By Neal Erickson
Music has, for centuries, been an integral part of the life and culture of the indigenous people of Mexico. Before the arrival of the first Spanish Conquistadors they used conch shell horns, reed and wooden flutes and various drums and other percussive instruments to make music to enhance their ceremonial life. When the priests of the Spanish Conquest began introducing their brand of Christianity to the Mexican people, they brought instruments whose intended use was to be strictly for religious ceremonies but to the dismay and objection of the clergy, the indigenous people began to use them for secular songwriting and performance as well. Continue reading Mariachi
By Caryl Delaney
I had the honor of being invited to an Isthmus wedding last year. The groom, Asa Buchanan, was a young English teacher from London and the bride Karina Nuricumbo´s family was from Juchitán. It was an enormous, colorful affair held in an event hall right near the highway leaving the city. Continue reading Juchitan Wedding
By Jane Bauer
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” – Muhammad Ali
Resolutions. As you may have guessed from the fabulous articles, this issue is dedicated to health and fitness. Getting fit and losing weight are the most popular resolutions and many gyms see a rise in membership right after the holidays. Continue reading Editors Letter
By Chuck Dale
Ok, now that you are curious as to what this title means, I want you to find a place to sit down, wherever you are, and take off your shoes, socks, crocs or sandals and take a good look at your feet.
About half the way through a run one day with a client, she looked at me and said, “you know, I’d bet that couch potatoes have pretty feet.” She continued, “ before you and I started training together, my feet were soft, smooth, and pretty, but since we have been training, I’ve noticed how rough and calloused they have gotten, so I’d bet couch potatoes have pretty feet.” Continue reading Couch Potatoes Have Pretty Feet
By Brooke Gazer
Temazcal is a ritual vapor bath with pre-Hispanic origins. The Conquistadores attempted to eradicate all Mesoamerican practices but this purifying custom survived and in recent years has experienced a resurgence. The concept is are not unique to Mesoamerica; the North American Indians held sweat lodges, Turkey had steam baths, hot Japanese baths are known as “ofuru” and the Scandinavians developed what is commonly know as a sauna. The primary difference between the Temazcal and many other hot baths around the world is that the focus of temazcal was medicinal. Continue reading Temazcal
By Caryl Delaney
Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Little Christmas or Dia del los Reyes is celebrated in many ways around the world. The traditions of this celebration – including the actual date of celebration – vary as greatly as those of Christmas do. Most countries and cultures share the idea that Jesus was visited by the Magi, but after that the meaning of this day branches off into a myriad of directions. Continue reading 3 Kings Round the World
By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
In Peter Greenberg’s recently aired The Royal Tour, President Calderón selected diving in the cenotes of Yucatan instead of a refreshing swim at Hierve el Agua. Nevertheless, Oaxaca’s bubbling springs and petrified waterfalls are one of the most spectacular attractions in all Mexico, of course with all due respect to Mr. President. Hierve el Agua is one of the least visited stops (not only by heads of state) along the state of Oaxaca’s central valley routes. Yet for naturalists, photographers, hikers and those with interest in ecotourism, it holds much more allure than the traditional sights. Continue reading Oaxaca’s Bubbling Springs and Petrified Waterfalls: Hierve el Agua
By Kathy Taylor
Fonatur’s first foray into touristic development in 1974 resulted in today’s Cancun – glitzy, sunny and some might say, over-developed. When they cast their eyes to the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca in the 1980s, world and Mexican sentiment had tuned into environmental concerns, and Bahias de Huatulco was chosen to become a model sustainable tourism development.
Bordered by the Coyula and Copalita Rivers, “the master plan for this development considers a polygon of 20,972 hectares, of which 6.35 % are considered a tourist area, 3.45% are an urban area, and 90.19% are an ecological conservation space.” Continue reading Going Green in Huatulco
By Carole Reedy
Although many people don’t know exactly what role Monteczuma played in the history of Mexico, it’s almost certain they know about his revenge, the bane of many tourists. While visiting México City, one of the biggest cities in the world, take a few easy precautions to avoid this debilitating illness and others that can hinder even the intrepid traveler.
Eating Without Fear México is a city of color, delectable smells, music, laughter, and joy. Anyone who’s visited knows it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the street. But if you want to enjoy the rest of your vacation, follow two simple rules: Continue reading Staying healthy in the Big City: Tips on eating, exercise, and emergencies