whale shark

Swimming with whale sharks in Cancun: An underwater safari

About 25 miles off Cancún’s northeastern coast, past Isla Mujeres and far into the Caribbean waters, some of the largest known sea creatures loll their summers away. They are whale sharks, a gray-and-white spotted fish that can measure up to 40 feet long and weigh more than 15 tons. That’s bigger than many dinosaurs.

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Small Oaxaca villages along the road to Sierra Guacamaya © Alvin Starkman, 2011

Ecotourism in Mexico: Arroyo Guacamaya, Ixtlan and the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca

Arroyo Guacamaya is one of the closest ecotourism sites to the City of Oaxaca, accessible by private vehicle in about an hour, or via public transportation. La Guacamaya has most if not all of the features and attractions of the more distant ecotourism locales in the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca, including mountain biking, nature trails […]

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At Las Güeras, where Sandra Juarez and her family cook regional dishes, you can order up a bowl of four corundas. They go really well with cream and salsa.

Wild Mushroom Broth: Caldo de Hongos Silvestres

This is a basic recipe, to which may be added squash blossoms, cooked fava beans or shredded chicken. Some suggested mushrooms to use in the broth are coral mushrooms (rumeria rubripermanens), field mushrooms (agaricus campestrus) and ceps (boletus edulis.) Using chipotle chiles will give the broth a smokey flavor; using serranos will provide a fresh, […]

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Mexican artist Jorge Monroy with his just-completed painting of the Bald Cypress trees along El Río de Los Sabinos, nine kilometers north of Lake Chapala.Mex © John Pint, 2011

The watercolors and murals of Mexican painter Jorge Monroy

“In the paintings of Jorge Monroy we see the hand of a master, the expression of an artist, a cultivated talent forged by the hammers of study, constancy, dedication and creative energy.” Godofredo Olivares Jorge Monroy’s art is well known in Mexico because his charming watercolors have appeared every week in the newspaper El Informador for more […]

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Saulo Moreno Hernandez: Hidden art treasures in Tlapujahua, Michoacan:

Born to blush: Hidden art treasures in Tlapujahua, Michoacan

Saulo Moreno Hernandez is a 71 year old sagacious, self-effacing artist from Tlapujahua, in the state of Michoacan. One of his works is featured in the Americas Gallery of the British Museum in London. One of his early ‘calaveritas’, which are imaginative statues of skeletons depicted as alive and in various poses and garb, was bought by […]

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Don Jose shows the hollow gourd, or acocote, that he uses to extract the aguamiel from the maguey plant. He is an expert at creating pulque. © Julia Taylor, 2011

Tears of the maguey: Is pulque really a dying tradition?

To Part One: Pulque and the people of Mexico If pulque can create such positive results in all of our daily lives, why is it in danger of extinction? What happened to pulque? It appears to be the victim of “classism,” which can be defined as “the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and […]

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The valleys of El Tecuane and Santa Rosa in Jalisco are filled with fields of blue agaves (Tequilana weber azul), which appear as lakes from a distance. This portion of the Mexican countryside was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. © John Pint, 2010

Did tequila originate in the Mexican town of Amatitan, Jalisco?

All the world has been told that tequila, the drink was born in Tequila — the town located 45 kilometers northwest of Guadalajara — but is this really a fact? Curiously, the famed Tequila Express train has, for years, been carrying tourists straight to a small town called Amatitán, and not to Tequila at all. […]

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