Noël, Naomi and Dorian - standing where our grandmother was photographed with a student named Martha more that 30 years earlier). © 2022 Noel Carmichael.

Visiting Lake Chapala, my grandparents’ winter home decades ago

In April, my two sisters and I traveled to the Lake Chapala area for an opportunity to celebrate the future, specifically the upcoming nuptials of our youngest sister, Dorian. Our trip also allowed us an opportunity to connect to our past, retracing the footsteps of our grandparents, Jean and Ralph Carmichael, who had wintered in […]

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Caimito or star apple is a regional fruit in the Valladolid area of the Yucatan, related to the mamey and other sapote species. It is used in ices and ice cream. — Caimito es una fruta regional del área de Valladolid en Yucatán, relacionada con el mamey y otras especies de sapote. Se utiliza para preparar hielos y nieves.

The month of June

June is a great month for foodies in Mexico.  The variety of fresh summer-season fruit and vegetables is extraordinary, and June is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen. For a great place to start, try Karen Hursh Graber’s comprehensive Exotic summer refreshment: a guide to Mexico’s tropical fruit. Like hundreds of other […]

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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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