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Welcome to the new MexConnect!

If you are new to MexConnect, we hope you enjoy the site and discover its incredible richness of information. If you are a previous reader of the site, we hope you will take the time to discover how truly powerful the new design is as a means of discovering all your old favorites, as well […]

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Travel

diving group

Diving in Cancun

Unlike Cozumel with its abundance of dive shops, Cancun is home to only ten. But, as I discovered, this city has much to offer a diver looking for a unique diving experience. Located twelve miles from Cozumel on the mainland, Cancun is home to some of the best diving found anywhere. While many people know […]

Monarch butterflies in a Michoacan sanctuary © Tony Burton, 1997

Butterflies by the million : the Monarchs of Michoacán

Every winter, more than one hundred million monarch butterflies fly into Mexico from the U.S. and Canada. On arrival they congregate in a dozen localities high in the temperate pine and fir forests of the state of Michoacán. As a species, monarchs are native to North America, but they subsequently island-hopped their way around the […]

History & People

The Battle of Calderon Bridge (Tony Burton)

Did you know? Independence battle map is upside down

The battle in question is the Battle of Calderon Bridge (Batalla del Puente de Calderon), fought just outside Guadalajara in January 1811 as part of Mexico’s fight for Independence. The decisive battle was waged on the morning of Thursday, January 17. Imagine the scene. One side, led by Ignacio Allende, had some eighty thousand ill-equipped […]

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 […]

Fuchsia fulgens

Did you know? Many common garden flowers originated in Mexico

Karl Theodor Hartweg (1812-1871) came from a long line of gardeners and had gardening in his genes. Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, on June 18, 1812, he worked in Paris, at the Jardin des Plantes, before moving to England to work in the U.K. Horticultural Society’s Chiswick gardens in London. Keen to travel even further afield, […]

It is a relatively easy walk to the Templo San Juan partially buried by Paricutin (approx 50 feet of lava). I was surprised to find lots of people around the church. A tent restaurant is nearby where you can buy drinks and food. © Rick Meyer, 2001

The cow killers: Memories of Michoacan in 1948

Luis Dumois’ article about Volcán Paricutín released a few vivid memories of my teenage years in Mexico. In 1948 I was incredibly lucky to visit the volcano of Paricutín in its full and frightening glory. Fountains of luminous, red lava tossed high in the air, crashing and spilling down the sides of Paricutín’s steadily growing cone. Thundering […]

The Zuno house in Guadalajara (Ed Fesler)

The Zuno house in Guadalajara, Mexico is doubly ‘historic’

The venerable old Zuno residence is a historic house in its own right but was designed to teach Mexican history. So it’s doubly “historic.” The person who said modern artists try to hide their meanings was wrong. This house was designed by four distinguished modern Mexican artists — aided by two architects — and yet […]

The beautiful church of Santo Domingo is very popular for religious rites of passage such as quince años, weddings, funerals and first communions

History of Oaxaca: The Colonial Era

History of Oaxaca Part 2 – Colonial Era Part 1 Pre-hispanic Era Welcome to the continuation of an overview of life in Oaxaca, past and recent. In this article, we will look at Oaxaca in the colonial period from 1521 to 1821, when Mexico received its independence from Spain. The Aztec capital of Gran Tenochtitlan […]

Living, Working, Retiring

Bronze earrings by Mexican artisan Armando Lozano take the shape of masks. © Alvin Starkman 2008

Armando Lozano Ramirez, master sculptor and jeweler: Oaxaca’s “man of steel”

Native to Mexico and the rest of tropical America, the dwarf poinciana blooms in orange-red and yellow flowers. © Linda Abbott Trapp 2009

Crossandra, mango and jellybean plant: ornamental plants and flowers of tropical Mexico

Common names, scientific names, use and care, cultivation and propagation tips, flowering habits, history and little-known facts for the curious tourist or resident. Family: Acanthaceae Alternate Names: Firecracker Flower. The scientific name is from the Greek, meaning “fringed antlers.” Use: This tropical shrub is originally from India but is widely cultivated for its beautiful, long-lasting flowers. It is […]

Mexican microeconomics: The Tuesday market in San Miguel de Allende

Like a shimmering mirage that lasts only until your next blink, the Tuesday Market, or tianguis, appears once a week at dawn, assembled upon a vast windswept concrete slab near the parking lot of the San Miguel municipal sports complex. Just as quickly, it evaporates after sunset. Each week, from battered pickups and vans, a hoard of […]

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 […]

Posts of Interest

Aztecs & Maya

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 […]

The Maya Civilization, Maya Numerals And Calendar

Ancient Maya discovered two fundamental ideas in mathematics: positional value and the concept of zero. This feat was accomplished by only one other great culture of antiquity, the Hindu. But they did it 300 years or so after the Maya. These two elements, positional value and zero, might be considered simple and basic concepts nowadays. […]

The Mayan site of Coba (© Trevor Burton 2016)

The Ancient Maya – A Commercial Empire

The ancient Maya achieved compelling and impressive socio-economic complexity during pre-conquest period. Extraordinary ancient cities such as Tikal and Caracol are scattered through out eastern Mexico and Guatemala. These economic centers exemplify the economic might and wealth of the ancient civilization. How did the ancient Maya attain such great affluence? The development of an extensive […]

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About Mexican Food

Fresh fruit for juices and agua fresca, a refreshing drink popular throughout Mexico. © Christina Stobbs, 2011

Mexican frozen treats: Helados, nieves and paletas

The long, nasal cry of the ice cream vendor reverberates throughout the mercado. On a busy market day, he has some serious competition from people hawking other wares, but he trundles along with his huge wooden containers, successfully drowning out many of the other vendors. “¡Nieve-e-e-e-e-s!” The Spanish word for snow, a general term for frozen treats in […]

Culture & Arts

The costumes worn by Conchero Dancers can easily cost a life's savings. They are heavily influenced by Miztec or Aztec design.

Masks and feather headdresses: Mexicans celebrate danzas

Mexicans love to wear masks, to dance and make music in a blazing display of fireworks, feasting and shooting off pistols. Appearances are deceptive; even the poorest pueblo collects money to celebrate the patron saint’s day, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Independence Day and whatever else calls for gaiety and loud noise. Religious and historical dances […]

The Huichol survive into the 21st century

The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival

Susana Eger Valadez traveled to Mexico about 20 years ago while working on her Master of Arts Degree in Latin American Studies. She completed the degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). In the process of studying the Huichol people, her life was changed forever. In 1981, Susana Eger and her Huichol […]

Posts of Interest

Cultural Customs

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 […]

Town Meeting © Judith Cooper Haden, 2002

Communicating across Cultures

Communication is more than just speaking, writing, and editing; it also involves information gathering and teamwork. In the economy of the new century, this means communicating cross-culturally. There are three main components to any communication: subject matter medium of delivery cultural considerations Of the three, the third is generally ignored. While fashionable phrases get uttered […]

Tiburcio Wedding

It takes more than “I Do” to marry in Mexico

Dreaming of that storybook wedding on a scenic cliff above crashing ocean waves, blessed by a Mexican sunset while mariachis croon? Or amid bougainvillea’d stone arches in a colonial setting? Few places on earth offer up as many of those Kodak moments as Mexico, and that’s why Mexico has become one of the most popular […]

Sisters with their motherPhoto Rivas ©

Mother’s Day in Mata Ortiz

Juan Mata Ortíz is a small village of potters, farmers and cowboys in Northern Chihuahua. About 30 years ago, an unschooled artistic genius, Juan Quezada, taught himself how to make  ollas, earthenware jars, by a method used hundreds of years ago by the prehistoric inhabitants. Now, his works are known worldwide and over 300 men, women […]