We spent over a month in Mexico. After a couple of weeks in the Yucatan peninsula we flew over to Guadalajara for almost four weeks. Our first week was in the Centro Historico, or the old city with many historical buildings and churches. After that, we moved down to Tlaquepaque. Not exactly Tlaquepaque, but a little neighborhood called Santa Maria about a fifteen minute walk south. Tlaquepaque (officially known as San Pedro de Tlaquepaque) is famous for pottery, crafts, and art galleries along with pubs, restaurants, and live mariachi. In contrast, Santa Maria is a thriving little village with lots of community spirit along with energetic neighborhood festivals.
I have many wonderful photos that capture different aspects of this contrast. Instead of a pictorial essay for a freshman writing course, I only include a few that made this experience special. A few facts for a presentation follow.
Old city building part of the renovation 40 years ago.
Museo Regional de Guadalajara if you have not seen a wooly mamoth
A silent people will always be humiliated. (Probably an antigentrification campaign)
Hot tamales in the barrio (‘hood).
A service station for all
Detail of mural showing local vendors.
Ballroom dance at the chapel.
Outside our building, blankets marking the path for penitents on knees to the chapel
My favorite sculpture by Bustamente
- Guadalajara Centro Historico is undergoing a lot of renovation. Some by government, some by businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Tlaquepaque is the home to many ceramic workshops and galleries.
- The artist, Sergio Bustamente, formed his workshop in Tlaquepaque in 1975.
- Cat spotting in his gallery at Independencia 238
- In Barrio de Santa Maria, el Dia de la Santa Cruz (May 3) is celebrated much more than Cinco de Mayo (May 5).
Back in July 2016, I visited Flores, Guatemala and Belmopan, Belize. This afforded me the chance to visit and climb among the ruins at several Mayan cities. Coming to Cancun in the Yucatan peninsula, we took advantage of visiting three different locations of Mayan cities. El Rey was just a local bus ride along the Hotel Zone and beaches of Cancun. We joined a tour to see the pyramids and central city at Cichen Itza. Finally, we moved from Cancun to Tulum to visit a final location along the coast.
In contrast to the ruins I scaled in Guatemala, Chichen Itza for some years has banned any climbing. The cities at El Rey and Tulum were commercial and trading hubs that were still active when the Spanish arrived. Although not so magnificent, the ruins here were very accessible. Chichen Itza was an administrative and religious center until about the year 1250. Current research suggests Maya still populated the area in the 1500’s but it is not certain whether they inhabited the ruins that exist today.
El Rey looking North
More Iguanas among the ruins
Detail from the Ball Court at Chichen Itza
Main pyramid Chichen Itza
Central Temples at Tulum