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Huatulco Eye Living and Loving the Oaxacan Riviera Issue No. 8 September, 2011

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Huatulco Moment By Camille Grace Photography

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Along the Riviera...

Huatulco Indoor Soccer Team leaving for Guanajuato to compete in the National Championship

Gravity Sports Divers!

Casa de la Cultura getting ready for the new school year and workshops for the community

Alebrijes, Tangolunda

Casa de la Nona, La Crucecita

Quince単era, Sidney, ready to attend mass in La Crucecita.

In Memoriam On July 28th, 2011 Huatulco lost one its oldest citizens, Felix Ramirez Tweedy, who was born in Santa Maria Huatulco in 1923. He is survived by his wife Virginia and 14 children. He was the inspiration for the main character in the book Huatulquenos by Leonardo Dajandra.

Citizens walk to the funeral of Don Felix. Don Felix Ramirez


EDITOR`S LETTER “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

Craft villages, market towns, colonial architecture and renowned cuisine. Oaxaca City is a 35 minute flight or a scenic 6 hour drive from Huatulco.

T

ravel requires adjustment. Tourism requires carefully planning. A great vacation getaway! How many times has the image of a pristine beach, chaise-lounge and fruity cocktail been photographed to promote a destination area? Countless- could be Jamaica, the Dominican, Cancun or Huatulco. You choose the best priced package, you check all the best travel chat rooms to make sure the hotel stocks your favourite beer and offers sailing classes every morning with an English-speaking guide! You have an amazing time and return home with a tan that, despite ozone layer depletion warnings, is the envy of all your co-workers. Travel is something a little bit different. It doesn't have to be an Eat, Pray, Love kind of a commitment, it doesn't require staying in a cheap hotel and using the backpack that has been sitting in the basement since college. Travel is a state of mind. It is about changing your routine, expecting the unexpected, learning a new language and embracing the potential for self development. The Oaxacan Riviera offers a multitude of experiences that don't require a tour bus or a guide. 1. Walk around. 2. Have lunch at the Mercado 3 de Mayo en La Crucecita. 3. Venture up the coast, Zipolite, Mazunte, Escondido. 4. Visit Piña Palmera- bring them toys or school supplies. 5. Learn some Spanish.

See you next month,

Jane

Advertise in The Eye huatulcoeye@yahoo.com

Editor: Jane Bauer Writers: Marcia Chaiken, Caryl Delaney, Julie Etra, Kathy Taylor, Doreen Woelfel, Brooke Gazer, Carole Reedy, Alvin Starkman Contributors:Birgit Adamofsky, Camille McAdie Layout Manager: Johnny Gonzalez Advertising Manager: Alfredo Patiño Opinions and words are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Huatulco Eye. To be a collaborator please send us an email huatulcoeye@yahoo.com

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For Ladies Only By Brooke Gazer

L

as Damas Promotoras de Marina Huatulco hold a benefit breakfast at the Naval base ten times annually. The program is not unique to Huatulco as Angeles López de Angeli, explained “every Military post in Mexico hosts a similar event, which is open to the public and it is the obligation of the officers wives to organize it”. Compulsory or not, this small group obviously enjoy the task and tackle it with both military precision and genuine enthusiasm. It is the details that make these breakfasts exceptional and Angeles told me that they spend the entire day prior to each event seeing to the finer points including designing center pieces and organizing prizes. Their efforts obviously pay off since they consistently attract over 100 ladies every month. The proceeds go toward the Marine Medical facility where they have purchased needed equipment such as an ECG machine and ultra sound equipment, blood pressure and glucose monitors, as well as furnishings to make the facility more comfortable for patients. This would include four TVs and a DVD player. The televisions have been placed in the men's ward, the women's ward, outer waiting area and in the specialities department. The breakfast is for ladies only and is an excellent opportunity to participate in an informal local affair. While it is not necessary, the ability to speak some Spanish is helpful. Tables are set for ten, so you will immediately be part of a larger group. If you initiate conversation, it is likely that the ladies at your table will try to include you in their conversations. The volunteers make an effort to ensure that everyone feels welcome, greeting each person as they come in and circulating around the room stopping to laugh and chat at every table. Angeles and the others are bubbling over with contagious enthusiasm. Each breakfast has a theme and about every third month someone donates entertainment. This would usually be in the form of music but in May a comedian dressed as a clown did a stand up comedy routine lasting about 40 minutes. Humour can be difficult to translate but several gags were physical and even with my

limited Spanish, I was able to get the gist of it. The real delight however was simply being part of a casual group of women with a light hearted spirit where laughter was infectious. In addition to a wholesome breakfast in a beautiful setting served by military personnel, every event includes a raffle of several prizes. Your ticket automatically qualifies you for the draws but additional tickets may be purchased for 25 pesos. Prizes are donated so the number and quality varies from month to month. Normally six to ten prizes are drawn. Prizes could include: a blender, a coffee maker, various sets of Tupperware or dishes, handbags, perfume or cosmetics or services such as a massage or a haircut. Again the prizes are a nice value added touch for the 100 pesos, but what I really enjoyed was the overwhelming enthusiasm. Each time a winner was announced the whole table burst into raucous applause as if that person had just won a million dollar lottery. Everyone enjoys being a winner, no matter the prize but the real winner here is the hospital and ultimately the community.

Next breakfast is September 1st. The theme relates to the Mexican Independence Day, celebrated on September 16th. Everyone is asked to wear national folkloric clothing and an annual contest is held for the best costume. This is a great opportunity to see a wide range of native costumes from around Mexico. Reservations are required and can be arranged by calling the office of the Naval Sector TEL: 958 587 2456. Tickets are 100 pesos per person The Breakfast is held in the palapa overlooking Playa Violin on the Navy base. In Sept there will also be a DINNER and DANCE for both ladies and their escorts. Saturday, Sept 10th at 8PM. The cost is 200 pesos/person. Dress is in national costume and there will be prizes awarded for the best dressed couple in national costume as well as individual national costume. Brooke Gazer operates a B&B in Huatulco www.bbaguaazul.com

In Case of Illness By Brooke Gazer

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one of us expect to get sick when we come to Huatulco but sometimes things happen and it is reassuring to know that good modern medical services are available. The Military Medical Center on Boulevard Chahue was constructed in 2000 with its primary mandate to service military personal and their families; however it became available to the general public in 2007. As one would expect, the hospital is run with military precision. While it is a small facility, with limited services, Lieutenant Dr. Miguel Angel Marquez, says that it offers a quality of service equal to any hospital in Mexico. The Medical Center houses one surgery suite and two general wards with a total of 18 beds. In addition there are five beds for post partum patients, one isolation room, and two beds in an intensive care unit; this unit also has one neonatal crib. There is a small children's section with two beds, plus a pediatric isolation room. Finally there is a private room reserved for high ranking officers. This is more luxurious than the rest of the hospital and is available upon request when is not occupied by military staff or their family. Lieutenant Marques was particularly proud to list a hyperbaric chamber (decompression chamber) among the hospital's equipment. Most of us think of this apparatus only as something to save the lives of divers which is good to have in a resort area where diving is a common activity. However, the hyperbaric chamber is also used to treat diabetics who have problems with their extremities, people suffering from migraine headaches and in case of stroke, it can minimize the brain damage if therapy is received within a few hours. Along with the typical diagnostic lab and x-ray services the facility also offers fluoroscopy. This is a type of imaging that shows a continuous x-ray image on a monitor, much like an x-ray movie. It is used to diagnose or treat patients by displaying the movement of a body and is especially useful in treating fractures in joints. In addition to general medicine the hospital employs a variety of specialists. These include: Emergency medicine, ENT, General Surgery, Ob. Gyn., Internal Medicine, Orthopaedic and Orthodontist. Some specialists are military personnel; others are civilians working under contract who may also have with a private practice. However, by choosing this hospital, you are assured of a minimum standard of care regardless of the military affiliation. A visit to a general practitioner will run $260-310 pesos, a specialist $350 pesos and a visit to the emergency room $650 pesos. If you area admitted to the hospital, the cost is $500 pesos per day plus any tests, medicine or equipment necessary and $400 pesos for the attendant physician. While the hospital does not have a cardiologist the IM can treat cardiac events in an emergency and the hospital is equipped to administer antithrombotic drugs. Knowing how and where to access the hospital is important as there are two entrances. From 8:00AM to1:30 PM use the main entrance on Blvd. Chahue. If you attempt to enter the main entrance of the hospital outside these hours you will be turned away. After 1:30 the side entrance is open for regular doctor visits until 6:00PM.This is also the emergency entrance and the hospital is open for emergency service 24 hours. Whether your stay in Huatulco is for a few days or several years, we hope that you will not require medical service… but isn't it reassuring to know where to go in the event that you do. Brooke Gazer operates a B&B in Huatulco www.bbaguaazul.com

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The Mexican Flag, Eagles, and Cactus by Julie Etra

T

the origins and symbolism of the Mexican flag

The current shield shows the Royal Eagle in profile with

nature. The Codex Mendoza is a pictorial document,

are fascinating and instructive. The current

wings spread above the pads of the nopal cactus in an

with Spanish annotations and commentary, composed

flag has morphed over the years and has its

aggressive posture. claw rests on a flowering and

around 1541. It is divided into three sections depicting

own complex history.

fruiting nopal (the fruits are called 'tuna' in Spanish

each Aztec ruler and their conquests; a list of the

The original flag was designed in 1821 by Antonio

and are quite delicious albeit very seedy) while the eagle

tribute paid by each tributary province; and a general

Gómez Romero, a resident of the city of Pénjamo in the

devours a snake. The nopal grows from a crag that is

description of daily Aztec life.

state of Guanajuato. Since then there have been nine

emerging from a lake. Two semi-circular branches, one

official versions of the flag, with the current version

of laurel (to the right) and of oak (to the left) are united

adopted in 1986 and designed by Francisco Eppens

by a ribbon corresponding to the bands on the flag

Helguera. One can find all the nine Mexican flags in the

itself.

Museum of Mexican History in Monterrey, Nuevo León. The current flag shows a Royal Eagle (El águila real or águila caudal; Aquila chrysaetos is the scientific name). A likely reason for the re-design was that until the Olympic Games held in 1968 in Mexico City (a very big deal at the time for a developing Spanish-speaking country, and producing numerous world records due to the high-elevation environment), the Mexican flag, without the shield was for all practical purpose identical to the Italian flag with three identical colors. The rectangular flag is divided equally among three vertical bands, green, white and red (from left to right). The colors originated from the flag of the of the Army of Three Guarantees (rough translation) in 1821 during the fight for independence from Spain, with green signifying independence, white signifying religion

The Aguila Reál is a well-known bird of prey widely distributed in Mexico, known to us of course as the Golden eagle. It is in the taxonomic Family Accipitridaeaeand includes hawks and kites as well as

The eagle motif that constitutes the shield at the center

eagles. As with other eagles, it is a large bird of prey.

of the flag goes back centuries to the founding of Mexico

Despite being extirpated from previous range, it is wide

City. México-Tenochtitlan, meaning in náhuatl 'place of

spread and occurs in Eurasia and parts of Africa as well

th

the cactus pads', was founded on the 18 of July 1325,

as North American. The highest density of nesting birds

according to a number of documented sources and

occurs in Alameda County, California. Its most

populated by nahuas migrating from Aztlán (whose

common prey are rabbits (hares and cottontails).

location remains unknown). According to Aztec (nahual) religious beliefs, nahuas, mexicas, or future Mexicans left Aztlán searching for the perfect place to build a new city. The god Huitzilopochtli instructed them to build a city where they found an eagle devouring a snake perched on a cactus, Supposedly after 200 years of searching (makes Moses look efficient) the nahuas/Aztecs/Mexicans observed the eagle and nopal on a small island in Lake Texcoco and founded Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City.

It is unclear which species of nopal the Aguila real is perched upon in the shield, as there are many species, and they readily hybridize, often confounding correct identification. Non-experts often lump many of the species under the common name 'prickly pear'. Opuntia, the genus for prickly pears, comes from the ancient Greek city of Opus. Nopal comes from the nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads. The most common culinary species used for the fruit and prepared pads is Opuntia ficus-indica.

(Catholicism) and red, national heroes.

Eagles appear throughout the acheologoical pre-

The version used today is based on an adaptation of a

columbian record as important Aztec symbols and

Flag day is celebrated on the 24th of February so put than on your calendar and fly the flag in celebration.

design approved by presidential decree (President

continued after the Sapnish conquest. Note the eagle

Venustanio Carranza) in 1916 showing the eagle in

motif on the first page of the Codice (Codex) Mendoza

profile rather than looking straight ahead.

depicting the foundation of Mexico City. Codices were aztec 'books' but mostly pictoral in

EL GRITO CELEBRATION By Alfredo Patiño September is “El mes de la Patria��� which means no matter how bad things are in the country you will feel so proud to be Mexican (by birth or by choice), it is when you see the Mexican flag waving everywhere and you feel you are in the right place. In Huatulco, the festivities are held at the Agencia Municipal, behind Marina Park Plaza in Chahue. Beginning on the 13th there is the celebrations of The Niños Heroes, a memorial service to the cadets that fought to defend the Castillo de Chapultepec during the Mexican-American war. In the evenings there is the fair where you will find great real Mexican food, rides, noise, fireworks, live music and lots of fun. On the 15th is the big celebration and it is when the higher authority comes out and gives the Grito de Independencia, which is a remembrance of the “cry” that the father of independence, priest Miguel Hidalgo gave back in 1810 to start the war of independence from Spain. Wherever you are in Mexico you should join these festivities, filled with tradition and folklore.

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A Primer on Oaxaca's Fermented & Distilled Spirits: Pulque, Mezcal, Tepache & Aguardiente By Alvin Starkman, M.A., LL.B.

Left: Crushing baked agave the old-fashioned way.Right Scooping out aguamiel from the heart of a pulquero agave. Photos by Alvin Starkman

W

hile tequila is the best known Mexican produced spirit, visitors to southern Mexico are usually aware that mezcal is the drink of choice throughout the state of Oaxaca. But there's sometimes confusion amongst tourists regarding the differences between mezcal, pulque, aguamiel, tepache and aguardiente. Mezcal in Oaxaca Mezcal is produced from several varieties of agave (often known as maguey), though commercial production utilizes mainly agave espadín. The preferred method of production is to harvest the plant after 8 – 10 years of growth. The leaves are removed and the heart is baked, traditionally in an in-ground oven. Next it's crushed with the help of a beast of burden. The fibrous mash, with water added, is fermented in pine vats for 1 – 2 weeks. Distillation follows. Mezcal drips from the spigot, usually ready for sale after a second distillation. Mezcal is often aged in oak to make reposado or añejo, or otherwise altered during or after distillation to produce pechuga, herbal, or sweet mezcals called cremas. While there are large mezcal producers which use hi–tech equipment to make mezcal for both domestic and export consumption, there are probably well over 1,000 small, hillside and village mezcal producers who follow the age-old production methods. Families recount fascinating histories of mezcal production dating back centuries. While most believe that distillation was introduced into Mexico by the Spanish, some research suggests indigenous peoples were distilling before The Conquest. Mezcal versus Pulque and Aguamiel By contrast, there's no doubt that imbibing pulque was a pre-Hispanic tradition. It continues today throughout Mexico, including Oaxaca. Pulque is not “transformed into mezcal,” and mezcal is not “distilled pulque.” Mezcal is made using the baked heart of the agave, whereas pulque is produced by simply fermenting aguamiel, literally “honey water.” The varieties of agave used to make pulque are collectively known as pulqueros. The pulquero matures after 12 to 20 years when a stock shoots up. It's immediately cut down. A well is carved out of the middle. The well is protected from insects by being covering with cloth. Over the ensuing 8 – 10 hours the well fills with liquid, aguamiel. The aguamiel is removed, and the well is scraped out a bit more and once again covered and left for several hours. The process is repeated, usually twice daily, for two to four months, depending on the size of the plant and other factors.

can become virtually undrinkable, at least to the Western palate. If you encounter pulque in a market, and it's not strong enough, ask the stall owner to add some stronger pulque which has been fermenting longer. Often pulque vendors also sell tepache. Tepache – Pineapple Plus Tepache has many different formulations, some of which include mezcal or pulque. All use pineapple as the primary ingredient. Some tepache producers simply use the discard from peeling pineapple, leaving it to ferment. Others use pineapple flesh, while others add the occasional spice, and often piloncillo, a sugar care derivative available in marketplaces. The recipe of the late Don Valente Nieto, son of Doña Rosa of black pottery fame, calls for mezcal, pineapple and piloncillo being combined and left out in the sun in a glass container placed in a pit. Aguardiente is Less Commonly Imbibed in Oaxaca Aguardiente is produced in Oaxaca, though not often imbibed in the state capital or central valleys. Nevertheless at times it becomes a topic of conversation during discussions amongst Oaxacans relating to the purity of mezcal or mixed drinks which are purported to contain tequila and no other spirit. Aguardiente is a generic name for beverages of high alcoholic content. The word translates to “firewater,” since agua in Spanish means “water,” and ardiente means “burning.” It is produced in Mexico and elsewhere throughout Latin American, though known by different names depending on the country. Similarly there are different formulations. There is grain-, fruit-, and sugarcane-based aguardiente. However aguardiente made with sugarcane is the most commonly produced, certainly in Mexico, and more particularly in the coastal areas of Oaxaca. Near Oaxaca's Pacific coast there is at least one “mezcal” producer who concocts what is purportedly mezcal; but it contains aguardiente. The difference in taste is obvious to those accustomed to drinking mezcal. In the state capital, when one comes across a clear mezcal which seems uncharacteristically sweet, it may have aguardiente added. But these are rare exceptions and should not dissuade the daring becoming aficionados of Oaxacan mezcal, pulque and tepache. Alvin & Arlene Starkman operate Casa Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast www.oaxacadream.com Contact Alvin at oaxacadream(at)hotmail.com if you're considering a trek into the mountains or agave fields to learn about mezcal and pulque.

Aguamiel is allowed to naturally ferment. Fermented aguamiel is called pulque. Fermentation can be sped up by adding pulque as a starter. If pulque is left too long it

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Rico Pozole By Kathy Taylor

S

eptember 16th marks the 201st year of Mexico's

Besides its tradition as a celebratory meal, pozole really

One of my favourite Jalisco pozole joints also offers

Independence, and throughout the country

just makes sense for a big fiesta. A huge vat of the stew

platters of pickled pig's feet and onions (patitas

there will be parades and fireworks and feasts.

can be cooked on an outdoor fire, stoked and stirred

escabeche) with crisp tostadas and jalapeno rajas

Surely Mexico got it right when they picked their flag

lovingly, often through the night, to feed a big family or

alongside its pozole. Rico, muy rico. By the way, pozole

colors - red, green and white! Who couldn't make a great

a village. It is relatively inexpensive, and can be held

and all the accoutrements are known as fantastic

meal based on foods of those colors? Chiles en nogada

indefinitely, served hot or room temperature, and is

hangover cures. Pozole is also delicious when

(see recipe in August Huatulco Eye), red, white and

just plain delicious.

accompanied with sipping tequila or mescal. (Tequila

green rice, moles in a rainbow of colors and flavours,

One of the marvelous things about pozole is that it is the

before, during, after…)

tamales with a variety of fillings….all of these are

ultimate “custom” foods. There is a joke that goes,”!Ah,

Another Mexican saying about pozole is that there are

celebratory foods, the ones that are family favorites and

que Mexicanos estos, le ponen la ensalada a la sopa!”

as many recipes for pozole as there are people who love

cultural classics.

“Ah, those Mexicans! They put salad in the soup.”

it! “Hay tantas recetas de pozole como personas que lo

When I asked Alfredo Patino (Eye

publisher) what he would be eating on September 16th,

This is quite literally how you eat pozole. A tray of

confeccion.” Rick Bayless, Patricia Quintana, and I am

there was no hesitation, “pozole!”

toppings accompanies the steaming bowl of pozole, and

sure, Alfredo's mom, have delicious and authentic

Pozole, a fragrant, thick soup/stew, has many

you dress your stew according to your individual taste.

recipes for pozole, but I am sharing with you a really

variations, mostly regional…but whether you are eating

Shredded cabbage or crispy iceberg lettuce add a little

basic recipe from one of my favourite books, Culinary

green (Guerrero) or red (Jalisco or Michoacan) or white

sweetness, crisp red radishes sliced thinly add a

Mexico by Daniel Hoyer. I have a big crockpot that I use,

(Guadalajara) pozole, or pozole made with chicken or

peppery bite, chopped onions give an aromatic edge,

but I have made it on the stove as well. Also note that

seafood (Veracruz), or most often, pork, it is almost

wedges of lime squeezed into the broth brighten the

you can use chicken stock instead of water or pork

always advertised as RICO POZOLE. Eating pozole is so

taste and balance the sweetness of the pork and the

stock. And if you have never eaten patitas, come on over

celebratory, and so popular, that in many places

corn, toasted dried Mexican oregano imparts a great

to my house on September 16th, we will be having RICO

throughout Mexico, certain days are designated pozole

earthy depth, and of course toasted chiles stirred into

POZOLE and patitas escabeche.

days. In Zihuatenejo, Guerrero, Thursdays are

the caldo heat it up.

Provecho!

celebrated pozole day, with a whole street of restaurants called Pozole Alley featuring steaming cauldrons of the stuff. Here in Huatulco Saturday seems to be pozole day, with lots of local holes-in-the wall hanging out their Rico Pozole sign; a few restaurants have it on the menu all the time (Casa de Naranja, Los Gallos). So what is the deal with pozole anyhow? Well, in the beginning there was corn. “Since corn was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Mesoamerica, pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions.”

(www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozole)

Pozole, a Nahuatl word that means “foamy” is the name for dried kernels of corn which have been treated with cal, an alkaline solution, which denatures the germ and so makes for long storage periods without fear of sprouting. The cal also slightly changes the taste of the corn, which is the distinctive taste of pozole. Pozole is available to the cook in a few different ways. Dried is the very conventional way, and in many villages is found at the local tortilleria. Pozole cooked with the dry corn, often nixtamalized (the cal process) by the home cook,

will definitely be an all day affair. But

pozole is also available processed, peeled and precooked as a convenience ingredient. It is found in the refrigerated dairy case of Mexican supermarkets in a plastic pillow pack. I had a package of just this

Pozole Estilo de Michoacan Hominy and Pork Stew Ingredients 16 to 24 ounces fresh or frozen pozole (or 1 ½ cups dry pozole that has been soaked in cool water for 8 to 12 hours, then drained) 2 ½ pounds pork-stew meat or pork-shoulder meat cut into 1-inch cubes 2 tablespoons pork lard or vegetable oil 1 medium white onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped Generous pinch of cumin 1 to 2 tablespoon toasted Mexican oregano 2 bay leaves, toasted Pinch of ground cloves or allspice 1 ancho chile and 1 guajillo chile, toasted, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 chipotle chile en adobe, pureed (optional) Water or pork broth as needed Salt to taste Makes 6 to 8 servings 1.

Gently boil the pozole in enough water to cover for 25 to 40 minutes. The kernels will just begin to open up or “blossom”.

2.

In a separate skillet, salt and brown the pork in the lard or vegetable oil. Remove from the pan and lightly brown the onion and garlic.

3.

Return the pork to the pan and add the spices, the chopped chiles, and chile puree if using.

4.

Stir well and fry for about 3 minutes, then add water or broth to 1 inch above the meat.

5.

Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer 25 to 35 minutes until the meat begins to get tender.

6.

Combine with the pozole and simmer for 25 to 40 minutes more until meat is very tender.

7.

Serve this stew topped with shredded cabbage, chopped inions, radishes, fresh limes, cilantro, toasted oregano, toasted chile powder, and cotija or other sharp, crumbly cheese for garnish.

convenience pozole in my hand the other day in the grocery store when a friend passed by and said, “If you are going to make pozole, you have to go the whole way.

2x1

You have to get the head of a pig.” I know, I know. But although I have eaten pozole with the head of a pig in the pot, and although I love the cheeks, and it is definitely the authentic way to do it, it is quite a different thing to start from scratch myself. The trotters are quite another thing, however, and I don't find them so difficult, having grown up in a half Ukrainian household. We used them, pig's feet and hocks, to make headcheese (minus the head). In my gringa opinion, for a rich tasting pozole, pork shoulder, augmented with a few trotters, is sufficient.

Cold beer, Oaxacan Margaritas, Flank Steak Tacos, Burgers, nachos, fries, daquiris, pina coladas and more.....

Happy Hour 6-8pm

All house wine, beer, national drinks.


Autumn In Mexico City: A Mosaic Of Culture From The Olmecs To Pearl Jam. By Carole Reedy

S

tanley Horowitz said, “Winter is an etching,

r when pomegranates are in season, and offered in many

spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and

restaurants now. The chiles are prepared with more

autumn a mosaic of them all.”

than 35 ingredients and topped with a goat cheese

Fausto December 10. A real highlight of these transmissions are the

And so it is in Mexico City.

sauce, pomegranate seeds, and parsley--white, red, and

interviews with the opera stars conducted in English

To celebrate the 201st anniversary of the Independence

green--in the design of the Mexican flag.

during intermissions.

of México, festivities begin in the Zócalo on September

The rest of the 2011 fall season will be just as dramatic

A special treat for Mexico City opera fans: Before the

15. At 11 pm from the balcony of the National Palace the

as the start.

opera there is an informative and insightful lecture on

president of México will give the grito (literally, “shout”),

Thirty eight hundred years ago, the Olmecs, recognized

the work to be performed that day, given by opera expert

the same call for independence that was given by Padre

as the first great culture in Mexico, populated the

Sergio Vela. Lectures begin one and a half hours before

Miguel Hidalgo on that date in 1810.

southern states of Tabasco and Veracruz.

the transmission and given in Spanish at the lunario

Cries of “Viva

Their

Mexico!” fill the Zócalo as the president reads from the

colossal sculptures (some of the giant heads are 2

behind the Auditorio. Don't miss them!

text of Padre Hidalgo's discourse, followed by a

meters high!) currently dominate the halls of the

Mexico loves Andre Rieu. His October 8 concert surely

spectacular fireworks show.

Museum of Anthropology, through October.

Just a few miles away at the Auditorio Nacional, some of

museum itself is magnificent, and it takes several visits

The

will be a sellout, so get your tickets early through Ticketmaster.

México's most famous performers have been singing

to see all its wonders. Well organized by culture, the

Popular concerts take place every week. The

and dancing their hearts out (starting at 9 pm) at the

museum is extremely tranquil, especially the gardens

outstanding ones for this Fall include two concerts from

concert appropriately entitled Alegría Mexicana.

adjacent to each cultural exhibit, which offer the harried

Justin Bieber on October 1 and 2; Guns and Roses on

Beloved tenor Fernando de la Mora, accompanied by the

traveler a respite from busyness. Beginning in October,

October 18 and Mana on October 28, both taking place

Méxican Philharmonic Orchestra and Mariachi Gama

the exhibition Body Beautiful, a collection of Greek and

at the Palacio de Deportes. Pearl Jam will celebrate its

1000, heads the bill with special guest star Armando

Roman sculptures on loan from the British Museum,

20th anniversary tour on November 24 at Foro Sol.

Manzanero, author of more than 600 songs.

will adorn the museum.

The entire family will delight in the multi-faceted Cirque

World

renowned Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia

If “music hath charms to soothe the savage beast” there

de Soleil. Several performances are scheduled

Hernández has been entertaining spectators for more

will be only peace this fall in Mexico City. The city is lit

beginning October 30 and running through November

than 50 years and will charm us once again that

up with musical events of every flavor.

20 at Carpa Santa Fe. Don't be put off by the distance

evening. Musical group TIen-Huicani y Rafael Basurto-

On October 15, Donizetti's bel canto opera Anna Bolena

from Centro. Santa Fe is easily accessible by bus on

called the last voice of the Panchos-rounds out the

will open the ever-popular Metropolitan Opera Live HD

Reforma or via taxi.

evening, which concludes in the Zocalo with the grito

Transmissions Season at the Auditorio Nacional.

In

For these events and more, consult Tiempo Libre

and fireworks.

the past two years, interest in these operas has grown in

(available at kiosks on every corner) and enjoy your days

Midday on Sept. 16, Paseo de la Reforma will be closed to

Mexico City as well as throughout the world. Five operas

in the city that chilangos consider the safest in the

traffic to accommodate the traditional Independence

will finish the year, with more in 2012. New productions

country.

Day parade. This is a national holiday, so banks and

of Wagner's Siegfried and Mozart's Don Giovanni take

Carole Reedy, author of this article, is happy to answer

businesses will be closed.

place on October 29 and November 5, followed by Phillip

any

Be sure to make time to enjoy the traditional dish Chiles

Glass' Satyagraha on November 19.

carolina_reedy(at)yahoo.com

en Nogada, available only in August and September

year will with Rodelinda by Handel on December 3 and

Cap your opera

of

your

questions

about

Mexico

City:


Los Niños Heroes By Doreen Woelfel

As a retired history teacher, it is amazing what the United State doesn't teach in history classes. Those who have taught or do teach history, know exactly what I am talking about. Teaching, I spent a lot of time on events leading up to the Civil War, the Gold Rush, the Western Movement, Texas and Mexico, and that ever all encompassing epic move spurred on by “Manifest Destiny”, that need to move west was meant to be, from a distinctly American point of view.XXXXXXXXXXXX Under the guise of Manifest Destiny, the United States entered into what was considered their first “foreign” war, with Mexico, in 1847. American Imperialism raised its arms against Mexico, over land, land that held political value for Southerners and slave owners, increasing the spread of slavery at a time when slavery itself had become a thorn in the side of a “Democracy”. Texas was the flashpoint. This led to the invasion of Mexico, the surrender of Veracruz in a blood bath of civilians, and to one of the most historically significant events in Mexican history, the Battle of Chapultepec Castle, and the Boy Heroes. It was a war that gave the US a “war hero” 12th president, Zachary Taylor (who led the battles at the border), and several veterans of both countries who would make names for themselves including Pedro de Ampudia, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Ulysses S. Grant and Winfield Scott. It was this war that saw the beginning of our border issues of today, and the genesis of the unease between Mexico and the United States ever since.XXXXxxxxxxxxxxxXXXXXXXX Mexico of 1846 was struggling. It was not the best of times to fend off an invading army. Holding the border at the Rio Grande was galling as well as the thought of giving up on Alta California and New Mexico. But the United States did not meet with a unified, strong, ably led military when they invaded Mexico. Mexicans were united in their feelings about not giving up territory, if not politically aligned to meet the challenge of an invasion of 10,000 troops into its Capital. Mexico was undergoing a change of leadership. From Mariano Pareades, who initially pushed to a return of a monarchy, to Valentin Gomez Farias, a supporter of war and Federalism, and he hooked up with his old nemesis, back from exile in Cuba, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (who is a book unto himself on his role in the War,

including the Alamo, and declaring himself President a few times) in an effort to delay the inevitable. As early as 1845 Polk was rallying troops, and securing posts in strategic locations. Two major skirmishes (Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma) at the border, and the war was on. Winfield Scott landed with between 10,00012,000 enthusiastic/patriotic soldiers in the City of Veracruz, March 9, 1847, holy week in Mexico. (This historic timing was not lost on Scott, this was not a coincidence.) The phrase “...from the Halls of Montezuma...” came into being during this time. Many soldiers wrote of Cortez landmarks on their march to Mexico City in their correspondence to families and newspapers. They even wrote of the wealth of archaeological sites and artifacts, that in today's vernacular, blew them away. After two days of continuous shelling, Veracruz fell, with at least 1500 dead, and it is estimated only about 500 were soldiers. Scott moved on to Mexico City, rather easily; according to Meade and Grant, it was a shameful display of out of control American soldiers on an underprepared Mexico military, with antiquated military weapons. After spending 3 months in Puebla, Scott was ready to take on Mexico City, and the battle started August 20, 1847. The goal was to bring Mexico to its knees and capitulate to the demands of the United States to give up their northern territory. Santa Ana was in charge of Mexico City's defense at this point, as Scott came in from the south. Chapultepec Castle guarded Mexico City from the western approach. Initially a residential palace for viceroys, and to others like Carlotta and Maximilian (and there lies another tale), it had been transformed into the Mexican Military Academy at this time. Sitting on a hill, it was strategic to Mexico City's defense. General Nicolas Bravo was said to have less than 1000 men to hold the castle's position, including 200 cadets as young as 13 years of age. They did plant land mines, but they proved ineffective. The Americans started their bombing the morning of September 12, and by the next morning, September 13, they charged up to the castle.XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxXXXXXXXXXXX Rather than surrender the flag, six teen-aged cadets fought to the death. Legend or fact, one of the boys wrapped himself up in the Mexican flag and jumped

Choose your own adventure Around Town Tour.... By Jane Bauer Take a taxi to the Plaza La Crucecita (30 pesos). Step inside the church to see the paintings by Pepe del Signo. This part of town, called La Crucecita, was built in the late 1980's when the development was originally planned. Walk down to Bugambilia and Colorin and stop at the weaving shop (called telares) to see the weavers making traditional blankets and placemats. Walk back up Bugumbila stop on the corner of the main square at Zamora for a refreshing passion fruit water (agua de maracuya, 12 pesos), keep walking to the Mercado 3 de mayoquite a few stalls have mezcal tastings and there are many places here to stop and eat. 1 )Across from the market you can catch the 40 minute microbus to Santa Maria (10 pesos per person). Get off at the main plaza, it is the last stop. Here you can visit the Our Lady of Conception Church. There are exhibits in the municipal buildings about the history of the area. Definitely stop and try the tostadas that are sold around the main square- a little bit of sustenance for walking around the town before boarding the microbus and heading back to Bahias de Huatulco. 2) or catch the microbus at the main entrance to the mall, head to Santa Cruz (3 pesos per person) to watch the cruise chips, sit on the beach or stop by one of the cafes for lunch. Be sure and visit the chapel (Capilla de la Santa Cruz) the original site where the cross was placed and worshipped by the indians and where Huatulco gets its name. Huatulco means the place where the cross is worshipped and Nahuatl. 3) or take a collective taxi to Beach La Entrega . The taxis which go to La Entrega stop at Carrizal and Guanacastle. Before getting in ask “ La Entrega Collectivo?” The cost is 10 pesos per person. You will most likely be sharing the taxi with other people maybe a waiter or beach vendor. Don't be shy, this is a great opportunity to practice your Spanish! Get off at El Faro (the lighthouse). This is a beautiful lookout point. From here walk down to the beach La Entrega. This is a busy beach with restaurants and great snorkelling. Check prices before you order! For guided snorkelling we recommend Willy, just ask for him and most people will know who he is. If you get lost along the way… hail a taxi and ask to go back to the ‘Plaza La Crucecita' and try again.

from the castle and into the hearts of every Mexican patriot. Juan de la Barrera their lieutenant, and cadets Agustin Melgar, Vicente Suarez, Francisco Marquez, Fernando Montes de Oca and Juan Esutia(who wrapped the flag around himself) became Los Ninos Heroes (child heroes).XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxXXXXXXXXXXXxxxxxxxxx The United States raised its flag over the National Palace in the main plaza the morning of September 14 forcing the eventual Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to be signed February 2nd, 1848.... Mexicans gave in to the demands of President Polk, accepting the Rio Grande as the boundary of Texas, and a border for New Mexico and California, at the 32nd parallel. The U.S. assumed all debts owed to US citizen, and paid Mexico $15 million for New Mexico and California ($10 million less than what was initially offered before the onset of the war). Mexico lost 55% of their land. By July of 1848, all American troops were out of Mexico. Mexico lost between 25,000 to 50,000 people, depending on various accounts, the US lost nearly 14,000 (mostly to disease). The United States moved on to a Civil War, furthered by the very land they gained from Mexico, as it then became embroiled in the slave state/non slave state entry into the Union. And a final blow, gold was discovered in California, just a year after the Treaty was signed. Mexico moved on to more misery as well. The war bankrupted Mexico, rebellions were taking place in various pockets of discontent, the gap between rich and poor became unbearable, and Santa Anna became president for the 11th time in 1853. A civil war ensued, the War of Reform, to try to rectify injustices, and then yet again, another invasion of Mexico, from the French. The United States invaded Mexico two more times, 1914, and again in 1916, and thus Mexico's hardline against U.S. intervention was solidified.XXXXXXXxxx You can visit Chapultepec Castle today, and like all museums in Mexico City, you can see it for free on Sundays; it sits in the heart of Chapultepec Park, and has become a museum/memorial for the boys who faced certain defeat with honor, bravery, and patriotism. Check out my blog: www.doreeneliza-huatulcopassages.blogspot.com


Tuxtla Gutiérrez A Safe Place to Shop By Marcia Chaiken

A

s much as we love living on the Oaxacan Coast and shopping in our area, the day always comes when even SuperChe doesn't have items we simply must have. Many of us head up over the mountains to Oaxaca City for that kind of shopping. But a growing number of residents have discovered a secret alternative Tuxtla Gutiérrez in our neighboring state of Chiapas. Earlier this year, in March 2011, Tuxtla was recognized by President Calderón as being the first community in Mexico to receive the prestigious safe-city award from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The residents are justifiably proud. Flags announcing this certification lined the main boulevard. Tuxtla is the State capital and site of 5 universities. In some ways the location feels more like a mid-size college city in the US than a typical colonial city in Mexico. In the 2010 census, Tuxtla was home to 553,278 people, more than twice as many as in the city of Oaxaca. The demographics support a relatively large number of shopping malls, department stores, huge supermarkets, car dealers and tune-up services. Among the shopping choices are US big box stores that offer must-have supplies, including Sam's Club, Super Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Office Max. The shopping malls seem like a bit of home to gringos; they are anchored by major stores, such as Sears, at both ends and filled with large numbers of upscale boutiques. The food courts provide many choices for fast food fanatics and one mall includes a Cineplex showing a variety of Hollywood movies. For the ultimate at-home experience, one mall is across the street from a Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. Both hotels share an incredible morning buffet with excellent selections of American-style and Mexican breakfasts. But beware! Although it may seem like home, imported goods and US-style services come at a price - often higher than in the US. If indigenous Chiapas crafts are on your list, one of the best places to buy them is at the government-sponsored Casa de las Artesianas on the main drag, Bellisario Dominguez. A small branch store is located in the mall near the Holiday Inn – but the selection is not as extensive. Or better yet, drive about 50 minutes further and hit the outdoor markets in and near San Cristóbal de las Casas (the topic of a future article.)

Map of Chiapas, Dear HUATULCO RED CROSS Sponsors, Supporters, & Friends, On behalf of the ENTIRE Red Cross staff and Mision Roja, we'd like to thank you for your continued sponsorship and fundraising efforts. We are very pleased to announce that after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) we now have a new state of the art X-Ray machine, as well as a newly conditioned X-Ray room and dark room. This is just ONE of the many improvements taking place at our local Red Cross. We are constantly working on new projects and invite all of you to come take a look for yourself. Without YOU, we would not be able to accomplish this goal, and the many more we have planned for the future. Stay tuned for more Red Cross news and events. Interested in volunteering? Contact Valerie Verhalen cel 958 589 3424

When tired of shopping, there are other interesting areas to explore. Sumidero Canyon, one of the most beautiful places in Mexico, can be viewed from several overlooks a short distance outside the city. The canyon's soaring cliffs, wonderful flora and fauna, including monkeys, can best be appreciated by a boat trip on the Rio Grijalva. Launch sites are from two embarcaderos in the nearby town of Chiapa de Corzo; the town too is worthy of a couple of hours of exploration. Boat trips are narrated, but only in Spanish. Sunblock and a hat are strongly advised, as are early morning trips to see the animals most active and to avoid the mid-day sun. ZOOMAT, named after its founder, biologist Miguel Alverez de Toro, is also a Tuxtla attraction. More an animal reserve than a typical zoo, the park is home to more than 100 species of animals native to Chiapas. They roam areas maintained as natural settings ranging from relatively high elevations to lower areas. Humans are kept behind barriers in areas frequented by animals most likely to be harmful to them. However, in many sections of the park, close encounters with non-human species are commonplace. Visitors who lunch at the park's respectable cafeteria are urged to keep a close eye on their selections, since some of the native animals delight in whisking away food. Parque Madero includes three interesting little museums with informative anthropological, paleontological, and botanical exhibits. Children's amusement rides cater to the younger visitors and on hot days, the park's unenclosed fountains shoot streams of cool water high in the air and attract intrepid visitors of all ages to dash through and receive a welcome soaking spray. Although the mall food courts and Anglo-style eateries serve standard north-of-theborder food, not to be missed are the wonderful variety of tamales and other Chiapan food served in more traditional restaurants. One of the most popular is Las Pinchachas. Go there for lunch or reserve a table at night for dining and their entertaining show of indigenous dancing, marimba music and comedy. Also worth watching are the diners who are imbibing Las Pinchachas' special alcoholic drink, pumpo. Customers ring bells hanging over their tables for refills. And the folks at the tables with the most frequently tolled bells often become part of the entertainment. Tuxtla is not on a par with Oaxaca's art, cuisine and architecture. But, if your goal is shopping or a place to stop on the way to or from other places in Chiapas, be sure to give Tuxtla a visit.

Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken make the trip from Huatulco to Tuxtla once a year and return with a full car.

Canyon del Sumidero,

Sights at the Tuxtla Zoo

New x-ray machine for Huatulco Red Cross.

Photos Clockwise: Mission Red and Red Cross Volunteers, New x-ray machine, old x-ray


September

"The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple." - Doris Janzen Longacre

Ladies Breakfast Benefit at the Naval- Huatulco

Backgammon TournamentHemingway's, Huatulco

Backgammon TournamentHemingway's, Huatulco

El Saber del Sabor Festival 1st-11thOaxaca City

Irving Goldworm Exhibition La Jicara, Oaxaca City

Museum Admission is FREE in DF

Museum Admission is FREE in DF

Labor Day- USA/Canada

El Grito

Dia de los Ninos Heroes

Intensive Spanish Language Class Begins- Huatulco www.huatulcolanguagecourses.com

Copa TelmexHuatulco

First Day of Autumn

Museum Admission is FREE in DF

Independence Day

Copa TelmexHuatulco

Copa TelmexHuatulco Museum Admission is FREE in DF

Detox Fitness Challenge Begins- Huatulco www.yogahuatulcomexico.com

To announce your event for FREE on our calendar email details to: huatulcoeye@yahoo.com

VACATION HOUSE FOR RENT On the Zimatan River, close to surf spot Barra de la Cruz. 2 bedroom, 2 bath, satellite TV, BBQ, private river access

www.theriverhouse-huatulco.com WANTED Adventurous individual or couple for harbour hopping up the Pacific coast to San Francsico. Spanish speaking and computer oriented. Tentative departure from Huatulco December 1st. email: huatulcoeye@yahoo.com subject: Harbour Hopping

Free Movie, Free Popcorn Tuesday September 6 El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Argentina 2009, Spanish with English Subtitles) Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later. Tuesday September 13 Man on Fire (USA 2004, English with Spanish Subtitles) Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning In Mexico City, a former assassin swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

Advertise with The Eye! Contact us for rates huatulcoeye@yahoo.com

Tuesday September 20 Presunto Culpable (Mexico Documentary, 2008, Spanish with English Subtitles) Two young Mexican attorneys attempt to exonerate a wrongly convicted man by making a documentary. In the process, they expose the contradictions of a judicial system that presumes suspects guilty until proven innocent. Tuesday September 27 Being Julia (USA 2005, English with Spanish Subtitles) Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons Set in '30s London, the film involves stage actors and their experiences with love and revenge.



SEPTEMBER 2011