Passenger Train (Wikipedia)

Railroad Ride Through the Jungle Fifty Years Ago

Who would have dreamed a train from hell could slice through pristine jungle for two days? We’d have gotten off, escaped, even tried to walk out, except for two problems. We didn’t know where we were, and most of the Mexicans spoke Indian languages, not Spanish. The preceding weeks of restful, carefree travel hadn’t prepared […]

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Cover, Foreign Footprints in Ajijic

Foreign Footprints in Ajijic: Decades of Change in a Mexican Village (review)

Tony Burton’s most recent book, Foreign Footprints in Ajijic, captures a period of time in Ajijic’s history from the 1940s to the 1980s that is both intriguing and eye-opening. It is hard to imagine the comings and goings that took place in this seemingly quiet fishing village nestled beside Lake Chapala, a stone’s throw from […]

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Author at Cenote Xlacah. © 2022 Jane Simon Ammeson

Visiting Dzibilchaltún: an ancient city in an ancient land

Once a vast city of 40,000 spread across 8 square miles or so of jungle and meadows, Dzibilchaltún was a long-lived Mayan city, a major player in the salt trade, and the ultimate survivor. Founded around 300 B.C., Dzibilchaltún lasted until the arrival of the Spanish in 1540. An architectural marvel even now, as it […]

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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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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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Burton-If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk: Chapala’s historic buildings and their former occupants

Tony Burton’s thoroughly researched and utterly fascinating book If Walls Could Talk, published by Sombrero Books, takes us through the surprising and richly textured history of Chapala’s past from the mid-eighteen hundreds onwards. I had no idea that this laid back, seemingly staid resort town on the shores of Jalisco’s Lake Chapala could have had […]

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