Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ocupada en Merida

I just want to mention that I've been way too busy lately to keep up this blog.

That doesn't mean there aren't a lot of great posts here... there are! Also, new websites about Mexico every day.

Ojala, I will find some time soon to restart this...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Folk Art from Central Mexico

Many thanks to Billie of billieblog for pointing out this website to me. Because one of the most wonderful things about Mexico is it's folk art. And one of my favorite places in the world (we even own a cottage there) is the area around Patzcuaro. And this blog is about both those things!

The woman who writes this blog (whom I don't know...) apparently also owns a folk art store in Patzcuaro called Zocalo. And has a website that sells folk art. What she also does, and quite well, is keep a blog about the folk art and the culture that she sees around her home and on her travels in Mexico. She's been doing that (living and traveling in Mexico) for eighteen years, so she has a lot of experience and knowledge to share.

Poke around the blog and you'll find information on artists, books and their authors, towns, fiestas, quotes from poets, museums of Mexico... oh, for anyone who loves art and loves Mexico, this blog is a goldmine!! I haven't read it all (it's quite extensive and jampacked with information and links and fotos) but I intend to.

And if you love Mexico, I'm betting you are going to too.

And I'm on a no-spend diet at the moment, so I won't be buying a lot of crafts from their wonderful online store, but Goddess knows I would like to! Even if you don't want to buy anything right now, check out the extensive information about the different kinds of crafts and how to take care of them. Again, what a goldmine! To be balanced, I must admit that all the links to and shameless plugging of the store get a little repetitive and get in the way a bit, but the woman needs to make money to support her obvious arts and crafts habit. So we'll forgive her for that.

You can believe that next time I'm in Patzcuaro, I'm going to go and check out the Zocalo store. In the meantime, I plan to be enjoying this wonderful blog. How about you?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Right in my Own Backyard

Jim Conrad is a self-proclaimed naturalist who lives in the Yucatan in the winter months, and god-knows-where-else the rest of the year. According to his blog, he has been summering in Chiapas lately... but ni modo. The point is, Jim Conrad has a website and its a good one. What makes it good? It is unique and full of real information, the kind of thing that makes you bless the Internet.

The website is divided into four categories: Animals, Plants, Coast Wetland and Ecology of the Northern Peninsula.

What is a naturalist, anyway? Well, one definition would be someone who appreciates nature. And certainly, Jim fits in that category. His Animal section includes a subsection on Birds of the Yucatan. Over 20 birds are listed, each with their own page and their own story. What to know what's in that tree making that strange sound? Check out his list.

The Plant section is good, but left me wanting more. The horticultural plant section gives you photos and Latin names, but no information about care and growth patterns. The wild plants section is a little more interesting, with information about some strange trees and flowers that you might see growing during your Yucatan travels. Its a good reference if you are curious about that sort of thing. I found a link to, a whole website about Ceiba trees (we have one planted in our backyard... its the sacred tree of the Mayan, dontcha know). Great find! Did you know there are ten species of ceiba trees and that they are related to the baobab tree in Africa? Neither did I!

The Coastal Wetlands section explains the animals, fish and shellfish of the northern coast of the Yucatan, a very different ecosystem from the inland areas. These include such creatively named animals as Checkered Puffers and Turkey Wings. Fun!

Lastly, the ecology of the Northern Yucatan section talks about weather and climate. There's a section on hurricanes, on geology and on some of the smaller ecosystems.

OK, it's not terrifically well organized, but we forgive him. There's a lot of great information there and its not that hard to find. Jim Conrad seems to update the website fairly regularly, but the nice thing is that this information doesn't get old. A ceiba tree is a ceiba tree... and a magnificent one at that.

If you love the Yucatan, and you love nature, you'll love this website.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

This Website Cooks!

A reader of Mexico-in-English alerted me to her blog, called Mexico Cooks!. I'm not much of a cook myself, but since I have been living in Mexico, I've gotten a lot more interested in food. The Yucatecan cuisine (panuchos, pavo en relleno negro, cochinita!!, habanero chiles, I could go on...) are so delicious. After living here awhile, you start to want to know how it's all done.

So I was excited to find an apparently very knowledgeable blog about Mexican cuisine. But I wasn't in the least bit prepared for the richness of what is here! Dios mio!! This blog is a treasure!!

First of all, it's well-written. Secondly, it has photos... good photos... to accompany every story. Thirdly, it's written by an English-speaking woman who has lived in Mexico for 26 years, speaks Spanish like a native (I'm soooo envious!) and is a Mexican citizen. She seems to travel around Mexico learning about the native foods, crops and recipes. She interviews people, gets recipes, photos and then shares it all with us... lucky us!
I've so far read stories about quince (it's a fruit, doncha' know...) and a town that grows it in abundance near Lake Chapala, about various foods unique to the Purepecha Indians that live in the Morelia, Michoacan area (one of my personal favorites), and then I found a recipe chiles en nogada! If you've ever tasted a really good chile en nogada, you will doubtless be as excited as I was. It's one of the most delicious Mexican dishes I've ever tasted, AND it's pretty too!

The added bonus of this site, of course, is that in reading about the food and the writer's travels to find and document the food, you learn a lot about Mexico and its geography and culture too. There's a lot of good information packed into these pages, and I for one can't wait for a little more free time to explore.

So rather than spend any more time telling you about what is in this blog, I'm just going to tell you to GO READ IT! If you love Mexico, if you love the food and culture (and frankly if you don't, why are you reading this?), you're gonna' love this blog.