Category Archives: July 2016

Editor’s Letter

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 4.51.34 PMBy Jane Bauer

Perhaps it’s good for one to suffer. Can an artist do anything if he’s happy? Would he ever want to do anything? What is art, after all, but a protest against the horrible inclemency of life?

Aldous Huxley

I love the chaos of this country. The contrasts of old world tradition and modern conveniences. Driving through small villages with ramshackle dwellings only to see satellite dishes perched on metal roofing, kids without shoes playing on cell phones, ladies in their Sunday best eating roadside tacos. I find a beauty and comfort in these dichotomies, perfect examples of the human condition. Continue reading Editor’s Letter

Museo Pantaleón Panduro

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.54.31 AMBy Julie Etra

If one goes to TripAdvisor, or is planning a trip to Tlaquepaque that includes museums, you will find considerable confusion between two ceramic museums. The Regional Ceramics Museum (Museo Regional de Cerámica) is neither a collection of regional ceramics nor a museum, at least as of my last visit in 2016. At that time there was an exhibit of leather ‘canvases’ or ‘paintings’, interesting but not ceramic, and a food festival in the courtyard. This museum has a small gift shop and is located in the historic district. Continue reading Museo Pantaleón Panduro

Off with Their Heads

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.54.12 AMBy David Herstle Jones

UPDATE June 21: I want to express my full support for the eloquent words of Lila Downs:

“Violence provokes more violence. Why provoke with confrontation and repression? If we have the same preoccupations: better education, respect toward students, respect toward teacher, respect toward life and society. Corruption needs to be eliminated in all areas including senators, union leaders, presidents and politicians that don’t accept an anti-corruption reform and accept to be bribed.” Continue reading Off with Their Heads

Oaxaca’s “Vintage” Chango Mezcalero (Clay Monkey) Mezcal Bottles

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.53.39 AMBy Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

For a half century if not longer, the central valleys of the state of Oaxaca have been known in the US, Canada and further abroad for production of the high-alcohol-content, agave-based spirit, mezcal. The region’s pre-Hispanic ruins, colonial architecture, cuisine and craft villages have been noted in travelogues and guide books for some time. More recently even beach lovers visiting Huatulco and Puerto Escondido have elected to take in a bit of culture by spending a couple of days in the state capital. The iconic Mexican drink has now taken center stage, and hence the arrival of mezcal tourism. It has gripped Oaxaca; and along with it has come a revival of the chango mezcalero. Continue reading Oaxaca’s “Vintage” Chango Mezcalero (Clay Monkey) Mezcal Bottles

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.53.21 AMBy Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken

One of the joys of visiting the city of Oaxaca is the variety of museums that cater to many interests; history, archeology, anthropology, textiles and stamps are just a few of the many choices. MACO, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca, is one of the most entertaining yet often overlooked museums in the historic center. Continue reading The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca

It’s All Latin America, But…Viva La Diferencia!

By Carole Reedy

This past April I was fortunate to spend a month in three Latin American countries I’d been eager to visit for years: Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The historical and political aspects of each country dominated our sightseeing agenda, but perhaps more compelling were the daily customs and habits in each country and our perceptions of the people. Were you to visit, you’d perhaps have a different vision. My observations were polar opposites of my expectations. Continue reading It’s All Latin America, But…Viva La Diferencia!

Eternal Life in Guanajuato

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.52.37 AMBy Leigh Morrow

Perhaps the most unusual museum in Mexico is The Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato, the capital in the state of the same name. This former silver mining town with stunning examples of baroque and neoclassical architecture is a world heritage site. However, the museum here has nothing to do with the beauty found above ground. The fascinating origin of Las Momias, dates back to the mid 1800s, 1833 to be precise. A cholera epidemic was sweeping through the area, and the town, in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly disease, quickly buried those who had succumbed to the illness. The rapid burials may have led to at least one person accidentally being buried alive. Ignacia Aquilar may have suffered this fate. She had a rare disease that on occasion made her heart beat so faint, it was perceived to have stopped. Thinking she had died, poor Ignacia was buried. But was she still alive? Continue reading Eternal Life in Guanajuato

More Than Antiquity

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.52.15 AMBy Brooke Gazer

Huatulco has the distinction of being home to the only archeological site open to the public on the entire Pacific coast of Mexico. Although it is impossible to determine who originally developed this 3000-year-old-complex, we know that over the centuries it became home to many different people, including Mixtecs and Zapotecs. For some reason not clearly understood, each group who resided here eventually died out or deserted it, leaving nature to reclaim it. Continue reading More Than Antiquity

Copper Canyon Train Trip

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.51.42 AMBy Dardan Surring

The idea to board the El Chepe Train and explore Mexico’s magnificent Copper Canyon was sown into our brains approximately two years ago, by a friend of ours who had heard, then read about the Copper Canyon Train in northern Mexico. The idea appealed to all of us (3 couples), and having travelled together before, it seemed like a great adventure to embark upon. Continue reading Copper Canyon Train Trip