Michoacan

Region
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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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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Spicy Braised Pork: Puerco Estilo Apatzingan

The area around Apatzingan is famous for its pork. The flavor of this dish is somewhat reminiscent of the carnitas for which Michoacán is famous. Unlike carnitas, the pork is baked in the oven instead of fried in lard, and the seasoning ingredients make serving a salsa unnecessary. Ingredients: 2 pound piece pork shoulder (do not substitute with […]

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Plaza-Style Chicken: Pollo Placero

From early evening until late at night, stands are set up in the plazas of Morelia, Pátzcuaro and other cities in Michoacan selling this popular supper. We watched women bring the different elements of this dish – chicken, vegetables and enchilada sauce – which had been pre-cooked at home, then heat them in hot oil […]

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Juan Pascoe at his press Photo reproduced by kind permission of Juan Pascoe

Did you know? Mexico has one of the world’s oldest still-functioning printing presses

One of the oldest printing presses still in operation anywhere in the world is in Tacámbaro, Michoacán. Juan Pascoe lives on a remote ex-hacienda outside Tacámbaro, Michoacán. Visitors invited to view his work often think they’ve lost their way in the surrounding sugar-cane fields, but then suddenly catch their first glimpse of the former Great […]

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Journey to Patamban

Patamban – The Fiesta De Cristo Rey

As thousands prepare for the trek to Patzcuaro, and the famous Day of the Dead Celebration, others head for the regional celebration in Patamban known as the “Fiesta de Cristo Rey”. Held on the last Sunday in October, the entire village turns out to “paint their streets with flowers,” the celebration is to honor the […]

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Mexico's Museo Tecnologico Minero dates from the 19th century. It is part of the Mina Dos Estrellas or Two Stars Mine, located within the municipality of Tlalpujahua de Rayon in southern Michoacan, a few kilometers from the town of Tlalpujahua. © Anthony Wright, 2009

Night in Mina Dos Estrellas, a haunted mine in Mexico

The proverbial bat in the belfry, a boy trapped in a bathroom, and a witching hour wander deep into the heart of a century old tunnel provided the eerie highlights of my recent overnighter at Mina Dos Estrellas, not far from Tlalpujahua in northeastern Michoacan (see map). Yet one resident phantom, reputed to be a […]

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Celebrating the Days of the Dead: The Heart Speaks Clearly in Michoacán

The Days of the Dead, celebrated throughout Mexico, coincide with the Christian All Souls and All Saints days, November 1 and 2nd. People who have died in the past year are remembered, their pictures placed on family altars and special food and drink are offered for the souls of the departed. Last year (1995) I […]

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Honor, vengeance and machismo

Bitter are the fruits they eat in Michoacán, black oval fruits the size of an olive, borne in the summer on the capelin tree. Bitter is the story told to me in a mountain pueblo in the northeast corner of the state. Juan Manuel told his story of machismo and the fate of his horse as we […]

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Michoacán-Style Rice with Chorizo: Morisqueta con Chorizo

In this recipe, the rice is good first and then combined with the other ingredients, making it a good way to use leftover cooked rice. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil ¼ cup chopped onion ¾ pound chorizo, removed from its casing and crumbled ¼ pound roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped 3 ½ cups cooked white […]

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Lower part of Pátzcuaro Library mural (copyright of photo unknown)

Did You Know? The centenary of the birth of artist Juan O’Gorman

Juan O’Gorman was born on July 6, 1905, in Coyoacán, Mexico City. His father, Cecil Crawford O’Gorman, was a mining engineer and artist of Irish origin; his mother was Mexican. Juan was educated at the National University (UNAM), and became a well known architect. A follower of the Franco-German rationalism school, he was one of […]

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 Conjunto Residencial Valladolid

Traveling to Mexico with children

Travel to Mexico with your children? Give yourself some kudos just for considering it! If the cost is daunting — Mexico may be inexpensive but air flight is not — think of skipping a few of those college-fund payments and taking a trip with the cash instead. With money that may or may not get […]

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Tupátaro church

Did you know? The Sistine Chapel of Mexico

A small church with a rather nondescript exterior in a tiny village (Tupátaro) just off the main highway between Morelia and Pátzcuaro hardly sounds like the kind of place where you’re likely to find one of Latin America’s artistic masterpieces, but initial appearances can be very deceiving. The whitewashed exterior of Tupátaro’s church may be […]

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Monarch butterflies in a Michoacan sanctuary © Tony Burton, 1997

Migration Minded: The Monarch Butterfly

Mexico experiences one of nature’s loveliest gifts each winter when billions of Monarch butterflies descend on the warm forests of the country’s central highlands. The Monarch is known for its long migrations and this annual journey covers some 2,500 miles-from the chilly regions of Canada and the northeastern United States to the mountains of Michoacán. […]

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Macadamia nuts are a popular and delicious Mexican cash crop © Daniel Wheeler 2010

Mexican macadamia nuts: culinary gold

A recent trip to the cloud covered village of Cuetzalan, high in the Sierra of Puebla, generated more of the questions that arise on each visit. How does the regional dress of pure white cotton, worn daily, stay so clean in a place where it rains nearly every day? How do any vehicles get to […]

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Mexico’s extraordinary arts and crafts

Living here in Mexico offers me so many opportunities to be thankful. How did I ever fit a career into my life? My days are filled with friends, with travels, with bridge, with doll making and writing books… and, recently, installing my new computer, learning new software programs and figuring out how to save important […]

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Playa Azul Beach

Playa Azul and Caleta de Campos: Exceptional beaches in Michoacan

In a country filled with wonderful beaches and resorts, what could possibly prompt someone to visit Playa Azul? Perhaps because it’s there – representing the only sizeable beach town along the 250km of Michoacán’s coast. One must discount Lázaro Cárdenas, the sprawling industrial giant to the south, namely because it’s not a town and because […]

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Guide to alternative tourism in Michoacan

Michoacán is recognized in México for its perfect combination of colors and flavors, the melancholy and joy of its music, the joy and vitality of its dances, its cultural wealth, its traditions and history, its villages and towns, and its natural beauty. All of this makes Michoacán ideally situated for travel into the extraordinary heart […]

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Michoacan’s rural education

Stating what it means to be Mexican is not an easy topic to define, but the rural education system helps in forming a sense of being Mexico for many young people in Michoacán’s rural areas. The history of Mexico contains many conflicts and battles. During the years of the conquest and colonization, the people of […]

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The Meseta Purepecha in Michoacan

Before starting out on this route, it is important to understand that the Meseta Purepecha is 100% rural, that unique artistic treasures of Mexico have been preserved, and that there is little tourist infrastructure. For an unforgettable vacation and an even better guide to Michoacán, please ask for the pamphlets and maps of the Uruapan […]

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Michoacán-Style Tortilla Soup: Sopa Tarasca

This version of tortilla soup is similar to central Mexico’s Sopa Azteca. We enjoyed its warm and robust flavor after a drive over the cool mountain pass called Mil Cumbres (A Thousand Summits) from Morelia to Zitácuaro. The wooden buildings that characterize the region are called trojes, which is also the local name for small food stalls. Ingredients: 3 […]

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Ancient Lake Jalisco

The geology and geography of Lake Chapala and western Mexico

The following is a story concerning an ancient lake that covered a large area of the State of Jalisco and spread into Michoacan and Aguascalientes. This map is a visual portrayal of the lake superimposed on a regional map. The south central portion of the State of Jalisco presents a panorama of lakes arranged in […]

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Fragment of the mural: “People and landscape of Michoacán”

Alfredo Zalce: Mexican muralist and Michoacan’s living legend

Alfredo Zalce, at age 94, is the elder of Mexico’s last living renowned, great revolutionary muralists. He was born in Patzcuaro, in the state of Michoacan, on January 12, 1908. During his early years he became friends with Mexico’s older great artists, including Rivera, Tamayo, Siquieros, Orozco, and Kahlo. He founded art schools and organizations […]

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Western Mexico: A Traveller’s Treasury by Tony Burton

Cogan’s Reviews I’m not sure why I haven’t reviewed this book sooner. It’s been around since 1993 and it was one of the first books my wife and I read when we arrived here in Ajijic eight years ago. And – heaven knows! – I’ve reviewed more than 60 books about this fascinating country in […]

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White Pelicans on Lake Chapala; photo: John Mitchell, Earth Images Foundation

White pelicans on Lake Chapala

Granddaughter Kim couldn’t resist. Our slender, pert redhead scampered along the flatland toward the water. Thousands of white pelicans immediately got the message. After a second or three of awkward, cumbersome struggle, they got the heck out of there. Aloft, these majestic birds are among God’s most handsome creations. Big. Graceful. Glorious. Soaring. Gliding. Circling. […]

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Marta Palomares and her husband, Michael Dickson

A Mexico love story

A genuine Mexico love story lives in a big, beautiful home behind a high wall in Tzurumutaro, a not-much-to-it community adjoining Patzcuaro in the remarkable state of Michoacan. Back at the turn of the century, Marta Palomares, daughter of a doctor, was a dedicated career woman, a civil engineer employed by the federal government, a […]

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Renovating our Morelia house

We passed through the Mexican customs station just south of the Laredo border crossing at 5:30 a.m. It was still dark. The car was crammed with things we were going to need before our major shipment of belongings arrived via a professional mover. We had visited Morelia a few months before and had decided it […]

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Paricutín in full eruption, July 16, 1943 Copyright of photo unknown.

Did you know? Small village in Mexico wins UN Development Prize

Every two years, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) awards the Equator prize (worth 30,000 dollars) to communities that have shown “outstanding achievement in the reduction of poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.” One of the winners of the 2004 Equator prize was the indigenous community of Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro, in […]

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Zacapú - Drawing by Richard Perry

Colonial Lake Pátzcuaro

Travelers who are interested in the history of this region of Michoacán will be well rewarded by a tour of the numerous picturesque villages bordering Lake Pátzcuaro. In addition to their authentic indigenous ambience and specialized crafts, many of these communities boast old colonial churches and missions, some dating back over 400 years. Here are […]

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Journey to Patamban

Journey to Patamban, Michoacan

Oddly enough, we couldn’t find Patamban in any of our guidebooks but when we went there on that late October weekend we found that, somehow, about a hundred thousand people had managed to congregate for the town’s annual Fiesta de Cristo Rey parade and festivities. I’m guessing at that number but, judging from the square […]

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The ghost of Coalcoman

I’m not what you would consider one of those mystical psychic types, well versed in the mumbo jumbo of the supernatural. But I’m not a skeptic, either. All I can do is simply accept what happens to me, that which I experience, and write some things off as unexplainable. Such was the case with the […]

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“El fantasma de Coalcoman”

Para Julie Black © 1999 Todos Derechos Reservados. No me considero de esas personas muy místicas y psíquicas, bien versada en la jerga de lo sobrenatural. Pero tampoco soy escéptica. Solo puedo aceptar lo que me sucede en el mundo y guardar algunas cosas como recuerdos inexplicables. Así es el caso con el fantasma de […]

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Patzcuaro: the soul of Michoacan’s Meseta Purepecha

Texas has the Alamo, New York has its Empire State Building, but only Michoacán has Pátzcuaro. Every travel poster extolling Michoacán has a shot of fisherman wielding the famous butterfly net. Look closely, and you’ll spy a tiny cone-shaped island, topped by a statue of José María Morelos, hand reaching to the sky. That’s Pátzcuaro’s […]

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Ignacio Punzo Angel

Santa Clara del Cobre and Erongaricuaro: Mexican craft towns on Lake Patzcuaro

James Metcalf, Stephen and Maureen Rosenthal and Vasco de Quiroga have a lot in common. Each was a foreigner who came to Michoacan’s hills and dales surrounding Lake Patzcuaro, married art with commerce, infused heritages from around the world with local custom, emphasized training of artisans, and raised the utility of ordinary objects to art […]

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Where to stay in Santa Clara del Cobre and Erongaricuaro

We weren’t sure what to expect as we wheeled into Hacienda Mariposa’s entrance, greeted by German Shepherds. Of course, we’d visited the website, https://www.haciendamariposas.com, but we knew how deceptive some sites can be. Rounding the bend past the nursery, the property came into full view, and sure enough, the website was deceptively understated. What lay before […]

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Tzurumataro, Michoacan: A town at the crossroads.

Tzurumutaro, Michoacan: a town at the crossroads

The town had been sort of a laughing stock, ignored by outsiders,one of those dusty lonely little burgs where no one seemed particularly interested in much beyond survival. Like sad and decrepit towns scattered across rural America – towns named Promise City, Gravity, and Dumas – its inhabitants bore looks of quiet desperation. Tzurumútaro was […]

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Telares Uruapan - Back of the old Mill

Uruapan: The real Mexico

They call it “the place where the flowers bloom,” this steamy edge of subtropical landscape, as rich in history as it is in surprise and beauty where superlatives and contrasts abound. It was the early 80s, and Uruapan was merely a waystation on the road between Morelia and Ixtapa. It struck me as a nice […]

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Finding joy in daily life in Morelia

I always knew I’d end up in Mexico, but I didn’t know where. Mexico City holds world-class fascination, but there’s a reason even the idle rich have second homes elsewhere. Chapala had just too many gringos, amenities be damned. San Miguel de Allende struck me as full of artistes etching, sculpting, and writing odes to […]

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There are two resorts on the lake. Here is the view from the boat at the more southerly Seccion Arcoiris.

Zirahuen, Michoacan: Like Prozac in the air

A short kilometer from Santa Clara de Cobre, on the way to Ario de Rosales, a bust of a young Lazaro Cardenas nods toward Zirahuen. “I’m sort of proud of this road, now that it has been improved,” I remarked to Hank, my travelling companion of the day. He shot me one of those incredulous […]

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Artisan Elodia Bernave (L) speaks with Laura de la Vega and her mother Laura Rodríguez of Morelia, at the crafts fair

Mexico’s Morelia: More than meets the eye

Lauded as the most Spanish of Mexican colonial cities, thanks to a century-old historical preservation code requiring all downtown buildings to maintain original facades, Morelia is the most comfortable Mexican city I know. English is widely understood (Michoacan’s leading export is its citizens), European style abounds, but the flavor of colonial Mexico has adapted to […]

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The serene magic of Patzcuaro

Few places in the world have the magic of Pátzcuaro. Surely the Purépecha Rey Curateme had to have known that back in 1324 when he founded the town. For many visitors, Pátzcuaro spells the Island of Janitzio, the Basilica, the two main plazas, a library with the great Juan O’Gorman mural, picturesque red-and-white tile-roofed buildings, […]

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The Mexican village of Zirahuen is situated on the shore of Lake Zirahuen in Michoacan. © Linda Breen Pierce, 2009

Zirahuen, Michoacan: Mexico’s Walden Pond

When I first set eyes on the pure, crystal blue waters of Lago (lake) Zirahuén in the central highlands of Mexico, my stomach did a nose dive. How could such striking alpine beauty exist in a country known for its beaches, desserts and low lying vegetation? Lago Zirahuén, surrounded by hills forested with pine, oak […]

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Pictures of Patzcuaro, Mexico

originally – galleries/248 – with no article When you first arrive in Patzcuaro you notice that there are large, mature pine trees everywhere with their bases painted white presumably for the benefit of night traffic. This immediately sets the mood for the town with calming and cooling effect. Among Patzcuaro’s advantages are: It is a […]

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Children are also expected to stay at the panteón to spend time with their deceased relatives during the celebrations.

Mexico’s Dia de Muertos celebration: Is it dying?

In Mexico, Day of the Dead – Día de Muertos – is a spiritual, intense vigil connecting the souls of the living and dead. Over the past decade, increasing numbers of tourists have been drawn to Mexico to experience the event for themselves. This has brought the traditional indigenous observance into the international spotlight and has led […]

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the pineapple pottery of Hilario Alejos Madrigal

A family tradition in Michoacan: the pineapple pottery of Hilario Alejos Madrigal

Where others see a mass of shapeless clay, Hilario Alejos Madrigal envisions exquisite forms that are just waiting to be coaxed out. And it is this creativity that has played a key role in the success of this award-winning potter. “It is necessary and very important to have an imagination,” Alejos explains. “A lot of […]

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Paricutín Volcano

The state of Michoacán, Mexico – resource page

The state of Michoacán is an uncommon place. From the sugar cane fields of Los Reyes, the avocados, coffee, and macadamia nuts of Uruapan, the melon fields of Apatzingán, the rice fields of Lombardia and Nueva Italia, the pears of Ucareo, the pescado blanco of Patzcuaro, to the ruggedly pristine Pacific coast, the endless pine-crested […]

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One of the fountains with benches and trees for shade.

Pictures of Uruapan, Mexico

originally – galleries/253 – with no article If you are coming from Patzcuaro, a city of about 40,000, when you arrive in Uruapan you will find that this city of over 200,000 is pretty much like a circus. If you come from stately and subdued Morelia, you will find it vibrant and much more active. It is […]

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Caldo de Trucha © David Haun, 2015

Traditional Food Festival in Morelia

Run, don’t walk to the next Michoacan Traditional Food Festival (Cocineras Tradicionales) at the Convention Center in Morelia. The entrance is a stairway to heaven and you are about to eat food fit for gods and goddesses. The name “Traditional” only partially describes the Festival because it is traditional woman, in traditional clothing, cooking traditional […]

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Dr. Atl. Paricutin.

Paricutin, the volcano in Michoacan

Inside Mexico On February 20th, 1943, after a couple of weeks of ominous earth tremors and strange underground sounds, the Paricutín volcano in Michoacán, erupted among prayers and rogations, fire displays and intense noise. The church bells of San Juan Parangaricutiro, five kilometers down the narrow valley, rang by themselves, dancing with the moving ground. […]

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Pictures of Paricutin, Mexico

originally – galleries/247 – with no article Paricutin is a famous volcano that popped up in a farmer’s field in 1943 and continued to grow until 1952 to form a large cinder cone. Collateral flowing lava covered the valley and inundated adjacent villages of San Salvador and San Juan. The flow was slow enough so no […]

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Tree of Life Images provided by SECTUR, Michoacán

The artesanias of Michoacan: An introduction

Certainly Sr., fortunately here in Michoacán, we still have handcrafts, our heart and these hands. And with these we can do a little bit of everything…” – Source: “El quehacer de un pueblo” (“The tasks of a town”), Casa de las Artesanías de Michoacán (The Michoacan House of Handcrafts). This article is a guide to the highways and […]

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All roads lead to copper smelting in Xiuhquilan

Did You Know? What the Spanish Conquistadors thought was gold was often only an alloy called tumbaga

As they explored the New World, the early conquistadors were spurred on by the possibility of finding treasure and riches. Captive Indians told convincing stories of cities far to the north even more fabulous than the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. The Spaniards’ greed was sufficient to fuel determined drives into ever more remote territory in the […]

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Palm Sunday crafts fair in Uruapan

Travels With Travis Elvia Silva Bartolo believes her big ceramic pots have a pretty good chance of winning a prize at the 46th annual Tianguis y Concurso de Artesania de Domingo de Ramos on April 9 in Uruapan, Michoacán. Bartolo lives in the village of Zipiajo where she and other artisans practice an ancient Purepecha craft in […]

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Chiles give traditional dishes their deep red color.

Flavors of Mexico’s indigenous kitchens: the Purepecha of Michoacan

Travels With Travis The Purepecha Indians throughout Michoacan have developed a tantalizing culinary heritage for centuries that still awakens the senses with its powerful aromas and flavors. In Uruapan, Morelia and other parts of the state, corundas and huchepos, both Purepecha variations of the tamale, eagerly await the opportunity to extinguish the hunger of visitors while imparting a delicious […]

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Juana Cano of Cocucho weaves a huancipo of banana leaves. Hot pots are placed on these to cool.

Michoacan’s master craftspeople and their arts

Travels With Travis Abdon Punzo Angel’s thick hands tapped minute details into the menacing snout of the copper dragon that sat immobilized in a vise, its body seeming to squirm. Beside him, another shiny dragon writhed from its base, teeth bared, tongue flicking, the scales across its back bristling. A candle holder sat on its […]

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Colorful crafts fill doorways and sidewalks in the streets of Capula.

Catrina: skeletons take over the art of Capula, Michoacan

Travels With Travis Inspired by the caricatures of lithographer Jose Guadalupe Posada, the elegant Catrina has her origins in Day of the Dead celebrations. Capula’s Catrinas arrived only recently. They stand in the doorways of this small quiet colonial town, Catrinas of every size and description decked out in flowered dresses and clenching flowers in their […]

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The trail meanders, creeps, slithers, and slides through the park, snaking through through the jungle past the rushing river.

Cupatitzio Gorge National Park in Uruapan

Travels With Travis The paths are riddled with streams of water that exhale their sweet musty breath as they descend toward the river; the forest is bathed in a powerful mist, emboldened by its fragility where the thunder of rushing water courses through the consciousness of an eternal dawn. The moment you enter Cupatitzio Gorge […]

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Cecilia painstakingly places tiny clay beads along the rib of a cactus-shaped pot.

Jose Maria Alejos Madrigal: Generations of ceramic creativity in San Jose de Gracia, Michoacan

Travels With Travis José María Alejos Madrigal cut delicately through the wet clay, removing a thick slice between the two ribs of a lamp with the distinctive, bulging ridges of a cactus. His wife, Cecilia, sat a few feet away, pressing bits of clay into a round mold to imprint them with tiny indentations, then […]

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Hermelinda Reyes Ascenio works on a guanengo, or traditional blouse, in the patio of her granddaughter's Cocucho, Michoacan home. © Travis Whitehead, 2009

A Michoacan tradition: the needlework artistry of Hermelinda Reyes

Travels With Travis Her bold hands coax the thread through white cotton, relinquishing a fragment of the kaleidoscopic hues within her soul to cavort freely across the snowy landscape. The joints of her fingers moving with a tender dexterity, Hermelinda Reyes Ascencio pulls the filament through the fabric surrounding a needlepoint flower, radiant with shades […]

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This sneaky snake, having crawled out of the clay at the encouragement of Antonia Cruz Rafael's hands, coils to to strike. The skilled ceramist caries on the artisan traditions of Ocumicho, Michoacan. © Travis Whitehead, 2009

Antonia Cruz Rafael: the ceramics of Ocumicho, Michoacan

Travels With Travis They crept and crawled, oozed and slithered from the clay, prickly spiders and sneaky snakes and pesky lizards darting from the dark wet dough, turtles swimming to its surface, bug-eyed devils rising from the mud, all brought to life by the magic touch of Antonia Cruz Rafael. “This is a borregito (sheep), or chivito (goat),” she […]

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David Santos Alonso: Ceramic art in the Mexico town of Cocucho

David Santos Alonso: ceramic art in the Mexico town of Cocucho

Travels With Travis David Santos Alonso massaged the clay flower pot as stinging smoke skulked from the wooden cooking area. Inside the kitchen, his wife Maria Lydia prepared tortillas on a comal over a brick fogon next to a pot of water. Cocuchas — tall clay jars crafed in the Michoacan town of Cocucho — rose from the concrete floor and […]

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Saulo Moreno Hernandez: Hidden art treasures in Tlapujahua, Michoacan:

Born to blush: Hidden art treasures in Tlapujahua, Michoacan

Saulo Moreno Hernandez is a 71 year old sagacious, self-effacing artist from Tlapujahua, in the state of Michoacan. One of his works is featured in the Americas Gallery of the British Museum in London. One of his early ‘calaveritas’, which are imaginative statues of skeletons depicted as alive and in various poses and garb, was bought by […]

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Jars and bags full of feathers clutter Martha's desk. A dizzying array of colors -- pale green and cerulean blue and chocolate and raw umber -- clamor for attention.

Arte plumaria: the feather art of Martha Lopez Luna

Travels With Travis Martha López Luna gripped a fragment of hummingbird feather with tweezers and placed it delicately on her painting of the Isla de Janitzio rising over the lake. Pondering her arte plumaria — feather art — painting for a moment, she removed a small puff of raw umber feather from a jar and split the […]

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A menagerie of colorful and rustic-finish furniture spills out of a doorway, hinting at the variety inside.

The colorful wood carvings of Cuanajo, Michoacan

Travels With Travis An endless number of approaches to familiar motifs show themselves throughout the town. A trogon, its cherry red neck gleaming against a body of emerald green, crawls up the side of a picture frame, followed by a chattering monkey. Mickey Mouse, decked out in a blue jacket and red trousers, offers a […]

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Templo de San Jose is a towered church some blocks northeast of the zocalo.

The beautiful colonial city of Morelia, Michoacan – a gallery

Morelia is the capital of Michoacan. The architecture is colonial style and the momentum of civic intent is to promote and preserve this inheritance. The city is organized around a large central square with fountains, trees, a bandstand, and a spectacularly maintained cathedral. There is also a large city park and a zoo. Published or […]

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Introduction to Michoacan: The soul of Mexico

“If you want to form an idea of our journey, take a map of Mexico and you will see that Michoacán is one of the most beautiful and fertile regions of the world, crossed by hills and lavish valleys, its prairies watered by several streams and its climate temperate and healthful.” — Marquise Calderón de […]

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The Cuisine of Michoacán: Mexican Soul Food

If Michoacan is “the soul of Mexico,” as it has often been called, then its food is Mexico’s soul food, for few other places in the country can claim such a profound and long-lasting indigenous influence on their regional cuisine. This western state, part of the Bajio region located north and west of Mexico City, […]

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The Tarasco culture and empire

Among the fertile volcanoes of Michoacan Lumholtz came across the Purepecha people, who were called Tarascan by the Spanish. Enemies of the Aztecs, the Tarascans flourished from 1100 A.D. to 1530 A.D. Their origins are still a puzzle, along with their stirrup-shaped, long-necked bottles and round temples called Yacatas. The center of the Tarascan Empire […]

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Interactive Map of Michoacan, Mexico

Interactive Map of Michoacan, Mexico

Clickable interactive map of Michoacan, Mexico: Morelia, Uruapan, Patzcuaro, Zitacuaro, Playa Azul, Zamora, Paricutin volcano Clickable interactive map by Tony Burton

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Map of Pátzcuaro

Map courtesy of Lonely Planet Travel Books. Their Guide to Mexico is the best Mexico travel book on the market. Available for immediate shipping at Amazon.Com Published or Updated on: April 1, 2001

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Map of Lake Patzcuaro villages

Map of Lake Patzcuaro villages

Map of Lake Patzcuaro villages

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Interactive map of Pacific Coast beaches: Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Michoacán, Mexico

Interactive map of Pacific Coast beaches: Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Michoacán, Mexico

Interactive map of Pacific Coast beaches in the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima and Michoacán, Mexico The interactive map shows the coasts of the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán. These states all have some great beaches, and tourism is an important activity in many of the towns shown on the map. Some of […]

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Interactive PDF Map of Michoacan

Interactive PDF Map of Michoacan mapmichoacanpdf

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Travel by train (Campbell's Guide, 1899)

Did you know? The first Mexico tourist guide books

Comprehensive guide books to Mexico have existed for more than 120 years. Modern travelers to Mexico are often hard-pressed to choose their favorite guide. Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Real Guide, Insight Guide, Moon Guides, Lonely Planet and Rough Guide all have their fans. All have their own strengths, though all are competing for the same market. But […]

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Trip report: Morelia, Michoacan

Posted by Fernando on August 31, 1999 My family spent nine weeks based in Morelia in June-August 1999. This was our third summer in Mexico, with the summers of 1997 and 1998 in Oaxaca and Xalapa, respectively. Planning an extended stay in Morelia using information from Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Moon, Mexico/Central America Handbook, Let’s […]

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Mexico’s peace and beauty: Roaming the hills around Morelia

Roberto, one of my Mexican neighbors once asked if he could hike with me. He had heard rumors that I roamed the hills around Morelia. I, of course, said: “Yes.” It is good to have company when you hike – and safer too! Then Roberto said: “What weapons do you carry?” When I answered “Absolutely […]

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TAGS – States, Regions, Cities

Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México (State of), México City, D.F., Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas,

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Mexico Highway Routes: Driving from Nogales to Uruapan

Hi, my family and I are traveling to Mexico in a few weeks. We are entering through Nogales and traveling to Uruapan, Michoacan. I have been trying (unsuccesfully) for several weeks to find a map of Mexico that has the new highways (cuotas?) shown. I know from past experience that the smaller highways are just […]

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The Majestic Monarch Butterfly

The amazing phenomena of the Monarch butterfly migration is with us again. At the end of summer hundreds of millions of monarchs fly an incredible average of 1,800 miles from the United States and Canada to a small region in nearby Michoacan where they spend the winter before embarking on the return journey. Some of […]

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Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico

Fridays are Indian market days in the fountain-centered Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra, one of three main squares in Pátzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico. Walkways around the fountain are lined with stalls of goods from various villages. On a return visit there last fall shortly before Day of the Dead celebrations the annual heightened activity spilled into the city’s […]

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A Mexican song tours the state: Caminos de Michoacan

Caminos de Michoacan (an old ranchera song) by composer: Bulmaro Bermude is a musical tour of this Mexican state. Click for MP3 Cariñito donde te hallas Con quién te andarás paseando Presiento que no me engañas Por éso te ando buscando Vengo de tierras lejanas Nomás por tí preguntando. Me dieron razón que andabas Por las tierras […]

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Purepecha fiesta In Ajijic, Jalisco

Purepecha fiesta in Ajijic, Jalisco “Way back when”, in the mists of history, Lake Chapala was a frontier zone, a Mexican equivalent of the Wild West. Neighboring tribes of pre-Columbian Indian tribes fought over its shores, and its resources, with control swinging from one tribe to another over the centuries. To the west were the […]

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Monarch butterflies in Mexico

Early in 1980, exploring various off the beaten track areas of Mexico looking for potential geography fieldwork sites, one fateful Saturday morning found me standing in the main plaza of the small Michoacán mining town of Angangueo. I was chatting to people and desperately trying to formulate some theory or hypothesis which high school students […]

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Morelia: A land of adventures for children

Morelia is a colonial city, capital of the Mexican state of Michoacan, which is well-known for its majestic buildings, squares (plazas), gardens, an aqueduct of wondrous proportions and all of this represents our Spanish and European heritage. Morelia also has entertainment for children. Some of these places of entertainment are in Morelia and others are within five […]

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The centrally located Morelia bus station is a busy area with lots of street eating places around it.

Morelia: Cultural world heritage

The Spanish Virrey Don Antonio de Mendoza founded the city of Morelia back in 1541, calling it “Valladolid” after the city of the same name in Spain. In tribute to the national hero Don Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, leader of the movement for the national independence from the Spanish kingdom, the city was later […]

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Following The Monarch Butterfly To The Highlands Of Mexico Monarch Butterflies Tour

First published in the Adirondack Mountain Sun, Volume 10, Number 19, February 22, 2002. Reproduced by kind permission of the author John Gerhlein and Rose Valasky (Publisher) and Anthony Byrnes (Editor) of the Adirondack Mountain Sun. I went to look at Butterflies last week and I hit the mother load of Monarchs; one of the […]

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On To Morelia And Patzcuaro (Mexico Notes 8)

Mexico Notes We get out of town, skipping the tianguis of Ajijic. It was just … time to leave. Journal, June 4, 2003   We pile into the packed car once again. Destination: Pátzcuaro, via Morelia. The drive is cool upon the skin, amidst mountains and water. It is good to move on, I reflect, […]

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Agave pineapples ready to go in the oven.

Uruapan’s Waterpark

Mary and I wanted Ann and Ron to see a little bit more of Mexico, so Mary did some research on the Internet and picked out the town of Uruapan as a road trip destination. I don’t think that Ann and Ron were used to traveling by car at ninety miles an hour, but they […]

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Mexico: a visit to Patzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan, Tequila and Mazatlan

A Woman’s Perspective on Living in Mexico Two of my life-long friends from California have been visiting with me the past two weeks. This is Marcy’s third visit. It’s Nancy’s first. I’m always nervous about first-time visitors. Will they see Mexico the way I do? Can they get past the poverty to see the beauty […]

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Michoacan, Guanajuato, and crafting dolls

A Woman’s Perspective on Living in Mexico re you curious about the title? I thought I’d share my last month with you. Two of my lifetime friends came down for a visit. They stayed ten days and we took a four-day whirlwind tour through Patzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan, Santa Clara del Cobre and Morelia in the state […]

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Visit to Patzcuaro

Posted by Lee Harrison on Abril 10, 2000 I’d like to share a few thoughts having just returned from a brief visit to Pátzcuaro, made for the purpose of sizing it up as a possible retirement venue. Let me start by saying that Pátzcuaro is unquestionably one of the greatest places to visit that exist […]

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Pátzcuaro, Michoacan (Mexico Notes 9)

Mexico Notes A family with creamy brown skin walks by, holding hands, swinging arms. Laughing aloud. They are arranged like stair steps – father, mother, big daughter and little daughter, who look to be around ages eight and four. Their small bodies reach the plaza corner where they turn to the wide path that leads […]

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