Wednesday, July 30, 2008

San Luis Potosi Sights

SAN LUIS POTOSI, SLP--The Centro Historico or historic downtown, of this city of about 730,950 residents, is filled with beautiful churches and colonial buildings from its mining heyday. Gold, silver, lead and copper can be found in the surrounding mountains.

During our trip we couldn't get enough of SLP's traditional dish of enchiladas potosinas, which are spicy, soft red tortilla tacos filled with cheese and chile...yum.

Photobucketphotos by jeremy
Papi looks at the city's main downtown plaza from a double decker trolley.

Photobucket The Mexican military now enjoys this castle-like building.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Familia en San Luis Potosi

SAN LUIS POTOSI, SLP--The first time I came to this city (about five hours north of Mexico City and about 13 hours south of the border--by bus) I was about three years old. It was my cousin Minerva's quinceaƱera and a big family affair. My grandma, other cousins, sisters, aunt and mom all rode the bus from the Texas border down to my Tia Paula's hometown.

Though Jeremy and I briefly passed through here last year, it had been more than 20 years since I cruised through my aunt's old barrio. My Tia Paula and Tio Tino have retired after years in Chicago, and now split their time between San Luis Potosi and Arizona.

It was nice to have family somewhat close by without having to travel all the way to the border. It was also more enjoyable to travel somewhere around Mexico City and not have to stay in a hotel like we usually do. This time we stayed at my tios' house in a real neighborhood and got a taste of what it was like to live there. We met my parents there, who traveled from the border, and had a great couple of days of good comfort food and fun.
photo by Tio Tino
Here we are sitting in the balcony of my tios' house.

Mami and Papi enjoy the rooftop of the house with my tios' bilingual dog Brownie.

Papi and Jeremy grill some steaks for a feast later that day.

Monday, July 28, 2008


CD. HIDALGO, Michoacan--In the most humble of homes is where I find that laughter fills every room. The Gutierrez family not only opened their home to us but also their hearts. Despite every obstacle and every sacrifice they've made, their family remains united. They have moved back to their hometown after years in Atlanta.Photobucket

The adjustments have been hard for the kids in the family who have spent more time in the U.S. than in their hometown in Mexico. Here Miriam takes us on a tour of her neighborhood.Photobucket


Friday, July 25, 2008

I Heart Michoacan

Morelia at night
photo by jeremy

For it's lush countryside with dramatic views and beautiful colonial cities, Michoacan is definitely a state that has it all. Every time we come to Michoacan we are in awe of its beauty, not to mention it's the home of the original La Michoacana paleteria, which has the best ice cream and paletas that I've ever tasted in Mexico.

Taking a road trip through Michoacan is magical. I love coming across hidden little towns nestled in the green mountains like this:
photo by jeremy -- Charo, Michoacan
Photobucket rooftop view of Cd. Hidlalgo

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Off we go...

After staying put in Mexico City for about a month and a half, this past weekend we dusted off our suitcases and began another travel cycle. At least that's what we call it because our travels seem to happen in waves. Sometimes it feels like we are never home, and other times we can't wait to leave the city.

We began by revisiting a small town south of Mexico City called Tepoztlan, where we spent last Valentine's Day. Although we were back for work purposes, it was a pleasant way to start our summer journeys.

We stayed at a beautiful hotel called Posada del Tepozteco. It was really something we had to cherish because often when on the road (mostly in non-touristy, middle-of-nowhere towns) we are faced with dealing with some shady lodging situations. But maybe I'll leave that for another blog post. For now, I'll just say that there have been times where we've stayed in hotels where I've been afraid to step on the floor barefoot, where I've refused to take a shower because of the overall funk, and times where we've had to run out and buy scented candles to be able to withstand nasty sewage odors.

So I have learned to be extra appreciate of places like this:

No wonder Angelina Jolie stayed here for three months in 2001 while filming the movie Original Sin with Antonio Banderas.


Photobucket This is the amazing view from the hotel patio.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Like Old Times

It's nice to have a full house, especially when it's filled with old friends. Last week some of my college pals took a 4-day break from their two-week Mexico vacation to come visit. There were many late-night domino games, ghost stories and tons of laughter.
Lupi (left) and Lupe (right) show off their lucha libre poses. Later that night, they both sang along with the bar's mariachi band. And yes, Lupe belted out one of his famous gritos.

We have very few photos of the two of us together, so our friend Alma found the perfect spot in our garden to say cheese.
Alma(left)and Luz (right) look fabulous as usual in Frida Kahlo's garden.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Memories of Election Past

This summer marked the second anniversary of Mexico's turbulent presidential elections. Jeremy and I arrived to live in Mexico City in the midst of the madness. The country was divided, its citizens were exhausted by an emotional and long campaign season, and mega-marches and rallies for leftist candidate AMLO (as locals call him) occurred nonstop.

We basically lived in the Centro Historico or Zocalo area, as we covered the chaos. Though we got soaked by the rain, stomped on & pushed by hundreds of marchers, and trapped in human traffic, we witnessed history from the front lines.

Here's some glimpses from that crazy summer:
For the first time in awhile, campesinos had faith and hope in political change. Hundreds of campesinos who supported AMLO were bused to a rally we covered in Puebla. This man wore AMLO's famous campaign slogan, "Smile, we're going to win."

"Luis Carlos Ugalde (former president of the Federal Electoral Institute) I've found what you are missing."
The witch represents Ex-President Vicente Fox and the devil represents current Mexican president Felipe Calderon.


Jeremy interviews angry citizens against electoral fraud. Soon after this photo, a huge crowd gathers around him wanting to share their points of views.


Calderon is on the right side with a brown suit and the first lady is to the left wearing white and blue.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Small town joys

Often when we travel for work we get the opportunity to visit places that are sometimes not on maps, that rarely get a tourist, that are hidden in the mountains or in indigenous communities sometimes off-limits to the average traveler. We've been fortunate to see the realness of Latin America through its rural communities and talk to those whose lives do not revolve around the beaten path.

It is in those small towns where I find the greatest joys, where people who have the least offer you the most. We have had some great feasts in the smallest kitchens and the most meaningful conversations in adobe houses.

Whatever happened to children playing outside? With no Wii video games, arcades or other distractions, kids near San Francisco Uricho, Michoacan enjoy life outdoors.

To get to this little boy's home in the Guatemalan Highlands, we had to hike up a mountain of jungle. While Jeremy interviewed his mom, this little guy decided to watch us from the fruit trees in his yard.