Category Archives: July 2013

Editor’s Letter

By Jane Bauer

Summer on the Oaxacan Riviera is a tempest. The landscape is lush and unruly, animals emerge along with flowers and vines that cannot be tamed. It lacks the inclination of stability you have probably come to love in winter; guaranteed sunshine, no rain, everything in its place. Continue reading Editor’s Letter

Maguey

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Magueys are monocots in the sub-family Agavoideae, previously classified in the family Agavaceae. Agave comes from the Greek word Agavo, which means magnificent, noble, admirable and was called the tree of miracles by the conquistadores. Other common names are sosquil, pita, cabuya, fique, mescal, toba (in Zapotec) and ki (Mayan). One of the 9 bays of Huatulco is named for this plant. They are abundant in the Mexican landscape and form a dominant portion of the vegetation in many parts of Mexico, especially in semi-arid regions. Distribution is from the Canadian-US border to Bolivia, including the Caribbean. The greatest diversity is in Mexico, home to 76% of the world’s population or 157 species of which 71% (111) are endemic, meaning they occur no where else. Fifty-two species occur in the state of Oaxaca. The origin of this group of plants dates to the Miocene or about 15 million years ago. They flower only once, after about 10-12 tears and also reproduce vegetatively which is how they are generally cultivated. They have lifespan of about 25years and are pollinated by bats and hummingbirds. Continue reading Maguey

Huatulco’s Exotic Ornamental Gardens

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Located just past Santa Maria Huatulco is an amazing agricultural venture that borrows its name from the ancient basilica of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. There is no notable architecture at the “Hagia Sophia” of Huatulco, but the place could be described as monumental. It is the brainchild of Armando Canavati Nadeer, a man with a remarkable vision. Although this is an enormous project, Armando has broken it down into workable sections. Of the 130 hectares, 70 are currently under development; as orchards, vegetable farms, sustainable lumber farms and an ornamental flower garden. Continue reading Huatulco’s Exotic Ornamental Gardens

Tarantulas: Nothing to Fear

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Mexico has more species of tarantula than any other country in the world except Brazil. The tarantula is, however, often maligned and misunderstood. Their bite is not fatal, and barely toxic to humans if at all, and most of the species in Mexico would rather flick hairs at you than bite you if they are threatened. That’s right. Flick hairs. Continue reading Tarantulas: Nothing to Fear

The Unnatural History of the Tejón

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By Deborah Van Hoewyk

It’s very early in the Huatulco morning, still dark, the dawn just beginning to silhouette the umbels of the guarumbo tree in back of the newly renovated Hotel Binniguenda. From my next-door balcony, I savor the serenity . . . Oops! The leaves flutter, the branches droop, and an unexpected guest rustles up early to start his daily foraging. Continue reading The Unnatural History of the Tejón

Huatulco’s New Organic Market

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Huatulco has a new organic market! Officially known as el Mercado Orgánico de Huatulco or MOH. It is held in the park at Santa Cruz, from 8:00am to 2:00pm the first Saturday of every month, until November when it will become a weekly event!

A few months ago a small group of friends were enjoying an evening drink in the cool night air at Café Huatulco when someone mused, “You know what Huatulco really needs? …An organic market”. To which another friend responded, “Well, let’s make one”. Continue reading Huatulco’s New Organic Market

The West Mexican Chachalaca—Best Known for Its “Song”

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By Deborah Van Hoewyk

Remember those tin noisemakers you used to twirl at New Years? Bright colors, horrible noise? When you wake up in Huatulco, don’t you just hear them all over again? That would be the call of Ortalis poliocephala, the West Mexican chachalaca—which is supposed to sound as if it’s saying its name, “cha-cha-la-ca.” You’ll have to decide on the noisemaker vs. the name. Not only is their call unmistakable, they’re very talkative. Mornings are especially good for call-and-response discussions of plans for the day. In case you missed the plans, activities are discussed at the end of the day. Continue reading The West Mexican Chachalaca—Best Known for Its “Song”