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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Cinco de Mayo stamp

Cinco de Mayo is more widely celebrated in USA than Mexico

Of the many battles fought on Mexican soil in the nineteenth century, only one — the Battle of Puebla, fought on May 5, 1862 — has given rise to a Mexican day of national celebration. Why this one? The main reason is that the Battle of Puebla marks Mexico’s only major military success since independence […]

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Traditional Maya house in Yucatan © John G. Gladstein, 2008

Tricksters, avengers and guardian spirits: Mexican Ghosts

The child, they said, was old enough to collect leña — kindling — from the rugged Chiapas hillsides and to mount and ride a burro. His peasant parents called him “hombrecito” — “little man” — and trusted him to care for the few chickens and goats that provided the family with sustenance. One moonless night, awakened by the barking […]

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Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas

Cogan’s Reviews This must surely be one of the great adventure stories of all time – how Hernan Cortés and about 500 conquistadores conquered a settled and established civilization in three short years, from 1519 to 1521. Distinguished scholar and historian Hugh Thomas has made good use of recently discovered archival material in both Spain […]

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Border Crossings by David L. Fleming

Cogan’s Reviews This is one of the most enjoyable fiction “reads” I’ve had in a long time. It’s simply good straightforward storytelling complete with interesting and likeable characters and a good basic plot situation. It is founded on an actual incident in relations between the U.S. and Mexico when, in 1916, Pancho Villa’s bandidos, led […]

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Frida: A Novel Based on the Life of Frida Kahlo by Barbara Mujica

Cogan’s Reviews It’s hard for a reader to know exactly what to make of this one. Is it fiction? Or is it biography? Or is it something in between? In an author’s note Ms. Mujica states: “Although events in Mexican history and in Frida’s life provide the general framework, many incidents and characters portrayed here […]

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A Mexican Odyssey: Escape to Paradise by William Reed with Sylvia Garces de Reed

Cogan’s Reviews Where on earth do you start with William Reed? It’s as if he’s done everything in his first 75 years. His career beginning makes him seen quite unlikely for what was to follow. For example, he closed that first chapter on November 30, 1967, when he quietly retired from the U.S. Navy after […]

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