Atrium of San Antonio de Padua Convent © 2020 Jane Simon Ammeson

A fun afternoon in Izamal, Yucatan: a Pueblo Magico in Shades of Yellow

I’m traveling along narrow cobblestone streets flanked on both sides by rows of adobe buildings washed with bright yellow and accented with white trim and large ceramic pots brimming with colorful blooms. My mode of transportation is a white “coche Victoria” (or calesa) pulled by a mule named Dolly, garlanded with flowers and a hat […]

Continue Reading
Radish sculpture of Frida Kahlo painting a portrait of Diego Rivera © Tara Lowry, 2013

Radiant radishes: La Noche de Rabanos in Oaxaca

For one night of the year in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Raphanus sativus, or radish as it is more commonly known, escapes its destiny as root vegetable side dish and becomes art. Thousands upon thousands of radish revelers turn out on December 23rd to check out the newest vegetable-turned-art creations on display in the Zocalo. The artists have […]

Continue Reading
Day of the Dead in Mexican folk art © Mary Jane Gagnier Mendoza 2003

Dia de los Muertos: the dead come to life in Mexican folk art

Day of the Dead in Mexican folk art © Mary Jane Gagnier Mendoza 2003 For foreigners, the traditions and celebrations in Mexican homes and cemeteries during the Day of the Dead seem strange, if not incomprehensible. There is mourning and rejoicing; sadness and silliness – woven together into one emotional fabric. To me, it’s like […]

Continue Reading
Encruzados Processing

Silver, saints, and sinners™: Semana Santa in Taxco, Mexico

If you have heard of the picturesque, old colonial Mexican town of Taxco at all, you probably associate it with that precious metal so characteristic of Mexico – silver. If you had asked Cortés about Taxco almost 500 years ago, he would have made the same association. In fact, the silver and other minerals from […]

Continue Reading
An altar de muertos dedicated to Lola Beltran © Daniel Wheeler, 2009

Mexico conjures spirits with picturesque ofrendas

Unique observances that exemplify the fusion of Mesoamerican and European cultures, particularly regarding religious practices, render Mexico’s celebration of los Dias de los Muertos as the most distinctive holiday on the nation’s calendar. Customs associated with this festive time of remembrance defy any strict formula, for the practices specific to each region vary considerably. Among […]

Continue Reading