Tag Archives: Travel & Tourism

Fábrica Mexicana

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.51.17 PMBy Jan and Marcia Chaiken

Fábrica Mexicana, an exhibition presented in the Modern Art Museum (MAM) in Mexico City, made clear that Mexico must be placed high on the list of countries creating the most imaginative and environmentally friendly industrial designs. Featuring displays of industrial design and modern architecture in Mexico, the exhibition focused on the influence of Mexican art on shaping commercial products, buildings and whole neighborhoods. Continue reading Fábrica Mexicana

Oaxacan Art

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.41.33 PMWhen most visitors to Oaxaca think of Oaxacan art, the first thing that usually comes to mind is folk art; alebrijes (carved, fancifully painted wooden figures), barro negro (black pottery), tapetes (hand-made wool rugs), and other craft products. They don’t realize that Oaxaca has a longstanding fine art tradition which continues to thrive today. Indeed Oaxaca has produced world renowned artists such as the late masters Rufino Tamayo, Rodolfo Morales, and contemporary artists Francisco Toledo and Demián Flores. Continue reading Oaxacan Art

Palenque Designs Today

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.27.51 PMBy Doreen Woelfel

A trip to Palenque , Chiapas is to delve into the heart of Mayan design. Where in Oaxaca, one sees strong Zapotecan and Mixtec elements in their crafts, Chiapas represents the distinctly Mayan traditions.

Mayan traditions have contributed essential design ideas throughout the world, from jewelry designers, textile artists, painters to architects. A great example is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Angeles (1924) which reflects his deep admiration for Mayan architecture. When visiting Palenque, you are struck by the elements of architecture that continue to be used today: courtyards, square buildings, quadrangles, open space using platforms of various sizes and levels, and inclusion of landscape elements. As in the small river that was diverted around palaces at Palenque, and yet with wooden bridges, connects one area of Palenque with another. Color was most certainly part of this design, sadly we can only imagine now how those colors blended with the environment to create a unique, prototypical Mayan city. Continue reading Palenque Designs Today

El Centro Histórico: A Cornucopia of Architectural Styles

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.18.55 PMBy Carole Reedy

“Grandest, largest, biggest, oldest, most beautiful” are all adjectives that have been used to describe the architecture in El Centro Histórico, Mexico City.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, El Centro Histórico comprises 700 blocks wrapped around the 13-acre zócalo, the heart of the city and one of the biggest squares in the world–second only to Red Square in Moscow. In 1325, the Aztecs built their Venice-like city, Tenochtitlan, on this site, at the time an island in Lake Texcoco. Continue reading El Centro Histórico: A Cornucopia of Architectural Styles

The Best Beaches on the Oaxacan Riviera: You Told Us!

By Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken

Way back in December 2011, we launched the first monthly Huatulco Eye survey. We asked readers to tell us what beaches on the Oaxacan Riveria were the best to snorkel, surf, sunbathe, people-watch, walk, eat a great fish meal, watch the sunrise, watch the sunset and the best beaches for activities we left up to readers to specify. Well readers, those of you who took a few minutes to fill out the questionnaire, have made it clear that we have an abundance of great beaches – 20 beaches were nominated as the best in one or more categories. Continue reading The Best Beaches on the Oaxacan Riviera: You Told Us!

A Reader’s Paradise: La Biblioteca de San Agustinillo

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 6.49.10 PMBy Carole Reedy

Four thousand books from which to choose—in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and Dutch. Books for children in Spanish, French, and English. Make your selections at the Biblioteca de San Agustinillo in the quiet pueblo of the same name (population 250), snuggled between the hip beach of Mazunte and the night life of Zipolite on the Oaxacan Riviera.  Continue reading A Reader’s Paradise: La Biblioteca de San Agustinillo

Temazcal

By Brooke Gazer

Temazcal is a ritual vapor bath with pre-Hispanic origins. The Conquistadores attempted to eradicate all Mesoamerican practices but this purifying custom survived and in recent years has experienced a resurgence. The concept is are not unique to Mesoamerica; the North American Indians held sweat lodges, Turkey had steam baths, hot Japanese baths are known as “ofuru” and the Scandinavians developed what is commonly know as a sauna. The primary difference between the Temazcal and many other hot baths around the world is that the focus of temazcal was medicinal. Continue reading Temazcal

Oaxaca’s Bubbling Springs and Petrified Waterfalls: Hierve el Agua

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

In Peter Greenberg’s recently aired The Royal Tour, President Calderón selected diving in the cenotes of Yucatan instead of a refreshing swim at Hierve el Agua. Nevertheless, Oaxaca’s bubbling springs and petrified waterfalls are one of the most spectacular attractions in all Mexico, of course with all due respect to Mr. President. Hierve el Agua is one of the least visited stops (not only by heads of state) along the state of Oaxaca’s central valley routes. Yet for naturalists, photographers, hikers and those with interest in ecotourism, it holds much more allure than the traditional sights. Continue reading Oaxaca’s Bubbling Springs and Petrified Waterfalls: Hierve el Agua