By Jane Bauer
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Mark Twain
The moment we are born, we begin the process of moving towards our inevitable death. That is something most of us probably don’t like to dwell on too much, but there is no denying that when faced with thoughts of death we are reminded of the wonderful value of what it is to be alive. The way a culture deals with its dead says a great deal about those left to carry on. Continue reading Editor’s Letter
The severe topography and lack of infrastructure in Mexico causes the rural population of many regions to be rather isolated. This complicates the already challenging problem of providing consistent quality education in a country of limited resources. Many children are required to travel 5km over rough terrain, along steep, treacherous mountainous trails. After this grueling early morning hike, such children have very little energy left for learning. When it rains the passes are even more difficult to navigate, causing children to stay home. In Guanajuato, absenteeism posed sufficient problems that some schools were facing closure. Even if the means were available to buy a school bus and maintain it, it is unlikely that a vehicle would be able to negotiate the perilous mountain terrine. Continue reading Donkey Up to School
Who are those frantic guys in the streets waving handkerchiefs, rags, and t-shirts in front of living, breathing bulls? This is a pamplonada, a “bullrun” that occurs in many parts of the world, often here in Mexico at las ferias. Occasionally you’ll see a proper matador’s cape, but generally this festival is for rogue players. Continue reading Adrenalin in the Streets: Crazy Fun at Mexico’s Pamplonadas
“The Mexican … frequents it … caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it … he confronts it face to face with patience, disdain or irony.” Octavio Paz on death
People die everyday and sooner or later you will hear of the passing of a good friend, business associate or employee. What is the appropriate response. Is it ok to go to the funeral? Should you wear black? Send flowers? When is a good time to visit the family to pay your respects? Continue reading Señorita Manners
By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) in the City of Oaxaca is one of the most exhilarating and interesting festivals anywhere in the world. While it’s difficult to miss out on any of the major “muertos” activities without pre – planning, most travelers to Oaxaca for Day of the Dead want advance advice and assurances, rather than wait until their arrival in the city. Once you have your accommodations, and have selected a couple daytime tours in advance, all you’ll need is this primer to know what’s in store for you, and when; whether cemeteries, comparsas, altars or tapetes. Continue reading Day of the Dead in Oaxaca: One of Mexico’s Most Fascinating Traditions
By Alfredo Patiño and Neal Erickson
El Saber del Sabor Gastronomic Festival was celebrated in Oaxaca City last month. The first event of the Festival was an evening parade and dinner, and was followed by ten days of activities to promote and celebrate Oaxacan Cuisine. Chef Alejandro Ruiz, organizer of the event said, “Oaxaca has many things to offer. Architecture, ruins, culture, arts and crafts, and everything is accompanied by food, everybody eats, so why not celebrate it with a festival?”
It started under a Blue Moon on Thursday August 30th The exciting opening parade (Calenda) had a band, pyrotechnics, beautifully costumed traditional dancers, and dozens of local participants carrying lighted lanterns. Accompanied by a large viewing audience, the parade wound itself through the streets of Oaxaca, beginning at the church of Santo Domingo, stopping at the Plaza Alameda in front of the Cathedral de Oaxaca for a dance demonstration, and eventually ending with a final dance performance above the Plaza de la Danza. In the plaza, the Festival’s inaugural dinner was given under a tented area large enough to seat one thousand people. Continue reading Oaxaca’s Culinary Festival “Saber del Sabor”
Although the word “spring” brings to mind an awakening, “fall” seems a beginning too, a portent of what’s to come. Here in México, it’s the end of the hurricane season and a time of preparation for winter tourists, Day of the Dead, Christmas, New Years, and Three Kings’ Day. It’s also the season when the best books of the year are published. Coming soon are new selections by many of the most widely read and respected authors of our time. Here’s a sneak preview: Continue reading Fall Fiction by Well-Loved Authors
By Carole Reedy
Operas by two of the most popular Italian 19 century composers, Gaetano Donizetti and Giuseppe Verdi, open this seventh Metropolitan Opera HDtransmission season. Don’t forget to see if your location broadcasts Sergio Vela’s informative charla, transmitted live from the Lunario in Mexico City at 10:30 am. This talk offers many tools to understand and enjoy the history of the opera, its characters, and composer, besides being great fun. Vela’s knowledge of opera is beyond “we mortals”!
All operas are scheduled to be shown in Oaxaca City at the Teatro Macedonia Alcala, in Mexico City at the Auditorio Nacional, as well as other locations throughout the country. See ‘The Eye’s September 2012 issue for a complete listing of the locations in Mexico as well as for the complete opera season. Continue reading Operas Sneak Preview: Live from the MET in New York
By Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken
Mexico currently has no death penalty. However in the past few years the international press has reported that Mexico may reinstitute capital punishment in response to violent crimes committed by criminals engaged in drug trade. And several research studies indicate that among specific groups in Mexico, such as university students, a majority favor reinstating the death penalty. There are compelling reasons to believe that this will not happen.
Mexico has been an international leader in abolishing the use of the death penalty. Although the date of legislation formally outlawing capital punishment in all cases is quite recent – 2005 – the death penalty has not been imposed in Mexico in a civil case since the late 1930’s. Even in military cases, the last execution took place in 1961. Continue reading Is The Death Penalty Dead in Mexico?