Category Archives: May & June 2017

Editor’s Letter

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.  Desmond Tutu

One of my biggest challenges is to watch the news and try to maintain my belief that people are inherently good. I know we all want to be good but we also want it to come easy. We live in a time where more information is available than ever before. Previous generations could blame their failing to act on the world’s injustices by claiming ignorance – news was reported after the fact. They could look back on history that happened in their lifetime and calmly bathe in the disbelief that this happened on their watch without having to do anything. Continue reading Editor’s Letter

Mexico’s History, Past and Present, through Books

“History endures in Mexico. No one has died here, despite the killings and the executions. They are alive – Cuauhtémoc, Cortes, Maximilian, Don Porfirio, and all the conquerors and all the conquered. That is Mexico’s special quality. The whole past is a pulsing present. It has not gone by, it has stopped in its tracks.”

José Moreno Villa

By Carole Reedy

Despite the endless options for looking up information online, many of us still prefer to read books to gain a sense of history. In keeping with this issue’s theme, I offer here with brief descriptions books that over the years have helped me understand our dear Mexico today. Many have been mentioned in this column over the past seven years because of the authors’ keen insights and grasp of Mexico past and present. Continue reading Mexico’s History, Past and Present, through Books

The Origin of the Names ‘Huatulco’ and ‘Santa Cruz’

By Brooke Gazer

Huatulco is known for its stunningly beautiful bays, but the region is also steeped in history and folklore. In fact, this is the stuff that epic movies are made of. Several places bear the name Santa Cruz, but the beach in Huatulco is the original one! For anyone unfamiliar with Spanish, the name translates to “Holy Cross”, but it does not refer to the Christian Son of God. Legend has it that long before the Spaniards arrived in the New World, a man with a flowing white beard floated on a cross onto this beach. The natives believed he was Quetzalcoatl, the ancient Winged Serpent God, who had promised to return to his people. No one knows what happened to the man, but the cross was erected on the beach in Santa Cruz. Continue reading The Origin of the Names ‘Huatulco’ and ‘Santa Cruz’

Messed Up in a Good Cause!

By Frances Bauer

When I planned my visit to Huatulco I had no idea that I’d have an opportunity to become a parrot feeder. But on Easter Sunday my granddaughter and I accompanied our friend Maggie to the Iguanario in Copalita, a village outside of Huatulco. Maggie and her husband moved from Alberta to Huatulco after they retired. She’s been feeding the parrots at the Iguanario several mornings a week for a while now. The Iguanario’s mission is the protection and breeding of iguanas but when a poacher was apprehended in mid-March with 500 baby parrots the Iguanario agreed to care for them until they were mature enough to release back into the wild. Continue reading Messed Up in a Good Cause!

The Delivery (La Entrega) of Guerrero

By Jan Chaiken and Marcia Chaiken

Since the Mexican War of Independence ended in 1821, Mexico has had over 100 heads of state. Many are barely remembered. Some are notable for rare reasons. For example, Pedro Paredes holds the world record for the shortest presidency, one hour on February 19, 1913. But others are larger than life and have left a highly visible legacy around Mexico. One unforgettable president is Vicente Guerrero. Even when traveling for purposes having nothing to do with learning about Mexico’s past, tourists are likely to stumble on Guerrero history. Continue reading The Delivery (La Entrega) of Guerrero

Homes Are History

By Leigh Morrow

Homes hold more than dishes and dresses, they hold our history. Within the space of the last three months, I have found myself dismantling three intimately special and distinctly different family homes. Our home of 18 years, my parents’ home of 53 years and my husband’s family home. Completing the dismantling of just one home would have been seen as a serious accomplishment, but three, in three months, well, the word monumental comes to mind. Continue reading Homes Are History

Distillation and Mezcal History in Mexico: Indigenous or Foreign, Agave or Coconut

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

Perhaps the story of distillation and mezcal in Mexico begins with the arrival of the Spanish during The Conquest in the first quarter of the 1500s. Or with Filipino seamen in the Manila galleon trade who reached the country’s western shores that same century. Or with Olmec or other indigenous cultures some 2,500 years ago. Continue reading Distillation and Mezcal History in Mexico: Indigenous or Foreign, Agave or Coconut

Mexico’s French Century A Whirlwind History of the French in Mexico: Architecture, Fashion, Cuisine


Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 10.41.39 AMNot to mention independence and revolution!

By Deborah Van Hoewyk

Very, very early on the morning of September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the well-read priest of Dolores, Guanajuato, stood on a balcony in the dark and delivered his impassioned El grito de Dolores (the Cry of Dolores) for independence from the gachupines (Spanish-born oppressors). Hidalgo’s declaration of independence was steeped in the thinking of the French political philosophers Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) and Voltaire (nom de plume of François-Marie Arouet, 1694-1778). Continue reading Mexico’s French Century A Whirlwind History of the French in Mexico: Architecture, Fashion, Cuisine

Perfect your Spanish! Word of the Month

By Julie Etra

Pegar- verb

To stick, to paste or to hit.

But this applies to a wide variety of sticking, including placing a poster on a wall (Puedo pegarlo aqui? Can I place it here?).

Por fin la trepadora ha pegado. Finally the vine is attaching, or to a plant taking root

Las plantulas han pegado. The seedlings have rooted, are well rooted).

Pegar oj. Inability to sleep, as in: Juan ha perdido la cuenta de las noches que ha pasado en vela, sin poder pegar ojo. Juan had lost count of the nights he laid awake, unable to sleep.

Pegar un tiro. Shoot. As in: Amo pegar un tiro a los ratas. I love to shoot rats.

Le pegó a la pelota de béisbol. He hit the baseball.

Pablo me ha pegado. Pablo hit me.

Copia ese texto y pégalo en este documento. Copy that text and paste it into this document.