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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New Worlds for the Deaf cover

New Worlds for the Deaf: the story of the pioneering Lakeside School for the Deaf in rural Mexico by Gwen Chan Burton

New Worlds for the Deaf: the story of the pioneering Lakeside School for the Deaf in rural Mexico by Gwen Chan Burton (Sombrero Books, 2020) In 1982, Gwen Chan Burton, who had previously taught in government secondary schools in Australia and Canada for 12 years, was faced with a big career decision. Burton (whose name […]

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Piña colada time at Isla de Ixtapa © 2020 Jane Simon Ammeson

Pangas and piña coladas: a laid-back lunch on Isla de Ixtapa, Guerrero

Greg knows the old way—or so he says—but all I can see is an empty stretch of sand and water where the southern tip of Playa Quieta ends at a rocky outcropping of rocks jutting out into the Bahia de Palmar. When I lived here, he explains, this is where we caught the pangas going […]

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Atrium of San Antonio de Padua Convent © 2020 Jane Simon Ammeson

A fun afternoon in Izamal, Yucatan: a Pueblo Magico in Shades of Yellow

I’m traveling along narrow cobblestone streets flanked on both sides by rows of adobe buildings washed with bright yellow and accented with white trim and large ceramic pots brimming with colorful blooms. My mode of transportation is a white “coche Victoria” (or calesa) pulled by a mule named Dolly, garlanded with flowers and a hat […]

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An arched walkway surrounds the courtyard of San Sebastián Mártir Church in Bernal, Querétaro. In the center of the atrium stands a beautiful cross of carved quarry stone. © Jane Ammeson 2009

The magic of Bernal, Queretaro: wine, opals and historic charm

Sometimes in the evenings, after the sun has set behind the monolith that towers over the small village of San Sebastián Bernal, ánimas, or restless souls who sleep in the small graveyard near the old chapel, rise up and move silently through the quiet streets. The ánimas mean no harm. They are just continuing their daily round – what […]

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Cobblestone walkway that leads to the mine

La Valencia – one of Guanajuato’s richest silver mines

The stairs that take me down hug the curves of the mine as it twists and turns. The walls are coarse with cut stone. I have followed the narrow Carretera Panoramica (Panoramic Highway) that winds up from the Colonial city of Guanajuato to La Valencia, a charming village that overlooks the broad valley where the […]

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The splendid church in Guadalupe, Zacatecas has three chapels -- the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Dark Chapel and the Chapel of Naples -- each seemingly more ornate than the next. This is the Capilla de Nápoles, or Chapel of Naples. © Jane Ammeson, 2009

Guadalupe in Zacatecas: masterpieces of colonial art

Located just east of Zacatecas city, Guadalupe’s palm-fringed Jardín Juárez has the special charm found in so many Mexican towns. Here vendors sell the local crafts that this colonial town, founded in 1578, is famous for – including tooled leather belts and soft, pliant jackets along with large carved rustic furniture and wall hangings, newly woven […]

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Independence parade, Dolores Hidalgo

Colonial charm, Talavera and shrimp ice cream in Dolores Hidalgo

Someone has mistakenly put shrimp into the ice cream or else I’m reading the sign incorrectly — always a possibility as my Spanish certainly needs some work. But then again, when I order camarones at restaurants, I get shrimp and so camarón must be shrimp, right? But then what is it doing in the ice cream? The answer, according […]

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