By Jane Bauer
The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned, when the common bond of human dignity is recognized as the essential bond for a peaceful world.
-J. William Fulbright
Here is what I know about you- you have an interest in Mexico and you speak English. Perhaps your interest is only in enjoying this country’s amazing beaches, ruins or sipping a margarita by the pool or possibly by this point your interest has extended and you are curious about its history, its people and its traditions, maybe it is even a place you call home. If you are a regular ‘The Eye’ reader then you may have noticed that our format tends to follow a theme with each issue. This month’s theme took us on a yellow brick road adventure- starting out in Kansas with the broad theme of ‘drugs’ and ending somewhere in Oz with a culmination of ideas. I will admit I had visions of a gritty issue with hot topics such as the poppy fields of Sinaloa or profiles of Mexico’s top crime fighters. Instead the theme of ‘drugs’ took us to healing, to big pharma and since it is November we wanted to include something about the revolution. Of course there are the articles on community happenings such as the upcoming spay and neuter clinics for cats and dogs as well as information about helping villages affected during the rainy season. Continue reading Editor’s Letter
By Monika Maeckle
I made myself a rule several years ago to stop running blindly after butterflies with my net. Too often I had done so, often in the Llano River, chasing Monarchs in the fall when they return to Mexico. Sometimes I would trip on a rock, slip on wet limestone and narrowly avert catastrophe in the middle of nowhere with the closest hospital hours away. Continue reading A Butterfly Bonanza and Blue Morphos to be found in Huatulco
By Carole Reedy
A few months ago, the director of the Pochutla jail, Lic. Homero Gonzalez Ortega, and one of the inmates, Beatriz Arcia, approached the Biblioteca de San Agustinillo (a tiny library in an equally tiny village on the Oaxacan coast) for its assistance in creating a library at the prison. Continue reading In Pochutla Jail: Spreading The Joy of the Printed Word
By Liz Healey
After 4 very successful clinics over the past two Decembers, where over 400 animals have been tended to, Canadian Snipsisters, Heidi Wagner and Shelagh O’Brien, will return once again to the Huatuco area to run spay/neuter clinics for cats and dogs.
The first clinic will be in Barra La Cruz, December 11th thru 14th and the second in Coyula, December 16th thru 19th. Continue reading The Snipsisters are Back for Another Year
By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, the temazcal was a village sacrament for Mexico’s indigenous peoples. It involved cleansing body and mind with curative plants, heat and vapor. But it was the ritualistic aspect of the activity, with the uniting of tens of community members at a time, which likely led to the conquistadores outlawing the practice. Even if religion was not specifically expounded in storytelling, chanting and prayer, the mere acknowledgement of the power of nature was surely enough to create unease for those early, very Catholic invaders.
In the village of San Juan Guelavía, a short drive from Oaxaca, Maestro Albino Melchor Cruz explains that while the Spaniards were concerned with permitting the practice of the temazcal as a traditional gathering of many, they were less apprehensive about its persistence on a smaller scale; perhaps an adobe hut into which a couple, or a shaman and an infirmed pueblo member entered. Thus, the more intimate temazcal continued, less threatening to the order the Spanish wished to establish and affirm. Continue reading Temazcal in Oaxaca Instills Sense of Community
By Brooke Gazer
The Mexican Revolution began as a revolt against the established order and morphed into a multi-sided civil war fought with passion and laced with intrigue. The death toll is estimated between 7-13% of the entire population; compared to about 2.5% during the American Civil war. This was a revolution of simple men rising up to against tyranny to assert their fundamental rights, and became one of the most important socio-political events in the last century. Continue reading Viva La Revolución
By Doreen Woelfel
For those of us who live here year around, we will fill you in on the “rainy” season we had this year, but needless to say, both coasts took major hits at the same time, and for the communities surrounding the coasts, it was devastating. We saw over 25 inches fall within two weeks in Huatulco, leaving rivers flooding and mud sliding. Lives and towns were lost; homes and schools washed away, and these people were cut off as well, as roads became non-existent. Huatulco responded immediately to the most urgent, critical areas, as quickly as possible, making sure that needs were met for those cut off from any kind of communication. Which leads me to two organizations that provided much needed support to local rural communities, stepped up during the storms, and continue year round to bring help to these isolated, rural communities. Britt-Marie Jarnyrd of the Bacaanda Foundation, featured in previous stories in The Eye, and Randy Clearwater with Wilfredo Justiniano and the Community Food Bank, have both made significant impacts in making life a little bit better in these rural communities. Continue reading When in Need, Find a cause
By Deborah Van Hoewyk
On October 1, Canada’s medical marijuana industry officially went mail-order. Medical marijuana has been highly regulated but legal across Canada for more than a decade; the government’s new approach is predicted to produce a “healthy commercial industry,” with sales of domestically grown pot reaching $1.3 billion. (FYI, the spelling in the Canadian law is “marihuana.”) In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have made medical marijuana legal, five of them way back in the 20th century. Continue reading Canada’s Doing It, the U.S. Is Sort of Doing It— How about Mexico? The Marijuana Legalization Movement vs. the Drug Wars
By Jan Chaiken and Marcia Chaiken
The production and distribution of drugs is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in Mexico. Media in the United States and some other countries would have you believe that illegal drugs are the backbone of the Mexican economy. But in this article we are talking about life-saving and life-enhancing pharmaceuticals produced in Mexico, based on the cutting edge of medical knowledge. Continue reading Pharmaceuticals in Mexico