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Mexico 2016 (part 1)

                            11 Feb. flights Amsterdam - Houston, Houston - Mexico City
                            12 Feb. Mexico City
                            13 Feb. Mexico City
                            14 Feb. Mexico City - Oaxaca
                            15 Feb. Oaxaca, Monte Albán
                            16 Feb. Oaxaca - Mitla - Chiapa de Corzo
                            17 Feb. Chiapa de Corzo - Sumidero Canyon - San Cristóbal de las Casas
                            18 Feb. San Cristóbal de las Casas
                            19 Feb. San Cristóbal de las Casas - GUATEMALA

Mexico City, seen from the Fontán Hotel

Alameda Park, first impressions during a city tour

Monument for Benito Juárez, who was one of Mexico's most beloved presidents

Pope Francis (Papa Francisco) arrives today

Palace of Fine Arts

The National Museum of Anthropology

Olmeca-Xicalanca - Cacaxtla bird man mural

The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán (at modern Mexico City) was founded in 1325 on a island

Templo Mayor, the main Aztec temple of Tenochtitlan

It was destroyed by Spanish conquistadors in 1521, who then promptly erected the Cathedral
roughly over it. Its actual location was discovered by accident in 1978 when electrical
workers found a piece of a large stone disc depicting the goddess Coyolxauhqui.

Aztec calendar stone or sun stone
Carved in 1479, dedicated to the sun god.

Murals in the Mayan section

Maya chacmool from Chichen Itza (see March 1st, part 2)
Statues often thought of as warriors offering a sacrifice to the Gods.
The hands form a bowl to the sky for sacrifice.

Café De Tacuba is one of the most traditional restaurants in the city

Mariachi music during dinner

Teotihuacan, located 48 km ortheast of modern-day Mexico City

The city is thought to have been established around 100 BC.
And may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries AD.
This city came to be the largest and most populated center in the New World.

Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), or Palo Volador (pole flying) at the parking

Mural at Palace of Quetzalpapalotl

Teotihuacan overview, seen from the Pyramid of the Moon
with the Pyramid of the Sun in the center

Pyramid of the Moon

Climbing Pyramid of the Sun
Pyramid of the Moon in the background

Waiting for the beloved Pope.
Catholic Christianity is the dominant religion in Mexico, representing about 82.7% of the total population

The National Palace (Palacio Nacional) is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico.
It is located on Mexico City's main square, the Plaza de la Constitución (El Zócalo).
Unfortunately not open during the Pope-visit

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
(Spanish: Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos)
The largest cathedral in the Americas

Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl Volcanoes

Omelette del Campo for lunch

Hotel Oaxaca Real in Oaxaca

Oaxaca street sellers

Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca / Ex Convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

On January 9, 1932, archaeologist Dr. Alfonso Caso discovered Tomb 7 of Monte Alban, a Zapotec tomb
that held the remains of a nobleman, along with a huge cache of treasures. Among the items found in
this tomb were pieces of jewelry crafted with gold, silver, and copper as well as jade, turquoise,
rock crystal, pearls, and coral.

Convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

The square in front of Santo Domingo seen from the museum

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán

A very nice Sunday evening in Oaxaca

Monte Albán

Traces its history to about 500 B.C. when Zapotec builders began leveling
the mountaintop and constructing terraces and other works. The Mixtec people later
entered the Valley of Oaxaca in 1200 AD and used the Monte Alban site to bury their elite.

There are a large number of carved stone monuments at Monte Alban.
The earliest examples are the so-called "Danzantes" (dancers)

Monte Alban seen from the South Platform

The Altar and a group of students

Ballgame court

In the museum at the entrance

Back in Oaxaca for lunch

Mother selling candies and cigarettes

The Oaxaca market

outside and inside

Oaxaca street life

More street sellers

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán

Late afternoon flag folding ceremony


El Árbol del Tule is a tree located in the church grounds in the town center
of Santa María del Tule in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, approximately 9 km
east of the city of Oaxaca on the road to Mitla. It is a Montezuma cypress
and has the stoutest trunk of any tree in the world.


Te second most important archeological site in the state of Oaxaca, and
the most important of the Zapotec culture. The site is located 44 km from the city of Oaxaca.
What makes Mitla unique among Mesoamerican sites is the elaborate and intricate mosaic fretwork
and geometric designs that cover tombs, panels, friezes and even entire walls.

Volkswagen Beetle
(Mexican edition)

It was in the month of June 2003 that the Volkswagen Sedán Última Edición was introduced.
This Final Edition consisted of 2,999 units for sale to the general public in Volkswagen
dealers across Mexico, while one (the last one to be produced), would be immediately
shipped to the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, testifying a historic age which
ended on July 30, 2003, when the last Volkswagen Beetle (the unit number 21'529,464) rolled
off the production line.

The Eurus Wind Farm is the largest wind farm in Latin America.

Breakfast in Chiapa de Corzo

Hotel La Ceiba, Chiapa de Corzo

Canyon de Sumidero

Canyon de Sumidero boat tour

San Cristóbal de las Casas
(Tzotzil: Jobel)

Founded by the Spanish in 1528. The city today is still the
cultural capital of the Chiapas state, and was designated
a 'Pueblo Mágico' by the Mexican government in 2003.

It has retained much of its Spanish colonial character in its
street plans and architecture,
and has a large indigenous population made up primarily of
Tzotzil- and Tzeltal-speaking Mayans.

For many visitors, San Cristóbal is associated with the
Zapatista uprising and its charismatic
leader Subcomandante Marcos, who suddenly seized control of
the city center in January 1994
demanding justice and equal rights for the state's large and
neglected indigenous population.
Although the Zapatistas did manage to achieve some of their
aims, most of their goals have
yet to be met, and the the movement continues to simmer.

Chapulines / grasshoppers

Facultad De Derecho Universidad Autonoma De Chiapas

San Cristóbal street life

Bar revolucion
A great place for drinks and lunch in San Cristóbal

The market in San Cristóbal with the best prices in Mexico

Casa Na Bolom

Home of the Danish archeologist Frans Blom (1893 - 1963) and his wife, Swiss Gertrude (1901 - 1993),
Frans was documentary photographer, journalist, environmental pioneer, and jungle adverturer.

Chapel in Casa Na Bolom

Frans Blom

Library in Casa Na Bolom

Barrio del Cerrillo, San Cristóbal de las Casas

San Cristobal central market

Latin fashion

Restaurant Tuluc, for the best food in San Cristobal de las Casas

San Lorenzo Zinacantán

A Tzotzil community, is most well-known for its church
and Sunday flower market. Men wear distinctive embroidered pink or purple tunics,
while women wear richly embroidered purple shawls and skirts. No photographs at
all of the interior or exterior of church are permitted.

God wil protect

San Juan Chamula

The Tzotzil village of San Juan Chamula is primarily known for its
distinctive church as well as its colorful Sunday market.

The church of San Juan, is filled with colorful candles, and smoke from
burning copal resin incense, commonly used throughout southern Mexico.

Along the walls of the church, as in many Catholic churches, are dressed-up
wooden statues of saints in large wooden cases, many wearing mirrors to
deflect evil. The local form of Catholicism is a blend of pre-conquest
Maya customs, Spanish Catholic traditions, and subsequent innovations.

The floor area is completely covered in a carpet of green pine boughs.
Curanderos (medicine men) diagnose medical, psychological or ‘evil-eye’
afflictions and prescribe remedies such as candles of specific colors and
sizes, specific flower petals or feathers, or a live chicken.

The specified remedies are brought to a healing ceremony. Chamula
families kneel on the floor of the church with sacrificial items, stick
candles to the floor with melted wax, drink ceremonial cups of Posh,
artisanal sugar-cane-based liquor, and chant prayers in an archaic
dialect of Tzotzil.

Snail sellers

Back in San Cristóbal de las Casas

Maya girls, young mothers

San Cristóbal central market

Cathedral of St. Christopher

The pope visited San Cristóbal a few days ago

Entree for dinner in TierrAdentro, Calle Real de Guadalupe, San Cristóbal de las Casas

next: Guatemala and Mexico part 2