Editor’s Comment

The Passion of Christ: Easter in Ixtapalapa, a Mexico City neighborhood

Easter in Mexico, Semana Santa and Pascua: a Mexican holiday resource page

For Mexico, the Easter holidays are a combination of Semana Santa (Holy Week — Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday) and Pascua (Resurrection Sunday until the following Saturday). For most Mexicans, this 2 week period is the time of year for holiday vacations (good time to not be on the highways — just stay put and […]

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Travel

View of Parque Fundidora from atop Blast Furnace. © 2024 Allan Wall

Monterrey’s Fundidora Park showcases city’s industrial heritage

As readers of MexConnect are no doubt aware, Mexico has a great variety of tourist attractions of various types. There are the pre-Hispanic ruins, Spanish colonial architecture, churches and cathedrals, government buildings, battlefields, fortresses, houses of famous people, museums, beaches, mountains and other types of natural scenery. But what about industrial tourism? That’s one you […]

Zihuatanejo © 2023 Jane Simon Ammeson

Relax for the day in picture-perfect Zihuatanejo

We take the coastal road south as it winds through the tree-covered Sierra Madre del Sur mountains and past vistas of the blue waters of the Pacific far below, traveling to Zihuatanejo, pronounced Zi-Wat-En-Ay-O, as anyone who has ever heard the song of the same name knows. Often called Zihua for short, the name comes […]

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

Cover

Lake Chapala: A Postcard History (review)

Tony Burton’s most recent book, Lake Chapala: a postcard history, is an interesting pictorial romp through the Lake Chapala area from just before the twentieth century to about 1960. Over 150 postcards mostly taken from Burton’s private collection give a broad overview of what life was like around the lake from the time when the […]

The Fort of San Juan Ulua was first built as a castle in the 1550s. It is a landmark in the Mexican city of Veracruz. © Roberta Sotonoff, 2009

Mexico this month – March

Index to Mexico this month (all 12 months) 1, 1521 Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec emperor, is crowned, without fanfare. Tradition dictates that he has to marry and he does so, with his cousin Teucipoh. 1, 1845 The U.S. Congress approves the annexation of Texas and chooses the Rio Bravo as its southern limit. 2, 1897 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Aztec calendar stone

Mexico this month – December

Index to Mexico this month (all 12 months) December 1, 1810 José María Mercado, a priest supporting Father Hidalgo’s call for independence from Spain, attacks the Pacific coast port of San Blas, capturing it in a few hours. 2, 1546 Hernán Cortés, leader of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, dies in Spain. His body is […]

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 […]

Living, Working, Retiring

Farmacia Guadalajara in Puerto Vallarta

Best medication prices for expats in Mexico

A Mexican local bus

I swear the laws concerning size are suspended when Driving in Mexico

Mexican driving continues to astonish me even after cruising the country for over fifty years. Like most newcomers, I used to be amazed by driving differences ranging from speed to taking stop signs with a wink. Most of those alternative driving methods have not just grown on me, but I’ve adopted them and even prefer […]

Typical afternoon traffic on the Periferico in the south of Mexico City. © Anthony Wright, 2009

Car Troubles and Traffic Flow Patterns

If you break down in the middle of a busy highway, avenue or freeway, hope you are in Mexico and not north of its border. In Mexico, other drivers automatically adjust to the problem, and traffic continues to flow. Eight or ten lanes hurrying each way during rush hour can be common. Try Avenida Fundadores […]

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

Unless you are one hundred percent fluent in Spanish, expect the Mexicans around you to know more English than you do Spanish. Bob, a friend, retired to Mexico and opened a small maintenance business. He didn’t need to know the simple or common Spanish words for chair, table, or car for his investment. He instead […]

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

Cover

Lake Chapala: A Postcard History (review)

Tony Burton’s most recent book, Lake Chapala: a postcard history, is an interesting pictorial romp through the Lake Chapala area from just before the twentieth century to about 1960. Over 150 postcards mostly taken from Burton’s private collection give a broad overview of what life was like around the lake from the time when the […]

Holy Friday evening, Los Varones carry the coffin through the village. The procession walks on tapetes de aserrín. © Joseph Sorrentino, 2023

Holy Week in San Gregorio Atlapulco, Xochimilco, Mexico City

Like virtually every pueblo in Mexico, residents of San Gregorio Atlapulco (in Xochimilco, Mexico City) celebrate Semana Santa (Holy Week) with processions, extra masses and a depiction of Christ’s crucifixion. But one thing sets San Gregorio apart from other pueblos: Holy Week is run by fourteen young men known as Los Varones. There’s no group […]

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 […]