6 Top locations to celebrate “Day of the Dead” in Mexico

6 Top locations to celebrate “Day of the Dead” in Mexico

Oct 31, 2015

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions. This holiday coincides with the Catholic “All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day”, and the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones. Day of the Dead is in fact a very expensive holiday for these self-sufficient, rural based, indigenous families. Many spend over two month’s income to honor their dead relatives. They believe that happy spirits will provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their families. Besides, Ofrenda and Altar building keeps the family close. Here is a list of the Top 6 places to celebrate “Day of the Dead” in Mexico: Mixquic is best known for its Day of the Dead commemorations, which consist of both ritual and cultural events lasting from 31 October to 2 November. These events draw thousands of Mexican and international visitors, and culminate in the “Alumbrada”, when the cemetery that surrounds the community’s main church glows with thousands of candles and smoke from incense the evening of 2 November.   Janitzio is a small island in Patzcuaro Lake in the southern state of Michoacan. The small town is world famous for its traditional Day of the Dead celebration. In Xochimilco, Mexico City, the Day of the Dead is celebrated with enthusiasm and respect. Offerings to the dead entail elaborate preparation. A month before the festivities of All Saints’ Day, the most traditionalist families prepare to pay homage to their ancestors. Jose Guadalupe Posada, famous Mexican cartoonist and caricaturist was the author of the first “Catrinas” drawings during the early XX Century. And today, in his hometown of Aguascalientes, people celebrate the “Festival de las Calaveras” as a homage to the man who made this character immortal. In San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, dozens of different artistic “Altars to the Dead” will be on exhibit in different locations during the weekend. The top and most advertised versions of these veritable works of artistic craftsmanship will be the display at “El Nigromante” Fine Arts building, which opened Thursday for an event called “The Installation of the Day of the Dead” with live music —...

Cast: Prog the night away

Cast: Prog the night away

Oct 30, 2015

Alfredo Azcarate Varela STAFF WRITER   October Cultural Festival was organized by the Culture Institute of Baja California, directed by Manuel Bejarano, it is a multidiscpilinary event, a gathering of artistic talent from Mexico and many different countries. All kinds of expressions are part of this relevant event that takes place in October every year on stages all over the state, and Wednesday 14th CAST took over to delight more than 500 attendants to a daydream concert, a Mexicali based prog-rock group which was started by Alfonso “Poncho” Vidales in the late 70’s and has gone through many different phases and lineups, and that night showed muscle and heart through a genius array of sound and vision. Fresh from their 2015 European Tour, CAST performed in Mexicali State Arts Center (CEART in Spanish), Alfonso, a keyboard virtuoso, headed four excellent musicians and two singers in a musical journey, playing original material only, as it should be, going beyond the easy shelter of “cover bands” that execute other people’s music. Changing lineup many times through the years, CAST has become a family affair, Ponchos’s wife and son are the voices behind the music, there are also two guys that help CAST music soar to surreal heights through: The violin excellence of Roberto Izzo (Italy) and the guitar genius of Claudio Cordero (Chile). A very intimate concert, excellent music and voices that evoked the works of such groups as Le Orme, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa and others, with the personal touch of Alfonso and his incredible crew, CAST gave the 2015 October Cultural Fest another great night, barely in the middle of the event which continued presenting several high quality acts up to October 31, an excellent effort to bring quality art to Baja California. CAST and Alfonso Vidales have come a long way, from the early 80’s to the 90’s BAJA PROG festival editions to the worldwide fame that the event brought to Mexicali, turning our city into the planet’s capital of Prog Rock, a relevant yearly reunion of musicians and fans, a series of intimate concerts “among friends” as Tony Levin said, which no longer exists because Government and businessmen never saw it as...

“El Rebalse”, Jalisco: What did Patricia left behind for them?

“El Rebalse”, Jalisco: What did Patricia left behind for them?

Oct 29, 2015

Most people think that Mexico may have dodged a bullet from the fury of Hurricane Patricia, while it missed the most heavily populated areas… But in some rural communities such as “El Rebalse” in the coast of Jalisco, destruction and flooding is a reality. The town square in El Rebalse is now an island amid Hurricane Patricia’s floodwaters, a place for Maria Santana Vazquez and her husband to rest Sunday after wading through water, at times chest deep, trying to return home. All around, kids swam, a dog paddled and just before noon two high-clearance army transport trucks arrived — the first outside help since Patricia, the hemisphere’s strongest hurricane on record, roared in Friday night and washed out the only paved road into town. While Mexico for the most part was relieved that the storm caused no fatalities and only marginal damage in the resort of Puerto Vallarta and the principle port of Manzanillo, the sparsely populated zone of Pacific coast where Patricia delivered its fury was only beginning to assess the full damage on Sunday October 25th. President Enrique Pena Nieto said Saturday that 3,000 to 3,500 homes were damaged and about 8,650 acres of farmland were hurt. But that was before anyone from the government arrived in El Rebalse, a town surrounded by banana plantations that Associated Press journalists tried to reach on foot before hitching a ride on the army trucks. Banana trees as far as the eye could see were snapped in half, and large bunches of the fruit moldered in the intense sun. “They’re going to lose a whole year,” Santana’s husband, Artemio Sanmeron Sanchez, said of the plantations where everyone in town made their living. Then the couple slipped back into the water and waded off. Already they had slogged from the neighboring town, Cihuatlan, where they evacuated. They assumed their home of 15 years was destroyed. In the surrounding Cihuatlan Valley, less than 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the Pacific, between 1,800 and 2,000 people depend directly on agriculture for livelihoods, said Narciso de Jesus Ramirez Rubio, a banana grower and president of the municipal small landowners association. That’s not counting their families. He was annoyed...

New HYUNDAI plant in Rosarito will contribute to raise the competitiveness in the state

New HYUNDAI plant in Rosarito will contribute to raise the competitiveness in the state

Oct 29, 2015

On Tuesday October 27th, Governor Francisco “Kiko” Vega de Lamadrid presided the ceremony marking the start of construction of the Hyundai plant in Playas de Rosarito. This new plant will generate 2,000 jobs and represents an investment of $ 84 million USD. This project comes as a result of business missions that the governor himself and representatives of the Baja California state government carried out through Asia in 2014 and 2015. During the ceremony, the Chief Executive stated that the installation of this new industry, which will produce the chassis for trucks, reinforces the opportunity for employment, a better quality of life for the people of Rosarito and noted that therefore this day is very important not only for Playas de Rosarito, Baja California but for all Mexico. He said that one of the main objectives of his administration is to increase the competitiveness of the state and to make progress in areas such as transparency, accountability, quality education and boost the investment in science and technology. Gov. Vega de Lamadrid stated that according to official figures, Baja California generates 9.6% of the employment in the country and it currently holds the first place at national level in employment generation. Vega de Lamadrid mentioned that this type of infrastructure projects contribute to raise the competitiveness of Baja California, and other good examples are the construction of a desalination plant in San Quintin, and the reverse flow aqueduct in Ensenada, which provides water drive to that city and Playas de Rosarito. The construction of this desalination plant on the coast has a significant progress and it will solve the water supply issue in the state for many years. He stressed that in economic matters Baja California ranks first on the northern border of Mexico and the fourth nationally in terms of industrial activity growth, with an annual rate of 9.7%, while the state is in second position when it comes to industrial production value, with a growth from January to August this year of 25.1% compared with the same period of 2014; and with an unemployment rate at 3.9%, below the national average Meanwhile, the President of Hyundai Translead, Kyoung Soo Lee, thanked Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid for supporting the project right from the start of...

Is there hope for America’s dirtiest river?

Is there hope for America’s dirtiest river?

Oct 28, 2015

California’s border with Baja California is a complex region with unique environmental issues. Our Borderlands series takes a deeper look at this region unified by shared landscapes and friendship, and divided by international politics. Two hours east of the San Diego-Tijuana coastline, the rock-studded Mexicali Valley hugs both sides of the international border. Its aridity is punctuated by el Rio Nuevo, which originates in Mexicali. Its waters gush north across the border into the United States via Calexico, where it becomes its English-language counterpart: the New River. The New River continues its flow north, then west, where it grows in flow until it eventually discharges into the Salton Sea. This is a problem. Because of a confluence of industrial waste, debris, human and animal effluvia, pathogens, and, more recently, the bodies of murder victims, the New River has historically been one of the filthiest rivers in the United States, so polluted that even to test it takes special precautionary clothing and equipment. There’s a story told of a man’s body found in the river in Mexicali that had been so badly burned that authorities initially investigated it as an arson before discovering that the the chemicals in the water are what had scalded it. True or not, the story indicates just how polluted the New River is. The river was formed by the same levee failure that created the Salton Sea, which means the river was not created “naturally,” untouched by human hands. That means that much like the Salton Sea, the New River has been looked upon as something not necessarily worth saving – despite being part of a naturally biodiverse ecosystem. It’s classified as a mere drain in Mexico, not a river at all, and so factories and farms south of the international border continue dumping their waste into it. However, the New River’s fate is now changing. For the past few years, grassroots groups and local politicians have been working to change the beleaguered waterway’s fate with awareness-raising campaigns and cleanup efforts. But are things changing fast enough? The New River has been called an “environmental success story,” but while the reappearance of fish and fowl signify good changes, the persistence...