Category Archives: 2015

December 2015

December 2015
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Holidays in Mexico

By Brooke Gazer

Mexico is rich in Fiestas, any excuse for a party will do! Most people celebrate two birthdays, the day of their birth and their own personal Saint’s day. Including statutory holidays I count 33 official days for festivities and celebration. There are however, only seven official statutory holidays in Mexico. These are called “feriados” or “días de asuetos”. If you have an employee, you must either give them the day off or pay them double to work on these days. This includes maids and gardeners if they would normally work for you on the day in question. The “Ley Federal de Trabajo” was modified a few years ago to reassign some national holidays to a Monday in order to promote more national tourism, creating “Puentes” (long weekends). Continue reading Holidays in Mexico

What Happens to Those Centavos???

By Brooke Gazer

When you are at the grocery check out, your total is rarely an even number. Your bill might be $273.61pesos. At Soriana, the clerks ask you, “Do you want to donate the centavos to …?” If you answer “yes” they round it up to $274. Nobody misses the 33 tiny centavos; in fact most stores just keep it. Using those stray centavos, Soriana supports various charities throughout the year. This year, from July 1 through October 31, Un Nuevo Amanecer was the recipient and during those four months the centavos added up to a whopping $76,785.97 pesos! Continue reading What Happens to Those Centavos???

Dressing for the Holidays in Oaxaca; More than Beachwear

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

What’s the appropriate dress for a visit to the city of Oaxaca? It doesn’t matter whether you’re spending an entire vacation in the state capital, or intending to sneak away from the beach for just a couple of days to get your fill of culture, cuisine, and of course mezcal. With the holiday season upon us, the answer becomes clearer. Consider the cool December/January climate in the mountains away from the coast, especially evenings; and perhaps wanting to fit in a bit more during an extremely festive time of year. How would you dress back home, in order to feel comfortable both in terms of not catching a chill, nor receiving a cold shoulder? Continue reading Dressing for the Holidays in Oaxaca; More than Beachwear

Palmas Unidas

By Fran McLaren

Palmas Unidas Bahías de Huatulco AC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for homeless cats and dogs in Huatulco. The group, led by Roberto Dattoli and his wife Margaret Guerra, owners of the Hotel Plaza Delphinus at Chahue, began meeting monthly in 2014. In March 2015 the group became a registered civil association. Since then, the group has rescued and found homes for over 45 puppies, and with the help of local veterinarians Dr. Norma Rivera and Dr. Freddy Cruz, more than 41 additional animals have been sterilized and adopted. Continue reading Palmas Unidas

Imported Holidays in Mexico

By Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken

Nobel prize winner Octavio Paz, an acute observer of Mexican culture, cogently described fiestas, “with their violent primary colors, their bizarre costumes and dances, their fireworks and ceremonies and their inexhaustible welter of surprises: the fruit, candy, toys,” as the very life blood of Mexicanos. So it should not be surprising that many holidays in Mexico are relatively recent additions to the calendar. Some began as grassroots celebrations by immigrants or by Mexicanos who learned about the holiday when living in the U.S.; when they returned to Mexico they introduced the practice to their friends and neighbors, and gradually the celebration spread. Others were adopted but given a completely different meaning in Mexico. And several were added to the calendar of observances by Mexican government officials who were not about to allow their neighbors to the north pay honor to groups of people without doing the same. Continue reading Imported Holidays in Mexico