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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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1935 film - Chrysler

Touring Mexico by car in 1935

While paintings interpret reality, film and photography give us a vivid look at the past. What was Mexico like in 1935? The Revolution over, Lazaro Cardenas was president. Feelings of nationalism ran high and would make possible the expropriation of Mexico’s vast oil reserves in 1938. Movies focused on social themes and historical events along with the melodramas […]

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Potato, onion, garlic and eggs are essential for tortitas de papa. © Daniel Wheeler, 2010

Did You Know? A fungus from Mexico and the Irish potato famine

There wouldn’t be many Irish people in the United States if it wasn’t for a Mexican fungus. The census of 1841 in Ireland recorded a population of about 8 million. This figure was a staggering 300% more than sixty years earlier. The staple Irish food at that time was the humble potato and Ireland’s rapid […]

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Colima dog

Dog with a human mask: The ceramic dogs from Colima

Mexicans love wearing masks. My favorite is a statue of a dog wearing a human mask created about 300 A.D, and found near Colima. Masks are part of the Christmas pastorelas, depicting the devil, the hermit and Sin, dressed in red satin. Masks are an integral part of many ritual dances (the Spanish word is danza for ceremonial dances.) […]

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Santa Saturnina and San Carlos © Gordon Miller

Did you know? 19th century Mexico map maker first sailor through the Georgia Strait, Canada

José María Narváez (1768-1840) is one of Mexico’s forgotten heroes. Captain George Vancouver is usually given the credit for exploring the Georgia Strait and discovering the site of the city that now bears his name, but actually José María Narváez y Gervete was the first European to sail and chart those waters a full year […]

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