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Provocative Connections Between
the Orient and Latin America

Written by Tim Hazell

Poetry, chant, incantation and mantra all contain their music coiled within the shells of words.  Javanese gamelan and talking drums in symphonic groupings, characteristic of Africa, use repetition, seemingly without the need for variation.  Some centuries-old examples were intended for rituals involving dance that continued until hypnosis set in and participants became transcended.  Poems set to Middle Eastern music incorporate drones, bourbon notes over which melodies are sung and played.  Lyrics typically deal with unrequited love and betrayal...


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How to Dance Salsa Like a Mexican
Written by Lauren Cocking

Salsa is a quintessentially Mexican dance, despite having murky origins in other Latin countries like Cuba and Puerto Rico and a rich musical background. Even so, it remains a massively popular style in many bars and clubs across Mexico, so you’ll need to know a bit about it before you arrive if you want to avoid feeling like a fresh-off-the-boat newbie. Here’s a brief rundown on the tips and tricks to help you salsa like a Mexican...


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Why Art Lovers are flocking to Mexico City
Written by Luis García

Graffiti painting on a hoarding, Mexico City

 
The queue for entry snakes around the block like a serpent of Aztec mythology. As happens every morning, several hundred pilgrims from around the world have descended upon Casa Azul (The Blue House) in the Coyoacan district in Mexico City’s south.Once the home of Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most famous artist, these days it serves as a museum-cum-shrine, with everything from her paintings, jewellery, Tehuana dresses and earthenware cooking pots on display within the cobalt-colour walls.

Kahlo (1907-54), who as a teen had suffered a tram accident that left her infertile and in lifelong pain, shared this house with her philandering, domineering husband, the muralist Diego Rivera.


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The Top 10 Things to do in San Miguel de Allende, México
Written by Luis García

San Miguel de Allende ©TJ DeGroat/Flickr
San Miguel de Allende is a renowned art hub that attracts visitors from around the world. This romantic colonial city is a magnificent piece of well-preserved history, colorful traditions, and culinary delights. We pick the best things to do, see, eat and experience in this unique Mexican city...

 

 


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The Second Life of San Miguel de Allende
Written by Michele Willens

For decades, Americans have escaped to San Miguel for the culture, climate, and to pursue their artistic passions. But can the city retain its charm even in the spotlight?
So what do you do after you’ve been anointed the best city in the world? Is it a jinx, like being put on the cover of Sports Illustrated? How do you appreciate the new money and interest coming your way without changing what made visitors love you in the first place?...

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Mesoamerican Commerce -
The Phoenicians of Middle America

Written by Tim Hazell

Trade and External Contacts:

Among the Maya from the beginning of the Pre-Classic period  (c. 2000 BC - AD 250), communities were reaching out, often to considerable distances to obtain raw materials or finished goods.  By the time of the Spanish conquest, the Post-Classic (c. AD 950 - 1539) Maya were participants in a widespread network of trade and exchange reaching south as far as Panama and north to Central Mexico.  Columbus, on his fourth voyage of 1502, encountered an Indian canoe near the Bay Islands off Honduras as long as a western galley and 8 feet in width.  The vessel was  filled with cotton cloth of many designs and colors, shorts that reached the knees, flint knives, cloth for cloaks, swords of wood with flakes of flint set along the edges and produce from Honduras, as well as copper axes, bells and cacao beans; the standard Mesoamerican unit of currency...


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A Guide to Mexico's Pueblos Mágicos
Written by Luis García


Mexico’s pueblos mágicos programme was developed by the tourist board in order to promote the rich cultural heritage and history of Mexico through smaller, once overlooked towns. Each of the 111 towns currently recognised as pueblos mágicos offer something a little different, whether that’s fantastic architecture, stunning natural wonders or even just great regional food. With that in mind, here’s your guide to just 11 of the best pueblos mágicos in the country...


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An introduction to Frida Kahlo in 9 Artworks
Written by Laura Torres

 

Frida Kahlo is arguably Mexico’s most famed, iconic artist. From her monobrow to her flower adorned hairstyles, her distinctive aesthetics garnered almost as much interest as her artwork that was dominated by self-portraiture; of her estimated 140 paintings, 55 are self-portraits. While many considered her a surrealist, Kahlo rejected that title, as her work was immensely autobiographical that focused on Mexicanidad (Mexicanness), the culture and tradition of her beloved patria (homeland) and compellingly introspective subject matter. Here’s a chronological introduction to this fascinating artist in nine artworks...


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The Best Mexican Women Writers You Need to Read
Written by Laura Torres

You could say that the most famous Mexican authors are big names such as Octavio Paz and Juan Rulfo. However, the rich tapestry of Mexican literature just wouldn’t be the same without some of its most iconic female writers too. From well-respected journalists to up-and-coming novelists and practically legendary playwrights, if you’re looking for some new literary inspiration, then read on for our guide to the ten best female Mexican writers that everyone should be reading...


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A Guide to Mexico's Pueblos Mágicos
Written by Luis García


Mexico’s pueblos mágicos programme was developed by the tourist board in order to promote the rich cultural heritage and history of Mexico through smaller, once overlooked towns. Each of the 111 towns currently recognised as pueblos mágicos offer something a little different, whether that’s fantastic architecture, stunning natural wonders or even just great regional food. With that in mind, here’s your guide to just 11 of the best pueblos mágicos in the country...


READ MORE...

 


The Best Mexican Women Writers You Need to Read
Written by Laura Torres
 

You could say that the most famous Mexican authors are big names such as Octavio Paz and Juan Rulfo. However, the rich tapestry of Mexican literature just wouldn’t be the same without some of its most iconic female writers too. From well-respected journalists to up-and-coming novelists and practically legendary playwrights, if you’re looking for some new literary inspiration, then read on for our guide to the ten best female Mexican writers that everyone should be reading...


READ MORE...

Mesoamerican Commerce -
The Phoenicians of Middle America

Written by Tim Hazell

Trade and External Contacts:

Among the Maya from the beginning of the Pre-Classic period  (c. 2000 BC - AD 250), communities were reaching out, often to considerable distances to obtain raw materials or finished goods.  By the time of the Spanish conquest, the Post-Classic (c. AD 950 - 1539) Maya were participants in a widespread network of trade and exchange reaching south as far as Panama and north to Central Mexico.  Columbus, on his fourth voyage of 1502, encountered an Indian canoe near the Bay Islands off Honduras as long as a western galley and 8 feet in width.  The vessel was  filled with cotton cloth of many designs and colors, shorts that reached the knees, flint knives, cloth for cloaks, swords of wood with flakes of flint set along the edges and produce from Honduras, as well as copper axes, bells and cacao beans; the standard Mesoamerican unit of currency...


READ MORE...


An introduction to Frida Kahlo in 9 Artworks
Written by Laura Torres

 

Frida Kahlo is arguably Mexico’s most famed, iconic artist. From her monobrow to her flower adorned hairstyles, her distinctive aesthetics garnered almost as much interest as her artwork that was dominated by self-portraiture; of her estimated 140 paintings, 55 are self-portraits. While many considered her a surrealist, Kahlo rejected that title, as her work was immensely autobiographical that focused on Mexicanidad (Mexicanness), the culture and tradition of her beloved patria (homeland) and compellingly introspective subject matter. Here’s a chronological introduction to this fascinating artist in nine artworks...


READ MORE...