Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Edificios de la Ciudad de México

Here are some more photos I took during Easter Vacation. These are of some important buildings. It can be said they are landmarks (at least for those who live here)...

This building belongs to a huge housing comples made up
of three types of buildings: 4 stories, 8 stories, and
14 sories. Construction began in 1964.
During the 1985 earthquake, the Nuevo Leon
building, the same size as this one fell.
Because of this, eleven other buildings
had to be demolished.

Plaza de las tres Culturas.
Plaza of the three cultures.
This is also in the Tlatelolco complex. In the background
a modern building. In the middle a Spanish church,
and in the front (although it can't be seen too well)
are the ruins of an Aztec temple.

Correos de México.
Also called Palacio Postal was founded by
Mexican President Porfirio Díaz in 1907.
It is still used as such today, but it also houses
many art and photographic expositions.

Palacio de Bellas Artes
The construction of this building began in 1904,
but because of te Mexican Revolution in 1910 and
technical problems like sinking, it wasn't
completed till 1934.
It contains murals painted by José Clemente Orozco,
Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Torre Latinoamericana
It was built in 1956, and was the tallest building
in Mexico till 1984. The engineers who built the tower
used an innovative system (for that period) that was supposed
to help the building
be able to withstand earthquakes.
It is built in a potentialy dangerous area of the city,
and it came out undamaged during the earthquakes
1957 and 1985.
During the 1985 earthquake, Adolfo Zeevaret, one of the
engineers who constructed the tower, was at his 25th floor
office witnessing how building around him
collapsed, while the tower remained unharmed.

Hope you enjoyed this short tour of downtown Mexico. If you are interested in more information and photos, just type in the names into Wikipedia. There is lots more there. Good night.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Influenza porcina

Family and friends.
Our family here in Irapuato and Mexico City are fine. We are taking precautions, and staying at home as much as we can. Here in Irapuato there have been very few cases, and starting tomorrow until May 6, clases have been suspended in al the Mexican Republic. I thank you for all the e-mails sent asking for our state of health. We are hoping all is well with you also, and that this ends soon with no more victims here in Mexico or elsewhere.

We still had class today, and this is how our
students came to school to answer their
reading exam. Yes, he is smiling.
For most kids, this is no more then an
How I wish no child in our world
had to suffer any illness or hardship.

Since I won't be working for the next week, I'll have time to post some more Easter week photos.
Please, take care-

Oh, and there was no damage becuse of the 5.7 earthquake that shook Mexico City, beside some nervous cases.
Thanks again..

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

¡Feliz Cumpleaños querido hijo!

Happy Birthday dear son!
Twenty years ago you came into our
lives, and brought us so much happiness.
You are such an intelligent, sensible,
sincere, and handsome young man.
And even though you are all grown up,
I still want to smother you with
hugs and kisses. We love you so much.
God Bless you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

¡A Comer!

After walking around for some time, it was decided it was time to eat. We went to this really nice restaurant that specializes in the "Nueva Cocina Mexicana" (New Mexican Cusine). It took some time having the 21 of us seated. The decoration was pretty neat. I took very few photos here, and they were mostly of our friends. But I will make up with my next post (with tons of photos, probably).

This is a rock wall decorated with stone filters
and trays.

Valerie taking a photo of me. And that's
my mother-in-law Judith.

Beautiful Valerie.

My son with his Aunt Yazmín and Uncle Carlos.
They are very serious looking here because their
lunch hadn't been served yet.

This is what I had. From bottom up:
a bed of nopales (cactus leaf) stewed with onions and chile, then a slab of
panela cheese (it is a fresh cheese), next chicken breast,
on top of that shoestring, fried tortillas strips.
And everything covered with bean sauce.
Pretty sophisticated, huh?

Awilda and Jorge.

Lauro, Enid, and Valerie (with Douglas just peeking).

And the stone filter. These were used to filter
river or well water. The water would be poured into the filter,
and it would slowly seep through the stone
leaving the impurties above, resulting in fresh clean water. bellow

I don't like to use the flash too much, and the result is getting dark pictures. Maybe in a few years I will be able to get a camera like Candace's, and then the pictures will come out better.
In the meantime I enjoy taking photos with my little Sony, and sharing them with you.
I go back to work tomorrow after a two week vacation.
I wish you all (and me too) a beautiful beginning of week!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Una Limpia

Religion in Mexico is a mixure of Christianism and pre-hispanic customs. Death, for example, is taken differently, and sometimes mocked at. During Día de Muertos (November 1) people will give sugar skulls with your name on it as a present, and nobody would feel horrified.

So, Mexicans believe lots of things that would seem strange to others. I will give you an example. Many think that if someone wishes you evil, or has bad feelings towards you, you will carry around those bad wishes, and that makes you be unlucky, loose money, not find a good job, frequently be sick, and things like that. So what is to be done? Have a "limpia" or a cleansing of these "bad vibes". This custom comes from way back, and in many places you will see signs offering this "job" which is considered very imortant.

While we were downtown, there were these people performing the limpias for 10 pesos (less than a dollar). The person in charge has their material ready- incense (copal) and herbs (basil, eucaliptus, etc., and other spices and mixtures). They light up tiny pieces of charcoal and pour in the copal (a resin). They ask the person to spread their arms, and procede to swat you with the basil and eucaliptus branches, and have the incense smother you, all the while chanting something in an ancient tounge. While this is hapenning, another person blows a sea shell that makes a grave, long sound. Our friends and family lined up to get their limpia, most just for fun, but maybe one or two with the hope of getting free of the bad luck they feel has been on them lately....

Material for the limpia..

Getting the things ready. The cup or chalice
is where the incense is burnt.



Sister-in-law Yazmin...



And Christopher.
I love this photo, lookes like
the kid is burning.

So when you come to Mexico, you know what a limpia is. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode........ Bye.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

El Centro Parte 2

There are many "vendedores ambulantes" or sidewalk merchants in almost any place in Mexico, but Mexico City has the most. The goverment has tried literally "to get rid" of them, but it is an impossible task. There are just too many. And many people say the city wouldn't be the same without them.

So today I will post about what is sold near the Cathedral, and the ways how some people make money.

Embroidered bags.

Hats and wall hangings.

"Cuarzo" braceletes.

I love these dolls!

More bags, wallets, backpacks made out of
handwoven cloth, or embroidered with flower motiffs.
I like these too.

And now what people do: an organ grinder.
They are making a comback with the goverment's help.
I love their music.

Some breakdancers.

They bring their own disc jokeys, and
dance pretty cool.

And these guys. They charge for having a picture taken with them
And many actually DO pay for that. That woman, for example.

Last, but not least, are "Los Danzantes".
This is my first attempt to upload a video.
I will not be posting many videos because
I want to keep my blog one of photographs. But there is
no way to describe the dancing happening in various
parts of downtown. Hope you like it.

Tomorrow El Centro parte 3 with "La Limpia" or the cleansing. Hasta mañana....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

El Centro, México D.F.

As I wrote before, Downtown Mexico City is looking really good. Today I'm posting photos of some buildings. Most are really old. Hope you enjoy them.

This is Palacio Presidencial, where the president works.

And this building is the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso.
It was built in 1588, and first belonged to the Jesuists.
It was used for many purposes, and in 1910
it passed on to Universidad Autonoma de México, the state
university. The university also has high schools
and this became Preparatoria No. 1. High School number 1.
My husband studied his high school here. In 1992 it became a museum.
A few years ago we saw a great Botello exposition.
Click here for more information (sorry, could only find it in spanish).

I'm back home after a safe trip. Tomorrow, more downtown photos. Good night.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Catedral Metropolitana, México D.F.

What a weekend! It should have been a reflexive, quiet Easter, but with eight people visiting from N.Y. and Puerto Rico, and my husband's family (his mom, four brothers, five sisters, twenty nieces and nephews, AND four great nieces/nephews) it was anything but quiet.
I have to admit, though, that it was a great weekend. Big families are so much fun! And we saw people we hadn't seen in at least 17 years.

So I will be posting in episodes all the things we dad, and places we visited.

We arrived at Mexico City on Thursday, and on Good Friday we visited the Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico City. Downtown Mexico City has gotten an impressive facelift. The place looks great. We arrived at the Cathedral in time to pray part of the Via-Crucis. On this small tour there were 21 of us.

Main and principal building.

View from the back.

The bell tower.

The boy's chorus singing during the Via-Crucis.

Main altar.

Some other altars.

The huge pipe organ.

The Via-Crucis prossession.

I have about a zillion photos, so I will post them little by little. Hope I don't bore you.
Tomorrow we head back home, so see you tomorrow.... Bye.