Barbara Dye: U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Barbara Dye examines the point where giant blocks of pumice settled at the bottom of the Primavera-Caldera lake pushing their way into the lake sediment. © John Pint, 2014

Geology of Guadalajara’s Primavera Forest: A Peace Corps volunteer’s passionate tribute

On Wednesday, March 6, 2013, the first book ever on the geology of the Primavera Forest was launched at ITESO University in Guadalajara. La Apasionante Geología del Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna La Primavera was written by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and geologist Barbara Dye during her two years of service at the woodland sanctuary. Although written […]

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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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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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John Pint with one of the smaller Piedras Bola. Megaspherulites have been found in a few other places in the world, but none are as large as those near Ahualulco, Mexico, some of which are nearly 10 meters in diameter. © John Pint, 2009

Las Piedras Bola: the great stone balls of Ahualulco

Approximately twenty-five years ago I heard rumors of some curious geological formations hidden high in the hills above the town of Ahualulco de Mercado, which is located about 58 kilometers west of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. “There are giant stone balls up there,” I was told, “perfectly round and lying in a great bed of […]

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Hugo's Heavenly Pool on Mexico's Rio Zarco is scenic enough to be used as a movie backdrop. Tala, near Guadalajara, is a wonderland of natural scenery. © John Pint, 2011

Tala, Jalisco: A thousand-year-old Mexican city inside a geological wonderland

Tala is a small town located 30 kilometers due west of Guadalajara and best known for its large, government-operated sugar refinery, infamous for being the major polluter of Lake La Vega. Two thousand years ago, however, Tala was the residential district of a large metropolis with a population of some 60,000 people. “Most likely,” says […]

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Citlaltépetl, as painted by Velasco, 1897

Did you know? An early ascent of Mexico’s highest peak, El Pico de Orizaba

Scientists first explored El Pico de Orizaba, Mexico’s highest peak, as long ago as 1838. El Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltépetl (= star), is Mexico’s highest peak, with a summit 5,746 meters (18,853 feet) above sea level. The third highest peak in North America, it is also that region’s highest volcano, responsible for major eruptions […]

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Did you know? Chihuahua caves house the world’s largest crystals

The world’s largest natural crystals (of selenite, said to enhance sex drive) have been discovered in caverns in Chihuahua. Early in 2001, news emerged of a truly extraordinary discovery in caverns deep under the earth in the state of Chihuahua. Miners tunneling through the Naica Hills, south of Chihuahua City, in search of silver and […]

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