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”

A Voice from Oaxaca Gallery: Some 30 years ago, a youthful 27-year-old acquired a piece of machinery by chance. Not knowing exactly what to do with it, or how it could somehow become a positive factor in his life, he took a gamble and purchased some modest tools and metal. Armando Lozano Ramírez was then […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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