Nestled between canyons and peaks in the state of Hidalgo, lies the town of Real del Monte. At an altitude of 8,900 ft, making the weather cool and the air crisp, it is one of the highest inhabited places in Mexico. Real del Monte is popular place for vacation homes, as it resides near… the capital city of Hidalgo, Pachuca.
The town breathes an air of colonial architecture rooting from its history as a famous mining town. Mining started after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, was later abandoned, and then reopened in the late 1730s. The town hit a peak in the industry in 1824 when an English company started to operate the mines. The English company was a Cornish firm, who certainly left their mark on the town from the high slopping roofs to the “pastes” which are baked in the town and surrounding areas. If you really fall in love with the pastes, you can attend the International Paste Festival held by Real del Monte every October.
If you can’t make it in October, there are still plenty of attractions to catch all year round in Real del Monte. Churches, such as the Nuestra Señora de Belen parish and Guadalupe Church, each have their own historical attributes. The Nuestra Senora de Belen parish contains a Christ effigy that was brought from Spain 500 years ago, while Guadalupe was built in the mid 18th century just as a new cemetery had to added due to a widespread epidemic.
For something a bit more adventurous, you can visit old mines, such as Mina de Acosta, where you can take an underground tour. The Museo de Medicina Laboural is a former hospital you can visit that used to care for injured or sick miners where you can now view the medical paraphernalia used. Another attraction is the Cactus Museum where over 60 species of cacti are exhibited.
Real del Monte boasts treasurers from another era from the old mines, to the 18th century building and the red-tile roofs. The town is alive with the memory of the English, even earning the nickname “Mexico’s little Cornwall” from the Mexican Embassy in London.
The Pueblos Magicos programme identifies towns that reflect “the culture of Mexico” through attributes like architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. There are currently 52 destinations throughout Mexico that have earned the Pueblos Magicos classification.
Regardless which team reigns supreme at the Super Bowl, you can be sure that Mexico’s avocados will dominate party festivities. As fans cheer on both teams, there is a good chance they might be munching on guacamole made from these avocados. …
“Mexico, by far is the largest supplier of avocados for the Super Bowl,” said Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado Corp. In fact, there has been a dramatic increase in the Mexican product and a decrease in Chilean product for the Super Bowl.
So, just how many avocados does Mexico ship to the United States? Well, APEAM marketing director, Eduardo Serena, projects about 986 million pounds for 2012-13. That’s a lot of guacamole to go around.
In order to keep up production for international demands, specialists from the Institute for Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock (INIFAP) are conducting a research to implement strategies for avocado sustainability. This research highlights the fundamental role of forests and other environmental resources in generating water supply and soil conservation. These efforts will help secure avocado flows for many more Super Bowls to come.
On February 3, teams on both coasts – the 49ers and Ravens – will battle it out for the title of NFL champion, but it seems the real winner of Super Bowl XLVII is the Mexican avocado.
On January 15-20, 2013, Mexican rally racer and MexicoToday Brand Ambassador Ricardo Triviño will be the only Americas rally driver to participate at the upcoming Monte Carlo Rally in Monaco which is considered the most difficult rally in the world. His participation in this prestigious event is how he will kick off the… World Rally Championship (WRC) 2013 season worldwide.
The WRC FIA-NACAM 2012 champion Triviño, who is also featured together with co-pilot Alex Haro in the newly launched WRC3 videogame, will be amongst the very few participants willing to challenge those tough tracks following five intense days of driving in the highest mountains and elevations in Europe.
The Monte Carlo tracks are very tough as drivers will need to manage racing with snow and ice on the asphalt tracks using studded tires. For drivers to be successful on those tracks they need to have the lead with expertise and highly focused.
As the Christmas holiday comes to an end, one must not forget the fun celebration of Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes) because it is the perfect way to finish up the holiday season. Celebrated on January 6, the festive occasion is filled with great food, lots of presents, carolers, and quality… time with loved ones. This particular holiday is especially joyful for children because they are involved in the taking down and raiding of the tree which happens to be filled with sweets and chocolate ornaments wrapped in foil.
Traditionally, on the night before Three Kings day, each child puts out a pair of their shoes so that when the Three Kings arrive they will know how many presents to leave. Each child receives one present and opens their gift on this holiday rather than on Christmas day.
A few of the culinary traditions that one has to look forward to are tamales, hot chocolate and king’s cake (rosca del reyes). King’s cake is sweet bread in the shape of a circle, symbolising a king’s crown. Baked somewhere inside the cake is a small plastic figurine and whoever ends up with the figurine when the cake is cut is responsible for hosting the next holiday, Candlemas (la Candelaria) on February 2.
Guadalupe-Reyes is a marathon of holidays celebrated in Mexico from December through January. The holidays consist of families spending time with one another and eating delicious food. Markets are packed with eager shoppers, piñatas are hung for the children and presents are wrapped. …
The festivities begin on December 12, with the celebration of the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and end on January 6, with the celebration of The Three Wise Men. December 16th commemorates the beginning of the Christmas season; the first evening of Las Posadas.
On December 12, the patron saint of Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe—better known as Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe—is celebrated. This day is one of the most important holidays of the year. According to the story on December 9, 1531 the peasant Juan Diego had a vision of the Virgin Mary on a hill just outside of Mexico City. Three days later, Juan Diego returned to the hilltop at the direction of the Virgin Mary and placed Castilian roses, which are not native to Mexico and which were blooming on the usually barren hilltop, into his cloak. He returned to his village and opened the cloak before Bishop Zumárraga. The flowers fell to the floor, and in their place was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, miraculously imprinted on the fabric. More than four hundred years later, this original cloak remains on display in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Every year, hundreds of people visit to pay homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
December 12: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe December 16-24: Las Posadas December 24: Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) December 28: Holy Innocent’s Day December 31: New Year’s Eve January 1: New Year’s Day January 6: Day of the Three Wise Men
The meetings and conventions industry in Mexico continues booming as proven by the many events that have taken place this year, including such high-level and significant meetings as the G20 Summit of the finance ministers representing the world’s 20 largest economies, the B20 Summit of business… leaders from the G20 countries, the T20 Summit of the tourism ministers from the G20 countries, and the G20 Trade and Investment Promotion Summit, amongst many others.
“The main advantages of Mexico as an international meetings and conventions destination are clearly the convenient location to most US cities; the affordability of both air and land especially with the increase in the number of all-inclusive options; the diversity of destinations from cultural to resort to urban; and the superb service culture that exists across the country,” said David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel Company, a global leader firm in the meetings, events, and incentive travel programmes.
When speaking about its company’s plans in Mexico in the next years, Peckinpaugh added, “We continue to see a steady increase year over year of our business into Mexico. We are working closely with the Mexico Tourism Board to expand the education of our buyers and planners, to increase their knowledge on what is new in the destinations and to build the awareness around safety that is paramount with our corporate and association clients.”
Most recently, in November 2012, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) of North America held its 5th Annual Advisory Summit in Mazatlan, Mexico. Participants shared with MexicoToday their experience while in Mazatlan through a series of video testimonials, including:
• Gary Schirmacher, senior vice president at Experient
• Leigh Wintz, principal consultant at Tecker International
• Michael Payne, executive vice president at SmithBucklin Corporation
• James Rooney, executive director at the Massachusetts Convention Centre Authority
• James Wood, CEO at the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau
And the number of international meetings and conventions to be held in different locations in Mexico in 2013 throughout 2018 is already lining up, including:
• In 2013: 17th Congress of the International Society of Development Biologists – ISDB (Cancun); 64th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry – ISE (Santiago de Queretaro); and the 24th International Society for Neurochemistry Meeting (Cancun).
• In 2014: XIII International Congress of Parasitology – ICOPA (Mexico City); 11th World Congress on Nuclear Medicine and Biology (Cancun); 13th Pan American Congress of Dairy (Chihuahua); and the 19th World Congress on Information Technology – WCIT (Guadalajara).
• In 2016: International Congress of Ophthalmology (Guadalajara); and, the 21st World Congress of Echocardiography and Allied Techniques (Mexico City)
• In 2018: Congress of the International Society for Intellectual Property (Cancun); and the 17th International Conference on Emergency Medicine (Mexico City).
Meetings in Mexico contributed 1.43 per cent to the country’s GDP in 2010 and account for 18 per cent of total travel and tourism demand generating 18 billion dollars in revenue. Mexico also boasts sophisticated meetings infrastructure. With over 57 major convention and exposition centres across the country and half a million hotel rooms in more than 3,000 luxury hotels, Mexico is equipped to hold meetings of international calibre. Due to major infrastructural development and strong governmental support, Mexico saw a 25 per cent increase in world congresses from 2010 to 2011, positioning the country as 20th in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings for 2011.
“If you haven’t experienced Mexico lately then you are missing out on providing truly exceptional experiences for your meeting and incentive guests,” added Peckinpaugh.
For the 24-year-old, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, the 2012 season has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. The striker known as “Little Pea” seemed to be having trouble matching his performance from the previous season. This slow start forced Head Coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, to relinquish Chicharito’s… starting position. However, Mexico’s most famous footballer now has seven goals in his last five appearances for Man U, forcing Ferguson to admit he has earned the right to start.
After three years without a break, playing internationals during the close season, Hernandez looks refreshed and revitalised following his break last summer and is back to the form he showed in his debut season.
Currently at 16 goals as a sub for Manchester United, Chicharito is closing in on Ole Gunnar Solakajer's record (28) and it’s only a matter of time before he is standing alongside the Norwegian as United's greatest impact player.
"Chicharito is getting back to what he was a couple of years ago and a summer's rest has helped him enormously," said Ferguson.
"He's looking fresh and aggressive with his running, he's always a handful and the way he's started this season I'm certain he'll get to 20-plus goals."
Because of his impressive play in Novemeber, Hernandez captured his second successive ManUtd.com Player of the Month award.
Brazilians Rafael da Silva and Anderson grabbed second and third place respectively – but Hernandez’s dominant 67 per cent of the vote was enough to secure his sixth monthly triumph.
Sergio “Checo” Perez recently concluded his second season in Formula 1, for which he was named one of the top ten drivers of the 2012 campaign. The end of the season marks a significant transition for the 22-year-old driver. After two years with Sauber, Checo will now take his talents to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes… racing team, signing a multi-year deal to race alongside 2009 world champion Jenson Button. Said Perez, “I'm under no illusion that it is indeed a very big step – as it would be for any driver – but I'm ready for it.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Martin Whitmarsh noted that Perez’s performance this season brought him a lot of favourable attention. “It was a string of giant-killing performances, a trio of podiums and a brilliant fastest lap in this year’s Monaco Grand Prix that showed us that Sergio lacks nothing in terms of speed and commitment, said Whitmarsh. “We've been monitoring his progress carefully for some months - and, now that he's become part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, our task will be to refine and develop his abilities as his career progresses over the coming years.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn thanked Checo for his time at Sauber “Our thanks also go to Sergio Pérez, who has claimed three podiums for the team so far and now has the opportunity at McLaren-Mercedes to display his immense talent with one of the most successful teams in Formula One history. We would also like to wish Sergio all the best and every success for the future.”
Watch this video where Checo thanks his fans at the conclusion of a successful season.
In popular culture, many inaccurately associate December 21, 2012 with a Mayan prophecy about the end of the world. This is false. According to the Mayan Calendar, the world will NOT end on December 21, 2012, but rather a new cycle in life will begin. The Mayas never mentioned the world nor time would end. In fact, Mayan texts refer to dates after… 2012. The Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque refers to dates in the year 4772, two thousand years from now.
The interest in Mayan culture and Mayan cosmology has prompted renewed interest in visiting Mayan sites in Mexico. The Mexico Tourism Board launched an initiative called Mundo Maya to promote tourist interest in the states of Yucatan, Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco and Quintana Roo, key locations of the Mayan civilisation.
Mundo Maya promoted such sites as the ruins of Calakmul in the state of Campeche, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. In Yucatán, the observatories of Chichén Itzá tracked the heavens. Explore the Tomb of the Red Queen in Chiapas, and learn how the indigenous jatropha plant is being refined into biofuel. And beyond the beaches of Quintana Roo, the modern-day Maya are pioneering new eco-tourism ventures to protect their natural resources. And in the state of Tabasco, chocolate was first invented as a Mayan religious beverage.
Many of the challenges facing today’s global community – such as climate change, biodiversity and food insecurity – were faced by the Maya more than a thousand years ago. Learning the lessons of the Mayan civilisation can help the modern world escape a similar fate.
Sergio “Checo” Perez finished in 11th place at the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. However, he was clearly number one in the hearts of the many fans who turned out to cheer him on.
The automotive blog Jalopnik summed it up this way: “You hear a lot of Mexican fans talking about Perez the way that Brazilians used to talk about Ayrton Senna. Mexico has been going through some rough times economically and socially over the last decade, but a lot of Mexicans are tired of their country only being in the news for cartel-related violence. The Mexican tourism industry has fought hard against that image.”
Among the fans who travelled to watch Perez compete was Miguel Candia, a 52-year-old engineer from Guadalajara, Jalisco. When asked by the Austin American-Statesman if Perez gave Mexico hope, Candida said “Of course. But so do the Mexicans who won the mathematics Olympics, the champions of the robotics competition and the winners of many cultural competitions out there. There are many brilliant Mexicans who make us proud, but today Checo is our ambassador.”
Hidden Moon premieres November 23 in Mexico. Director Pepe Bojorquez manages to capture the true beauty and complications of life. It… intertwines the intricate feelings of love with the deep nature of truth. A talented filmmaker, Bojorquez says this story is not just his – it’s everyone’s reality.
“The story is easy to empathize with,” Bojorquez said. “It’s about chasing your dreams, falling in love. Sometimes our goals and what we want to accomplish get in the way of everything, such as the love that’s right in front of us.”
Hidden Moon tells the story of a beautiful woman, whose dramatic entrance at the funeral of a man in California shocks his prosperous family. The man’s son then travels to Mexico to discover the truth about the woman’s relationship with his father. Upon finding her, he discovers that she is living with another man, and refuses to admit knowing his father. What happens when true love appears twice, at the same moment? This web of emotions is difficult to unravel and its unclear whether there will be a happy ending for all involved.
Filmed in Guanajuato and Veracruz, Hidden Moon showcases the unparalleled magnificence of Mexico. Its accomplished cast includes Wes Bentley from “American Beauty” and “The Hunger Games,” Mexican actress Ana Serradilla, actor and writer Jonathan Schaech and Linda Gray, the star of “Dallas.”
After its premiere in Mexico, it will arrive to European cinemas, and then to the United States. A depiction of modern reality – a cross border love story -- Hidden Moon paints the exquisiteness and rarity of love against the backdrop of gorgeous Mexico.
London’s celebrated underground art venue, the Old Vic Tunnels, was positively abuzz from 31st October to 3rd November.
The sights, sounds and flavours of a great Mexican cultural tradition, Día de los Muertos, were on display at the London Day of the Dead festival, presented by Wahaca and the Embassy of Mexico in the UK.
Mexico City-based guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela performed each night of the festival. Additionally, the festival featured a photography exhibit from acclaimed Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and a light installation from artist Tupac Martir.
The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated throughout the various regions of Mexico. Although the holiday is associated with the deceased – as has a rather morbid name – the holiday is a celebration of loved ones rather than a period of mourning. Families throughout Mexico build special altars for the deceased that includes elements symbolising earth, wind, water and fire. Altars can include photographs of the deceased, marigold flowers, skeletons, candles and food offerings.
The Day of the Dead celebrations were very well attended, according to festival organisers.
Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s most vibrant states, is located in southwestern Mexico and is best known for its indigenous cultures. The Central Valley of Oaxaca is well known for its archaeological sites, culture and fine crafts. Oaxaca also contains a vast diversity of wildlife including plants,… reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
Whether one is interested in shopping, sightseeing or eating great food; Oaxaca has something to offer everyone. The angelic state has unique architecture, top-notch museums, and its own delicious version of Mexican food. Some great places for shopping are the Atzompa community market which is famous for its handmade green-glazed pottery and Mercado de Abastos, the largest outdoor market in Mexico. A few places for sightseeing are the Monte Albán archaeological site, the mezcal plantation, the Mitla archaeological site, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca. Known for its fabulous regional cuisine, many people visit Oaxaca just for the food. Mole negro, cocido, and tlayudas with quesillo are just a handful of the dishes that you will find here. Some of the crowd-pleasing restaurants are Los Danzantes, Los Pacos and Catedral. When looking for something sweet, look no further because Oaxaca is famous for its chocolate.
In the state capital, the celebration of Day of the Dead begins a week before November 1 with the commencement of the “Plaza de los Muertos.” Located in the city market, natives will find everything they need for the holiday including mole negro, marigolds, Oaxacan chocolate and pan de muertos. Although Day of the Dead is celebrated all of over Mexico, the state of Oaxaca has become famous for its elaborate celebrations. Families typically build the ofrendas (altars) on a table and then wrap it with a tablecloth or white sheet and use sugarcane to make an arch above the altar. After the ofrenda is built, families will start placing the offerings that consist of corn jelly, pumpkin with black sugar, and chocolate ground by stone. In addition, there is an abundance of fresh regional fruit, nuts, and cooked chayote. Families not only visit the gravesites and make altars; they also enjoy and participate in theatrical performances that represent the returning of the deceased.
Iconic film Director, Tim Burton’s newly released film ‘Frankenweenie’ was inspired by Mexico’s most important holiday, Día de los Muertos. Burton, who is known for his dark themed movies, has captured the essence of what Día de los Muertos is all about; celebrating the… dead. Frankenweenie is a remake of Burton’s short film and a parody to the film Frankenstein.
The black and white, stop-motion animation film is about a little boy, Victor Frankenstein, who lives with his parents and dog in New Holland. During a baseball game, Victor hits a home run and his dog Sparky chases after the ball and gets killed by a car. Feeling depressed about the loss of his dog, Victor decides to try to resurrect his beloved pet by making a laboratory in his attic. Fortunately, Victor is successful and brings Sparky back to life with lightning.
When asked about the film, Burton said “Of all the cultures I’ve visited and been to, I find the Mexican way of dealing with death the most positive.” Every year on November 1-2, people from Mexico celebrate Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, by decorating their homes and leaving offerings.
Since the release of the film, it has been a huge success and seems to be another huge success for the talented director. Fans went crazy when Burton visited Mexico. Many felt that Burton really understood their culture and how they celebrated death instead of being depressed about it. With the Día de los Muertos approaching and families getting ready to celebrate, the movie couldn’t have been released at a better time.
Simply Sweet Apps have created an iPhone/iPad app in honour of Day of the Dead, a traditional family-oriented Mexican holiday.
The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a two-day celebration that takes place November 1 through November 2. The holiday, which celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed, is deeply rooted in Mexican culture.
Many celebrate this holiday of remembrance by dressing up in costumes and make-up inspired by La Calavera Catrina (or ‘The Elegant Skull’); the “DAY of the DEAD ME” app gives you the opportunity to decorate an image with traditional festive make-up and flowers.
Day of the Dead Me app allows you to place a variety of traditional images, such a painted eyes and facial decorations, onto any photo and digital face paint in the style of sugar skull makeup. You can personalise photos of yourself and loved ones, or even pictures of your favourite celebrities. The app is user-friendly, age-friendly, and costs less than a dollar.
Day of the Dead Me app includes resizable image templates: roses, facial scrolls, skull nose, hats, moustaches, painted eyes & chins, and much more!
Learn more about the DAY of the DEAD ME app (and see before and after pictures) on their Twitter and Facebook pages. You can also watch a tutorial of the app in use on YouTube, and finally, get the app for your iPhone and iPad at iTunes.
Pati Jinich, describes herself as “an overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender.” Born and raised in Mexico City, Pati is on a mission to show people that true home Mexican cooking isn’t what they’ve come to expect. Today, she is the official chef of the Mexican… Cultural Institute and host of the PBS show Pati’s Mexican Table.
Pati Jinich is now the author of a forthcoming cookbook, Pati’s Mexican Table, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) which is also the title of her popular public television series. Pati’s Mexican Table will go on sale March 5, 2013. Pati’s Mexican Table introduces readers to Mexican ingredients, cooking techniques, and recipes, many of which are surprising in their simplicity and freshness.
Contrary to popular belief, Mexican food is not always spicy, covered in cheese, or for carnivores alone. Pati presents many recipes that aren’t well known outside of Mexico: from “Divorced Eggs” striped with red and green salsa, to her boys’ favourite lunch, “Grilled Cheese and Bean Heroes,” to the homey “Chicken à la Trash,” a staff meal she gleaned from a Mexican catering company. She’s also mined her native country for regional specialties, from vegetarian dishes like Oaxaca-Style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas to Piggy Cookies, and included a few of her own Mexican-influenced creations, like Ancho-Chili Burgers with Lime Aioli. All her recipes fit neatly into a busy routine. Throughout the cookbook, Pati’s charming personality, warm voice, and joyous celebration of the Mexican family gathering—past, present, and future—are on full display.
Pati Jinich has appeared as a guest on the Food Network, NBC’s Today, CBS’s The Chew, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and The Splendid Table. She directs and teaches a culinary program through the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., where she lives with her husband and three boys. She also hosts live programs for the Smithsonian Associates and has cooked at Blair House, the official state guesthouse for the vice president.
The Tomas Segovia award is the newest Mexican literary prize to be created by Conaculta, the National Culture and Arts Council of Mexico. The prize recognises translations that “bring the Hispanic literary tradition to other languages” and is the first award to bear the name of… Spanish-born Mexican author, translator and poet, Tomas Segovia (1927-2011). The president of Conaculta, Consuelo Saizar, explained in a recent press conference in the western city of Guadalajara that the award recognises the work of professionals translated from Spanish to another language and works in other languages translated to Spanish. According to the Mexican financial daily El Economista, the first edition of the prize will honour professionals who translate works from other languages to the Spanish language. According to president of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Raul Padilla, in addition to a US$100,000 cash prize, award recipients will be able to have their translated works on display at a variety of book fairs.
The literary translation prize honours the work of Segovia, who brought universal works such as Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and Victor Hugo’s religious epic “Dieu” (God) to Spanish readers, Padilla said. The prize is financed in partnership with the Guadalajara International Book Fair, where the award will be given for the first time in November of this year, and Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico’s leading publishing house. Cultural or educational institutions, associations or publishing groups can make nominations until Oct. 29.
Some of the world’s best chefs – those who collect Michelin stars like some people collect stamps – know one of the best kept culinary secrets: some of the world’s best flavours come from Mexico.
And it’s not exciting new flavours bringing the world’s best chefs to Mexico.
Christopher Kostow of three-Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood is a frequent visitor to Mexico City’s Mercado San Juan, a gourmet public food market. Of his travels to Mexico, he notes:
“I don’t know if you come to Mexico to learn what’s new, but rather you come to Mexico to learn what’s old. There are flavors of great depth, and there are techniques that are pretty challenging.”
Indeed, from California to Denmark, the world’s top chefs are utilising the ancient traditions, spices and recipes of Mexico’s indigenous cultural groups.
Copenhagen’s Noma was recently named the best restaurant in the world. Its chef, Mexican-American Rosio Sanchez has recently altered her recipe for the Gammel Dansk recipe, using tequila and cactus juice – a far cry from traditional Danish cooking.
You could argue that Mexican cuisine has seen an image enhancement. This is no longer thought of as a cuisine of heavy sauces, refried beans and sour cream. Exotic flavours and foods – from ant larvae to quelites to crunchy grasshoppers – are finding their way on to plates across the globe.
But that’s just some of what’s on offer.
Many chefs are beginning to blend Mexican flavours into their own cooking. Coriander, moles, Serrano chiles and cactus juices are becoming much more popular with chefs all over the world. The flavours are bold and exciting and compliment many styles of cooking. For the indigenous people of Mexico, they can look at this trend and think: ‘We knew it all along.’
With the Olympic gold medals still weighing heavily around their necks, it’s no surprise that the young stars of El Tri sailed through CONCACAF qualifying making it to the final round of the necessary qualifying competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
This Mexican National Football team has been making it look easy.
This is a Mexican squad that is ‘fresh-faced but fearless’.
It’s hard to pick out a leader among this squad of young stars. 23 year-old Marco Fabian, for instance, had a strong performance in the Games, scoring one of Mexico’s 3 goals in the win over Japan.
Fabian acknowledges the guidance of older players as well in London:
“There were a lot of us youngsters there, but we had Salcido, Corona and Peralta by our side, who went to London as the over-age players. That made it easier for us to come into the group, and I have to say it was a very positive experience for us.”
And Fabian isn’t the only young gun making a splash for El Tri.
22-year old Javier Aquino is a midfielder for Cruz Azul. Aquino netted one in Mexico’s semifinal match against Senegal and put on a fine performance in a CONCACAF qualifier against Costa Rica.
Of his performance against Costa Rica in hostile San Jose, Aquino said:
“I just tried to make the most of my opportunity and I’m happy with my performance. There was maybe more at stake at the Olympics, but the atmosphere was more intimidating in Costa Rica.”
It could be argued that Mexico’s young stars have ice running through their veins.
From the coasts to the country's mountainous interior, five up-and-coming destinations to put on Mexico must-visit list are Campeche Colonial, Playa Espiritu, Copper Canyon, Puebla and San Luis Potosi.
Mexico has always been known for its gorgeous resort towns and glittering white sandy beaches. Cancun, Acapulco, Cozumel and Puerto Vallarta have long been known as popular resort towns. But tourism in Mexico is so much more, and the Pueblos Magicos – ‘Magic Villages’ – programme has been established to highlight Mexican destinations that may be off the beaten path.
Tourism has always been one of Mexico’s largest industries. Mexico is the number one destination for foreign tourists within the Latin America region and number two destination in the Americas, ranking worldwide in the tenth place in terms of the international tourist arrivals.
Mexico’s Travel & Tourism Economy increased its contribution to 13.2% of Mexico's GDP, growing by 3.8%. Mexican tourism is blossoming, a fact attributable to a number of factors, not least it’s beautiful scenic views and Mediterranean weather. Although the resort towns of Mexico's Pacific and Caribbean coasts are commonly frequented by tourists, most of mainland Mexico —all 1,220,610 square miles of it—is rarely seen.
Mexico is a historic and culturally rich country – tourists are being encouraged to explore further afield than the beaches. Lack of awareness about Mexico's vastness and its diverse geography are two of the most persistent challenges the country faces with respect to tourism.
Gloria Guevara, Mexico's Secretary of Tourism said:
“People think they know Mexico, but they don't, Mexicans don't even know Mexico.”
The expansion of the Pueblos Magicos programme, established to spur domestic travel, which accounts for 85% of tourism in Mexico, has also drawn travellers to places that are less well-known than Cancun and Los Cabos. The majority of the Pueblos Magicos—which are so named because they possess unique symbols, legends, history, important events that convey Mexican history—are located in the interior.