The Truth About Mexico | Archive | Mexico in General

Archive | Mexico in General

Learn more about Mexico with Mezcal

Learn more about Mexico with Mezcal

 

We love mezcal and think you ought to give it a try.  Or at least read about this favorite liquor of Mexico in the NY Times article Go Deeper Into Mexico with Mezcal. 

Posted in Jalisco, Mexico, Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Learn more about Mexico with Mezcal

Vintage Mexico Photos

Vintage Mexico Photos

 

Here is a wonderful glimpse into México’s past by famed author and photographer Juan Rulfo. 

Posted in Mexico, Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Vintage Mexico Photos

Young U.S. deportees search for a path in Mexico

Young U.S. deportees search for a path in Mexico

 

What a moving article!  The US’s loss is México’s gain.  Read Young US deportees search for a path in México.

 

Posted in Mexico, Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Young U.S. deportees search for a path in Mexico

Take the Kids to México

Take the Kids to México

Can you hear us clapping? Great article.  Check out Ignore the Myths and Take The Kids to México over at Boots n All.

Posted in Mexico, Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Take the Kids to México

Lessons in Mexican Spanish

Lessons in Mexican Spanish

 

Here is a fun and interesting read from the folks at Matador Network.

Posted in Mexico, Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Lessons in Mexican Spanish

Mexico: Public Health, Obesity & NAFTA

Mexico: Public Health, Obesity & NAFTA

A must read on how México, like many other developing countries is going through a nutrition transition.  Here is the article, by Judy Bankman.

Posted in Mexico, Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Mexico: Public Health, Obesity & NAFTA

Danzon in México

Danzon in México

One of the things most of us love about México is how people enjoy life.  Dancing, singing, laughing, cheering – it is a happy place.  In most cities in México here are popular evening dances – mainly outdoors – where people enjoy dancing Cuban danzon.  This piece by Tim Johnson of McClatchy titled Cuba’s danzon musical form dies at home but endures in México is a delightful read.  Enjoy!

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Danzon in México

Safety in Mexico – Reality vs Media Hype

Safety in Mexico – Reality vs Media Hype

Escape from America Magazine’s Cathy Brown recently published an article titled Safety in Mexico Media Hype.  It’s a must read for anyone considering travel to Mexico or to share with friends or family who might be worried about your impending travel.  

 

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Safety in Mexico – Reality vs Media Hype

Congratulations, Mexico! (On Universal Health Care Coverage)

Congratulations, Mexico! (On Universal Health Care Coverage)

The Harvard School of Public Health reports that Mexico has Achieved Universal Health Care Coverage in Less than a Decade – enrolling 52.6 million people.  That is a fantastic achievement, congratulations to the Mexican people!

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Congratulations, Mexico! (On Universal Health Care Coverage)

All About Mexican Food

All About Mexican Food

The Mexico Issue

Serious foodies love Saveur Magazine, and no wonder. Their current issue is The Mexico Issue – prepare to be stunned by the gorgeous photographs, videos, decriptions, and recipes.  Buen Provecho!

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on All About Mexican Food

Mexican Farmers Block Law to Privatize Plants & Seeds

Mexican Farmers Block Law to Privatize Plants & Seeds

Photo: Nation of Change

Small farmers in México have scored a victory over huge corporations that want to control seed and food patents.  The issue of plant biodiversity is important to all of us – but to small farmers in México it is imperative to their livelihood.  This article in Nation of Change shows that small groups do have power.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Mexican Farmers Block Law to Privatize Plants & Seeds

The Truth about Cinco de Mayo

The Truth about Cinco de Mayo

 

When you live in México you become aware that the only city that celebrates Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) is the city of Puebla, where Mexican army was victorious over the French in 1862.  I always thought it was a trumped-up holiday in the US – probably developed to sell beer.  How wrong I was!

The Huffington Post published an article today titled Cinco De Mayo is a 100-Percent American Celebration.  I think you’ll be as surprised as I was, and thrilled that the festivities in the US on this day have their roots in history.

 

Posted in Mexico in General, PueblaComments Off on The Truth about Cinco de Mayo

The México I Know

The México I Know

 

Many of you probably already enjoy watching Pati’s Mexican Table on television.  In this article on Eatocracy, Chef Patricia Jinich writes about the México she knows.  Buen provecho!

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on The México I Know

Net Migration from Mexico to the US falls to Zero (or less)

Net Migration from Mexico to the US falls to Zero (or less)

 

The well respected Pew Research Center recently published a press release and findings that show that net migration from Mexico to the US has fallen to zero, or even less.  It’s worth clicking their link to read the full report, too.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Net Migration from Mexico to the US falls to Zero (or less)

Peter Greenberg – “Why I Travel to Mexico”

Peter Greenberg – “Why I Travel to Mexico”

 

I bet you love to read and watch Peter Greenberg as much as I do.  He truly is a travel icon, and his reasonable attitude and love of México is very refreshing to me.  Here is his piece “Why I Travel To México.” 

If you don’t know Peter, I recommend that you check out the rest of his website and watch the videos relating to “Mexico: The Royal Tour.”  We also have a link in the featured stories at the top of our home page.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Peter Greenberg – “Why I Travel to Mexico”

The Canadian Press wants to hear from you!

The Canadian Press wants to hear from you!

The Calgary Herald is asking its readers about their experiences living and traveling in México.  Please read their article: What is your experience with safety in México? and don’t forget to share your experiences!

Posted in Mexico in General, Personal ExperiencesComments Off on The Canadian Press wants to hear from you!

A Challenge to the Washington Post

A Challenge to the Washington Post

Friends and I read the recent  Washington Post article by Andrea Sachs with outrage and dismay. Her piece, titled “Mexico: Which parts are safe to travel to and which are dangerous” obviously irked OC Weekly writer David Lieberman, too. I hope you’ll read his columnMexico as Imagined by the Washington Post.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on A Challenge to the Washington Post

Michele Obama said it is safe to travel to México

Michele Obama said it is safe to travel to México

In the video below, the First Lady of the United States, Michele Obama, is interviewed in Mexico City. The video is from April 2010.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Michele Obama said it is safe to travel to México

A Mexican Posada

A Mexican Posada

We searched high and low for a video to explain the Mexican posada, and this one is fantastic!  Enjoy!

 

Posted in Mexico in General, Personal ExperiencesComments Off on A Mexican Posada

Are you safe in México?  A true story.

Are you safe in México? A true story.

The (self-named) Neurotic Foreigner, William Lawson, is a Canadian who has lived in (and written about life in) the Yucatán for more than 20 years. He writes a blog – Lawson’s Yucatán – that is always varied and interesting. If you’re visiting the area, you might want him to take you on a driving tour, here’s his site: William Lawson’s Yucatan Excursions.

We think you’ll enjoy reading his latest blog post, titled You’re Safe in the Yucatan – A Real Life Example.  After you’ve read it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy browsing through the rest of his blog.  After that, we think you’ll go directly to book your travel to México.

Posted in Mexico in General, YucatanComments Off on Are you safe in México? A true story.

Mexico’s fearsome reputation among Americans is largely undeserved

Mexico’s fearsome reputation among Americans is largely undeserved

The Daily published an opinion piece by Elizabeth Eaves today titled The Truth Across the BorderI am always happy to read a balanced piece about México.  I hope you’ll enjoy hearing her perspective.

Read:  Op-Ed: The truth across the border.

Posted in Mexico in General, YucatanComments Off on Mexico’s fearsome reputation among Americans is largely undeserved

The Mexico News You Want To Read

The Mexico News You Want To Read

People who love México and participate on Twitter are probably familiar with Oscar Mckelligan, who publishes two excellent online periodicals, the Mexico Weekly and the Mexico Review.

I hope you’ll follow both links above and subscribe to these two excellent periodicals.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on The Mexico News You Want To Read

Citizens Take Action – The Right Way

Citizens Take Action – The Right Way

This Big City reported recently on a citizen action project in México City.  You’ll want to read how this group managed to create 5 kilometers of bike lanes in less than 8 hours for about $1,000.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Citizens Take Action – The Right Way

A True Mexican Hero

A True Mexican Hero

 

Betsy McNair of My Mexico Tours wrote a blog post recently that introduced us to a most remarkable man. She is in San Miguel de Allende for the opening of a movie about his work titled El Andalón. I hope you’ll visit her blog and read about her “hero” Sergio Castro. Link is below:

Betsy’s blog post on Sergio Castro

Posted in Chiapas, Mexico in GeneralComments Off on A True Mexican Hero

In Mexico, Tourism Survives

In Mexico, Tourism Survives

National Public Radio recently did a piece on tourism in México – and we are happy to read (and listen to) such a balanced piece.

If you’ve been on the fence about visiting México, we recommend reading and listening to their piece and afterwards, we’re sure you’ll enjoy a fantastic vacation to México!

Link to In Mexico, Tourism Survives Bloody Drug War

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on In Mexico, Tourism Survives

Fantastic Mexican Huichol Art Car

Fantastic Mexican Huichol Art Car

If you like native Mexican handcrafts, you probably know of the beautiful pieces made with beads or yarn pressed into beeswax and pine resin made by the Huichol people of western central Mexico. The intricacy and beauty of these pieces is stunning, truly. But a car? A beaded car? How amazing and fantastic!

You owe it to yourself to look at the photos and read about the Huichol Volkswagen Bug here at El Vochol: Making Mexican Folk Art Pop.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on Fantastic Mexican Huichol Art Car

How to Be a Successful Expat

How to Be a Successful Expat

Bike Surfboard

I have lived in México for four years now, and have written two blog posts that might be helpful to others considering making México their home.

Not everyone is suited to life away from their home country, and the decisionmaking process involves a lot of honest thinking about your needs and wants.

The first, How to Be a Successful Expat, was very popular and I received a lot of positive feedback (and ideas for a follow-up post!)

The second was written after an American expat here in México insulted our decision to live at the beach, as he considered his choice of location in the mountains “right.” That one I called We’re all Looking at the Same Moon, but could just have easily been called More on Being a Successful Expat.

I hope you find them both helpful.

Posted in Mexico in General, Personal Experiences, SinaloaComments Off on How to Be a Successful Expat

Moving to Mexico, Pt. 2

Moving to Mexico, Pt. 2

After more than twenty-five years of dancing around the idea of being an expat, a year ago I became one.

In the previous post, we mentioned several things that we love about Mexico after living here for one year.

It occurred to me that I should tell you why. Why did we move? Why do we love it?

Flash back to 2008. My 16-year marriage had just ended and the photography world was changing faster than I was. I sat alone in a new apartment, in a new town for three months and tried to figure out where my life was headed.

I’ve had quite a life: traveled to more than 45 countries, lived in Paris, hiked the Himalayas, criss-crossed India by train, skied expert runs in Colorado, and indulged myself with good food and wine at every opportunity. I have made a comfortable living as a photographer since 1981. I have traveled into the Sahara, been swarmed by bugs in the Cameroon rain forest and boated down the Niger River for National Geographic; shot assignments for books and magazines; and have always been grateful for my photography career.

But, here I was, single and middle-aged (hell, late 50s is middle-aged if you are going to live past 100!). The thought of dating in my 50s was about as much fun as being nibbled to death by ducks. The economy at that time didn’t add to my overall mood.

Jennifer and I had met in a small mountain town in Colorado a few years before we started dating. She was leaving as I was arriving, making changes to her life at the time. Jennifer had worked for several years as a massage therapist and owned a day spa. She wanted to pursue her dreams of travel and photography and was leaving Creede for Brooks Institute in California.

Three years later, I spotted her, loaded down with camera gear, working a 4th of July parade. I asked her out on a date, she said yes, and we have been together since the summer of 2009. Business partners, life partners, best friends.

After a couple of months of dating, we talked about living in a Spanish-speaking country. The U.S. was feeling less like home and we both wanted something new, someplace we would be passionate about, a place to start a new life and a new business. A three-month road trip (rental cars, buses and trains) through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina gave us wonderful experiences and a decent library of photos to submit to National Geographic, but no great prospects for a new home.

A series of discussions and inquiries led to a drive through Mexico, with the intention of living on the island of Cozumel for six weeks, working, shopping and test driving the town, island and country. My travels over the years have taken me to Oaxaca, Michoacan, Chiapas, much of the Yucatan, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Cabo, D.F. (Mexico City) and numerous trips to Cozumel for diving. I already had a serious love affair going with the country. It was Jennifer’s first visit. Luckily, she fell in love, too.

What We Love and Why

We love the architecture and setting of San Miguel de Allende. Our first meal was posole and chile rellenos at the rooftop terrace at La Posadita. The quality of the food and the setting across from the Parroquia has made this our obligatory stop when we are there.

Posole at La Posadita, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

We have been to Chiapas twice together. Hands down, it is our favorite place away from the ocean. The small, charming, cosmopolitan city of San Cristobal is a visual and edible feast. It has Argentine, Italian and Mexican restaurants; wine bars with good wine, bocaditos and fair prices (don’t get me started on a rant about inflated wine prices at restaurants) and great coffee bars. Surrounded by mountains and permeated by a rich, indigenous culture, there is something about the place that keeps pulling us back. We hope to be there soon. If there was Caribbean water within a couple of hours, we would probably live there and not here. (see December 2010 posts)

Real de Guadalupe, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

But, we are here – in or on (I’m never sure which is right) the island of Cozumel. Why?

It’s the water: warm, calm and clear with stunning coral reefs on the leeward side; wild and treacherous on the unspoiled, windward side. We like looking at it, being in it, being on top of it and being underneath it. There is not enough money in the world to get me to live in a humid climate (reared in Missouri, college in Florida) if there is not an ocean and ocean breezes to moderate that climate.

North lagoon, Cozumel

Artificial reef, Dzul ha, Cozumel

There are interesting people here, too. Not just the usual tropical, hard-living beach bums, but people who are artists, creative cooks/chefs, and entrepreneurs. The relaxed pace of life seems a world away from the hustle of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

The free salsa music in the plaza on weekends, the astounding quality of the costuming and dancing at the Carnaval parties and parades, and the feeling that the island is large enough to be diverse, but small enough to feel intimate are a few more reasons why we live here.

We followed our dream. We took some chances.

In the summer of 2009, neither of us imagined that two years later we would be living on an island in the Caribbean. Many times, I have imagined I would live in an apartment in Paris or a villa in Italy, or on an island in the Caribbean, but I never believed I would.

We started a Mexican corporation and have been busy promoting our photography business. We are shooting destination weddings, family portraits, advertising jobs for resorts and restaurants, and we still contribute images to National Geographic. We have never been happier.

Family portrait session, Cozumel

So, here come the cliches: follow your dream, take risks, open your heart to love, don’t fear failure, work and play hard, and live every day as if it is your last. I used to place a saying at the bottom of my emails, but I stopped because I think everyone had seen it.

“Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like nobody is watching.”

That is how we try to live everyday and it works for us.

Posted in Mexico in General, Personal Experiences, Quintana RooComments Off on Moving to Mexico, Pt. 2

How about 250 great startups in México per year?

How about 250 great startups in México per year?

TWW (The Next Web) recently profiled Jorge Madrigal, a Mexican man with a mission to foster the local startup ecosystem with a series of initiatives. He even has target numbers in mind as he wants his home country to create “250 interesting startups a year, instead of around 30.” This is an inspiring article and has lots of links you’ll want to follow. Read the article about Jorge Madrigal on TWW here.

Posted in Mexico in GeneralComments Off on How about 250 great startups in México per year?

One Year in Mexico

One Year in Mexico

EIGHT THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED LIVING IN MEXICO

One year ago, Jennifer and I left the United States with a fully-loaded Toyota 4Runner and moved to Mexico.

Our first year as expats was eventful and full of surprises. Looking back, we have wonderful memories, several new friends and an enthusiasm for the future.

Jennifer had more experience with the expat life than me. She had lived in Germany and London for four years during high school, but attended international schools and never quite became an expat. My summer in a Paris apartment hardly qualified me as an expat, but I did get a taste of it and wanted more.

We have been content to rent a house on the island of Cozumel while we went about the business of setting up our photography business. We interviewed lawyers and accountants and started the process of creating a Mexican corporation, which would allow us to work here legally. While the paper work was making its way through the system, we attended language classes in Chiapas, saw some of Mexico and made new friends. One month after arriving on the island we got married. So, a big year.

Here are a few of the high points and things we have learned in the last year:

1) We loved driving here, have done it three times, and highly recommend driving as the best way to see this beautiful country. Get a Guia Roji, the best road map for Mexico, a Mexican chip for a Garmin GPS (sometimes helpful, sometimes woefully inaccurate) and plan your trip carefully. We were coming from New Mexico, so we could essentially cross the border at a number of places. We crossed early on a Sunday morning at Laredo. A quick pass through customs, then immigration, then getting our car permit and we were on the road by 8:30am, arriving in San Miguel de Allende before dinner. More than 80% of our route was on four lane roads, many of them cuotas (toll roads). A bit more expensive, but you make good time. Our second night in Fortin de las Flores, third night in Palenque (if the road to Villahermosa isn’t flooded – it was last year at this time, see the blog post of Oct. 1, 2010) and we catch the 6:00pm ferry to Cozumel on the fourth day.

We NEVER drive at night. We don’t know the roads, there might be a few vehicles on the road without lights, there are pedestrians (sometimes inebriated), animals and hundreds of topes. Plus, eight hours a day should be enough. Slow down, the journey can be as enjoyable as the destination.

You don’t want to see the room!

If, for some unseen circumstance, you don’t end up in the town where you planned to stop and it is getting dark, look for a “Love Motel”. You’ll recognize them by the fence that obscures the entire motel and the curtain or garage door that covers the parking area for each room. Created for couples who want privacy, the rooms are available for four hours or for the entire night. The secure parking for an auto full of your stuff is invaluable.

2) We lived here as locals for a six-week test run before moving. Being here as a local, going about your work, shopping at the markets and stores, arranging for cable tv, a cell phone, etc. will help you to decide if you will like living in the place where you had only previously vacationed. We made the decision to rent until our business will support us. The island is loaded with houses and condos for sale by people who bought while on vacation and then decided that the expat life was not for them.

3) When setting up a corporation, ask other expats who they have used, then interview a couple of attorneys and accountants. You will need both. If you don’t speak Spanish well, make sure your accountant and attorney are fluent in English. You don’t want miscommunications when setting up your company. Our entire process was smooth and we now shoot destination weddings, advertising photos and contribute travel photos to the National Geographic Image Collection.

Mark & Miranda on the east side of Cozumel after their wedding.

4) Learn the language!!!!! Take classes, read the newspapers, keep a dictionary close by, watch television in something other than English. Change the language settings on DVD movies and watch it in the language you are learning while using English sub-titles.

5) Travel and discover the amazing country of Mexico. Long coastlines, rugged mountain ranges, vast deserts, mysterious jungles, lush rain forests, bustling modern cities and beautiful colonial cities, are only a few of the reasons to leave your comfortable home and see Mexico. I am constantly amazed at the number of expats on my island who don’t try to speak Spanish or who have never seen any of the country.

Descending into Fortin de las Flores on the road from Puebla

6) We love: the island of Cozumel with its relaxed atmosphere, colorful Carnaval celebrations and clear Caribbean waters; small, lesser known Mayan ruins like Ek Balam and Calakmul; the architecture and sophistication of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato; the vast number of Reservas de las Biosferas; everything about Chiapas; tacos al pastor, Bohemia beer, Centenario tequila, sopes for breakfast, jamaica, pork any way it is cooked, Campeche camarones, warm handshakes and cheek kisses when we greet our friends; the love shown to children; salsa music; and the general love of life that permeates the country.

Dance competitions during Cozumel’s Colorful Carneval

Uxmal, Yucatan – Palacio del Gobernador

Mexico’s Bicentenario in San Miguel de Allende

Downtown San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

Las Gemelas Antojitos in Cordoba – open 24 hours

7) If you are an animal lover, adopt a pet. Although don’t be surprised if one adopts you first. While more and more Mexicans have pets and are responsible pet owners, there is an overpopulation problem, due to the lack of a spay and neuter program in most places. You can practice your Spanish on the dog or cat who shows up on your doorstep.

Squirt, the bilingual cat

8) Don’t be in a hurry to get things done (mañana doesn’t mean tomorrow, it just means “not today”), don’t compare habits, rituals, government, service providers or drivers to the country you have left. Prepare yourself for a change in thinking to go with your change in address.

Fiesta of the Virgin of Guadalupe in San Cristobal, Chiapas

Let us know if you have any questions about living in Mexico!

“This guest post was written by Michael & Jennifer Lewis, Cozumel, Mexico travel and wedding photographers. Their travel blog, Latin Journeys, is mostly about their life in Mexico.”

 

Posted in Mexico in General, Personal Experiences, Quintana RooComments (4)

Click here to Like The Truth About Mexico on Facebook

Related Sites

Quick Takes

México's Many Layers
02/16, 4:38 am | Comments: 0
President and CEO of Softtek, Blanca Treviño writes in the Huffington Post A Fuller Picture: México’s Many Layers.  We heartily agree!

An Alternative to the "Mexico of CNN"
01/8, 4:49 am | Comments: 0
Ron Erskine of the Gilroy Dispatch wrote a piece titled “San Miguel de Allende a safe, scenic alternative to the “Mexico of CNN.” We hope you enjoy seeing San Miguel through his eyes.

A Taste of Real Mexico
01/6, 1:20 am | Comments: 0
I live in Mazatlán, and I know what a wonderful place it is.  Today I read a piece by Darren Parkman “The Traveling Canadian” about his visit to Mazatlán.  It sounds like he loves it as much as I do.  Here is his article titled A Taste or Real Mexico

google