Geo-Mexico: The Geography and Dynamics of Modern Mexico

Sombrero Books, 2010; Available from (Paperback) Did you ever wonder why rain usually falls in the late afternoon or night during the summer in western Mexico? Can you figure out why the death rate for Mexicans is four times higher than for US-born workers in the southeastern USA? Do you know why “harmless” organic […]

Continue Reading
The charming plaza of Oconahua, Jalisco, surrounded by rugged hills. The ruins of a large pyramid lie beneath the town's church © John Pint, 2009

The Tecpan of Ocomo: largest indigenous palace in Mesoamerica

The inhabitants of the village of Oconahua, Jalisco, have a secret. A thousand years ago, their pueblito, located 75 kilometers west of Guadalajara, was a grand city covering 500-600 hectares, and their ancestors ruled all of western Mexico from a magnificent edifice covering 15.6 square kilometers and today known as El Palacio de Ocomo. Archeologist […]

Continue Reading
No plaque has yet been put up at the train station to remind the world of this sad chapter in Mexico's history. The abandoned train station near San Marcos in Western Jalisco, Mexico was part of the route used to move Yaquis from Sonora to the henequen fields of Yucatan in the early 1900s. It is said that 15,000 of them were exiled. © John Pint, 2009

Yaqui in exile: the grim history of Mexico’s San Marcos train station

An old railway station at the western end of the train tracks in Jalisco, Mexico, bears witness to unspeakable cruelties perpetrated upon thousands of Yaqui Indians in the early 1900s. According to the Jalisco Secretariat of Culture’s Guachimontones Guide Book, Yaquis were sold as slaves at the station “for 25 centavos a head” and “around the station were located […]

Continue Reading
Friendly cavers ascending ropes in Cueva Iztaxiatla Lava Tube, Morelos. Most caves in Mexico are found in limestone and often display magnificent stalactites, stalagmites and other formations like draperies, shields and gravity-defying helictites. © John Pint, 2010

Exploring caves in Mexico: the speleologist’s new frontier

Soaking wet and covered with mud, we followed the narrow underground stream deeper and deeper into the cave until we found ourselves standing about three meters above a pool of undetermined depth. The thick, dark liquid in the pool was composed of water, bat urine and guano, and a dead rat was floating on the […]

Continue Reading
Orozco's goal is to raise 6000 tarantulas per year. By flooding the black market with legal tarantulas, he hopes to wipe out the illegal trade. © John Pint, 2011

Saving Mexico’s tarantulas: Rodrigo Orozco’s ingenious plan

Rodrigo Orozco shares his Guadalajara, Mexico, home with thousands of tarantulas and tens of thousands of crickets. He’s a man with a mission. “I want to end the illegal trade in Mexican tarantulas,” he says. “My goal is to produce 6000 tarantulas per year and eventually flood the black market so that tarantula poaching will […]

Continue Reading
Francisco Gallegos Franco in La Leonera Canyon, one of several popular hiking and camping areas along the Rio Verde in the northern Jalisco region of Mexico known as Los Altos. © John Pint, 2011

From Tepatitlan, Mexico: The man who could fix anything

Some stories are too good to forget. This one is told by Tepatitlán chronicler Francisco Gallegos Franco in his book Leyendas de Tepatitlán (Legends of Tepatitlán) — John Pint. In 1870, the richest man in Guadalajara was, without a doubt, Don Manuel Escandón, owner of La Escoba Yarn and Fabric Company. In this year, however, a […]

Continue Reading
Beautiful yet deadly: The Fire Volcano threatens the City of Colima (Population 130,000) with a Mount-Saint-Helen's-type explosion. © John Pint, 2012

La Maria: A picturesque crater lake in the shadow of Colima’s Fire Volcano

Beneath the high walls of an ancient crater, you glide across the placid lake in a rowboat, mesmerized. “This is surely the most peaceful place in all Mexico and definitely one of the most beautiful,” you tell yourself. But just beyond those protective crater walls rises one of the most dreaded forces of nature: an […]

Continue Reading
The wife of the owner of the Langarica Copper mine, located near the village of Amparo, demonstrates that the area is still rich in minerals © John Pint, 2012

Ruins and memories of Mexico’s El Amparo Mining Company

In 1916, the Amparo Mining Company had the most successful silver mines in Jalisco and was making money hand over fist. Although it was located pretty much in the middle of nowhere, 65 kilometers due west of Guadalajara near the town of Etzatlan, rumors abound that a bustling community of some 6,000 souls once lived […]

Continue Reading