Ciudad de Mexico, Volver a Mexico

Translation - Mexico City, Return to Mexico.

Mexico is the country I have been to the most by far than any other. On this adventure, I finally went to a city that wasn't Tijuana. That city was the capital/metropolis of Latin America, Mexico City

Translation - Mexico City, Return to Mexico

Mexico is the country I have been to the most by far than any other. On this adventure, I finally went to a city that wasn't Tijuana. That city was the capital/metropolis of Latin America, Mexico City. I had been wanting to visit this city for a long time primarily due to the ancient Aztec temples found in Mexico City as I'm a constant sucker for historical buildings. While I didn't go to the Aztecan ruins, instead I found a vibrant culture within the capital along with my muse.

First of all, was a trip in to the center of the city for the Zocalo, street food (plantains!), Aztecan ruins of the Templo Mayor in Tenochitlan and a celebration of Aztecan culture that took place throughout the center. It was an odd mix of Aztec and colonialism as the Mexicans were both proud of their heritage as an indigenous people, but also their Catholicism.

Speaking of Catholicism, I would then go to the holiest site in Latin America - Iglesia de Virgin de Guadalupe. This is amazing grounds in which I got a blessing in (I enjoy partaking in religious ceremonies in other countries to learn about the culture rather America's brainwashing of it). There is also a huge depiction of Guadalupe everywhere, a great vista, a megachurch and smaller church, chapels, and more. Around here I would also try some wonderful tacos (chorizo, carne asada and some time of pork), Mexican cola, and mangoes with lime and chili.

Afterwards, I would head to the Museo de Archaelogico to see real and reproduced versions of artifacts that I had learned about in Religions of Latin America class - Olmecs, Aztecs, Mayans (extension from Guatemala), and a few others who were from the region. This museum was also in the fancier area of Mexico City so I got to see the Angel of Independencia as I rode out to the airport past several classy buildings. Of note, the subway here is great because it uses symbols along with names to represent famous and popular stops. Like the handicap accessible friendly Antigua, I find the directness of subway and bus lines in Mexico City to be helpful. 

One other event that was a perfectly captured moment was a Mexican punk rocker singing a traditional Mexican song on the subway then going into No Doubt's "Don't Speak" - America is everywhere while Mexico put its own spin on it. All of this to say, is that Mexico City seemed to be doing pretty well and remaining diverse in all that was occurring in it. I found that a stark contrast to all the media hoopla surrounding it in America. As always, see the world for yourself and not someone else's perception.

I know I'll return to Mexico again, but hopefully this time it is for the Aztecan ruins of Teotihuacan or the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. 

 

Guat's Up? A Mini-Vacation in Guatemala

I would be lying if I didn't say I have been extremely stressed lately in job hunting. Perhaps I'll eventually reveal all of the notes on that, but leaving teaching is difficult. Enough about that, I decided to give myself and the muse a fun little break (it would cost me more than I thought in the long run), but my wanderlust is insatiable as I knew I wouldn't be able to enjoy Africa during this summer. Guatemala would be in a rainy season and the transport from Guatemala City to Antigua would take awhile, but the trip would be a lot of fun.   

In the two days I was there, I would enjoy some wonderful Guatemalan stews, explore jade jewelry (huge resource there), good coffee, tons of crepes, exotic ice cream flavors such as curry peanut butter & maple hazelnut. Exploring the cheap markets of the city for a tamale was also fun with all of the kind people that I met throughout my travel. It's a nice and relaxing tourist town where everything is for the thrifty and the locals are amicable. I also want to make a note of all the good beer brewed in the country, it's surprising including the Gallo (chicken) beer and the people's love for the animal.

The big highlight of the trip was ATVing through the mountains and almost volcanoes through a foggy, muddy and rainy Antigua. Many of the views were beautiful - photos to come later - and looking through the mist, exploring a local village of Mayan descendants during a Corpus Christi celebration and seeing the lush greenery of city was a sight to behold. 

While unfortunately I was only able to see Guatemala City and the Fuego, Agua and Pacaya volcanoes from afar the rest of the experience was a tranquil and refreshing experience overall. As I said, travel is spirituality for me and even at the low points in my life I still need it.

Check out Guatemala, it's low prices, Mayan culture, friendly people (including the guys who sell flutes for some reason???? - Peru is the land of pan flutes, Guatemala is textile), and relaxing times will have you wanting to relax there forever.