Aztec calendar stone

Mexico this month – December

Index to Mexico this month (all 12 months) U.S. CONGRESS TO FRANCE: WITHDRAW! BIRTH OF A GREAT MURALIST FORTUNE HUNTER EXPLORES THE WEST AWARD FOR FOREIGNERS RED SHIRTS MASSACRE CHURCH-GOERS 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 […]

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La Anunciación a María, clay and polychrome figurine, artist unknown, Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, 1982 © Anthony Wright, 2012

Christmas in Mexico: Navidad en Mexico, a Mexican holiday resource page

Few North Americans recognize that the roots of these treasured “Christmas” traditions were active long before the birth of Christ. In fact, most evolved from pagan winter solstice rituals of the Celts, Druids, Scandinavians and indigenous groups, and the much older Jewish Festival of Lights. While the most beloved Mexican Christmas traditions are firmly based […]

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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 […]

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Fishing boats sit idle on the beach, Isla Holbox, Mexico © Ryan Biller, 2021

Whale shark ecotourism brings new hope to fishing communities in Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo

Each year, the Mexican state of Quintana Roo is swarmed by foreign tourists. Even in 2020, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Cancún alone saw upwards of two million tourists. Being that the region was one of the few permitting entry to foreigners, I decided to make the journey from […]

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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 […]

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Viñedos Aztecas © 2021 Jane Simon Ammeson

Sampling fine wines on the Querétaro Wine Trail

In a land of smokey mezcals, rompopes, single-distilled raicillas, cervezas, tequilas, and Kahlua—that thick, sweet coffee liqueur made in Veracruz whose name in Nahuatl means the house of the Acolhua people—wine would seem to scarcely merit a mention. But in the 30 miles stretching between San Juan del Río and Bernal, known as the Querétaro […]

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Tamales de elote © Daniel Wheeler, 2008

Los Tamales: Five Hundred Years at the Heart of the Fiesta

Mexico is the land of fiestas, and never more than during the month of December, when the feasts are so many that they overlap by several days. Starting on December 3, the beginning of the nine-day tribute to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and continuing through until January 6, Three Kings Day, there is non-stop celebration. In addition […]

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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 […]

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