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The Peoples of Mexico Index Page

Mexico is a country of colour, diversity, grand differences in geography, climate and perspective. The same is true of her people. From the mysterious origins and fates of her earliest inhabitants; the current indigenous peoples; to the history and influence of immigrants from Spain and other areas of the world, Mexico has developed an intricate and fascinating society. The following Index is your doorway to discovery . . . read more

In memory of Don Pedro: Alebrije art from a master artist Helyn Bercovitch

A constant fluttering, deafening whirlpool of claws, fangs, fins, tongues and horns bewilder the senses in a frenzied shuttlecock of figures. This is the Mexican art of crafting alebrijes, monsters lovingly formed out of ordinary cardboard. Their grotesque faces and body-parts are delicately sculpted and painted with intricate patterns in a profusion of vibrant colors. Even if the mind tries to identify sections, it is impossible to tell the origin of even one of these beasts, as they are created in the imaginations of the artists and no two are alike. read more

El Grito - September 15 or 16?

A streetside stand selling flags and toys with patriotic themes in a Guadalajara suburb. They can be seen from mid August up to Mexico's Independence Day, September 16.
© Daniel Wheeler, 2009
On the night of September 15, 1910, the special envoys stood on the illuminated balconies of the National Palace and watched the fiesta of all fiestas on the Mexcian civil calendar: the grito de independencia, the "cry of independence." But wait. Isn't Mexico's Independence Day on September 16th? read more

Miguel Hidalgo: the Father who fathered a country (1753–1811) Jim Tuck

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla had the unique distinction of being a father in three senses of the word: a priestly father in the Roman Catholic Church, a biological father who produced illegitimate childre... read more

September in Mexico: El Mes de la Patria Carol Wheeler

September in Mexico is known as El Mes de la Patria — the month of our country. While 5 de Mayo is celebrated with great fanfare north of the border, September comes alive with patriotic fervor in Mexico. Beginning with the first week in September, pushcarts offer flags of all sizes, trumpets, sombreros and noisemakers, all in patriotic red, white and green. read more

Swimming with whale sharks in Cancun: An underwater safari Pamela Dittmer McKuen

Diving with Whale Shark
About 25 miles off Cancun's northeastern coast, past Isla Mujeres and far into the Caribbean waters, some of the largest known sea creatures loll their summers away. They are whale sharks, a gray-and-white spotted fish that can measure up to 40 feet long and weigh more than 15 tons. That's bigger than many dinosaurs.

On this particular late August morning, I would be hanging out with them for a while. Hopefully, they'd already eaten breakfast. read more

Climbing volcanoes in Mexico Richard Ferguson

Climbers from the US and Canada looking for a new experience, and more altitude than they can find in the lower 48 states, can fly to Mexico City, and set a personal altitude record on the Mexican Volcanoes. This is a good warm-up trip for an attempt on a 20,000 ft peak in Alaska or South America. As a climber and a long-time fan of Mexico, here is my advice on climbing the Mexican volcanoes. read more

A Mexican menu for Cinco de Mayo Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Veronica Gonzalez-Smith

Mexican tacos of shredded beef brisket.
© Jeanine Thurston, 2011
Americans commonly mistake Cinco de Mayo, the day that commemorates the Mexican Victory over the French in Puebla (1862), for Mexican Independence day (1810). Cinco de Mayo has become an American holiday synonymous with mariachis, margaritas, Corona beer, and Americanized Mexican food like jalapeño-studded nachos and cheese-smothered burritos. read more

May in Mexico: Fiestas galore Carol Wheeler

Santa Elena
In Mexico, May seems much shorter than it does north of the border. There are so many holidays that the country seems to call a halt to the normal workweek and honor almost everyone.
It actually begins on April 30 with the Dia del Niño, when children are honored with gifts and treats, and classes are canceled for a day of fun. Labor Day — May 1 — follows immediately with parades in every city and town. May 3 is the feast day of the Holy Cross. The Battle of Puebla is commemorated on the 5th — el Cinco de Mayo, perhaps a bigger event in the U.S. and Canada. May 10 is always Mother's Day... read more

Bobby Vaughn's homepage: Afro-Mexicans of Costa Chica Bobby Vaughn

Afro-Mexicans of the Costa Chica   The purpose of these web pages is to introduce you to the culture and unique experience of Mexicans of African descent. If you are like most peop... read more

The Masks Of Mexico (Part 2) Rita Pomade

The coming of the Spaniards in 1519 drastically altered the political and religious life of pre-Hispanic America. Cortes, with the help of his mercenaries and priests, decimated the ruling elite and wiped out the existing theocracy, but try as they might, they could not destroy the people's love and need for ritual.

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Easter in Mexico, Semana Santa and Pascua: a Mexican holiday resource page Index Page

The Crucifixion.
The Crucifixion.
For Mexico, the Easter holidays are a combination of Semana Santa (Holy Week — Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday) and Pascua (Resurrection Sunday until the following Saturday). For most Mexicans, this 2 week period is the time of year for holiday vacations (good time to not be on the highways — just stay put and enjoy the community of your choice during this holday season). Holy Week celebrates the last days of the Christ's life. Easter is the celebration of the Christ's Resurrection. It is also the release from the sacrifices of Lent. read more

The Masks Of Mexico (Part 1) Rita Pomade

"While we are alive, we cannot escape from
masks or names. We are inseparable from
our fictions - our features."
Octavio Paz

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Adventurous Mexico - exploring Mexico's outdoors - self-guided tours, mountains, volcanoes, hiking, camping, sailing, fishing, kayaking and more Index Page

? Climbing Mexican mountains, volcanoes and caves. Climbing Mexico's volcanoes Pico de Orizaba (Citlateptl) 5700m 18,700ft Popocatepl 5452m 17,887ft Iztaccihuatl 5286m 17,342ft A ... read more

Tears from the Crown of Thorns: The Easter Passion Play in San Miguel de Allende Reviewed by Allan Cogan

"People unfamiliar with the Latin culture are curious, confused, and sometimes repulsed by the emphasis on suffering in religious figures. During Easter in North America, the focus is on the resurrection and the delights of spring. The event is concerned with the awe of transformation. There is resistance to facing the suffering that is a major part of this epic…." read more

Orchids of Mexico Luis Dumois

 
There are an estimated 30,000 orchid species in nature, making them the most extense floral plant family on Earth. There are specimens as big as a tree, and miniatures with flowers as small as a pin head. A family so vast and diverse understands more about exceptions than about rules. Nevertheless, a quality more than any other defines the orchid: the fusion of the feminine portion of the flower - pistils - with the masculine, - stamens. Orchids have three pistils and three stamens, but they differ from other flowers, which present these elements as separate units, in that orchids have them fusioned into one structure called column or gynostemium, located in the center of the labelum, that usually showy and colored lip we admire in the flower. read more

Guachimontones: unearthing a lost world near Teuchitlan, Jalisco John Pint

Just outside the unassuming little town of Teuchitlán, Jalisco, 40 kilometers due West of Guadalajara, lies one of the most impressive archeological sites in all of western Mexico. read more

Three Kings Day in Cajititlan, Mexico Sergio Wheeler

In Mexico, Christmas decorations stay up though January 6. The holiday celebrates Epiphany, when the Three Kings or Wise Men visited the baby Jesus with precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. El Día de los Santos Reyes is celebrated throughout Mexico. Yet nowhere is Three Kings Day more festive than in Cajititlan de Los Reyes, just 6.2 miles from Ajijic, Jalisco. read more

La Virgen de Guadalupe - Mother of all Mexico Judy King

Strolling through street markets, browsing the tourist stalls, visitors to all parts of Mexico see mountains of goods featuring the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. As tourists observe the impossibly ... read more

Radiant radishes: La Noche de Rabanos in Oaxaca Tara Lowry

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 r... read more

The Meseta Purepecha in Michoacan

This guide takes you through the highways and backroads of Michoacán, where time seems to have stopped amid the jewels of colonial architecture and life in the Meseta Purépecha. Michoacán is history, culture, tradition, customs, fairs, fiestas, dances, music, arts and crafts, cuisine, architecture, archaeology, and diverse natural beauty. The Meseta Purépecha is the best example of what makes up Michoacán, and that's why Michoacán is the soul of Mexico.

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Immigrant cooking in Mexico: The Mennonite kitchens of Chihuahua Karen Hursh Graber

In recent years, immigration has become a topic of intense focus, not only in the United States and Mexico, but worldwide. Although generally seen as a political question, there is no doubt that the mo... read more

Mexico's Day of the Dead - resource page Index Page

Fresh flowers are sold everywhere for 50 cents a bunch
Day of the Dead in Mexico or Dia de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico. Her face is unforgettable and she goes by many names: La Catrina (Fancy Lady), La Flaca (Skinny), La Huesuda (Bony), La Pelona (Baldy). A fixture in Mexican society, she's not some trendy fashion model, but La Muerte — Death. El Dia is a day of celebration with deep spiritual connections to the souls who gone before yet through family rituals remain connected to this reality. read more

Artist Richard Hay Reagan (1929-2012) first visited Mexico in the 1950s Tony Burton

In the mid-1950s, after temporary jobs in California, Rick sought artistic inspiration in Mexico. He used GI Bill funds (then about $110 a month) to study art at Mexico City College, where he also taught and exhibited. More than once he spent time painting in the small fishing village of La Ventosa, in Oaxaca. read more

Artist Richard Hay Reagan (1929-2012) revisted Mexico in 1970 Tony Burton

Richard Reagan undoubtedly had artistic talent, but despite his creativity and enviable work ethic, he always lived in the moment and never planned ahead. This makes it all the more important that this quietly-spoken "true artist", one who was never willing to compromise his artistic integrity, is not forgotten. read more
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