Category Archives: September 2012

Editor’s Letter

By Jane Bauer

“I entered the classroom with the conviction that it was crucial for me and every other student to be an active participant, not a passive consumer…education as the practice of freedom…. education that connects the will to know with the will to become. Learning is a place where paradise can be created.” ― Bell Hooks

Back to School….. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils, erasers, and the excitement of staring anew. Each September is marked with possibility; maybe this year you will become the math whiz, the prom queen, the basketball star, miss congeniality- it is not just new notebooks but the anticipation of coming closer to who we see ourselves to be. Continue reading Editor’s Letter

The Tierra Blanca Project

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By Michael Richards

Michael (Spike) Richards and Joy Lancaster Warden from Calgary,supporters of live music, and lovers of our local paradise, have started The Tierra Blanca Project. The long term goal of the project is to fund, build and equip a remote school for eighty elementary students, a clinic, a community kitchen, sanitary facilities, and residence for the teachers. In the fall of 2013, construction of the new school will be underway. It will have geographic challenges, and logistical hurdles as transportation of building materials is difficult in this remote area. Continue reading The Tierra Blanca Project

Canadian Friends of Oaxaca

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By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

For decades, both Americans and Canadians have been supporting efforts to provide young Oaxacans with improved education; donating not only their time and expertise, but also books and related educational resources, food and clothing to make attending school easier for children of families with very limited resources, and cash. But while US taxpayers have been able to deduct donations to certain registered Mexican charities from their income, Canadians have not. Finally change is in the wind, as a result of CANFRO, Canadian Friends of Oaxaca Inc. Continue reading Canadian Friends of Oaxaca

In Search of the Mexican Identity: Must-Reads

By Carole Reedy

Reading opens a doorway into the character of the culture and history of a country. But something more: We want to understand why people act the way they do, what’s going on in their minds, what provides the impetus for their actions. Here are a few books recommended by both Mexicans and foreigners living in Mexico. Ideally, you’ll read in Spanish the ones written originally in Spanish, but these books also have been beautifully translated into English. Continue reading In Search of the Mexican Identity: Must-Reads

Eat and Learn!

By Brooke Gazer

Around the world some of the tastiest food is sold by street vendors. Some people may be leery about eating “street food” but I believe it is safer than what might be found on a salad bar at a five star hotel. This is because vendors rely on local repeat business; if several regulars get sick word travels faster than ice cream melting on hot pavement and that entrepreneur is out of business. You won’t go wrong if you look for a vendor who has a crowd of locals surrounding his stall. Continue reading Eat and Learn!

By Julie Etra

Although this is a truly American concoction created in 1886 by John Pemberton, and was the first soft drink in space (1985) it may surprise some readers that Mexico has surpassed the United States in consumption since 2010. It now has the dubious distinction of the highest per capita consumption in the world with Mexicans consuming a yearly average of 675 8-oz servings per person. That’s 168.75 gallons per year for every man, woman, and child. Continue reading

Señorita Manners

Travel like the world is a classroom! Is there anything more ridiculous that seeing a child at the beach watching a movie on a portable DVD player, iPad or what have you? Travelling with kids is an opportunity to revisit things you already know or discover things you otherwise may have dismissed. While traveling with kids can be exhausting, when done with a little bit of planning it can be pleasant for the whole family. While it may be tempting to leave little ones with hotel childcare services while you lie on the beach, you will be missing out on sharing invaluable time together as well as teaching them about the most important thing to carry with you through life; curiosity. Continue reading Señorita Manners

The Wisdom of Maíz – Will it Lose it’s voice?

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By Deborah Van Hoewyk

“This is delicious. It has the flavor of the tradition of who WE are.” — Amelia Gómez, Totontepec Villa de Morelos.

More than a mile high in the Sierra Sur of northeastern Oaxaca lies Totontepec Villa de Morelos, a cabecera, or “head” town of the municipality of the same name. Totontepec currently covers fourteen mountain communities that are home to about 6,000 Mixe (“mee-hay”) people. The Mixe language has nearly a dozen dialects; the Totontepecanos speak Ayook and call themselves “Ayookja’ay”; ‘Ayook’ means la gente, “the people,” and ‘ja’ay’ is del idioma florida, “of a blossoming language.” Continue reading The Wisdom of Maíz – Will it Lose it’s voice?

The Met Opera Goes to Las Vegas: From Red to Black, the Gamble Pays Off

By Carole Reedy

Arias pouring into the dry night air from the casinos of Las Vegas? Just one of the challenges Peter Gelb has set for himself this season with a new production of Rigoletto, the classic Verdi opera from Italy that will be set in what Gelb calls the “misogynist rat-pack world of Las Vegas in the 1960s.” Continue reading The Met Opera Goes to Las Vegas: From Red to Black, the Gamble Pays Off