Birthday. From a north-of-the-border viewpoint, it may be seen as a cross between Sweet Sixteen and a debutante’s coming out party. The celebration is a […]

Herbs in a botica or yerberia in Amarillo are sold by the ounce or bag, and the price of the herb will include advice from the yerbero who will specify what quantity of the herb to use and how to take it. The most common form is herbal teas. In other cases the herb may be applied directly to the affected area. © John G. Gladstein, 2010

Mexico’s alternative medicine in Amarillo, Texas

In Mexico, alternative medicine has long been popular. With the increase of healthcare costs, insurance, traditional medicines and a visit to the doctor’s office in the U.S., many people are seeking alternative means to treat ailments, both physical and mental. “In most cases with non-traditional treatment, there is no language barrier, no need for an […]