Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rural Mexico

OBRAJUELO, Guanajuato-- Photobucket During the morning hustle and bustle, we noticed women all over town carrying small pails. We later found out that those pails were full of reduced-price milk. It turns out that the town's rich landowners who still have a working hacienda in the middle of town sell milk to the national milk company Alpura. Every week, the landowners reward their workers with cheap milk before they sell it to the big milk chain.

Photobucket Guadalupe, the community's representative, laughed as she watched us huff and puff our way up the rocky, steep hills that led to her home. The climb, it turned out, was worth every bead of sweat. The views from her house were breathtaking. I know I've said it in this blog before, but this trip reaffirmed my thoughts that it is in the hidden, out of the way, rural towns in Mexico where the most unexpected treasures are found.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lil' Jeremy

OBRAJUELO,Guanajuato--My hubby decided to call himself "Jeremias" shortly after moving to Mexico because, well, it was just less painful than having to constantly spell out his name or have it badly mispronounced time after time. And forget about saying Schwartz.

So it was extra special that after more than two years of living in Mexico my hubby finally met a "tocayo" or namesake. We couldn't believe it when a community leader in this small, working-class pueblo introduced us to her baby grandson--Jeremy. She told us that she immediately liked the name when she first heard it on a telenovela.

So the two Jeremys hit it off and smiled for the camera. (Yes, baby Jeremy is eating a corn tortilla even though he doesn't have any teeth yet!) Maybe one day little Jeremy will grow up to be a reporter.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shrimp is Life

ISLA DE MEXCALTITAN, Nayarit--When shrimp is the livelihood of a village, it becomes as important as the beloved Virgen de Guadalupe.
A sign above a family's front door says,"May God shine a light on my path."

People here dried shrimp on the sidewalks of their home. The technique, a local historian told us, came from Chinese immigrants who came to the island in the 1920's. Today, the island has many people with Chinese last names although they now all have Mexican ancestry as well.
I love papel picado (that's what these little colorful flags are called). There are all kinds of papel picado designs including custom names, wedding style (which we used at our wedding), Independence Day, etc. But this is the first time I saw fish papel picado. It just emphasizes how important fish and shrimp are to this community.
Shrimp can even be found next to highway fields with overflowing springs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To Keep Your Hips Shakin'

I'm always on the hunt for new Latin funk/rock/pop/electronica and hip-hop bands (Most English language music does not do it for me). I recently saw this video from the Alternative Latin Music Conference in New York and decided that you, too, should keep your hips shaking. Geo, this one is para ti.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Finding Aztlan

SANTIAGO DE IXCUINTLA,Nayarit--The beautiful murals in this city tell the story of how the Aztecs left their native Aztlan to found the Aztec empire of Tenochitlan (present day Mexico City).

Great controversy surrounds the mystery of where Aztlan is really located, whether it is a mythical place or not. Historians have pointed to Texas, California, New Mexico and other places throughout Mexico as the real Aztlan. Stay tuned to Jeremy's story and my photos and video about the Island of Mexcaltitan. It is here that some historians argue the real Aztlan is located, the place where the Aztecs first learned about the prophecy they fulfilled.




Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tropical fruit--SUPERSIZED

NAYARIT RIVIERA HIGHWAY (near Chacala)--Driving through the mountainous jungle-like landscape, I noticed a tree I've never seen before with HUGE hanging fruit. From the highway, it looked like something the size of a watermelon dangling from the branches. Later, we passed miles and miles of fruit stands on the highway selling the mysterious fruit with signs calling it "Jaka."
Photobucketphotos by jeremy

According to wikipedia, it is called jackfruit in English, and is the largest tree borne fruit in the world. It is found in tropical lowlands and is native to South and Southeast Asia.

So how's the taste? Well, people describe it as a mix between kiwi and pineapple. We'll let you know how the Jaka Jelly we brought home tastes.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Nayarit Riviera

Here are some gorgeous and cool things we've spotted as we work our way up the Mexican Pacific Coast.
photo by jeremy Sunset in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit

Iguana crossing the cobblestone road in Chacala, Nayarit

Fishing boat parked in exclusive beachfront property

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Beach City with a Soul

PUERTO VALLARTA--It was refreshing to arrive in this coastal city and not feel disgusted as I've felt before in other beach cities like Cancun. Sure there are resort hotels and tons of weathly expats who are retiring in luxury condos, but the main difference is that there is an escape.

PV has a history, has a culture and has lifelong residents. One woman we interviewed said it best "Puerto Vallarta has a heart and soul." That's not something you can find in fabricated, plastic cities like Los Cabos.
Church in the main plaza of Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone.
Jeremy by Los Arcos on the PV boardwalk.