Mexico Traveler® 2012

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Featuring the Best of Mexico!

Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez’s World Tour

Mexico’s Movers & Shakers

Celebrity Chefs in Mexico

Exploring Yucatán

A New K’atun Begins


A World Heritage Site

Maria Conchita Alonso Does It All!

Amazing Destination: Four Seasons’ Punta Mita

Gavin Gamboa

Embraces “Musical” Mexican Roots

Jamie King

Unstoppable Billion Dollar Director


Where Shrimp & Tourism are KING

Eva La Rue

Just Back From Mexico

Greg Norman on GOLF


2012 - 2013 Collectors’ Edition


Jamie King, jennifer lopez, Marc Anthony On . . . “Q’Viva - The Chosen” . . .

Jamie King, jennifer lopez, Marc Anthony On . . . “Q’Viva - The Chosen” . . .

Tour Mexico Looking for Latin Talent!

Tour Mexico Looking for Latin Talent!

2 9 .7 million

Tourists visited Mexico in 2011

Making Mexico the 10th most visited tourist destination in the world— And the #1 favorite destination for North Americans.

The Warmth of Mexico Awaits You!

…don’t be misinformed! The media lives from sensationalism. Get All The Facts! Put negative headlines into perspective and always use your best judgment—No matter where you are — At home or in a foreign country.

MexicoTRAVELER 192
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MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 6 56 94 FEATURES 62 52 24 GAVIN GAMBOA Acclaimed Classical Pianist Embraces “Musical” Mexican Roots 38 Mundo Maya 2012 The Start of the New Grand Cycle 40 JAMIE KING Unstoppable Billion Dollar Director 42 AMAZING DESTINATION Four Seasons’ Resort in Punta Mita …A private slice of Paradise! 46 COVER STORY !QUE VIVA! the chosen A Celebration of the Best of Latin America’s Culture and Talent 52 ROBERT REDFORD “Mexico – Simply Amazing!” 56 ENRIQUE IGLESIAS/ JENNIFER LOPEZ This Summers’ Blockbuster Concert Tour 62 MARIA CONCHITA ALONSO Actress, Singer, Songwriter, Activist & Producer SHE DOES IT ALL! 66 NickSan Opens at Marquis Reforma East Meets West in Mexico City 70 WHO’S WHO IN MEXICO TOURISM Movers & Shakers Who Make Mexico the unique place that we all know and love 72 GERARDO de NICOLAS Sees A Great Opportunity to Develop Mexico & Tourism 74 GISELLE FERNANDEZ Emmy Award Winner 76 VANESSA FUKUNAGA An Advocate For Mexico 78 JORGE GOYTORTUA Flying To New Heights 80 DR. ARIEL ORTIZ LAGARDERE Medical Tourism — A Popular Choice For Many Mexico Visitors 82 ORALIA RICE Secretary of Tourism for Sinaloa 84 ANDRES ROSSETTO Predicts A Great Future For Mexico 86 ULRICH SCHWARTZ “Hospitality” Captured His Imagination! 88 OLEGARIO VAZQUEZ Leading By Example 94 ANTHONY BOURDAIN “It’s Like TUSCANY Down There –It’s Amazing!” 42

Secretary of Tourism

To talk about Mexico is to discuss history, tradition, warmth, culture, archeological zones and great wonders which make this country a unique nation.

Our country is geographically privileged and we want you to enjoy our hospitality, a factor which characterizes us on a world level.

In order for you to get to know more of our natural beauties, archeological zones, magical towns, colonial cities, ecological reserves, sustainable areas and our sun and beach destinations, the Secretariat of Tourism has developed various routes which will allow you to visit within our country.

Mexico is one of the nations with the most diversity, it counts with more than 30 thousand archeological sites, more than 110 thousand historical monuments and it occupies the fourth place internationally of places declared “Heritage of Humanity.”

In addition, some of the richness of our country includes Gastronomy, in which it is among the top five in the world, without forgetting that Mexico also holds first place for Spa Destinations in the world and the second in Luxury Tourism, all of these guaranteeing you a unique experience while visiting Mexico.

Through this publication, I extend to you the most cordial welcome and a very special invitation, so that all the readers of MexicoTraveler® will get to know the cultural diversity, history and natural beauties which Mexico embodies, namely a fascinating country, hospitable and with its doors open wide.

MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 7
MexicoTRAVELER 2012 Fall Collectors’ Edition 7
MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 8 DEPARTMENTS TOP DESTINATIONS in Mexico! 104 GUANAJUATO 112 MAZATLAN 120 YUCATAN 14 Editor’s Note 16 Contributors I 18 Contributors II 20 Should You Move To Mexico? Dave Simmons Gives You His Insight 22 HOT OFF THE PRESS 26 Editors’ Pick FAVORITE Drink at Your Favorite Resort 28 Celebrity CHEF 30 Editors’ Pick FAVORITE Recipes at Your Favorite Restaurant 32 MexicoTRAVELER ® Sweepstakes! Win a trip to the Four Seasons’ in Punta Mita 34 MAYA Facts 36 Maya Conception of TIME 90 ART… LUCILLE WONG Mastering A Silent Language 96 GOLF…Greg Norman Wanna Grow The Game? 98 REAL ESTATE… Vanessa Fukunaga Talks About The Buyers’ Market In Mexico 100 MEDICAL TOURISM Medical Tourism In Mexico GO South For Good Health! 102 YOGA Mexico’s Ever Expanding Yoga Opportunities 128 SOCIALS 140 BOOK REVIEWS Beth Purcell Cordasco reviews three great books 144 Just Back From Mexico EVA LA RUE 120 96 104 144 112
2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition Don’t be left out!!! Your competition won’t! Sales Closing Date: NOW! Call us to reserve your space TODAY! U.S. (619) 216-8035 2012-2013 Annual Collectors’ Edition 2012 - 2013 COLLECTORS’ ANNUAL EDITION Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo CEO/ Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief Pat Tyson Executive Editor Karin Leperi Associate Executive Editor/ Public Relations Beth Purcell-Cordasco Senior Editor Rick Stedman Senior Travel Editor Jeanie Casison Senior Travel Editor Giselle Fernandez-Farrand Emme Aronson Special Correspondent Editors Greg Norman Golf Editor Vanessa Fukunaga Real Estate Editor Jessica Rubinstein Mario Gabriel Rodríguez Assistants to the Editor-in-Chief Kerrie Briggs Cover/ Design Director Al Delino Design Director Stacie Gottsegen Travel Editor/ Celebrity Correspondent Michelle McDermott Travel Editor/ Europe Jeanette Sánchez Travel Editor/ Mexico/ Latin America Tere Cedillo Travel Editor Katie McElveen Travel Editor Sylvia Mendoza Travel Editor Boyd Contreras Legal Representation/ U.S. Xavier Moreno/ MD&M Legal Representation/ Mexico Allan Miller/ Allan Miller & Assoc. Consulting Art Editor/ Logo TRAVELER PUBLICATIONS A division of Traveler International, Inc. MexicoTRAVELER® is an annual publication with a twelve-month distribution schedule, edited in six languages, sold and distributed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe, South America and Asia. Reaching a highly upscale and influential audience. CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUBSCRIPTIONS: For 24/7 service, please use our Web site, The magazine assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork, or other material. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. To order back issues: (619) 216-8035. To order article reprints of 500 or more: (619) 216-8035. Printed in Mexico.


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2012 - 2013


Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo

CEO/ Editor-in-Chief

Mario Alberto Rodríguez

CFO/ V.P. Sales & Marketing

Irais Guadarrama

Brand/ Sales Manager Mexico

Benjamin Mendez

Mexico/ Latin America P.R.

Contributing Editors:

Lisa Coleman

Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Diana Rowe

Dave Simmonds

Contributing Photographers:

Russel Baer

Beth Hagenbuch

Walter Hussong

Karin Leperi

Erick Lira

Kristina Loggia

José Luis Lozano

Chris Lowenberg

Michelle Mosner

Manu Rivera

Robert Sebree

Eva Sica

Jim Berger/ Mendoza Berger Certified Public Accountants

Teri Combs

Circulation Manager U.S./ Canada/ Mexico

Francisco Vazquez Circulation Manager Mexico/ Europe/ Asia/ Latin America

Mario Gabriel Rodríguez Social Media

Angela Melo Natalia de la Rosa/ Boxell Inc. Webmasters

Marianne Martinic

Michele Martinic

Alberto Petralia

Dan Xu

Lydia Gregory Translators


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MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 12 WAREHOUSING TRANSPORTATION IN-HOUSE MEXICAN CUSTOMS BROKER Bringing goods into Mexico? Reputation unmatched in the Industry Over 30 years Experience “On Time” Scheduling Delivery at your Front Door Cost Conscious. We’ll save you money In-house Customs Brokerage Fully Insured Courteous, Efficient Service Family-run Corporation When you need it done right the first time, we offer: Let us show you what real service is all about. You have our word on it. Monica Page Luis López MEXICO Blvd. Bellas Artes #17686-16 Plaza Internacional Otay Tijuana, B.C. Mexico C.P. 23430 Tel: (664) 647-5239 Fax: (664) 647-5241 U.S.A. 2195 Britania Blvd. Suite 102 San Diego, CA 92154 Tel: (619) 661-1233 Fax: (619) 661-1631
MexicoTRAVELER® is an annual publication with over 5 million readers - edited in six languages, distributed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe, South America and Asia~ ALL year long!
a highly upscale and influential audience.
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Message from the Editor-in-Chief

It has been over four years since the inaugural issue of MexicoTRAVELER® hit the newsstands on January 2008. Since the debut, I have received numerous congratulatory comments about how stunning our magazines are – with the beautiful Jennifer Lopez gracing our inaugural cover. And now – once again we are honored to have her adorn this one. Thank You Jennifer! We also celebrate the gorgeous Robert Redford – who is currently filming in Rosarito Beach… my dear friend Maria Conchita Alonso, Anthony Bourdain – the amazing Lucille Wong and our three Celebrity Chefs; Javier Plascencia, Fredric Tadd Chapman and Angel Carbajal!

I can’t believe another year has gone by already, it seems like only yesterday we were celebrating our past cover and here we are again. The current economical climate – which seems to not want to leave us, has certainly affected EVERY known industry in the world and Mexico is no exception. Due to the sensationalism in the media, the effect on Mexico has been worse. Admittedly, the country does have its challenges, but is there any country that doesn’t? At the risk of sounding redundant, I feel we all must be careful wherever we are, whether in a foreign country or in our own hometown.

As with anything else, hard times also have their virtue, and for those of us in the tourism industry in Mexico, it has only made us stronger. Those of us who have survived it KNOW the benefits of working hard and the rewards of a job well done. This issue was – again, extremely challenging to produce – yet I’m confident it was all worth it and, in turn, I’m sure YOU – the reader – will find it extremely valuable in your search for a beautiful vacation or your future retirement destination.

There continues to be tremendous bargains for travelers who want to explore the depths and breadth of Mexico. Experiences of a lifetime can be had at the luxury resorts in Los Cabos, to royal pampering at the Fairmont Mayakoba and the Four Seasons’ in Punta Mita, to the fabulous destinations of Guanajuato, Sinaloa and Yucatán – you can read all about them in this issue. This year has been declared the Year of the Maya, with numerous special events held throughout Mexico, Central America and the world… don’t miss the numerous articles we’ve included.

One thing is for certain: GOLF is going stronger than ever. Our golf editor, Greg Norman writes about the latest trends in golf and what we must do to preserve the game – don’t miss his article on page 96.

Finally, I would like to thank my wonderful staff, writers, photographers, designers and assistants. You know who you are and this magazine would not be possible without your truly top-notch talents. And a special thanks to you – The readers and advertisers of MexicoTRAVELER® – your endorsements and support through these challenging times are heartwarming and comforting. And remember – don’t be misinformed! The media lives from sensationalism, Get all the facts! Put negative headlines into perspective and ALWAYS use your best judgment – No matter where you are – At home or in a foreign country.

The Warmth of Mexico Awaits You!


“2011 Excellence in Journalism Award”


“I congratulate my wonderfull staff and am honored to YOU! My Readers and Advertisers — For your continued trust and support!”

Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo

MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 15


Pat Tyson Karin Leperi

Born and educated in England, Pat Tyson traveled around Europe, lived for a year in Lausanne, Switzerland, perfecting her French. In search of a new life, she moved to the United States in the early 60s. Landing in Chicago, she worked for two large advertising agencies, then later moved to San Diego where again academia called and she earned a master’s in telecom and film at SDSU. She taught college journalism 10 years, as well as joining San Diego Home/Garden magazine when it was first published in 1979. As Executive Editor, Pat has written for Traveler Publications since the beginning in 1998, traveling to many wondrous spots in Mexico to write about them. The journey by train through the spectacular Copper Canyon was unforgettable; the dolphins cavorting around the boat in the Sea of Cortés – thrilling! She has never ceased to be enchanted by the people, cuisine and scenic beauty of Mexico. Now she lives in New Jersey; still loves to write – and enjoy her grandchildren.

mexican yoga retreat is about the best thing she can imagine. Beth has been with Traveler Publications for thirteen years and is the editorial director of a medical publishing company, and has written various health and lifestyle pieces for travel magazines and websites such as Travel Hat, Mexico Traveler, Baja Traveler and more. Mexico is a subject that Beth loves to write about, as its beauty and slower pace of life are two things she greatly values. Additionally, the warmth of the Mexican people cannot be matched, and, well, who doesn’t love a perfect margarita?

Rick Stedman

Rick Stedman is an experienced freelance writer and editor from Yakima, Washington. He’s traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe, and has lived in Africa and the Middle East. A regular visitor to the Baja region, Rick has written numerous golf and travel features for a variety of publications, including RV Life magazine, The Oregonian, Golf Online, Marine Digest, Snowshoe magazine, Visit Los Cabos, Best Places Northwest, and Your Health. When not traveling or writing, Rick loves to read, golf, and snowshoe. Rick has been at Traveler Publications for two years now.

Karin Leperi is an awardwinning writer and photographer with an admitted passion for diverse cultures and the natural environment. With specialties ranging from travel, cuisine and culture to entertainment, natural resources and the environment, she enjoys crafting her words and articles around images of people and places. Karin has been a Traveler Publications Associate Executive Editor for almost twelve years now and is excited about the growth and diffusion the magazines have attained.

Jeanie Casison

Beth has a Masters degree in Latin American Studies, and delights in both reading about and traveling to all parts of the region. She has traveled extensively in Mexico, from summer-long stays to study Spanish in Guadalajara (where she met her husband, in fact!), to long weekends in Los Cabos – she loves it all. Oaxaca, Tulum, and Zihuatanejo are three of her favorite spots, and a month-long

Born in San Diego, California and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Jeanie Casison was on the move starting at an early age when family trips brought her everywhere from the provinces of the Far East to the amusement parks of Florida. After graduating from New York University, Casison was fortunate to find a writing job that allowed her to pursue her passion for foreign places and reveling in new experiences. Over the years she has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North America, South America, the Middle East and the Caribbean to cover destination developments. During a brief stint as senior writer for NYC & Company, the official tourism marketing of New York City, Casison worked behind the scenes to bring more visitors to the Big Apple, where she currently resides. Casison considers watching the whales of Cabo, visiting Petra in Jordan, and shopping in Hong Kong and São Paulo, Brazil among her favorite pursuits on her growing list of travel adventures. Jeanie enjoys writing for Traveler Publications as she is a frequent traveler to Mexico.

17 • Visit us in La Ribera! Call us for lunch, a swim on the beach and a tour!


Michelle McDermott

After graduating from the University of Portsmouth, England in 1991, with a BA Honors Degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, Michelle went on to pursue her career with British Airways. The highlight of this job? Flying as a courier on board Concorde! Michelle has since lived in Florida and Arizona and is now resident in her native Scotland where she is finalizing a Masters Degree in Television Fiction Writing. Her Travel and Beauty writing have appeared in magazines and websites on both sides of the Atlantic and and you can read some of her escapades on her website at

Michelle is delighted to have the opportunity to write about her beloved Mexico for both BajaTraveler ® and MexicoTraveler ® Magazines.

Tamar Alexia Fleishman

Tamar Alexia Fleishman is a Renaissance woman. She’s based out of Baltimore, Maryland, but travels the globe in search of interesting stories.

Tamar was a child prodigy violinist: the youngest girl to solo with the Chicago Symphony. However, after earning her BA, her JD and membership in the Maryland Bar, she discovered there’s a whole world out there beyond classical music and law. She’s appeared on TV with celebrities such as Bill Maher and Peter Frampton. A foodie, she’s judged the Roadkill Cookoff and the International Water Tasting Fest. Tamar is a Kentucky Colonel, a beauty pageant winner, and has managed several Southern rock and alt-country bands. She also has a column online. Tamar is thrilled to join Traveler Publications – don’t miss her article in this issue on Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez’ concert tour!

Katie McElveen

Travel writer Katie McElveen has spent the last ten years covering the globe for publications like Real Simple, Business Traveler, Town & Country, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Modern Bride and AAA Go. McElveen’s travel adventures started at the age of 17 when, en route from

Maryland to a family vacation in coastal South Carolina, she ended up lost in rural North Carolina. She eventually found her way to Charleston and liked it so much that she eventually married a South Carolinian and moved to the Palmetto state. McElveen has always loved Mexico, from her first visit, when she was invited to a beachfront hacienda and discovered lion and tiger cubs roaming the house, to her most recent, in Cabo San Lucas, where she watched, in awe, as half a dozen whales spent nearly half an hour frolicking just yards from the shore. Although McElveen usually sticks to wine and Mexican beer (Pacifico is her favorite). McElveen is thrilled to be writing for Traveler Publications.

Sylvia Mendoza

As an awardwinning journalist for a variety of publications, Sylvia Mendoza believes in the power of the written word and that every person has a story to tell. Her passion is writing feature stories and profiles that bring out the best of people. She learns something from every person she interviews, every topic she researches—women’s issues, human interest, diversity, education, and success stories. As a Navy brat, she lived in Hawaii, Guam and later, Puerto Rico; perhaps that is why traveling is another passion—but she always loves coming home to San Diego. Sylvia serves as president of Southern California Media Professionals, is the author of The Book of Latina Women: 150 Vidas of Passion, Strength & Success, and several novels, and is now thrilled to write for MexicoTraveler ® and Baja Traveler ® magazines.

Diana Rowe

Diana Rowe is a Denver-based freelance travel writer with more than 14 years experience and hundreds of published articles. From stepping into a tiger’s cage in Thailand to zip-lining in Costa Rica to swinging her golf clubs in Scotland, Diana has traveled all over the world, but Mexico continues as one of her favorite travel destinations. Follow her travels at: OR

Diana is excited about joining Traveler Publications – don’t miss her article in this issue on Guanajuato.

Should You Move to Mexico?

It seems like a simple enough question, doesn’t it? You are at point in your life when a major change is possible. You’ve traveled to a few places in Mexico, kicked back on the beach at sunset with a cold cerveza and thought “I really like this place – the weather is perfect, prices are good, the people are amazing – yes, maybe I could make this happen.” And then, of course, most of us go back home and dutifully fall into the familiar daily grind, only occasionally allowing ourselves to remember that day on the beach and the possible plan that always seems…just out of reach .

But now, more and more of us are acting on those elusive dreams. For many that time in life has arrived when the impossible becomes the possible, the impractical becomes “just maybe.” The Baby Boomers, those 1960s counterculture rebels-in-waiting, have worked for 40 years and are finally ready to be the people they remember they were. At the core, they are still the backpackers and wanderers, the idealists and the dreamers. And Mexico, after all, is so close, and it has all those warm beaches, and history, and food carts serving those amazing mesquite tacos…just maybe.

And it’s not just the Boomers. The internet has changed everything over the past 20 years. Today you find younger gringos, many with

families, living in Mexico. They have web-based businesses they can run from anywhere, or they have started a physical business in Mexico – a restaurant, a tour business, a real estate office. They live in a Mexican neighborhood and are learning Spanish. They have discovered the concept of community, a soul-satisfying lifestyle that has all but disappeared in many towns and cities north of the border.

Moving to another country, without doubt, is a big deal, and requires a lot of research and planning. That beautiful little colonial town in the highlands seemed like a place you could call home forever when you visited for that one idyllic week last year. As did the fishing village where you spent two weeks last Christmas – well before the rainy season with all the bugs and humidity that no one thought to mention to you. Finding your spot, the place that you could live, requires that you spend some time there, summer and winter. You need to see if you can adjust to the pace, the daily life challenges, the Mexican way.

So, is Mexico for you? It is estimated that about a million Americans and Canadians live at least a few months in Mexico every year. I know many of them, and most have told me it is the best decision they have ever made. They feel safe, lead full, interesting lives, and wouldn’t go back full time to their old hometowns if you paid them to. They have discovered that it’s never too late to be that person they remember. How about you?

David Simmonds has written about Mexico for many years in various publications, has a non-profit to help small villages in Mexico (, is a Mexico Ambassador for the Mexico Today program, and has written a book on moving to Mexico

MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 20

Greg Norman Golf Academy Opens New Headquarters

This August 2012, Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy will host a grand opening for its new spectacular 9,500 sq. ft. headquarters in Barefoot Resort and Golf in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The unprecedented GNCGA headquarters will offer three indoor training bays and 52,000 square feet of practice greens with bunkers, in addition to 100,800 square feet of practice tee areas to accommodate year round programs for juniors, adults, and Tour players. Access to four signature courses from the likes of Greg Norman, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, and Davis Love III will provide spectacular training grounds for the GNCGA certified instructors to teach golfers Greg Norman’s own methodology. Follow the success of the current students and Tour players on the GNCGA web site at To secure your reservation at this amazing new training facility, click the “Book Now” button at or for more information call the U.S. office at 843399-1551

Aeromexico, Closer to You And Where You Need to be

Mexico’s global airline, Aeromexico continues its U.S. market expansion with the additional of several new routes this summer, encouraging travelers to visit our neighbors to the south and beyond. In May, Aeromexico began flying a daily flight from Washington D.C. to Mexico City – connecting the capitals and encouraging cultural and political exchange. This flight also gives passengers the opportunity to connect with the airline’s extensive network of more than 40 destinations throughout the country, so you can easily get to Los Cabos, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and elsewhere. In June, Aeromexico reintroduced its route between Chicago O’Hare and Guadalajara – a great connection between two cultural cities. And on July 1, Aeromexico began daily flights from Atlanta to Mexcio City. Meanwhile, just in time for summer and the Fourth of July, New Yorkers will receive a direct, daily route to Mexico’s number one vacation destination: Cancun. Aeromexico continues to expand its routes making it easier for passengers to travel the world with the hospitality that characterizes the airline and its home country. Visit

Baja Vacation Villas Offers Perfect Mexico Getaway

If a weekend getaway to Mexico is in your plans, you’ll find peace and privacy at Baja Vacation Oceanfront Villas in Rosarito Beach, just 20 miles south of San Diego’s International border. A perfect alternative to staying at a hotel. these comfortable rentals are a great base camp for exploring the outer reaches of this placid slice of heaven. There are many places of interest, including a nearby 18-hole golf course, great restaurants, a fabulous night life, horse-back riding, fishing, surfing, beautiful spa, a gym and massage services, and much much more. Contact for your special vacation getaway. Lots of specials are being offered this summer. Book your vacation getaway TODAY! Visit us

New Ownership for Snell Real Estate


Cabos’ Premiere Real Estate Brokerage

Earlier this year, Snell Real Estate in Los Cabos, Mexico was purchased by a group of investors headed by Vanessa Fukunaga, who is now the majority shareholder and president of Snell Real Estate. As such, she is responsible for running the company’s dayto-day operations, acquisitions, and overall strategic business expansion, including a new commercial and industrial division to be introduced in the fall of 2012. Alongside the Snell Real Estate team of approximately 30 realtors and professionals, Fukunaga is looking forward to introducing Los Cabos to a greater number of potential clients and investors. Snell Real Estate represents high-end luxury real estate in master planned communities such as Villas Del Mar and Palmilla. For more information or to see listings, check the web site at

Loreto Baja Golf Resort and Spa

New Name, Same Great Service

Loreto Baja Golf Resort and Spa, formerly the Inn at Loreto Bay, is a stunning example of Mother Nature’s handiwork. Admire and experience all that is offered in this diverse and magnificent wonderland. This property will amaze you with its natural and historic beauty. The stunning scenery, abundance of activities, and ideal weather are waiting for you. Animate your senses in the peaceful and recently remodeled Loreto Baja Golf Resort and Spa. Relax by the beach and appreciate a breathtaking sunset, or explore Loreto and admire its crystal blue waters while scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, or snorkeling. The resort’s traditional hospitality, flawless service, and Mexican warmth awaits you at Loreto Baja Golf Resort and Spa.

Hacienda Beach Club & Residences Offers Enticing Promotions in Cabo

Hacienda Beach Club & Residences exciting “First Steps to the Beach” promotion offers homebuyers many options and opportunities to find the right “home away from home” for their individual needs. Recent home sales have put Hacienda Beach Club & Residences into one of the fastest selling new home communities within Cabo San Lucas. Homeowners can choose and enjoy the sophisticated lifestyle and amenities of the various residences, signature spa and fitness center, as well as onsite renowned Hacienda Cocina y Cantina. Hacienda Beach Club & Residences is conveniently located on Medano Beach at Land’s End, adjacent the world class Marina for yachting, fishing, additional dining and shopping. Visit www. for special promotions and further details.

PGA Tour, Mayakoba Golf Classic Ink Six-Year Extension

The PGA Tour, along with officials of the Mayakoba Golf Classic and its sponsor OHL, announced a six-year contract extension through the 2018 season. With the initial six-year agreement running through the 2012 tournament that was held in February, the new contract represents a total commitment of 12 years by the PGA Tour to Mexico and Playa del Carmen. “The Mayakoba Golf Classic has been a terrific addition to the PGA Tour schedule and its success since 2007 has helped to pave the way for our increased presence throughout the region with the Nationwide Tour and the newly announced PGA Tour Latinoamérica,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. “We are delighted that OHL remains committed to the success of the Mayakoba Golf Classic and we look forward to working together to help grow the tournament and its charitable impact throughout Riviera Maya and Cancún.”

Four Seasons’ Punta Mita Offering a Daily Resort Credit

Whether you are winding up your golf swing or unwinding at the spa, discover everything Four Seasons’ Punta Mita has to offer with a valuable daily Resort Credit. Apply your credit at checkout to incidental charges incurred during your stay.

ROOM RENOVATIONS! For reservations log on to or dial 52 (329) 291-6019

MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 22

Gavin Gamboa

Acclaimed Classical Pianist Embraces “Musical” Mexican Roots

His long, graceful fingers dance on the piano keys in a rhythmic yet strong, lyrical beat. Playing with unparalleled fervor and focus, the melodious sound emanates from the piano as it reverberates throughout the venue– first with crescendo – then with intensity as the pianist loses his self to the artistry of auditory sensation: he becomes master of the moment. As if transcending time, nothing exists in the concert hall save the ghostly refrain of Beethoven and the masterful interpretation by the pianist. This is Gavin Gamboa at his absolute best as he plays Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.

For Gamboa, music is as much his passion as it is a part of his DNA: it is at the very fiber of his genes. “Both of my parents served as the initial inspiration,” notes Gamboa. “My father is a composer and a singer; my mother, an instrumentalist. My grandmother; Fina Patron, was also a wonderful composer.” As such, he acknowledges the prominent role that music has consistently played in his life, an integral part of him. “I seem to always remember having a close relationship with music. It would intrude and circulate wildly within my mind and in turn it would infused my experiences of being alive,” Gamboa recalls. He especially remembers that when he was about eight years old, music seemed to consume his every thought.

From Merida to London and Detroit

Born in Mérida, Yucatán in Mexico, Gamboa’s family would cherish their brief time here. Though memories of his birthplace are dim, what he remembers is the joy of music and how it permeated all aspects of life and living in Mexico.

His family relocated often to various places around the United States and abroad, prompting an industrious Gamboa to learn and embrace the cultural and educational opportunities where ever his family moved. While living in London, Gamboa was exposed to various styles of music, especially from the Baroque and Classical era. “London, as you know, is filled with so much immediately apparent and visceral history,” says Gamboa. “This made quite an enormous impression on my young mind because I was introduced to elements of the actual physical architectural context of this music at the same time that I was introduced to its aesthetic content; it was highly captivating.”

While in the Detroit area completing high school, Gamboa committed his self to becoming a serious student of piano. From there he would go to the University of California at Santa Barbara, majoring in music. Nowadays, Gamboa lives in Los Angeles, composing and freelancing as well as teaching music.

Known as a sensitive and studious student of the classics, Gamboa identifies with many of the attributes generally associated with classical musicians. According to Gamboa, “Attributes associated with the classical pianist usually involve an indomitable patience, an acute sensitivity to sound and

touch and emotion, perseverance and humility, and a degree of insanity.” He adds that each person approaches music in a highly individualized way, and that it is up to the individual to find his strengths. “My hands are not particularly large or ‘weighty’,” he explains. “Yet they are pliable and elongated, and I use my physiological strengths and weaknesses equally to my advantage.”

An Artist’s Inspiration

Gamboa readily admits that his sources of inspiration are varied and dispersed, and can come from things like a great novel, a sublime philosophical concept, the power and grace of great athletes, a scientific breakthrough, a conversation with family or friends, and of course, the great pianists from the past and the present. And though his inspiration springs from many sources, his focus for the next five years is focused: “In five years I would like to have written one of the large scale works that I’ve been thinking of tackling, like a Symphony or a Concerto of some kind. It’s also a goal of mine to learn to play a Piano Concerto.”

Some of Gamboa’s favorite works may reflect his style as well. “Pieces that come to mind are Maurice Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentalis, Iannis Xenakis’ Eonta, J.S. Bach’s Art of Fugue, Hector Berlioz’s Requiem Mass, Arnold Schoenberg’s First Chamber Symphony, and Leo Ornstein’s Piano Sonata No. 8. I don’t think you would catch me playing anything by Liszt or Rachmaninov, or perhaps even Charles-Valentin Alkan’s music; my avoidance in the former being more from a purely stylistic perspective, and the latter more from a technical perspective.”

Mexican Heritage

Though Gamboa has lived in many different countries; nevertheless he is constantly reminded of his Mexican heritage. “… life and music are closely intertwined and creative expression is a valuable component to a healthy life, one which is meant to be shared. It has guided me to be humble in the work that I do. In addition, I’ve never tired of channeling the calavera Death imagery so unique to Mexico. I say this not in the moribund or horrific sense, but from the idea that death is an integral part of life, and that reminding ourselves of it is something that is valid and worthwhile. I feel that a lot of music directly addresses this aspect of our humanity; as a system that aspires towards language, music reaches beyond where our everyday linguistics falls short, where our definitions come to a brutish halt, to communicate something more profound and deeper about the nature of existence: music prepares us for death, which is a beautiful thing and not something ghastly or ghoulish.”

Gavin Gamboa warms up before a performance at the Peon Contreras in Mérida, Yucatán Youtube. Gavin Gamboa Beethoven – Diabelli

Editors’ Pick

Favorite Drink at Your Favorite Resort…in Mexico

You asked us to find our favorites—and here they are…

Spicy Passion

China Grill at the Camino Real Polanco Mexico City

Serves one


2 ounces Vodka infused with a Serrano Chile

2 ounces Maracuyá purée

1 ounce Maracuyá nectar

1 dash of lime juice

Ginger Margarita

One&Only Palmilla

Los Cabos

Serves one


1 part Ginger powder

1 part Kosher salt

1 Lime wedge

1 ounce Tequila Partida añejo

½ ounce Cointreau

1 ounce ginger-lime syrup (recipe follows)**

Baja Silvana

Guaycura Hotel

Todos Santos, B.C.S.

Serves one


1.5 ounces white mezcal

½ lime juice

6 basil leaves

½ ounce Damiana liqueur

3 teaspoons sugar

4 ounces mineral water


Warm the Vodka together with the Chile Serrano in a container and place in a pan with water, for 30 seconds (this will infuse the flavors). Let it cool and then add the rest of the ingredients in a shaker with lots of ice. Mix rapidly and serve in a Martini glass. Decorate the drink with a Chile Serrano.

Margarita Chamoy

Four Seasons’ Punta Mita

Serves one


2 ounces Tequila Reposado

1 ounce Cointreau

Dash of Lime juice

1 ounce sweet Mango purée

½ ounce Chamoy sauce with Agave Honey


In a shaker combine Ice, Tequila, Cointreau and Ginger Lime base syrup. Shake vigorously and pour into a rock glass with Ginger salt on the rim. Squeeze a Lime wedge and drop into the glass.

Ginger Lime base syrup

8 slices peeled Ginger

9 qts Sugar

9 qts fresh Lime juice

Puree Ginger in Robot Coupe until juice appears. Bring Sugar and Lime juice to a boil, remove from heat, add Ginger, let cool to room temperature. Strain, Store.

Jamaica Margarita

Grand Velas Resort

Riviera Nayarit

Serves one


1 ounce White Tequila

Method: Mix all ingredients in a blender and garnish with lemon and basil leaves.

Melon Martini

Quinta Real Huatulco

Serves one


1 ounce Vodka

½ ounce Melon Liqueur

1 ounce Orange juice

½ ounce Grenadine

3 Ice cubes

1 Lemon slice


Mix all ingredients in a blender without the chamoy sauce. Decorate the margarita glass with the chamoy sauce and serve. Garnish with a slice of Lime.

Cabo MargaritaGreen

Esperanza Resort Los Cabos

Serves one


2 ounces Silver Tequila (100% blue agave)

1 ounce Pineapple juice

4 slices cucumber

1 ½ slices of cucumber (to garnish)

7 leaves fresh Cilantro

½ ounce freshly squeezed Lime

½ ounce Agave honey or simple syrup


1 ounce Xaica Liqueur

2 ounces Jamaica concentrate

Fill a shaker glass with ice, White tequila, Jamaica concentrate and Xaica liqueur. Shake well and serve in a Margarita glass previously frosted at the edge with a 50/50 mix of salt and sugar. Garnish with natural Jamaica flower.

Nopal’s Kiss

Four Seasons’ Mexico City

Serves one


1½ ounces Mezcal “Los Danzantes”

½ ounce Curacao (orange liqueur)

3 Mint leaves

2 slices Nopal (cactus paddle)

½ ounce Orange juice

½ ounce Pineapple juice

½ ounce Agave syrup


Pour the Orange juice into a martini glass, followed by Grenadine. Into the blender pour the Melon liqueur, Vodka, Ice cubes, blend until smooth and pour into the Orange juice. Garnish with a Lemon slice.

Tequila Sunrise

Fairmont Acapulco Princess Acapulco

Serves one

Ingredients: Crushed Ice

2 ounces Tequila reposado

4 ounces Orange juice

1 tablespoon Cassis liqueur

1 teaspoon Grenadine

1 Lime slice

1 red Cherry


Place the 4 slices of cucumber, the leaves of cilantro and the tequila in a container, mash with a pestle and strain. Place liquid in a shaker and add the remaining ingredients to the shaker, fill the shaker with ice and shake for 10 seconds; serve in a Margarita or Whisky glass.

If you prefer to have your Cabo Green Margarita frozen, place all the ingredients in a blender.


Blend the juices with the Nopal and Agave syrup. Shake the mixture with ice, add the liquors (mezcal and curacao) and Mint leaves. Serve on the rocks in an old fashioned glass


Cut the Nopal into a thin stick; add a triangle of Pineapple and Mint leaves to the drink. The stick is then floated on the cocktail.


Place Crushed Ice in a cocktail glass, add theTequila, Orange juice, Cassiss and Grenadine. Garnish with the Lime slice and Cherry and pour into the Orange juice. Garnish with a Lemon slice.

Jalapeño Margarita

Hotel California Todos Santos, B.C.S.

…will be featured among other Baja favorite Editors’ Picks in the upcoming BajaTraveler® – Don’t miss it!

MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 26

Ask anyone about their favorite world foods and flavors and chances are that Mexican cuisine will usually be in the top five. Known for its variety of flavors, colorful spices, and new world ingredients, Mexican Cuisine is the outcome of mixing Spanish and French influence with Aztec and Mayan culture. The outcome is a scintillating array of delectable dishes that stage indigenous foods such as corn, beans, squash, chilies, and seafood in colorful and tantalizing dishes. Here we highlight three of Mexico’s best chefs: each embrace Mexican cuisine with their very own special twists.

Javier Plascencia of Mision 19 and 11 others in Tijuana

Javier Plascencia is an extraordinary chef who knows exactly what he wants. Coming from a family blessed with a mountain of cooking skills, Plascencia is committed to using his culinary prowess to help reinvent Tijuana. And having recently won a major award at the Baja Culinary Fest presented by President Felipe Calderon, he is just the right person to make it happen. His concept is that food can help rebuild Tijuana by drawing visitors who seek top-notch Mexican culinary experiences. In other words, he wants to revitalize Tijuana through gastronomy.

Born and raised in Tijuana, Plascencia’s culinary style is to combine indigenous flavors with creativity and zest. In fact, he is one of the first chefs to label his cuisine as contemporary “Baja Mediterranean.” This is an interpretive cuisine that focuses on creating savory experiences that linger long after. The outcome is that customers keep coming back for more, drawing from both sides of the border.

Mision 19, a family-owned restaurant, is located in the Zona Río business district - the heart of Tijuana. The restaurant concept is based exclusively on Baja California products with Chef Plascencia’s menu featuring flavorful artisanal food and drink sourced within a 120 mile radius, on both sides of the border

Angel Carbajal of NickSan in Cabo San Lucas, Palmilla, and Mexico City

Chef Angel Carbajal has a reputation for demanding perfection and precision in the kitchen: He is a consummate chef when it comes to minding the details. Yet with all that exactness, Chef Carbajal believes in allowing space for innovation. His motto is: “Creative, innovative and at the same time keeping it simple!”

Some of his laser-like focus may stem from studying Industrial

Mechanics engineering in college. At the time, he never dreamed he would find a career in cooking. But when he moved to Baja, he found inspiration and solace in the ocean. Today, he still looks to the ocean for his source of inspiration in the kitchen and in his life.

He is known for his creative fusion of dueling cuisines and complementary flavors – sushi with a Mexican note – perhaps a long one. By insisting on freshness from the sea and innovative Mexican touches like habanero chile, onion and cilantro, Chef Carbajal along with his co-owner Chef Masayuki Niikura, serve up flavors of a Japanese/ Mexican marriage that brings out the best in each.

His new concept is a restaurant for women where everything is healthy, light, and nutritious, with proper portions for weight maintenance. “We’ll work with organic products and carbons, grilling, steaming and moving away from fried foods.”

Fredric Tadd Chapma n of Don Sanchez and Habaneros in San José del Cabo

Owner and Executive Chef Fredric Tadd Chapman, a CanadianMexican chef with a penchant for innovative fusion, is known for Nuevo Mexican dishes, great quality and reasonable prices. His focus is on contemporary dishes prepared from scratch daily, with locally-sourced ingredients and imported products of the highest quality. It’s all about quality control and Chef Chapman can usually be seen around the kitchen monitoring his creations or in the restaurant mingling with customers and finding out just what they liked and why. He’s a “hands-on” owner/chef who cares deeply about his guests.

“My Mexican Fusion cuisine focuses on fresh foods featuring bold flavors that combine Mexican ingredients and ideas with local and international flavors,” says Chef Chapman. His fusion includes Mediterranean, French and Asian cuisines along with Pacific Rim and traditional Mexican.

The upscale Don Sanchez and its more casual sister restaurant Habaneros, reflect the exacting standards of Chef Chapman with a stringent focus on quality ingredients and a hallmark of friendly service. Maybe that’s why both restaurants always draw the crowds. The smaller Habaneros is frequented by many locals and expats who enjoy the same level of innovation from the Chef Chapman’s kitchen at a more moderate price point.

MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 28
MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 29

Editors’ Pick

Favorite Recipe at Your Favorite Restaurant…in Mexico Filet Mignon With Rosemary Port

Beef Stock


6½ lbs. (or 3 kg) veal or beef bones

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 head of garlic

4 bay leaves

1 bottle red wine (merlot preferred)

2.11 gallons (8 liters) water

Fresh herbs (bouquet garni — suggest thyme and rosemary)

10 black peppercorns

(Salt may be added after liquid reduced)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roast bones in pan for approximately 1½ hours until golden brown. Take care not to burn the bones. In a large stock pot, heat about 1 cup of the beef fat that came off the bones. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add celery and carrots, sauté another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are golden brown. Be careful not to burn anything (burnt=bitter). Add tomato paste and bay leaf and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pot with 2/3 of the red wine, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Deglaze the roasting pan with the remaining red wine and add it to the stock pot. Add bones to the pot (discard fat) and water. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3½ hours. Add fresh herbs

Chirashi Sushi


5 ounces Japanese sushi rice (recipe follows)

½ ounce Maguro/Tuna

½ ounce Shiromi/Seabass

½ ounce Tai/Red Snapper

½ Sake/Fresh Salmom

½ Tako/Octopus

½ ounce Sawara/Wahoo

½ piece Ika/Squid

1 teaspoon Ikura/Salmon egg

1 piece Ebi/Shrimp

1 piece Kani Kama

1 Piece Hokky Clam

Demi Glace

and simmer for 30 minutes more. Cool and strain through a sieve. Yield approximately 1 gallon.


Tip: Place in refrigerator, when cold you can remove the fat off the top.)

Save the fat for later use.

For the Demi-Glace

“You can find good Demi-Glace products in the grocery store, but nothing compares to making your own base for this sauce,” advises Chef Chapman. “Also, there are different ways of arriving at a great Demi-Glace, I find that this route is the simplest. The main part of this sauce is a reduced beef stock, seasoned with some fresh herbs and vegetables.”

Rosemary Port Demi-Glace Sauce


2 tablespoons beef fat

1 cup chopped shallots

½ cup chopped carrots

½ cup chopped celery

2 Portabella mushrooms, chopped

½ cup Port

½ cup Red Wine

8 ½ cups (2 liters) beef stock

Bay leaf


Place 2 tablespoons beef fat in a large saucepan and heat at medium-to-high heat. Sauté shallots, celery, carrots and mushrooms until shallots are transparent and carrots start to brown, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Deglaze with Port and Red Wine. Add beef stock and reduce until the sauce begins to coat the back of the spoon. Add herbs and reduce at low heat for approximately another

Serves one


In a bowl place the marinated sushi rice and on top place the cucumber, appealingly arrange the fish and seafood. The squid is rolled with a piece of Nori and cut into three pieces to display with the rest of the seafood.

Serve with Soy sauce and wasabi on the side.

Preparation for the Rice Vinegar

8 ounces Japanese Rice

30 ounces (2¼ cups) water

6 ounces prepared rice vinegar

1. Wash the rice until water runs clear, let settle in the clear water for 10 minutes.

½ piece Nori/Seaweed, cut in very thin strips to decorate the seafood and fish

1 ounce Cucumber, peeled and sliced very thinly

Soy sauce


Ahi Tuna Parfait


Merengue de Aguacate~avocado mousse (recipe follows)

Ahi Tuna

Cucumber tartare (recipe follows)

Spiced Mexican sour cream (recipe follows)

Soy sauce gelée

Fried pork skins, ground (sand)

Sea Beans

Merengue de Aguacate (Avocado Mousse):

1 ripe avocado

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1-2 teaspoons kosher salt

Cut avocado in half, remove seed, scoop out of the peel, blend until mixture is smooth.

2. Drain the rice and place in a rice maker, add 39 ounces water, set the rice maker to cook for 20 minutes.

Serves four

15 minutes. Remove from heat when liquid coats the back of the spoon easily. Allow to cook and skim excess fat off the top. Yield approximately 2-3 cups.

Pommes Frites


2 russet potatoes (washed, skin on)

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ pepper

Canola for frying


Cut the potatoes with a mandolin or very sharp knife into pieces the size of a toothpick or match (julienne). Store in cold water until used. Heat oil in deep fat fryer to 350 degrees F. Drain potatoes and fry until golden and crisp. Remove from fryer and place in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain off excess fat. Toss with rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.

Swiss Chard


4 cups fresh Swiss chard (or spinach) deveined and chopped

½ cup shallots, finely diced

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat butter in a non-stick pan. Sauté shallots until transparent. Add Swiss chard and sauté until they begin to soften (1-2 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Filets


4 center cut filets (8-9 ounces or 250 grams each)

½ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sea salt

Rosemary for garnish


Preheat Grill/BBQ for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking. Just before cooking, coat with olive oil and rub with salt and cracked pepper. Grill at high heat, rotating every 2 minutes to mark all sides of the steak and to cook evenly.

Remove from grill at medium rare and allow to rest at room temperature for a few minutes (if juices begin to come out on their own, the steak is medium.)

To Serve:

Place ¼ of the cooked Swiss chard in the center of a white plate. Carefully spoon demi-glace around the chard.

Place one filet over each bunch of chard. With your hands place a small bunch of rosemary potatoes over each filet, trying to balance the potatoes on top of the filet. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary if desired.

Serves four

Ahi Tuna:

3 ½ ounces fresh ahi tuna steak

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Zest of 1 lime, grated

Kosher salt, to taste

Cut the tuna into ¼-inch dice and place in a bowl with the olive oil, lime zes and salt.

Cucumber Tartare:

1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro

1 Persian cucumber (if not available, use any kind of fruit)

1 tablespoon minced red onion

Finely dice the cucumber, red onion and add the cilantro.

3. When the rice is cooked, place in a Hangiri (wooden round container) and add the prepared vinegar (recipe follows) and mix with a wooden spoon to blend thoroughly. Wait for 5 minutes.

4. Place the rice in a rice warmer to keep warm. (It is very important to keep the rice warm.)

Rice Vinegar

32 ounces Rice vinegar

8 ounces salt

12 ounces sugar

Mix with a hand blender until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

Mexican Sour Cream

1 cup Mexican sour cream

Freshly-ground black pepper

Coriander seed

Grind the black pepper and coriander seed and mix together.

Soy Sauce Gelée:

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

2 ounces soy sauce

Pour soy sauce into a bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Heat in a small saucepan of medium-high heat 3 minutes or until well blended and thoroughly heated. Chill 2 hours.

Assembling the Parfait: Place one quarter of the “merengue” in a parfait glass (or any glass) and top with Ahi Tuna. Add one quarter of the cucumber, one quarter of the gelee, one quarter of spiced Mexican sour cream—forming layers. Top with pork skin “sand” and sea beans

MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 30
Angel Carbajal NickSan, Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City

Win a 4-day, 3-night


for two at Four Seasons’ Punta Mita SWEEPSTAKES

Your MexicoTRAVELER’s Sweepstakes Package Includes:

• Round-Trip AIR Transportation for two via AeroMexico from any destination in the U.S.

• 4-day, 3-night accommodation at Four Seasons’ Punta Mita

• A Round of Golf for two

• A car rental

Sweepstakes Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Entries must be received by December 2012. Entrants must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada and 21 years of age or over as of date of entry. One entry per person. Not responsible for late, lost, postage due, illegible or misdirected mail. Mechanically reproduced entries not eligible. Entries must be on official entry form or on a 3x5 card with name, address, e-mail, daytime phone and age. Sweepstakes winner will be selected in a random drawing of all completed entries on or around February 2013 and contacted by MexicoTRAVELER® promotions department by phone or mail. One grand prize winner will be awarded a 4 day-3 night stay for two at Four Season’s Punta Mita. Two rounds of golf, a car rental upon arrival for the 4-day stay and two round-trip coach tickets from AeroMexico (from the U.S. to Mexico.) Employees of Traveler International, Inc., promotional partners and agencies and immediate family are not eligible. No cancellation or transfer of reservation to another date after reservation has been made. Income and all other taxes, if any, on prize are the sole responsibility of winner. Acceptance of prize constitutes consent to use winner’s name and likeness for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes. Winner and travel companion may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/ Publicity release, which must be returned ten days from date of notification or an alternate winner may be chosen. Entries become the property of Traveler Publications and will not be acknowledged or returned. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. All expenses other than those mentioned above must be assumed by the winner; i.e. meals, taxes, gratuities, transportation and incidentals. The prize is non-transferable and must be redeemed between February 2013 and December 2013. No extensions will be granted. All reservations are subject to space availability and are restricted to off-holiday periods. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsors not responsible for damages, losses or injuries sustained as a result of acceptance use of any prize.

MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 32

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MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 33 MexicoTRAVELER® SWEEPSTAKES
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Celebrating the Maya…13 Fascinating Facts

This year has been declared the Year of the Maya, with numerous special events planned throughout Mexico, Central America and the world to celebrate Mayan culture and the end of its Long Count Calendar, which occurs on December 21, 2012. In the spirit of the celebration, and with a bow to the Mayan belief that 13 is a sacred number, let’s take a look:

1. Mayans conceived of time cyclically, as cycles that rise and fall. In Maya cosmology cyclical time ran concurrently with linear time.

2. The ancient Maya believed that their kings were embodiments of time.

3. Many Mayan children were named according to the day they were born. Each day had a specific name for both boys and girls.

4. The Mayas were masters of astronomy; they accurately tracked the sun, the moon and Venus.

5. The Maya used a number system based on 20, and they were the first in the world to use zero.

6. Historians now think that the Maya were producing rubber products about 3,000 years before Goodyear received his patent in 1843.

7. They had an advanced writing system made of 800 different glyphs; the signs were either logograms (to express meaning) or syllabograms (to denote sound values), and were combined to write words, phrases and sentences.

8. Jade was the most prized possession of the Maya, more coveted than silver or gold.

9. Mayans thought that flat heads (with a forehead that sloped back), crossed eyes and elongated ear lobes were beautiful. They also filed their teeth and decorated them with jade.

10. They used sweat baths, intoxicating enemas, and were the first true chocolate aficionados.

11. The Maya played a fast-paced ball game called Pok-a-tok, in which players tried to get a rubber ball through small stone hoops on opposite court walls. It’s thought that the game symbolized the struggle of life and death, and sometimes involved human sacrifice.

12. Around 900 AD the major Mayan centers, including Palenque, Tikal, and Copán were mysteriously abandoned. The reasons are still unknown.

13. The Maya are not only people of the past; there are estimated to be over seven million Mayans living in what is today southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Maya Conception of Time

The Maya kept track of time through the use of three inter-related cycles. Two of the three calendars they used, the Maya sacred calendar (Tzolk’in) and the Mayan secular calendar (Haab’), were combined to make up the Calendar Round.

The sacred calendar (Tzolk’in) was the most important. It was prevalent across all Mesoamerican societies, and continues to be used in some parts of Oaxaca and the highlands of Guatemala. It consists of 260 days, divided into 13 periods of 20 days each. The secular calendar (Haab’) was the solar calendar of the Maya, and similar to our calendar in that it has approximately 365 days. However, it’s divided into 18 months of 20 days each, with 5 extra days left at the end of the year. Every 52 years the Calendar Round cycle repeats.

The Calendar Round is sometimes also referred to as the Short Count. Because the Short Count measured time in an endless loop, it was a poor way to mark events that were far in the future. Therefore, the Maya also had a Long Count calendar, which they used to track longer periods of time, and for the inscription of calendar dates. The Long Count calculates dates based on a fixed point in time, some 5,000 years ago. It begins in 3114 BC and marks time in roughly 394-year periods known as baktuns (b’ak’tun). The Long Count, like the Short Count, cycles through one interval after another, but its intervals are much longer. A cycle is equal to 13 b’ak’tuns, or about 5,125 solar years, and is known and a Grand Cycle.

Two stones carved over 1300 years ago, located in the current-day state of Tabasco, state that at the end of thirteen b’ak’tuns a god, the “Lord of Light,” will descend from heaven and the Grand Cycle will be completed. This is the end of the Long Count calendar, which correlates to December 21, 2012. (Or some say December 23, 2012.)

So, there you have it. This December 21st marks the end of the Mayan Long Count Grand Cycle, not doomsday. December 21st is simply the day that the calendar will move on to the next b’ak’tun. According to Mayan scholars, the beginning of the new cycle would be a time of celebration, much like our welcoming in of a new century or millennium. So come this winter solstice don’t fret, fete!

2012 is the Year of the Maya, with special events scheduled throughout the year in Mexico, Central America and other parts of the world. In Mexico, events will take place in Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Yucatán and Mexico City.

Ancient Mayan rites like the Kilich K’a, the ceremony of sacred fire, in Uxmal and the representation of the Mayan ball game, Pok ta Pok, in Edzná are two of the coming attractions. As are a Mayan epigraphy (glyph reading) seminar in Villahermosa and a traditional Maya medicine encounter at the Regional Museum Carlos Pellicer Cámara.

To celebrate the astronomical acumen of the Maya, various astronomical events are planned, including the perihelion of the earth in relation to the sun (maximum closeness of the earth to the sun) and the moon at zenith in Mérida, and the fall and spring equinoxes at Chichén Itzá and Dzibilchaltun.

Cultural events abound, including a “Canek” ballet performance, “Canek” symphonic poem, and “Birth of the Fifth World, and the new Baktun” dance performance in Mérida. There also will be a meeting of writers of the Mayan world in Campeche and the 6th Regional Meeting of Writers in Villahermosa.

If none of the above grab you, how about this one: “Chocolate Festival: Mayan Legacy,” which is to be held in Villahermosa, November 22 - 25.

The Grand Finale, commemorating the end of the Mayan Long Count, will be held at Chichén Itzá on December 21, 2012. This is expected to draw thousands of spectators, and would be a truly amazing way to welcome in the start of the next Grand Cycle.

For more information, go to: n

MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 38

he archaeological remains of the Maya are the legacy of one of the greatest civilizations of the world; they reveal its archives, secrets and marvels to all who visit. Amazingly, Mexico has more than 1,500 archaeological zones, many of which are open to the public.


Chichén Itzá — Is arguably the most important and best-preserved archaeological site of Mayan culture. It flourished from approximately 750 - 1200 AD. It’s located in Yucatan, mid-way between Mérida and Cancún, and has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. It was also recently named as one of the New Seven Won ders of the World. It measures five square ki lometers and is 20% excavated. It is one of the richest sites in terms of monuments. Important sites of interest are the Sacred Cenote, the Thousand Columns building, the Temple of the Warriors, the Ball Court, and most famous, the Temple of Kukulcán. On the spring and fall equinox at the Temple of Kukulcán the light moves over the steps in such a way that it appears that a snake is descending down to earth to join the stone serpent head at the base of the great staircase.


remains. And yes, we’ll help you! The Mayan archaeological sites considered by many to be most important are: Chichén Itzá, Palenque, Tikal, and Copán. And we’re going to throw in Tulum for good measure, as it is one of the most visited sites due to its proximity to Cancún and the Riviera Maya.


So yes, you probably should know more about Mayan archaeologicalMAYAN REGION •





Palenque — was the most important city of the western lands during the late Classic period, reaching its peak between 600 - 800 AD. It was the home of one of the most powerful Mayan dynasties. Palenque is very well preserved and has myriad hieroglyphics, many in the Temple of Inscriptions, where the tomb of Pakal the Great was found. The inscriptions tell much about Mayan history, which makes it an important site of archaeological study. Surrounded by forests and often partially veiled in fog, the ruins are among the most beautiful in Mesoamerica. Palenque has also been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Tulum is located on the coast in the state of Quintana Roo, it was built around the year 1200 and is the best example of the Mayan eastern coast style. You often see gorgeous photographs of Tulum because the ruins are situated on 12-meter-tall cliffs over the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Tulum was one of the few Mayan settlements that was still occupied when the Spanish arrived in 1518. It is relatively compact compared to other Mayan sites. The three most celebrated structures on the site are El Castillo, The Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God.


Tikal — is located in the Peten region of Northern Guatemala. It is the largest excavated site in the American continent, and sits on 222-square miles of protected national park land. It was inhabited from about 800 BC to 900 AD; it was the largest city of the Mayan Classic Period. It includes more than 3,000 excavated structures extending over 6 miles (with an estimated 10,000 still unexplored). The most important structures are the Great Plaza, the Temple of the Great Jaguar, Temple of the Masks, Temple of the Jaguar Priest, Temple of the Double-Headed Serpent, and Temple of the Inscriptions. The Temple of the Inscriptions was the second largest structure in the New World until the first skyscrapers were built in North America (the tallest was at El Mirador, 55 km north of Tikal). Tikal has also been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.



Copán is located in the western part of Honduras, close to the border of Guatemala, and was the dominant city in the south of the Mayan territory. Although it was occupied for more than 2,000 years, Copán’s golden age was from 400 - 850 AD. This site is unique in that there are more than 3 kilometers of archaeologists’ tunnels, representing the largest example of “arthroscopic archaeology” in the Mayan world. The longest text in the pre-Colombian Americas the Hieroglyphic Stairway is located at Copán, on a stone staircase built on the side of a 30-meter high pyramid. Other important features are the ball court, the well-preserved Rosalila (roselilac) Temple and the tombs of several of Copán’s rulers. It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1980.

MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 39 Tulum Copán• •Tikal Chichén Itzá• Yucatán Quintana Roo • Palenque
Mayan archaeological site cheat sheet


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Unstoppable Billion Dollar Director

Jamie King recalls that it was about three years ago when Simon Fuller and he got together and came up with a project concept they knew just had to be done: For no one else had. It would capture both their passions for Latin music and culture and would serve as a showcase for emerging talent. That concept gave birth to ¡Q’Viva! – The Chosen, a new entertainment Latin talent reality series that travels the length and width of Latin America in search of some of the best music, dancing and performances to be found today.

At the time Jamie King and Simon Fuller were sketching out the series, they wanted Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as partners: Both were married to each other at the time. Today they aren’t and they have found other amours. Despite the additional challenges, Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment proceeded with the Latin-esque version of American Idol, with Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Jamie King as hosts as well as executive producers. Jamie also co-starred in the series and directed the stage show.

Jamie brings his unique background as a dancer, choreographer, and tour director to the stage of ¡Q’Viva! by helping select and mentor the cast, then design the right format for each performer. The result is a live celebration of Latin culture like none other. Qualities that Jamie looks for in contestants includes, “spirit, passion and dedication. Ultimately, I know that I’ve chosen wisely when I am moved by someone’s performance.”

With over 30 million viewers each week, ¡Q’Viva! is an international hit. The series has traveled to an epic 21 countries in search of talent that ranges from musicians, singers, dancers and performers to acrobats. Filmed in three languages, (Spanish, Portuguese, and English), and televised on Univision and Fox TV, ¡Q’Viva! is considered to be one of the biggest new international TV shows for 2012. However, only 50 chosen ones participated in the final live show, a production extravaganza which took place this past May 26th in Las Vegas — which featured 52 performers plus special performances by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

Born with Grit

Born to adversity, his gift from life’s edge is unstoppable grit and stamina; gifts that would help distinguish and define him as a master artisan. Jamie realized his ambitions through sheer determination, a hungriness that gave him a sharp advantage over some of his more privileged competitors. Obstacles are but challenges and only serve as rallying cries to rehearse more, work smarter and push harder. Some refer to his dancing, choreography and producer skills as nothing short of genius: He likes to see it as an outcome of creative inspiration from such legends as Michael Jackson, Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire,

and Debbie Allen and plenty of hard work.

Jamie was born in the mid-western town of Verona, Wisconsin to a Caucasian mother in her teens and an African-American father who would abandon his son by the age of 5. Young Jamie would work at odd jobs to help his mom make ends meet, from making pizzas to cleaning offices. And in between school and work, he would secrete himself to the basement, studying and teaching his self Michael Jackson dance moves from MTV videos; rehearsing dance moves until they felt poetically forceful and yet flowed naturally.

By the age of 16, his hard work paid off when his dance career catapulted to the fast track after winning contests and scholarships that eventually landed him in Los Angeles. It was here where Michael Jackson would single out Jamie, hiring him as a dancer for his 199293 world tour “Dangerous.” Later, Jamie would hone his craft with Prince, and gain further recognition for his creative productions by directing singer Ricky Martin’s first U.S. tour.

Billion Dollar Pop Director

Jamie is not one to sit idly by while enjoying success, as he is happiest and most creative when multi-tasking and working hard. So, no surprise that he is immersed in writing and directing the upcoming Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show set to open in Las Vegas in May 2013. This will be a permanent show at Mandalay Bay. Jamie also wrote and directed the just-launched Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour – currently on tour.

He is also an indispensible part of Madonna’s team, serving as creative producer of Maddona’s just launched tour. Prior to that, he directed Madonna’s stupendous half-time performance, her Sticky & Sweet world tour and her record-breaking Confessions world tour. He served as director and choreographer for Madonna’s Re-Invention and Drowned World Tours and as director for “Sorry” – a hit music video. He is currently directing Jennifer Lopez’ tour which launches mid-June.

By 2011, Jamie had directed nineteen pop music tours with a combined box office closing around two billion dollars. An Emmy Award® and MTV Video Music Award® nominee, his list of working with the stars reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood: including Mariah Carey, Shakira, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Ricky Martin, Spice Girls, George Michael, Elton John, Diana Ross, Jennifer Lopez, Avril Lavine and even Ellen DeGeneres.

Small wonder why Jamie is known as the “Billion Dollar Director.” His innate talent, true grit, and sheer determination have combined to make him an unstoppable force in pop dance and production - a legend-in-the-maki ng.

Amazing Destination:

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Whatever the raison d’être, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita Mexico is the ideal destination for anyone in search of an escape to a private slice of paradise, hence why we have selected it as an Amazing Destination! Opened on September 1, 1999, the resort is located within the 1,500-acre master-planned development; the property gives Four Seasons its first resort in Mexico and its second vacation ownership venture

The property includes 141 guest rooms, called Casita Rooms, and 32 suites that range from Executive Suites with king-size bedroom, connecting bathroom, spacious sitting room, powder room, private bar and plunge pool to a number of larger suites according to guests’ needs. Furthermore, recognizing an increased trend across the luxury market in traveling with an entourage, the resort’s 9,150 square feet Coral Suite offers unparalleled privacy and exceptional amenities. Unique features include a fitness center, spa and private theater, among a large number of fabulous amenities. It also boasts its own drive-up entrance and parking as well as a Personal Host to assist guests throughout their stay.

“Entourage travel is a growing segment, not only among celebrities – of which we certainly get our share – but also among families and business groups,” says General Manager John O’Sullivan. “Those typically traveling with an entourage seek privacy, luxury and the finest experiences the resort has to offer. The location, design and amenities of Coral make the suite an ideal getaway for these guests.”

The spacious accommodations throughout are housed in quaint tile roofed Mexican-style casitas of one, two and three stories, furnished in the style of a luxurious Mexican home and fitted with modern conveniences. The buildings are low-rise, in keeping with the surrounding natural environment and architectural style of the coastal region. Guest rooms feature stunning, breathtaking ocean views of white-sand beaches and natural islands from private terraces or balconies, taking advantage of the resort’s setting along the “Mexican Riviera.”

For the golfing enthusiast, two Jack Nicklaus-designed champion golf courses with many ocean-side holes are exclusively available for guests. An optional par-3 will challenge the most avid golfer. This dramatic “19th hole” is located on the mainland; the green is on a natural island 199 yards offshore on a rock outcropping. The ocean-side clubhouse contains a pro shop as well as food and beverage facilities.

The second course features stunning lakes and water features, some meandering through multiple holes. The Bahia Golf Course offers undulating fairways and greens that will challenge a player’s short game. Located on peninsular jutting into the Pacific Ocean, Punta Mita offers a beautiful natural landscape, with a signature hole from which is displayed magnificent views of Bahia de Banderas.

“You would be hard-pressed to ask for a more beautiful backdrop for a golf course than Punta Mita,” remarked course designer Jack Nicklaus. “The Punta Mita Golf Courses provide all of the challenge and exhilaration that players demand of a world-class resort, combined with the pure

magic of ocean views, varied landscapes, and a unique environment.” Five sets of tee boxes offer play from 5037-to-7014 yards, making the courses enjoyable for both beginners and seasoned golfers.

“Guests absolutely love the courses, “says Golf Director Phil Ferrari. “They’re a great driving course, with a good mix of par 3, 4 and 5s.” He adds that women especially enjoy the courses, with many commenting that they have shot their best game ever at Punta Mita.

Additional facilities include a tennis center nestled in a grove of palm trees with ten illuminated courts for night play. Five are hard-surface courts for a faster-paced game and the other five are sand-filled synthetic grass that afford a softer, slower pace. Complimentary ice-water, chilled towels, misters and hand towels are placed courtside.

Swimmers can enjoy the large, free-form Nuna Pool , which includes a whirlpool and two white-sand beaches. The Tamai (“star” in the Huichol Indian language) Pool complex is an adult-oriented setting consisting of two main pools, two plunge pools for cabana guests, an oversize Jacuzzi, a full bar and ten private cabanas. The Lazy River encircling the Oasis complex has a mild current, which enables guests to drift around on a variety of floating apparatus that includes inner tubes and noodles, as the current gently glides them along.

Located in the Riviera Nayarit region, a land rich in tradition and Indian heritage, the Apuane Spa was opened after extensive research was done on the traditions and cultures of the peoples who have inhabited this land for centuries. The name Apuane comes from the Huichol language, a word that describes a stream of water often used in healing and spiritual awakening rituals. Utilizing the unique talents of the experienced massage staff, together with the abundant local healing plants and minerals, an innovative menu was created to convey a sense of place in this distinctive setting.

The Punta Mita Massage was the first treatment developed. Tequila, a fermentation of the Maguey or Agave plant, is considered a national symbol of Mexico, known for its healing and magical powers, and considered a cure-all by many. It is often said, “What tequila does not cure, it will help you forget!” It is blended with “salvia” or sage, indigenous to the area and used in healing rituals of the Huichol Indians who once live in the Punta Mita area. Both antiseptic and antibacterial, Tequila and Sage Oil are considered good for cleansing, detoxifying and curing skin infections.

For children, a professionally supervised program called “Kids for All Seasons” is available on a complimentary basis with indoor and outdoor activities, plus a play yard. The Nunutzi Games Room offers activities and games for all ages, especially teenagers.

Water Sports include surfing lessons, coral reef snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, scuba-diving excursions, and non-motorized water vehicles. And for guests who may want to “get away from it all,” a luxurious, three-story private yacht is available to resort guests for day excursions or sunset cruises.

The pristine white-sand beaches have cabanas and chaise lounges. The beach service centers provide water sports equipment for various activities, such as coral reef snorkeling. So that guests may take advantage of the many pleasures to be found

on The pristine white-sand beaches have cabanas and chaise lounges. The beach service centers provide water sports equipment for various activities, such as coral reef snorkeling. So that guests may take advantage of the many pleasures to be found on Mexico’s West Coast, the Resort will arrange deep-sea fishing and scuba-diving excursions, as well as seasonal whale watching.

The Four Seasons Punta Mita also provides superior facilities for gala banquets, private receptions, conferences and meetings of varying size, as well as outdoor functions at several delightfully landscaped locations on the property. The 2,600-square-foot ballroom is adaptable for staging and audiovisual presentations.

Discriminating diners will experience the authentic flavor of Pacific Mexico at the resort’s restaurants, with excellent grilled local seafood, the freshest of ingredients, and food presentations inspired by the beauty of the ocean view. Aramara, the signature restaurant, is open for dinner only, serves Asian Contemporary Cuisine, and imparts an elegantly understated décor surrounded by terrace seating outdoors. Here, guests may enjoy cocktails and live entertainment under the stars while gazing out over the enchanting ocean. From December through March, the terrace provides excellent views for whale-watching.

At the more casual open-air Ketsi Restaurant and Bar, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Shaded by a traditional thatched Palapa roof. A beachfront experience not to be missed, the Bahia Beach Grill (named for the Spanish word “bay”) enjoys a prime location nestled among giant Manzanilla trees, right on La Cuevas beach on the Bay of Banderas. Open for dinner, the grill offers a relaxed atmosphere with a sleek contemporary design – a casual elegant spot with a lively atmosphere.

In a quaint, patio setting overlooking the ocean, the Nuna Bar specializes in ceviche – a dish of fresh marinated seafood in citric juice –that provides a light meal. Open for breakfast and lunch the Tail of the Whale is located at the Golf Club House. A perfect place for a cocktail after a round of golf.

Punta Mita’s rich past, present and future are celebrated at the Cultural Concierge. In a relaxed setting, with sweeping ocean views and a large terrace, guests are encouraged to unwind and enjoy the cultural, environmental and historic Treasures of the Resort and the Bahia de Banderas region.

As the Punta Mita Resort was developed, special care was taken to respect and blend into the most environmentally rich and sensitive areas of the region, preserving and protecting the local flora and fauna. A tour around the property brings guests into touch with a vibrant landscape, featuring an exquisite collection of art and sculptures displayed around the Resort. “Mexican Style” is an interesting and fun activity, where you will discover the history and folklore behind the attractive items that are for sale in the Four Seasons boutiques.

The Resort is a 45-minute drive northwest of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport. A meet-and-greet service at the airport is available to provide transportation for the scenic ride along the Mexican coastal peninsula for an extra price per person- roundtrip. Guests may enjoy daily visits to Puerto Vallarta via the Hotel’s service – also for an additional price per person.

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¡Q’Viva! The Chosen is a new reality-based television series that searches for authentic, genuine and talented entertainers throughout Latin America – from Mexico and the Caribbean to the tip of South America. Along the way, superstar artists, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and acclaimed show producer and choreographer, Jamie King; identify, select, and ultimately chose talent to perform in a final Las Vegas extravaganza at the Mandalay Bay Events Center - this past May. The show performers literally are: The Chosen.

¡Q’Viva! The Chosen Live

The spectacular show debuted Saturday, May 26, 2012 with the creative genius of King directing the live production. King noted, “These authentic and vibrant performers were selected from a pool of thousands of Latin artists we scouted from 21 countries.

“The beauty of ¡Q’Viva! is that talent and artistry transcend language,” King noted.
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“I do think the people of Mexico and their history have been part of my life since I was a child,” explains Robert Redford, the charismatic actor, director and environmentalist who is beloved by people all over the world.

Originally named Charles Robert Redford, Jr., or Bob – as he is known to his close friends – was born August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, and grew up in a working-class community where his family was one of the few anglo families in a Mexican neighborhood.

“I became very attached to the families, their way of thinking and their stories,” he says. “All of that put together over the years has had a big impact on my life – so, I have a history with Mexico.” The reason for his

recent visit there was that he wants everyone to realize how significant is this country south of the border.

Redford says that he was anxious to go to Mexico because he believes it’s important for people to understand that the country is a much bigger place than just the bad news that’s presented to America. He also feels that journalism has become so sensational that it seems the only news coming out of there relates to cartels, danger and other negative aspects.

“I know there is another part of Mexico,” he affirms, “You want people to see that; you want to help them understand that it is amazing, simply amazing – the history, the culture, the people and the art!” As a conservationist, his involvement with, and fervent concern for, the environment

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brings him to comment on the subject of tourism; he feels that times –and even people – have changed.

“I don’t think people any longer want to go into a monstrous place that has destroyed part of the eco-system just to make money,” he states, “I think people are beginning to rebel against that. They’re more interested in going to a place that has respected the environment – or working with it in balance – it makes them feel better about going there. So, I believe that’s the way of the future and I’m here to support that.”

But before he turned his boundless energies to the improvement of the world around him, he got into youthful mischief and lost his baseball scholarshipat the University of Colorado. After attending the Pratt Institute of Art and living the painter’s life in Europe, he studied acting in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

He met and fell in love with Lola Van Wagenen, a consumer activist, who dropped out of college to marry him in 1958. Before they divorced in 1985, they had four children; first came Scott, whom they lost tragically to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in 1959. Next, daughter Shauna, 51, is a painter, who married Eric Schlosser – their first child making Redford a grandfather in 1991. After this momentous event, he remarked “I am, perhaps, the best-looking grandfather around, apart from Marlon Brando, of course!”

Redford also has a son, James (Jamie) 50, a screenwriter and a daughter, Amy, 42, who is an actress. Twenty-four years after his divorce, he married his present wife and longtime companion, Sibylle Szaggars, in 2009. However, during the earlier years his red hair and undeniably good looks had led to many movie and television parts, but his breakthrough role, in 1969, was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when he was 32 years old.

His performance as the Sundance Kid is ranked as number 20th on the American Film Institute’s 100 Heroes and Villains, which ranking he shares with Paul Newman, who portrayed Butch Cassidy. His performance as Bob Woodward in the outstanding All The President’s Men, is ranked number 27 in the same category, which he shares with Dustin Hoffman, who played Carl Bernstein.

In 1973, The Way We Were , a heart-wrenching movie in which he costarred with Barbara Streisand, and the suspenseful The Sting, again starring with Paul Newman, were the two movies that made Redford the number one box office star for the following three years. He then used his influence to advance environmental causes and had become financially able to acquire Utah property, which he transformed into a ranch and the Sundance ski resort in the mountains of Utah.

In 1980, he established the Sundance Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programs, the Institute seeks to discover, support and inspire independent film and theater artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. It has evolved to become internationally-recognized in the active advancement of the work of risk-taking storytellers worldwide.

The Institute’s film festival has become one of the most influential in the world. Redford’s directorial debut, Ordinary People, led to his winning the Academy Award as Best Director in 1981. Some eight years later he got behind the camera again for the screen version of John Nichols’ acclaimed novel of the Southwest, The Milagro Beanfield War.

Demonstrating his wide range as an actor, other significant movies in which Redford has starred include The Great Gatsby, (1974), The Natural (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Havana (1990), Indecent Proposal (1993), Horse Whisperer (1998) and The Clearing (2004). We wondered if he has any favorite movie.

“I’ve loved all my movies, but if I had to choose…where did I have more fun?…where did I enjoy myself the most?” He pauses only for a moment. “It was Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” he responds “I love horses, I love to do stunts, I loved the character. And Paul Newman – he was a fun-loving, fun guy. I loved it all!” It is obvious that his friendship with Newman went beyond simply working together on a movie. “I have lost a real friend. My life – and this country – are better for him being in it. There are certain friendships that are sometimes too good, too strong to talk about.” His present plans include filming in Mexico –at the Baja Film Studios.

“It’s an interesting story about a man on a boat in a storm,” he explains. “There is no dialogue; it’s very bold, very different – and that’s why I’m doing it. In this unbelievable storm – just his mind, his skill and his knowledge and his heart--to keep going under impossible circumstances. It’s different – I like it!” Redford admits to the fact that he has been somewhat of a rebel during his career.

“I became a director because growing up I was impatient, rebellious, didn’t always want to play by the rules,” he acknowledges. I didn’t want to accept someone else’s way of living – to a fault.” Although, in time, he says, he came to respect rules and discipline.

“You need some order in your life to make it work, so that grew as I got older. I gained more respect for discipline, so when I became a director I became very disciplined,” Redford concludes.

Enrique Iglesias

Jennifer Lopez: This Summer’s Blockbuster Concert Tour

designed by Kerrie Briggs by Tamar Alexia Fleishman photos by Manu Rivera &

At the end of April, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez announced that they would be co-headlining a U.S./Canadian tour together; the international press had a field day. The upcoming series of concerts have the potential to break all kinds of attendance records. The reasons are easy to understand. Unlike musicians who have a limited regional or generational appeal, both Iglesias and Lopez are A-list celebrities on a global scale. Their Latino heritage reaches to a broad spectrum of fans. The scheduled tour includes cities with strong Latino populations. Lopez has discussed that the tour may be expanded to other countries.

Both Iglesias and Lopez have had multiple incarnations of their careers, enabling them to develop followers from several ages. Likewise, they have multiple generations of fans both willing and able to spend money to travel and see their favorite stars. The two performers are a good fit together on a concert bill, musically and stylistically. As opposed to some line-ups where the audience changes completely between the first and second half of the show, Iglesias and Lopez will have significant overlap in their fan base.

Enrique Iglesias

Though only in his 30’s, Enrique Iglesias is one of the best selling Spanish language artists of all time. Billboard has called him “The King of Latin Pop” and “The King of Dance”. Yes, he is a son of the world-famous Spanish singer, Julio Iglesias, but Enrique wanted to see if he could break into the music business without relying on his father’s name. He borrowed money from the nanny who raised him when his father was on tour, to create a demo tape with a Spanish song and two English songs. With the assistance of his father’s former manager, Fernan Martinez, he promoted the songs under the stage name “Enrique Martinez” and a back story of his being an unknown singer from Guatemala. Even under these circumstances, the Mexican record label Fonovisa signed Iglesias.

In 1995, he dropped the guise when he released the album Enrique Iglesias, selling half a million copies the first week. This was considered a rare feat for a non-English record. Iglesias had enough confidence in himself – with the sentiment obviously joined by his label – to insist on his very first tour being booked in stadiums. The confidence was wellplaced: he played to sold out audiences in 16 countries.

Iglesias uses different aspects of his talent when recording versus live performances. “There are many different ones. To record is a creative process with a lot of nights with insomnia. One has to be open minded, one must call to the inspiration and be open to signals: sometimes a melody arrives first and at other times, a phrase and from there, it all begins. Live, well, each night is unique, unrepeatable. Each public in each country makes the difference.”

This tour will be his ninth. Iglesias spoke to MexicoTraveler® exclusively about how he stays at the top of his game, both physically and musically, for his tours. “If I had the secret, I would tell it to you. I think nobody has it yet; it’s a combination of luck and working very hard. I think that I’m a perfectionist and this helps too, as I push myself a lot. I have a good instinct for the songs and I surround myself with a good team that also keeps me in line. The moments I enjoy the most are when I’m touring, but to eat well, rest a lot and escape to Los Cabos once in a while, truly charges up the batteries.”

Iglesias is modest when asked whether he believes his performances help people of all cultures appreciate Latin pop. “We’d have to ask the fans, I give myself when on stage- just as I am. I think that the success falls on those songs which the fans have made successful, which is why every concert is a party in which we all participate.”

Iglesias has won a Grammy®, a Latin Grammy and many other industry awards. In 2000, after Iglesias performed at the Super Bowl® half-time show with Christina Aguilera, veteran shock-jock Howard Stern had questions about the authenticity of Iglesias’ performances. Iglesias came and sang live on Stern’s radio show, dispelling all doubts. Stern told Iglesias, “I respect you for coming in here; you really can sing.” Iglesias has since remarked that (episode) was the best publicity he could have had.

Earlier this year, Iglesias sparked some more controversy after cancelling a tour he was supposed to perform with Britney Spears – just hours after it was announced. It appears to be just as well, as the European press would attest. In 2007, the York Press (England) compared Jennifer Lopez’s Brave for Brave to Britney Spears’ album due for release around the same time. Praising Lopez for not needing digital enhancement of her voice in “Brave” compared to Spears, they turned their favor to Brave instead of Blackout.

What does the future hold for Iglesias, musically? “Well, all that I haven’t done is to sing “salsa” (he laughs). I think we’ve been extremely risky and eclectic with Euphoria. We have a lot of combinations and my singing with Juan Luis Guerra, of which I am very proud. Of course there is still a ton to do. We’ll see what destiny has in store for us . . . ”

Jennifer Lopez has a kaleidoscope of artistic abilities that have kept her in the limelight with diverse audiences for over 20 years. First bursting into the American consciousness as a “Fly Girl” on the television show In Living Color, audiences saw a fresh faced, appealing young woman with fluid, hip dance moves. Later, she worked as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson.

Breaking away from silent, anonymous Fly Girl status, Lopez showed she could act and bring in audiences. While her first major role on the big screen was in 1995’s Money Train, it was her title role portrayal of the much-mourned Tejano music star Selena that was her breakout roll in 1997. Lopez’s performance earned her an American Latino Media Arts Award (ALMA) for Outstanding Actress. She also earned an ALMA for her 1998 performance in Out of Sight. She has starred in several high-grossing films since then, including The Wedding Planner (2001), Monster-in-Law (2005) and The Back-up Plan (2010). She also provided the voice for Azteca on the computer-animated film Antz. In a left-handed tribute to her superstar status, Lopez has been parodied on the show South Park. Her newest movie, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, just came out – but the tour is the chance to see her live.

Celebrity lore is littered with tales of actresses who casually thought

they’d give the recording studio a go, but singing is the talent for which Jennifer Lopez may be most famous. Despite growing up in a musicloving household, Lopez was already in her late 20’s when she released her debut album, On the 6. Ironically, her role as Selena came before Lopez was professionally trained as a singer, and she lip-synched the part. But when her own albums came out, she immediately emerged as a singing star. Even her earliest releases reached the top levels of the Billboard charts. Part of her early audience was very young, as she had a teen-pop sound and a still-youthful appearance. When her songs

Jennifer Lopez

became popular in clubs, she garnered an older audience, as well. Stylistically, her albums have ranged from pop, Latin pop, dance, funk and R&B. World-wide sales estimates of her records as of 2010 are over 55 million.

Lopez’s career regained its heat in the beginning of 2011, when she joined Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler as a judge on American Idol. It’s a better panel mix than other seasons, when not all of the judges had a professional singing background. Lopez’s comments carry authority to the performers; the fact that she’s giving guidance to the next generation imparts a sense of gravitas to her aura.

For years, Lopez has been known for her glamorous style. Part of the tour’s fascination will be Lopez’s stage costumes. In 2000, she drew world-wide attention for the plunging, sheer green Versace dress that she wore to the Grammys®. The dress has since been named one of the most iconic dresses of all time. As a child, even before the dancing, acting and singing, Lopez was designing clothing. Her drive came from a desire to create outfits that fit her voluptuous shape, while remaining within her budget. Today, Lopez has created clothing lines, designed accessories and licensed her name to popular fragrances. Glowing, her latest fragrance released of 18, just came on the market. Sales have exceeded $2 Billion.

Lopez’ showmanship has led to a huge demand to see her perform. Her On the Floor music video broke a record by becoming the Most Viewed Music Video By A Female Artist in the history of YouTube: it’s been viewed over 500 million times. Lopez’ career music video views exceed 2 billion.

Wisin y Yandel

Iglesias and Lopez will be also sharing the stage with Puerto Rican reggaeton duo, Wisin y Yandel. They also have earned a Grammy®, a Latin Grammy and are renowned for their spectacular stage shows. The duo performs with a 10 piece band, 8 dancers, and a state-of-the-art audiovisual show. It is rare to have such an accomplished and well-known opening act on bills; the whole show is strong and stylistically cohesive. It has been announced that all four music stars will be collaborating on songs during the shows.

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Actress, Singer, Songwriter, Activist and Producer— She Does it All!

With her sensual voice, Maria Conchita Alonso has mesmerized audiences for three decades. This internationally known, multi-talented Latina was on the move this past year, with concerts in Colombia, Miami and Mexico and will be again performing in Guadalajara this coming June 17 th

“In the summer I am doing a musical in Miami, Menopause, in Spanish,” she enthuses. “The idea is to tour in the US cities where there are more Latinos, and end in OffBroadway next Year.” With her producing partner, Alonso is turning her energies to working on a pilot for a bilingual talk show. She has always loved the stimulation of Broadway but does more live shows worldwide than is possible there.

“There are too many rules,” she states. “It’s all set, scripted and I can’t interact with the audience.” Doing her own live concerts gives her the freedom to do whatever she pleases in her shows—talk or whatever, without rules.

“I like to be able to stop the band, take a break from singing, to have fun with the audience,” she says.

For Alonso, nothing compares with being on

stage, to feel the love and positive energy flowing back and forth between herself and the audience. With Latin music so popular across a wide spectrum, there are many—Latinos and gringos alike—eager to flock to her concerts.

However, movies are very much in her future. The Lords of Salem will be released in the United States around Halloween. The writer, director and producer, Rob Zombie, is a well-known heavy metal musician and director of horror films such as “Halloween.” Alonso is also producing and starring in three different movies that deal with highly sensitive issues. One of them is Courage, a Hollywood production, but shot in different countries.

“It is a political love story that concerns the situation in Venezuela which has been living under Hugo Chavez, the president,” she explains. “It will be in English.” A second movie on her demanding agenda, El Secreto del Retrato, is a Spanish-speaking film that involves incest, political and religious corruption. “It is directed by Janet Alvarez, who is also the script writer and producer, but won’t be produced in Hollywood.”

A third film, San Martin of Porres, is the true story of the first black saint of the Catholic church. Another—a silent movie, has been completed. Return to Babylon is about Hollywood in the thirties, and how the lives of some stars tragically ended. It will be entered into film festivals, the subject matter will certainly intrigue its audiences.

In development is a reality show describing her comeback into the music scene, the process of recording a CD, shooting a music video and launching it. “We already shot some footage this past May while I was in Mexico City at the National Auditorium

concert with GranDiosas,” says Alonso. “It is a concept of five stars from the ’80s and ’90s,” Alonso added. Her reality show is projected to start in October.

During her career Alonso has performed in more than fifty films. These include such notable movies as Moscow on the Hudson, opposite Robin Williams. In Extreme Prejudice she co-starred with Nick Nolte; she also appeared with an impressive cast that included Glen Close, Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Winona Ryder and Antonio Banderas in House of Sprits. For the movie Scarface, starring Al Pacino, she co-wrote and performed the theme song Vamos a Bailar.

Alonso was the first non-American-born Latina to star on Broadway in the 1985 production of Kiss of The Spider Woman. Later, the opportunity to demonstrate her comedic side arrived in 2002, when she played Ynes in Oscar and Felix: A New Look At The Odd Couple, a play by Neil Simon. Many awards have rightly come her way, including Best Actress at the Alma Awards, a couple of Nosotros Awards for Best Actress, and the Pioneer Award from the 2006 La Femme Film Festival.

Originally given the title of “The Latin Pioneer” of the entertainment industry, she has paved the career paths of other Latin actors and musicians who have successfully

crossed over into mainstream American television, film and music. Unsurprisingly, People En Español magazine once called her “One of the Most Beautiful People.” She has a number of CDs to her credit, the first three went gold, she’s also had one double gold and one platinum… and she has been nominated three times for a Grammy Award. She credits Mexico, which is very dear to her heart, for helping her to make her name as a singer internationally.

“I love it all,” she exclaims, “I had a place in Puerto Vallarta and hope to have something there again some day.” Looking at her future and thinking about places she might like to settle eventually, “I’d like to be on a beach in Mexico, in Madrid, plus Los Angeles—and Venezuela, if democracy returns.” She maintains homes in Los Angeles and Miami, where her mother lives presently, “Although I’m selling Mom’s house, she wants to come live with me in L.A,” Alonso reveals.

Only four years old when her far-reaching career began, Maria Conchita played a mouse in The Nutcracker in Cuba; she obtained her first modeling job that year, also! However, her career started officially at age 14 when she won the Miss Teen-Ager of Venezuela and then Miss Teen-Ager of the World in Portugal . In 1975, she won Miss World Venezuela in London, becoming 6th runner up for Miss World.

Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, June 29, 1957, she moved with her closely-knit family to Caracas, Venezuela, shortly after Fidel Castro’s communist regime takeover of Cuba. There she grew up with her mother, Maria Conchita Bustillo, father, Ricardo Alonso and two older brothers, Ricardo and Roberto.

In addition to her high school education, she took classes in modern dance, ballet, piano, guitar, voice, acting and languages, which certainly proved her to be well prepared for a career in the world of entertainment. She is now an American citizen, having immigrated to the United States in 1982.

In spite of her full and exciting life, she still has time to be an animal activist, educating people regarding the plight of animals and working on saving the lives of those that are in shelters. She speaks up for the rights of children and other issues confronting young people. She is also involved politically in such causes as pro-democracy and anti-communist activities, showing the truth of regimes such as those in Cuba and Venezuela. With all of this going on in her life, we might wonder if she has time for romance!

“I’ve been together with Fernando from Colombia for three years now—and we are living together,” she replies happily. “He is also my personal manager and will be starring in our reality show.” So, perhaps this is her “knight in shining armor” who will carry off this beautiful, gifted enchantress on his white charger.

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in Mexico City:
East meets West
Grand Opening Welcomes NickSan Restaurant @ Marquis Reforma Hotel
Photos by Walter Hussong and Erick Lira

Mexico City is known as a cosmopolitan city that rolls out some of the best international cuisine available around the globe. The list includes Mexican, French, Italian, Spanish, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Greek, and many others. Nowadays, Japanese cuisine spiced with a Mexican twist is the latest to join the culinary scene. On March 1, 2012 at the Marquis Reforma Hotel & Spa in Mexico City (, a gala celebration inaugurated the opening of the prestigious NickSan restaurant (www.nicksan. com) – a restaurant that is known for its sumptuous and fresh take on seafood and sushi with an artful fusion of Mexican ingredients.

A Festive Grand-Opening with Traditional Japanese Ceremonies

Over 700 invited guests marked this momentous occasion inside the Marquis Reforma Hotel, a hotel strategically situated in Mexico City on the elegant Paseo de la Reforma, one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. Among the many distinguished guests in attendance were the ambassador of Japan in Mexico as well as owners from the Marquis Reforma Hotel and the NickSan family The ribbon-cutting ceremony – a symbolic

representation on the unity of the two cuisines as embodied in the NickSan restaurant - was led by the ambassador from Japan, Shuichiro Megata. This was followed by a Japanese ceremony called “kagami biraki,” a special ceremony that commemorates the opening of the sake barrel with the serving of the traditional drink to all who are present. (Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice and usually served hot). “Kagami” refers to the round form of the sake barrel lid, a symbol of harmony. “Biraki” means “to open” and together they mean “to open the lid,” representing an opening to harmony and good fortune such as the beginning of a new business such as the joint venture between NickSan and Marquis Reforma Hotel.

Next, was a celebration of prayer for happiness and peace as embodied in the Japanese performance of “matsuridaiko,” a festival of drums. The special gala was also graced with the lively beat and contemporary music provided by the French DJ Roman Rosati, who came from Las Vegas to perform for the special night. Of course, a scrumptious array of appetizers was served throughout the night along with the traditional Japanese sake.

José Kalach, Shuichiro Megata and Valery Morózov Valery Morózov, Deby Beard, José Kalach, Shuichiro Mega Angel Carbajal and Masayuki Niikura Shuichiro Megata, Valery Morózov, Masayuki Niikura and Angel Carbajal
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Julien Alfonso Gidel, Carmen Carbajal and friends Masayuki Niikura, Ernesto Luna, Chris and Ilda Erickson, Carolina Abed and Angel Carbajal Claudio Vazconcelos, Carmen Carbajal, Adán Allende and Joshua Carmen Carbajal and Roman Rosati Julien Alfonso Gidel, Ernesto Luna and Jacobo Turquie Moises and Lulu Herrera with Walter Hussong Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Walter Hussong Jacobo Turquie, Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo, Carmen Carbajal, Ernesto Luna, Carolina Abed and friend Roy Martin, Carmen Carbajal and Ernesto Luna Yuriria Iturriaga, Adán Allende, Carmen Carbajal, Roman Rosati and Pilar Mansfield

The NickSan Legacy

NickSan is a trio of chef-owned restaurants that offer unique Japanese-style cuisine combined with occidental touches to tantalize the most demanding of palates. The original restaurant is located in Cabo San Lucas, with a second restaurant located at the exclusive Shoppes at Palmilla. The opening of NickSan in Mexico City brings the family of restaurants to three. All locations feature the same award-winning menu.

This cultural tango of dueling cuisines is the brainchild of executive chefs and owners Angel Carbajal and Masayuki Niikura. However, the dueling concept of cuisines actually ends up being a symbiotic relationship of complementing flavors. Portions are served family-style and are meant to share, which works out great for tasting more of the many outstanding menu selections.

The Marquis Reforma Hotel & Spa Legacy

One of the leading luxury hotels in Mexico City for elegant charm and luxurious boutique hotel accommodations, the Marquis Reforma Hotel & Spa - a Leading Hotels of the World propertyis noted for its Art Deco inspired architecture and modern chic vibe. With a coveted location on the most culturally vibrant avenue in Mexico City, the hotel offers up contemporary sophistication and vintage charm to business, vacation, romance and adventure travelers. For integrated beauty and well-being, visit the leading and largest luxury spa in Mexico City at the Spa Marquis. Treatments include holistic spa therapies such as massages, body treatments, and facials as well as hydrotherapy tub, Swiss shower, sauna, steam pool, and wellness programs.

When in Mexico City, be sure to enjoy the luxurious accommodations and amenities at the Marquis Reforma Hotel & Spa while enjoying Japanese-inspired cuisine with a Mexican touch at Nicksan. You’ll be glad you did.

Sophisticated Tequila for Refined Tastes

In a quest to find the perfect tequila to accompany the exceptionally fresh cuisine featured at NickSan, the chefs decided the only way to find tequila that would live up to their exacting standards was to develop their own special label. So,

by bringing their passion for the best in drink and cuisine to the table, they came up with the NickSan Tequila label, officially registered as Tequila Realeza Mexicana for NickSan.

Anticipating an export market to Japan, NickSan tequila features glass blown bottles with designer labels of acrylic paintings by Michelle Alighieri. Grown and crafted in the region of Tequila, a small town located in Jalisco, Mexico, NickSan proudly presents three brands of tequila that are all made completely from blue agave tequila cultivated inside the territory of Tequila which is protected by the origin label of tequila: White Tequila, Aged Tequila, and Reposado Tequila. Expert sommeliers have given excellent notes and ratings in initial taste tastings to all three tequilas.

White tequila: It has an extraordinary body with citric and herbal aromas, and has a slightly floral taste with aromas of citrus and jasmine. NickSan recommends that you serve it straight with lime and salt in a tequila shot. For a more gourmet option they recommend to pair the tequila with Jamon Serrano or Procciuto, strong cheeses like Roquefort and creamy ones like Camembert. It may also be used to complement the dressing of fresh salads. It received 19 points out of 20 points.

Aged tequila: This tequila presents with deep aromas of oak with chocolate and vanilla, sweet hazelnut and roasted almonds with a taste of apple and prune. This tequila is perfect to pair it up with red meats cooked rare, and as a digestive or to enjoy with desserts, cigars, and espresso coffee. It can also be served with unsalted seeds, chocolate, cherries and dried fruits as well as canapés. Aged in barrels of white American oak for 24 months, this tequila received 20 points out of 20, the highest score possible in tequilas.

Reposado tequila: This tequila has a high body with very herbal flavors and a very punctuated vanilla flavor. Notes of green fruit and spices such as cinnamon and pepper are detected. Reposado tequila is recommended for aperitifs and to pair up with Jamon Serrano and strong cheeses. Because of its buttery characteristics, it is also recommended with seafood and fish and is great with Japanese cuisine. Aged for 11 months in American white oak, Reposado tequila received 20 points out of 20 points.

2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition

Mexico’s M overs Shakers

deNicolas Fernandez



Ortíz Lagardere


Rossetto Schwartz

Vazquez Aldir

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who’s Mexico Tourism WHO IN

MexicoTRAVELER® HAS AGAIN SELECTED a group of dynamic professionals to whom we pay tribute for their efforts toward making Mexico a strong, prosperous society with a solid infrastructure. Although their contributions are as varied as their backgrounds, they have one common purpose — that is to advance the economy, improve the lives of the people, and safeguard the environment of this great country

The 2012-2013 honorees selected (in alphabetical order) includes a CEO of one of the largest home building companies in the world whose vision pertaining tourism is that it is an incredible opportunity for the largest economy in the world to benefit by the proximity, the cost and quality of the service that is available in Mexico; Next is A five-time Emmy award winning journalist, producer, film maker, and Latin media marketing entrepreneur that has accomplished more than she could have possibly imagined; Next is a lady who’d like to help increase tourism in Los Cabos and make the area into a fashion production center; a VP for AeroMexico whose goal is to be the best leading Latin American airline, with sustainable growth, profitability and quality customer service — being able to educate people about the beauties of Mexico; a Tijuana-based bariatric (weight loss) surgeon who’s played an integral role in Mexico’s flourishing medical tourism industry; a newly appointed secretary of tourism who feels honored to serve Mexico in the ever expanding tourism sector; a Managing Director of Resorts Developments who believes Success is measured in terms of your goals, dreams, expectations and this is determined by hard work, dedication and persistence; a man who founded the Association of International Hospitality and is able to develop some of his own ideas; and the managing director for Grupo Empresarial Angeles, a diversified company with four main core areas: Hospitals, Communications, Financial and Tourism.

MexicoTRAVELER ® salutes all of these remarkable people for their achievements and wishes them continued success in their future endeavors.

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As Chief Executive Officer of HOMEX, one of the largest home building companies in the world, Gerardo de Nicolas leads the operations for the company. The fastest growing and leading developer of housing in Mexico, it is engaged in the development, construction and sale of entry-level, middle-income and upper-income housing.

GGerardo de Nicolas Sees a Great Opportunity to

Develop Mexico and Tourism

est brother, who has been my boss, and others. For example, Werner Erthard, the creator of the “Theory of Constraints;” and other people from whom I have learned much, either because I’ve had the opportunity to be trained directly by them, or because I’ve studied them.”

With a vision of building successful communities, HOMEX is recognized as a “Socially Responsible Company” and as a great place to work. It is one of the most geographically diversified in the country, having developments under construction in cities located in 21 Mexican states.

“My job is to lead the operations in HOMEX,” states de Nicolas. “My philosophy is that work is a place where we show ourselves as we are — in which we can serve, in which can create and generate value. My goal is to make a team, respect others as I ask to be respected.” His vision for tourism is that it is an incredible opportunity for the largest economy in the world to benefit by the proximity, the cost and quality of the service that is available in Mexico.

“I believe it should be one of the strategies as a country to be more attractive, especially to the United States and Canada,” he declares. He believes that this is gradually being accomplished, the opportunity is growing and that, with projects and companies increasingly focused on service, the country will notice — as well the government — that there will be a better choice for customers in the United States and Canada. They will gradually see Mexico as an attractive option, to live or to spend at least part of each year there, and certainly that it has much to offer in culture, in service, in nature and it will be very well taken advantage of.

Born in Culiacan, Sinaloa, to Eustaquio de Nicolas Vera and Josefina Gutiérrez Pando, he grew up with his siblings Ana Luz, Eustaquio Tomas and Julián. Gerado de Nicolas studied at Instituto Chapultepec, attended college at the Panamerican University in Mexico City. He later earned an MBA at Tecnologico de Monterrey.

When his education was completed, he worked in a family company then two years later began working at what nowadays is HOMEX. From the beginning he realized the impact a house and real estate development can have on the lives of a family in a city and, now, in a country. He was asked who had been most influential in his life.

“My father who was my role model,” de Nicolas replies, “my old-

His pride in being Mexican stems from the fact that Mexico has a very time-honored tradition where many cultures have come together. “It is true that we have weaknesses,” he admits, “but I think that, in Mexico, live adequate competent and knowledgeable people for Mexico to be a first world country of great prosperity and wellbeing.” He has much that pleases him in his homeland. From food to music to books and places.

De Nicolas loves all Mexican food; from Yucatán he savors Cochinita Pibil, and from Culiacan the Chilorio. And music? He says he likes Yanni very much, and for Mexican music he enjoys the Huapango de Moncayo and the Danzon No. 2 by Arturo Marquez. Many books have shaped his life, on the subject of work, “The Goal,” and now, for the second time, he is reading a book that he finds extremely interesting titled “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin Zander.

“My favorite place is Baja California Sur,” he says, “to vacation in three main locations: Loreto, La Paz and Los Cabos. Baja California Sur has incredible natural resources; it is very sparsely populated, it hasn’t been impacted by man, and I think that this allows us to enjoy it more directly. I believe that it is the chance for us, as a company to take good care of Baja California Sur, so that it will be well maintained.”

He stresses that, for fifteen years, the country has worked to be organized in the matter of macro economics. The different crises that have hit the world since 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 have not really had as great an impact on Mexico as for other countries, which shows what the country has and that it has spent that time on improvement.

I think that it’s a great opportunity for development for the entire area of Baja California Sur, Tourism projects so that over time more and more foreigners will come and visit us,” asserts de Nicolas. Besides his appreciation of the present and future, he also takes pleasure in looking at the past.

“I enjoy nature,” he says. “Also, I like to learn from history, the life in the missions and of the missionaries, the life of the conquerors. I like to explore the sea and admire its grandeur. I like to travel, to learn and listen to stories of men and women who took risks that gave us what we have today, and to see clearly how our contribution, both personally and as a company, can expand the wellbeing of all.”

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GGiselle Fernandez

Meet Emmy-Award Winner Giselle Fernandez

Giselle Fernandez has a unique perspective on life and living. She once said, “I so want to make a difference in the world by appreciating and respecting the humanity within us all.” The five-time Emmy award winning journalist, producer, film maker, and Latin media marketing entrepreneur has accomplished more than she could have possibly imagined. Born in Mexico City 51 years ago, Giselle has been a familiar face on television for the last few decades, making significant contributions to the CBS and NBC networks along the way.

• Anchoring NBC’s weekend edition of the “Today Show” and Sunday edition of the “NBC Nightly News.”

• Handling special and foreign assignments for the NBC network.

• Substituting for Paula Zhan on “CBS This Morning,” Dan Rather on the “CBS Evening News,” and Connie Chung on the “CBS Weekend News.”

• Serving as a regular contributor to “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Face the Nation,” and “48 Hours.”

She is also remembered for her on the spot coverage of international news stories from locations such as the Gulf War, the U.S. invasions of Haiti and Panama, the Somalia and Bosnian wars, Hurricane Andrew, the 1993 World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, and interviews with global leaders like Fidel Castro, Henry Kissinger, Presidents Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush, Vice-President Al Gore, and U.N. Secretary General Boutros- Boutros Ghali.

Known for her unique style of interviewing, Giselle co-hosted “This Week in History,” a one-hour weekly documentary series profiling famous people and events in history on A&E Network’s History Channel. She also profiled Hollywood’s A-list celebrities as the co-host of NBC’s nightly entertainment news magazine, “Access Hollywood.” From Barbra Streisand to Sharon Stone to Robert Redford and Tom Cruise, Giselle was a favorite, and highly regarded as one of the finest interviewers in Hollywood. In the words of Oprah Winfrey after a Giselle Fernandez profile, the talk show queen summed it up best with, “She’s a magical smart girl.”

Giselle has won countless humanitarian and philanthropic awards for her outreach to the Latino community. She is the creator of the phenomenally successful Noche de Niños gala for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she founded and produced the hospital’s signature bi-annual fundraising extravaganza, which, to date, has raised nearly $10 million.

Giselle’s devotion to her heritage is present in most everything she does. A much sought-after motivational speaker on issues of Latina empowerment, health, fitness, and entrepreneurship, she is a member of the City National Bank Hispanic Advisory board, a member of the board of trustees of the Latin Grammys, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, Giselle sits on the board of the Grammy Museum and City Year, helping underserved youth graduate from school. Becoming well known for her extensive network in the Latin world and in the U.S. Latin market and has consulted to corporate America on marketing strategies to the Latino consumer.

Prior to going into business, Giselle co-anchored the Tribune Broadcasting Company’s morning news out of Los Angeles, KTLA Channel 5 News, and competed in the second season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Currently, Giselle is the managing director of Creative World Talent Management, a division of the Trump Group. She oversees this diverse global media operation with special emphasis in Latin America and the U.S. Latin market. She has constructed a robust and growing bridge between the U.S. and Latin media markets in Mexico, Spain, and Brazil, while opening new doors across borders, and in all mediums, including print, film, television and more.

With every passing year, the accolades continue to roll in for Giselle. She was named Hispanic philanthropist of the year, and the Legislative Hispanic Caucus awarded her the Hispanic Spirit Award. She also received the prestigious Nancy Riordan award by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for her contribution to the children of L.A. And if that wasn’t enough, Giselle was also inducted into the Latina Women’s Museum in Sacramento, which honors outstanding Latinas in California.

Along with all her accomplishment, Giselle is an avid collector of Latin American art and the work of famous women photographers. She spends a great deal of time in Mexico on business and also to visit her parents who perform as a ranchera duo during the summers and holidays. Giselle, who lives in Los Angeles, says of her beloved Mexico, “It’s the most beautiful country in the world, with the most rich and entrancing history. I am in love with this gorgeous land where I was born and enchanted by her alluring culture. I am devoted to creating a bridge between Mexico lindo querido and all nations. I wish everyone could know the Mexico I know. My quest is to share her story in all I do.”

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An Advocate For Mexico

VVanessa Fukunaga

As the new majority shareholder and president of Snell Real Estate, you’d be forgiven for thinking that now would be an ideal time for Vanessa Fukunaga to sit back and take stock of her many achievements in life. Not so! With a forward thinking vision and a plan to expand upon the already high quality of the Snell Brand, Vanessa hopes to introduce Los Cabos to an even greater number of local and international investors and clients. In order to do this, she feels it is fundamentally important to further solidify Cabo as a ‘One and Only Destination’.

With all the challenges to tourism like the recession, negative press and state advisories from the USA it can be difficult to remain positive about the future, but for Vanessa this is not the case. She goes on to say, “I actually have a hard time holding back my enthusiasm for this area. I feel very strongly about setting the stage and serving as an example of someone who has deep affection and appreciation for people in this community. I have and will continue to highlight and promote the factual aspects of any of the advisories or press that have been released in terms of both statistics as compared to the USA as well as location.” She continues on, “I always remind people that Baja California Sur is a physically separate area, almost ‘island like’ – and that according to one of the latest US State Department releases, La Paz and Los Cabos have been named the safest place to live in North America. In terms of the economy, we are already seeing many positive indications that buyer confidence is on the rise. Not only is there an increase in showings and tours, sales for Snell Real Estate are definitely trending up.”

Her company is the largest independent luxury real estate brokerage in Los Cabos and all of Baja, with Snell Real Estate representing some of the finest master-planned communities in the area; from Villas del Mar to Cabo del Sol and the communities within Palmilla, such as Caleta and Palmilla Cove.

It’s clearly obvious then that Vanessa has strong feelings on the subject of her adopted homeland. With such passion for Mexico we asked Vanessa to share a little of her background with us, here’s what she told us: “I was born in Ogden, Utah and have lived all over the USA including Connecticut, New York, Seattle, Denver and Park City where I now own a home with my life and business partner, Dieter Esch, and our adorable Italian greyhound, Sophie.” Vanessa went on to tell us that, “I started my career

in global business travel more than 16 years ago and have been able to combine product marketing and technology in an industry I love – Travel! I have helped lead the charge of more than 60 agency acquisitions and operational integrations for the largest corporate travel company in the world. I have lead large global teams in every region around the world and have been fortunate to travel to nearly every continent.”

Impressive indeed!

So with this in-demand skill set and extensive range of corporate experience, it would be fair to say that the ‘world is her oyster’ when it comes to choosing a location to live and work in.

When MexicoTRAVELER® Magazine asked how she proposed to increase the number of local and international investors to Los Cabos, Vanessa responded, “I’d like to help increase tourism and make the area into a fashion production center. By investing in the business infrastructure to create a whole new industry in the area, Los Cabos, with its incredible backdrop of beach, water, mountain and desert, the constant sun, the old part of San José… it just all adds up to being the perfect attraction for such an industry. And it’s all logistically located in a prime area!”

Why Mexico?

“With gusto,” Vanessa responds, “I am very proud to be living in Mexico and becoming a part of the Mexican community. The people and the culture are the main reasons that we chose to not only invest in this area but to make this location our home. There are so many cultural areas to experience and that’s not even taking into consideration the appeal of the local cuisine and music scene which all add to my passion for Mexico.”

Intrigued to find out more about this interest in Mexico we asked Vanessa what she thought were some of the most exciting developments happening in the country. She responds, “The G20, B20 and L20 and having the ‘eyes of the world’ on this area help to promote its true beauty and wonder. I have also been extremely impressed with the tourism board activities and financial investment that has taken place to improve the area whilst preparing it for such an important world event.”

Quite simply, Vanessa Fukunaga is like a breath of fresh air.

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Flying to New Heights

JJorge Goytortua

Jorge Goytortua was hours away from hopping on a red eye flight one Tuesday night to Lima, Peru for a whirlwind trip. He would attend meetings all day Wednesday and return to Mexico City that night. There was no chance to tour the city—this time. The purpose of the trip: meet with travel agencies, be close to customers, review business plans and establish connections.

As Vice President, Global Sales for AeroMexico, Goytortua is used to quick stops and red eye flights, traveling with a focused intent. “We do not need to be the biggest airline in the world,” he says. “What I’d like to bring to AeroMexico is a seamless process at every point of contact. The goal is to be the best leading Latin American airline, with sustainable growth, profitability and quality customer service—being able to care for and pamper customers, and educate people about the beauties of Mexico.”

In 2011 almost 50 million passengers travelled within Mexico, 25 domestic and 25 international, he says. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, AeroMexico has been a flagship carrier for Mexico for 70 years, and its success has positively affected Mexico’s economy—tourism, jobs and interrelated businesses. The slogan—“We are Building the Future Today”—Goytortua takes to heart, like his own personal mission.

Promoted to his current position in 2011 after only one year with the company, he poured the passion of his 20-year airline experience into making AeroMexico a force to be reckoned with. Five sales VPs report to him. “Every salesperson has to have an analytical sales mentality, a win-win for the good of the company. It’s a big responsibility connecting social, corporate and economic areas.”

Goytortua is responsible for all leisure and tourism group sales connections, U.S and Canada relations. He works with travel agencies, corporate sales, direct contracts, call centers, e-commerce, expanding networks both in person and online. His vision is long term, his outreach is vast, his enthusiasm is contagious.

“More than 14 million people flew with AeroMexico in 2011 and we hope that will reach 16 million this year,” he says. New flights will go to Washington D.C. and Atlanta from Mexico City. “The two capitals just have to be tied together for political and economic reasons,” he says. Other new destinations include El Salvador, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

With Delta Airlines investing $65 million to become a stakeholder in AeroMexico, greater strides will be made in technology, a new fleet of 737s, and improved maintenance and service centers. In addition, being a member of SkyTeam, an alliance of 14 airlines that promises superior service to customers, is a challenge. Goytortua serves on the committee to build loyalty between these airlines, compete globally and offer customers multiple benefits.

Luckily, there is a corporate office in Houston where his family lives, so he gets the quality time with them he craves and which sustains him. He shares his love of travel with his wife of 17 years, his 15-year-old son and 11-year old daughter. “It’s important to learn cultures firsthand. On spring break we went to Argentina and it was amazing to see the traditions, tango, rodeo, nature.”

The next family vacation will likely be Washington D.C. to take in the myriad of museums. He would also like to visit Japan, Africa, Russia, and Australia. All the traveling he has done and wants to do, as well as living in Los Angeles for six years, gives him a deeper, reflective perspective.

Goytortua and his children were born in Guadalajara. “I’m proud to travel within Mexico, too, and I’m very proud to be Mexican,” he says. “I’ve been teaching them about the beauty of their country, the beauty of Manzanillo, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Guadalajara and Oaxaca.”

His family inspires him to be a better man. “Our time is limited but we enjoy the moments we have as best we can. This is my reality. It is what it is, yet if I do not have success with my family, in no other part of my life will success count.”

Working with passion, being proud of what you do, and treating others with respect and dignity, are some values he hopes he passes to his children. He also tells them not to be afraid to make changes, move, and try new jobs. That leap of faith is what brought him to AeroMexico and still grounds him.

He strives to make employees a priority. Hearing what they have to say and recognizing when they do a good job is important. “That is the only formula for success,” says Goytortua. “No matter how new an aircraft is, or how advanced technology is, if you don’t have the right people, the company will suffer. If we have a connected team, then we’ll become a legacy carrier and an efficient, inspiring model for success.”

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Collectors’ Edition 79
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Medical Tourism — a Popular Choice for Many Mexico Visitors

A Dr. Ariel Ortíz Lagardere

Helping others improve their lives has been a lifelong goal of Dr. Ariel Ortíz Lagardere. The Tijuana-based bariatric (weight loss) surgeon has played an integral role in Mexico’s flourishing medical tourism industry. Over the past 15 years, he’s performed a half-dozen weight loss surgeries a day, mostly for U.S. and Canadian visitors traveling south of the border for their healthcare needs. “My philosophy has always been to provide excellence in my medical treatment in a compassionate way,” says Ariel. “I treat patients how I would expect to be treated if I was on the receiving end.”

His efforts at the Obesity Control Center in Tijuana have not gone unnoticed. Last year, the Surgical Review Corporation, an independent, nonprofit organization that advances the safety, efficacy, and efficiency of bariatric and metabolic surgery, bestowed its first-ever Center of Excellence designation to a Mexican facility. Of the award, Ariel says, “The Center of Excellence designation process has challenged our team to continuously look for ways to improve the care we deliver to patients. Even the best can get better. As a Mexican hospital, this designation of excellence puts us on the same category as some of the most prestigious weight-loss surgery centers in the United States, reassuring our U.S. and Canadian patients traveling to our center that they will be receiving the highest quality of healthcare available today.”

Ariel believes that medical tourism, which was once isolated to only a few countries in the world, is now part of the global healthcare system. “The nature of healthcare travel becomes attractive, especially when the services rendered in a foreign country are of a higher quality, with lower costs, while offering a diversity of services, like medical, dental, cosmetic,” he shares. “My vision is that Mexico will become a top destination for healthcare tourism, and we offer a great deal of residual amenities like beautiful colonial cities, fabulous beaches, and many great destinations.”

Ariel is a staunch supporter of Mexico tourism and feels that the negative press worldwide regarding safety in Mexico has been a challenge to overcome. “It has been through positive conditioning that we have been able to overcome this bad press,” insists Ariel. “This positive conditioning, as I call it, is found in the highest quality and compassionate healthcare services that we offer from start to finish, with close attention to follow-up. Good experiences and good results go a long way in helping that positive conditioning, especially

for those considering a visit for the first time to our center. It just goes to show that the need for quality healthcare surpasses the unfounded fears of traveling to a country with a travel advisory.”

Born in Tijuana, Ariel spent his formative years, like many other Mexican children, crossing the border each morning to attend school in the U.S. “It was school and Bugs Bunny that helped me perfect my English language skills,” he admits. But after finishing sixth grade, Ariel’s family felt he needed to get back in touch with his roots. After finishing high school and college in Tijuana, his career path was an easy choice. Ariel’s father was a physician, one sister was a doctor, and his youngest sister was a dentist. Obviously, serving the public in some kind of medical capacity runs in the family. “Even though I have been pretty handy at a lot of things, there was one thing that amazed me, and that was my dad’s ability to cure. That provided my drive and focus and guided me through medical school and surgical residency,” says Ariel.

Selected by Newsweek magazine in 2011 as one of the top surgeons in America, Dr. Ariel Ortíz Lagardere also authored a book in 2005. “Lap-Band for Life” points out the struggles of obese persons prior to surgery, and offers the best method for coping with weight loss after surgery.

On the lighter side of things, Ariel is a very proud Mexican. He’ll tell you that a Mexican can always be distinguished for being a hard worker, a problem solver, and one who is family oriented. “I have a heart of gratitude and warmth that comes from my mom, and a passion for science, thanks to my father. And, I have the attitude that comes from being from here, and my philosophy of Mexi-CAN!”

Though Mexico has many fine culinary hotspots, Oaxaca is at the top of Ariel’s list, thanks to the fabulous Chiles and other spices. As a bullfight surgeon early in his career, Ariel still considers himself a bullfight aficionado. He’s also a lover of good wine, old-time rock n’ roll, and a self-proclaimed hardcore fisherman, He loves the waters of Cabo San Lucas. “The contrast between the desert and the ocean is fabulous,” he admits. “I can’t get enough deep sea fishing in Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, and Cancun! The marlins are there.”

Though the Lord has been a constant guiding light in Dr. Ariel Ortíz Lagardere’s life, his devotion to family is second to none. “I am so blessed in sharing my life with my beautiful wife Cynthia and my precious daughter Alexa,” he says.

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MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 81
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Secretary of Tourism for Sinaloa

O Oralia Rice

When it comes to knowing how to promote tourism in Sinaloa, Mexico, Oralia Rice – newly appointed Secretary of Tourism for Sinaloa, knows best. “Our best tourism ambassadors are the 6,500 ex-pats from the US and Canada that are retired in Mazatlán, an increase of 14% more in 2011 that the year before. They have been testifying through social media how well and comfortable they live in Mazatlán,” notes Rice. She goes on to explain how Governor of Sinaloa, Mario Lopez Valdez, has annual meetings with the retiree community living in Mazatlán, and has even created a special department at the State Ministry of Tourism which works specially for this important segment.

As Secretary of Tourism, Rice feels honored to serve Mexico and Sinaloa in the ever expanding tourism sector. According to Rice, she believes that jobs and income generated from tourism can be positive allies in addressing local poverty. In particular, she thinks Mexico is best positioned to offer value for international tourism because of its location, variety of experiences, and of course, legendary Mexican hospitality.

The 2.3 million tourists who visit Sinaloa come to experience culture, cuisine, nature, and plenty of fun in the sun. About 20% are foreign visitors, hailing mainly come from the United States, Canada, Latin America, China, and Europe. With eleven rivers, over 400 miles of beaches, and heralded as the entrance to the Sea of Cortes, Sinaloa offers a variety of activities that celebrate water. It is also home to the famous Copper Canyon – a natural marvel that is often compared to the Grand Canyon.

Proud of Mazatlán Beginnings

Born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Secretary Rice easily agrees that, “Sinaloa has the best sea food in the whole world.” She goes on to explain that Sinaloa is Mexico’s number one producer of food, especially corn, tomato, chili, several vegetables and fruits. “Our Mexican gastronomy has been named as an Intangible World’s Heritage by UNESCO, so I am very proud of our wide variety of food options we have in Mexico.” She adds that Mazatlán is the capital of shrimp and tuna, so seafood dishes don’t get any fresher on the plate than in Mazatlán.

After studying Marketing and Tourism at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Rice went on to work in the tourism and real estate industries for more than 20 years, in both private and public sectors. Starting as a Corporate Trainee in Sales and Marketing at Hyatt International, she would eventually work at all operative levels, serving from the housekeeping department to General Management.

In 2001, Rice decided to create her own consulting firm, specializing in market positioning, strategic planning, and hospitality projects located throughout Mexico and Latin America. During her consulting, she participated in more than 100 tourism projects in more than 30 countries, all the while developing feasibility studies, development and marketing strategies for hotels, time shares, marinas, golf courses, convention centers, industrial parks, retail centers, and real estate related products.

With the breadth and depth of Rice’s experience, it was no surprise that President Fox would tap her to become the Under Secretary of Tourism Planning at Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism. From there she was asked to work as Sinaloa’s Secretary of Tourism, a post she holds today.

Music in Mazatlán

Rice has played the piano since she was 7-years old, and acknowledges the cultural influence of Mazatlán on her childhood years. A city filled with history, it is home to the Angela Peralta Theater, where locals and tourists can enjoy the best opera, ballet and classical performances. As an opera and classical music lover, it’s one of the benefits of living in Mazatlán.

Because she loves Mazatlán and Sinaloa, Secretary of Tourism Rice extends an offer to all Mexico Traveler Magazine readers to visit Sinaloa. “Come for a wide variety of unique and unforgettable experiences, from the best duck hunting, fishing, golfing, bird watching, snorkeling, and water skiing, to cultural, archeological, gastronomic, sunsets, and all kinds of adventures and pleasures our State has to offer. For more information, you can visit us at”

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Predicts a Great Future for Mexico

As Managing Director of Resorts Developments for DINE, Mexico’s leader in exclusive commercial, residential and resort property development, Andrés Rossetto continues his involvement in luxury projects and operations, to which his entire career has been dedicated.

A Andrés Rossetto

majestic Sierra Madre Mountains, overlooking the Marietas Islands, where elusive blue-footed Booby birds fly and divers thrill to underwater caves and kaleidoscopic coral reefs: this is Punta Mita.”

Born in Mexico City, where he completed his basic studies, he later attended the Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland. Upon graduation he went on to Cornell University for his postgraduate degree. With his studies completed he then returned to Mexico to begin his distinguished career with the Camino Real chain of hotels.

From 1969 to 1974 he held executive positions at Camino Real Mexico City and at Camino Real Puerto Vallarta. Following this, he became General Manager of Camino Real Guadalajara, from 1976 to 1978. In 1979, he was appointed General Manager to the Camino Real Ixtapa, where he was active in the development of the hotel and then successfully opened this superb resort.

Rossetto’s next move to Hyatt International Hotels took place in 1985 as General Manager of Hyatt Regency Acapulco, and General Manager of Casablanca Hyatt Regency in Morocco. In 1988 he returned to Mexico and rejoined the Camino Real chain as Vice President Planning and Development, followed by being named Executive Vice President. Finally, in 1990, he was elected Chief Executive Officer, where he remained until the end of 1992. Expanding upon the vast experience he had gained during his chosen career, he joined DINE as Executive Vice President in January 1993. Here, he became involved in significant projects such as the Santa Fe fashion mall — the largest in Latin America; the luxury office complex of Arcos, plus a number of residential projects in the Mexico City area.

In January 2000, Rossetto was named Managing Director of Resort Developments for DINE and, since that time, has been in charge of Punta Mita — a spectacular 1,500 acre master planned luxury resort north of Puerto Vallarta that consistently ranks among the world’s most desirable destinations. In addition, he contributes with his knowledge and experience to the projects of Punta Ixtapa and Punta Gorda in Los Cabos. When asked about his favorite location in Mexico, he waxed lyrical.

“The answer is simple: Punta Mita,!” he exclaimed. “This magnificent resort, has come to be regarded as among the world’s most elite master-planned resort and private residential communities. Surrounded on three sides by turquoise waters, more than nine miles of varied coastline, framed by lush tropical forest and the

With great enthusiasm he continued to describe the spot that affords him such pleasure. “It is an amazing secure gated peninsular, surrounded on three sides by the ocean, home to two 5-Diamond Rated Resorts — namely, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort — two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, Tennis facilities comprising ten courts, a Fitness Center, Ocean Activities, Restaurants, Spas and a broad array of Real Estate opportunities.”

To measure success in life and in business, he believes, includes having a family-work balance that involves financial values, gender roles, career paths, time management, besides many other factors. “Success is measured in terms of your goals, dreams, expectations and this is determined by hard work, dedication and persistence,’ he says.

Among his most rewarding achievements Rossetto lists the opening of the Camino Real Ixtapa in the middle of the jungle; becoming CEO of the most acclaimed hotel chain in Mexico at that time; and the opening of Punta Mita Resort in November 1999, with the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, and the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Punta Mita, Pacifico, which features the world’s only natural island golf green, “The Tail of the Whale.”

On the personal side, Rossetto is the former president of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs of Mexico City, a worldwide organization of gourmets. He has a son and daughter and resides in Mexico City and Punta Mita. When his demanding life allows time to relax, his interests include recreational golf and snow skiing. As for Mexico’s future, he is highly optimistic.

“Mexico has a great future,” he explains, “Especially since the wealthiest country in the world, the USA, is our neighbor — making Mexico a natural choice to enjoy a beach vacation. The list of treasures to be discovered and enjoyed here includes its world-renowned history, heritage, architecture, art, the gastronomical richness and culture. The splendor of its beaches, the candor of the people, the stunning display of nature and wildlife and the benefits derived from first class amenities and service.” And Rossetto is convinced that Mexico’s economy is on the right track for a steady recovery.

“As you know, it is the twelfth largest economy in the world in nominal terms and has a great opportunity to improve its tourism industry, as well as create millions of jobs, which will ultimately boost our country’s economy,” he concludes confidently.

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U Ulrich Schwartz

At a very young age Ulrich Schwartz, President of the Association of International Hospitality, became attracted to the hotel business. It captured his imagination when he was 15 years old and he felt it might afford him the opportunity “to get to know the world” that lay beyond his own in Hamburg, Germany. His education included the Technical Hotel School in Hamburg followed by graduation from the Hotel Administration College in Heidelberg.

He served his apprenticeship at the world famous Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg which, today, is owned and managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Later, he filled a variety of positions at different hotels in France, England and Spain. In 1964 Schwartz joined Hilton International Hotels in Panama as Food and Beverage Manager and then in Jamaica.

His early vision of seeing the world carried him to Mexico City in 1968, where he became Executive Assistant Manager, then progressing to Director General at the Almeda Hotel. At that time it was part of the Camino Real chain but, sadly, was torn down after the big earthquake that struck the city. At the Chain’s corporate offices he became Vice President of Marketing in 1971.

A change of direction occurred when Schwartz was invited to the corporate head office of Westin Hotels & Resorts, Seattle, in 1980 as Director and Vice President of Marketing and was also named to the Board of Directors of the Hotels Camino Real. At the Westgate Hotel in San Diego he accepted the position of Managing Director from 1990to-92, followed by seven years in that position at the Palmilla Resort in San José del Cabo.

“Having been part of the top management team to bring the Camino Real group to the leading hotel chain in Mexico in the ‘70s and ‘80s.” Schwartz replied. “I took over the management of the Palmilla Resort in Los Cabos in 1992 as a small ‘laid back hideaway’ and transformed it into a world class golf resort.” More than the addition of the 27-hole golf course, new buildings and surroundings, was the transforming and training of the people into a great top-class team.

“I received the Star Diamond Award for the renovated new Palmilla in 1996, after we “redid” the resort and added the Jack Nicklaus golf course,” says Schwartz. “A year later the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) named me “One of the best Hotel Managers.” After completing his time at Palmilla he was invited to join the AAHS

in 1999 as Vice President. In 2000 he obtained the position of managing director at Condesa del Mar/Fiesta Americana in Cancun. From that time onward until the present he has been Vice President of The American Academy Hospitality Sciences (AAHS). The most significant step in his diverse career came in 2006 when he launched his own company.

“By founding the Association of International Hospitality, Inc. I am able to develop some of my own ideas,” he explains. “That is, working on programs with Visa Mexico; establishing the “Premio San Pascual” for great chefs in Mexico who have obtained accomplishments in their profession and dedicate time to train new generations. By creating and promoting the Award I can ‘payback’ to Mexico for all that I’ve received from this wonderful country and its people.” He also remains with AAHS and, for forty three years, has been a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, as Grand Commandeur, founding a chapter in Los Cabos in 1996. And what are his most rewarding achievements?

Schwartz originated and established the “San Pascual Award” in Mexico which, in time, will be extended all over the Americas to honor prominent chefs. This Award was presented for the fifth time this past May 2012 at the Museo “Palacio de Autonomia” in Mexico City. And, in addition to devoting much of his time to his profession, he also enjoys listening to classical music, attending concerts, jogging, hiking and working out in the gym.

Residing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he also counts among his many “rewards” a wonderful family and many great friends. Married for 49 years to Marthe, he has two sons: Andres, 40, and Stefan, 37 years old, and finds happiness in being a newly born-again Christian. He also has many favorite locations in Mexico.

“I enjoy immensely Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, as well as the colonial cities, such as Morelia, Oaxaca and Queretaro,” Schwartz says. “And especially attractive are Ensenada and the wine country.” We asked him how he would measure success.

“To be respected as a leader and, also, to be respected by your employer as well as in your industry, without compromising integrity,” he emphasizes. “I was introduced to the Art of Hospitality in my young years and it has been my satisfaction to having passed it on to many people.” What of his predictions for Mexico‘s future?

“The best is yet to come!” he exclaims.

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“Hospitality” captured his imagination!
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OOlegario Vázquez Aldir

Leading by Example

Leading one of Mexico’s largest conglomerates leaves little time to enjoy life. But when you love what you do, the lines are blurred between professional and personal ambitions. Olegario Vázquez Aldir is living proof. Since 1996, he’s served as CEO for Grupo Empresarial Angeles (GEA), a diversified company with four main core areas: Hospitals, Communications, Financial, and Tourism. “GEA is a private company formed under the values of commitment to excellence, innovation in the field, honesty, and a lot of hard work,” Olegario explains. “Everyday we prepare to compete and make a difference in our respective fields, and our goal is to always win! We are one of the largest employers in Mexico providing jobs for more than 25,000 men and women.”

Olegario is not your typical CEO; he’s involved 100 percent with the company’s day-to-day operation. “My business philosophy can be summarized in a nutshell: Be fast and diligent in our strategic decisionmaking process, and be able to make the right decision quickly to outmaneuver the competition,” he says. “We can’t let size slow us down!”

To ensure that a commitment to excellence is pervasive throughout the company, Olegario works directly with the various managers to ensure a consistent message is shared with all employees. “We need to be focused on the goal at hand, and demand results from our executives and management team,” says Olegario.

Born in Mexico City 40 years ago, Olegario recalls that as a young boy, he always had a keen interest in anything related to business, especially when it pertained to the family. “These interests led me to enroll in business administration at Universidad Iberoamericana for my bachelors studies,” he says. “After graduating and acquiring some real life experience in the rank and file of my father’s businesses, I decided that following in his footsteps was my calling. So, in order to better prepare myself, I gobbled up anything I could get my hands on relating to hospital administration and business administration. I also attended all the graduate courses I could allow myself to take in Mexico and abroad.”

Olegario’s guidance and inspiration in life stemmed from his parents. “Without a doubt, my parents set the standards for me during my formidable years,” he says. “But while in college and after graduating there were some key influential people ranging from intellectuals like Alvin Toffler, to great CEO’s and innovators like Jack Welch and Steve Jobs who opened my mind and helped me understand some of the key variables needed to suc-

ceed in the business world. I also think that the study of history and philosophy have greatly influenced me to become the person that I am today.”

Olegario’s heritage also plays an important role. He is proud of his Mexican heritage. “I am extremely proud of being Mexican,” he says. “I’m privileged to be born here amongst hard working people and raised in a country that has given me the freedom and opportunity to create, develop, and grow. I’m committed to giving back to my country by generating jobs, reinvesting our wealth, and staking the future of our companies firmly in Mexican soil, instead of taking our dividends abroad. I am a proud Mexican because I believe in Mexico!”

Other aspects of the Mexican heritage Olegario appreciates are the gastronomic delights and the arts. “I love all kinds of Mexican food, from tacos to mole, and tortas to seafood,” he says. “I also appreciate Mexican writers like Carlos Fuentes and Enrique Krauze, along with poets Sabines and Carlos Pellicle. I also listen to Mexican pop rock bands, but nothing beats the mariachi!”

Mexico’s Future

With all of the positive attributes that Mexico offers the world, there are still a great many challenges and obstacles to overcome. Olegario acknowledges that tourism did take a down turn when the global economy went south a few years ago. However, the business sector on the other hand, was far less affected. “The good news from Mexico is that we have a strong economy, and we hope that the new government will do what is necessary to approve the economic reforms needed to unlock our country’s economic potential,” suggests Olegario. “That’s why there are important urban developments in place in strategic places like Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, and in the tourist areas such as Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit.”

Exploring some of Mexico’s natural beauty in the stunning blue waters of Mexico is a favorite pastime of the CEO. He has a fondness for places like Cancun, Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Los Cabos. “I absolutely love Acapulco, a sea resort that I have been linked to since I was a child,” recalls Olegario. That connection to the sea is probably why Olegario Vázquez Aldir has a favorite saying that’s related to his managing and entrepreneurial philosophy: “It is not the big fish that eats the small fish, but rather the fast fish that eats the slow one.”

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MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 89

Art Lucille Wong: Mastering a Silent Language

Somewhere between bright colors and soft hues, free flowing abstracts and pronounced definition, “East meets West” in a culture clash that makes the art of Lucille Wong speak its own language. Whether she’s working on themes revolving around landscapes and nature, volcanoes and horses, nudes and human figures or using Sumi-E or abstract formats, one thing is for sure—art is a way of expressing thoughts and concepts—and of finding her place in a world where the paintbrush is her microphone and the canvas is her stage.

“I like to speak with this language,” Wong says. “It is a silent language. No words are needed to express the invisible. Painting uncovers the unknown in an instant. It is a path of growth. Art becomes life, like the air I breathe.”

Wong captures the essence of her upbringing—Chinese on one side of the family, Mexican and Texan on the other—and produces a unique blend of art and living. Raised in Mexico, her four grandparents and parents formed a solid platform of values and work ethic and embraced love, individuality, intuition and intelligence. “I can recall strong, industrious and hardworking persons,” she says. “No matter trial or struggle, they were always there to help and bring joy for life.” They detected and believed in her artistic talent early on. “I have beautiful memories of both of them: my mother teaching me to apply soft colors delicately with a piece of cotton, and my father giving me a small paintbox that he still kept from his childhood. And the three of us trying to copy a small boat painting by Monet.”

Art started as a daily basis in kindergarten. “Sitting at my small table, I suddenly detected above my head, a hand carrying a basket full of crayons. The smell and colors are still with me.”

That passion took root and never wavered as she pursued a degree in modern literature from National Autonomous University in Mexico (UNAM) and a master’s degree in English literature at the University of Kent, England, while taking courses on Oriental culture at the Colegio de Mexico. Ultimately, every course she took, every place she traveled to, every teacher she studied under, influenced her work by “enriching her thematic cycles and world vision.”

During her time in England, however, she quit painting for a whole year. “It became inconceivable and painful,” she says. “I decided that my true language was painting.”

by Sylvia Mendoza
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photos by Miguel Méndez Díaz and Octavio Wong

She also decided she would open her own studio and paint, no matter what. Before going home, she spent time in Florence, which fortified her decision. “The great master was the city itself.” Day by day, step by step, she enjoyed and learned from all the works of art that graced her path. Finally, in Sicily, on the top of Mt. Etna, the highest volcano in Europe, she had an epiphany as nature rendered elementary colors—red, blue, and yellow, along with the purest black and white—and she translated the palette with a need to make it her own. “The clear sky was deep blue, sulfur on the ground was mordent and yellow, a red spot was behind me. The clouds, like cotton balls, were bright white, and the crater was deep, deep black.”

The colors and image stayed with her.

Since then she has participated in 37 individual exhibitions and in more than 150 collective – throughout Mexico, the United States, Canada, Chile, Panama, France, Spain, Italy Switzerland, Sweden and Japan. She staged her first individual exhibition in 1974 and others followed. Using a variety of methods and top quality materials like acid-free or handmade papers, and original pigments, her art has grown a reputation as “millenarian Oriental art and modern impressionism.” Studying abroad and in workshops with Robin Bond, Guillermo Santi, Koyo Okamoto and Luis Nishizawa, among others, it was a time of discovery. “They helped me to discover my genetic baggage—East meets West—by teaching me formal approach to oil painting and Sumi-E, and helped me find my own language.”

That language has led to more than original paintings. She produceslimited editions of mixed media and graphic art, photography, illustrated bookcovers, and so much more, creating unique masterpieces. “Piece by piece, each unit is one of a kind.”

She challenges herself to find new ways to express her art. In an original portfolio of mixed media, for example, 37 Ways to Depict Light combined

visual and musical language. The music was written by E.R. Blackaller (Three Suites for Piano, inspired by images of Lucille Wong) and the exhibit was touted as creative genius.

“As the old Masters in China said: Ink is the blood, the brush is the extension of the hand, and the white paper is the place where Nature and Spirit mingle,” she says. And for Wong, all of it together produces a language that speaks to her—and that she has mastered.

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Anthony Michael “Tony” Bourdain

text by Pat Tyson photos courtesy the Travel Channel
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“It’s like Tuscany down there —it’s amazing!”

He Has No Reservations About The Cuisine In Baja California

Anthony Bourdain, host of the popular Travel Channel series “No Reservations,” has traveled the world, tasting its finest cuisines and making observations on the planet’s most exotic dishes. However, the American chef discovered new experiences awaited him on his first trip to Baja California—which was, he claims, “a real education.”

Tijuana is in the beginning phases of reinventing itself, he found. His guide, also named Tony, explained that “it’s now about the locals, not the tourists.” We wanted to know what Bourdain thinks of the city these days.

“A city that’s stopped caring, apparently, about catering to our vices and is now in the midst of a renaissance, especially on the culinary scene,” he says in his frankly outspoken manner. On his first stop, at Mision 19, he met with owner Chef Javier Plascencia, who concurs with Bourdain.

“We’re trying to create a food town,” Plascencia tells him. The Mexican chef is spearheading this movement toward making Tijuana into what he describes as “a gastronomic destination.” After sampling Plascencia’s “beef tongue sous-vide”, Bourdain moves on to a mezcal tasting, then hops into a limousine for a quick trip to “taco alley” where he tries the alley’s best campechano taco — a mix of carne asada and chorizo.

Before leaving Tijuana, he visits a little beach stand to eat what is, apparently, the first real fish taco he’s ever encountered. Then on to Ensenada where the seafood theme continues — though he learns that there it’s all about “carts over stands.” He is led to what is widely considered the best street cart in the world and has, he says, the “Le Bernardin-quality seafood in the street.”

“There are people there who have been doing great food for 35 years,” he says “A bunch of young chefs have traveled the world, come home and decided ‘Let’s move Mexican food forward.’” Bourdain then traveled through the wine country there and found it “awesome.”

“It’s like Tuscany down there — it’s amazing!” he exclaims. As he traveled around, he says he found it awesome. “It’s the great undiscovered wonderland. Rolling hills, grape arbors and great chefs cooking very forward, very subtle, very good food.”

Bourdain enjoys exploring cultures and lifestyles that challenge him with a greater understanding of human existence and the underlying stories behind a locale’s traditional cuisine. He studied at Vassar College and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. He resides in Manhattan with his wife, Ottavia, and daughter, Ariane. When he visited Baja, he was surprised at what he found there.

“I had no idea it would be that beautiful, that the food would be that good, that the ingredients would be that exciting, that they are creating the Amazonian world in Baja California. I was shocked by how delicious the food was and that they have a wine country.” he concludes. His trip to Baja California was recently presented on his award-winning — program about the most interesting destinations in the world.

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Wanna Grow the Game? Create More Sustainable Golf Courses and

Future Generations of Golfers —

The game of golf and the golf industry has been adapting and evolving with the ever changing world economy. During these challenging economic times, it’s more important than ever that we strive to design or redesign our golf courses in an effort to make them more sustainable so they can be enjoyed for generations to come. We need to work even harder to ensure we create more golfers to enjoy these sustainable courses for years to come. Without the golfers themselves, the courses become unsustainable.

Sustainable Golf Courses

In the not so distant past we were in a period of golf course design where no expense was spared in the design and maintenance of a golf course. Architects would move millions of cubic yards of dirt leaving the owner behind with a course that not only costs millions to build, but millions to maintain as well.

As we look at emerging golf markets such as Mexico, it is more important than ever that we learn something from these past mistakes in the United States and work hard to design and redesign courses in an effort to make them more environmentally and economically sustainable. In the United States in particular, we have seen a strong movement towards golf course renovation and redesign. Many buyers are looking to take advantage of the market and acquire golf courses for less than a quarter of what they cost to originally develop. In many cases, the acquisition will involve an older golf course that is in need of capital improvements to help them compete with some of their more modern counterparts. My design company has several projects, currently underway where we have been hired to

come in and re-design the course which will then be rebranded as a Greg Norman Design. So we have seen the market for redesigns pick up in the United States and I am sure this will begin to happen in Mexico as well. A Greg Norman redesign will give older existing Golf Courses in Mexico a chance to compete with their newer more modern counter parts for a fraction of the cost of a new facility. The key is that these improvements need to be responsible and help the owner to create a more economically sustainable golf course.

Growing the Game Future Generations

We also need to work diligently to continue to grow the game by introducing the sport to our youth, who will one day make up the majority of our golfing population. This can be accomplished through youth programs like the First Tee or golf education programs like Golf Para Todos.

The Mayakoba Golf Classic created Golf Para Todos which is a community outreach program, to grow the game of golf by encouraging active participation in the game as a participant and as a fan. In January of 2011, Golf Para Todos earned a place in the Guinness World Records by hosting the world’s largest golf lesson ever. 1,073 people participated in the lesson.

I read an article recently that went even one step further with a plan to grow the game. The author suggested that if you want to grow the game of golf, you should let children play for free. While the author claimed it was a radical solution, it sounds like a good one to me. The more golfers we can create the more economically sustainable our golf courses become.

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Real Estate

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The Buyers’ Market In Mexico

While the entire world has been affected by the current economical climate, nevertheless there are tremendous opportunities for travelers who want to explore the depths and breadth of Mexico. Experiences of a lifetime can be enjoyed from the luxury resorts in Los Cabos to the breathtaking views of Punta Mita – featured in our “Amazing Destinations” section.

There are unbelievable offers in the real estate market as well. For those looking for an affordable retirement home, Mexico has lots to offer, including locales where the purchasing power of your dollar buys more than ever before. Since many “baby boomers” have watched their retirement savings shrink because of the stock market, “value” is the new mantra for those seeking a quality lifestyle. Be sure to read the editorial within our featured destinations of Guanajuato, Sinaloa and Yucatán – for a wealth of ideas.

Rolling out the Red Carpet in

Los CabosWelcome to Los Cabos, Mexico! Bienvenido a Los Cabos, México!

The global economy has changed dramatically over the past few years affecting the landscape and altering the way buyers and investors look to enter and re-enter into the real estate market -- and the market has had to adapt accordingly. As the financial industry continues it’s re-calibration, it is imperative, more so now than ever that we help strengthen consumer confidence in

terms of real estate, in particular, here in Mexico.

To that end, a confluence of positive and globally visible events have taken place in the Los Cabos area which will systematically raise the bar. When the G20, B20 and L20 summits took place in Los Cabos this June, the “eyes of the world” were upon us and we now need to seize the opportunity to attract and maintain the interest of the wealthiest nations to this region. We, at Snell Real Estate want to roll out the red carpet for the world and invite people to come and experience all of the beauty and wonder of this area.

Positive Indicators -

As investors reflect upon the economic, social and political factors, there are strong indications that private/direct real estate investments are trending up the meter from fair to good, Canadian real estate markets remain the most stable in North America and the price per square foot in some luxury development areas in Europe are at nearly double of that in Los Cabos. This is evidenced in Snell Real Estate by performance improvements in showings and tours but most importantly, sales. What is missing, are more of our friends and family from the mainland and we, at Snell Real Estate are taking action to expand more into the Mexican-National market as well as reaching out to the affluent European consumer.

At Snell Real Estate, our philosophy is that our customers come first and deserve “treatment befitting royalty” - our teams of specialized agents are trained to welcome, advice and provide the highest level of service and expertise.

So what are you waiting for?

The Warmth of Mexico Awaits You!

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MedicalTourism in Mexico Go South For Good Health!

During the past several years, many Americans have chosen to travel to Mexico for affordable medical care. Following a period of stunted growth, private hospitals there are now growing by double digit numbers.

The hospital and medical clinic construction boom has been in small clinics and surgery centers, as well as large high quality hospitals. A number of factors that have fueled this growth include a large increase in demand from medical tourists who travel south of the border for affordable treatment, an increase in the number of the Mexican middle class opting for private healthcare, and a growing health insured population in Mexico.

There are many reasons for the increase in the number of people who wish to get medical treatments such as cosmetic surgery, heart surgery, weight loss surgery, orthopedic treatments and dental work. Some of the new hospitals are state-of-the-art and may be compared to the best in the world.

The development of medical tourism in Mexico has reinforced patient confidence in Mexican hospitals; many of them now admit large numbers of foreign patients. In addition to the price, people are attracted to Mexico by the experience of the doctors. In the case of many medical procedures, Mexican doctors have more experience than doctors in the United States, because either the procedure has not been approved in the USA by the FDA, or has only recently been approved.

Moreover, traveling to Mexico is quite convenient for Americans and Canadians, as the distance is less for them than for other foreign nationals, and there are frequent flights to major cities. Many Americans choose to get their weight-loss surgeries and dental implants in the U.S.-Mexican border areas, where they can conveniently travel by road and, sometimes, return the same day.

Cosmetic Surgery

There is so much that makes Mexico appealing to visitors: the beautiful beaches on the Sea of Cortez to the shores lying along the Pacific Ocean as well as the Mexican Riviera, a fabulous cuisine that combines European and Indigenous foods, an intriguing and colorful Aztec and Mayan history and, of course, tequila or the flavorful Mexican beers. All of this will help to alleviate the trauma that may be caused by plastic surgery.

While cosmetic procedures are so expensive in countries such as the United States, people have begun to look elsewhere for their treatments. Over the past few years, Mexico has become THE place to go for excellent and affordable cosmetic surgery. Contemplating this venture can be intimidating…not only the surgery itself, but the cost. Even with the additional cost of plane fare, lodging and other incidentals, it still can be an affordable way to have the look you’ve been dreaming about.

As with any surgery, it is vitally important in advance to check qualifications, reputation, hospitals and, if it is important to you, whether or not they speak English. The

surgeons are board certified, just as in other countries, many of whom have been trained abroad, while the clinics are state-of-the-art and updated with the latest technologies. Support from beginning to end of treatment is given by highly trained English-speaking professionals, who are only concerned throughout with the health and happiness of the patients for whom they are caring.

However, it doesn’t stop there. They not only continue to look after you once the procedure has finished, but also will often go above and beyond to ensure the experience of plastic surgery in Mexico is stress-free and enjoyable. In addition, it is much more affordable than north of the border; doctors, nurses and hospitals cost much less. Cosmetic surgery is not just for the affluent any more.

For example, the cost of rhinoplasty in the U.S. can cost more than $4,000, whereas the average in Mexico is around $2,800. Breast implants in the United States can be in the area of $5,000; in Mexico they are closer to $3,000. A face lift in the U.S costs between $5,000 and $6,000; in Mexico it costs between $2,000 and $2,500. A tummy tuck in Mexico can cost about $3,000, but is likely to be more than double that in the U.S. Breast reduction in the U.S. is $9,000, but only about $2,500 in Mexico.

In order to have surgery in Mexico you must be in good health. Any medical reason why you could not have it in the United States would make it off limits in Mexico also. Otherwise, if the siren call of Beauty beckons, Cosmetic Surgery can be one of the biggest changes in life you will ever experience.

Dental Procedures

Mexico is quickly expanding its dental tourism industry, with multiple advantages including affordable dental treatments, proximity to the United States and high quality of services. Americans seeking low-cost dental treatments are flocking to this neighboring country south of the border, to benefit from the growth of dental tourism in Mexico.

Many U.S. citizens do not have dental insurance, dental costs are spiraling beyond reach causing people to look southward. Therefore, low costs are a major draw to dental care in Mexico, with expenses falling to as low as 50-to70 percent of those in the U.S. This is not the only reason, however; most of the dentists in Mexico have been trained in the U.S. or U.K. Availability of highly-skilled and experienced dental surgeons is also one of the reasons for the growth of dental tourism in Mexico , as well as the low cost. (Mexico, as well as the low cost.)

For example, the cost of dental implants in Mexico is around 50-to-70 percent of what it would be in the United States. Other popular dental procedures include dental implants, bonding, bridges, crowns and caps, fillings, bone grafts for dental implants, dentures, porcelain veneers, orthodontic treatment, root canals, teeth whitening, full mouth restoration and much more..

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by Pat Tyson

The importance of the quality of care is evident in the Mexican dental clinics, which use state-of-the-art technology and follow OSHA regulation for hygienic standards. The professional dental body of the country, the Mexico Dental Association, is a regular member of the World Dental Federation, ensuring that there is a standard system of quality control and assessment. Many dentists are trained in the U.S. or U.K. and are highly experienced.

Lap Band Surgery

For many people with obesity issues, lap band surgery is proving to be a blessing and offers numerous benefits. Patients from the United States are increasingly choosing Mexico as the destination of choice for this procedure, where they will find some of the most highly trained, experienced and qualified lap band surgeons.

Mexico has had an early start in laparoscopic banding compared to the U.S. The FDA (food and drug administration) only approved the process in 2001, whereas Mexico has been providing gastric band surgery since the 1990s. The good news for patients opting for weight loss surgery in Mexico is that, over the years, the standards of medical facilities there have been steadily improving, while lap band surgery costs have considerably decreased.

Many facilities in Mexico meet or exceed U.S. standards and proudly offer state of the art medical equipment. This is attributed to the lower operating expense and the cost of doing business there, where lap band surgery cost is comparable to that in India, but quite lower compared to the USA, UK and Canada. Following is an approximate cost comparison:

Mexico: $3,999 to $8,000 USA: $10,800 to $20,000

Besides actual costs, there are other financial considerations to explore. For example U.S. health plans, such as Medicare and Medicaid, cover the cost of surgery only if patients can prove that their BMI (body mass index) is higher than 40. Also, they should be able to demonstrate a history of previous attempts at weight loss. Anyone not meeting these requirements will be unable to qualify for health plan coverage for the procedure, which effectively puts lap band surgery out of reach for many in the USA.

In most cases, the individual has to finance the surgery on his own. Funding for lap band surgery through bank loans is another common and easy option to finance this process. In such scenarios, Mexico is quite attractive as a medical destination for the procedure. Even after considering travel and lodging expenses related to the surgery, a 50-to-60 percent cost saving can be achieved.

Overall, Mexico is safe for tourists, which is supported by the fact that it is ranked tenth in the world in terms of international tourist arrivals. Even though Spanish is the language spoken by the majority of the population, the impact foreign tourism has resulted in the development of a tourist infrastructure. Consequently, all major medical facilities, especially those that cater to international patients, are staffed with English-speaking personnel, eliminating any communication barriers.

On the mat in Mexico

Mexico’s ever expanding yoga opportunities

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Yoga’s popularity continues to soar. More people from an ever wider span of ages, of both sexes, try yoga each year.

What it is about yoga that is so alluring? Is it the focus on breath work and turning inward during this time of ever-increasing technology that has us plugged in and wired up 24 hours a day? Or is it the sense of community that frequenting a yoga studio can provide? Maybe it’s yoga’s ancient traditions and spiritual roots? Or is it simply that cute yoga butt that we’re all striving for?

Although the reasons differ from person to person, the fact remains that yoga’s allure is real and its practice spreading like wildfire. It’s estimated that the percentage of people who take up yoga each year grows by 25% and that currently 1 in every 10 Americans practices yoga.

Of course the popularity of yoga is growing world-wide, not just in the United States. Mexico is witnessing an ever increasing number of yoga studios and yoga retreat centers. The physical practice is being undertaken by more and more Mexicans, and each year Mexico is also welcoming more and more visitors to the country specifically for yoga. Mexico is one of the most popular yoga retreat destinations in the world, with the Rivera Maya region boasting the highest concentration of yoga retreat centers in the country.

The June 2012 issue of Yoga Journal, one of the oldest and most widely read yoga magazines, with 1,500,000 readers monthly, includes an article focusing on spectacular retreat centers, which features four top locations. Mexico is one of the top four, along with Costa Rica, Bali and Hawaii. And in an accompanying article about the important role that fresh, natural cuisine plays at yoga retreat centers, four of the five featured centers are located in Mexico.

Many people don’t realize that the oldest fitness resort and spa in the in world--Rancho La Puerta—opened its doors in Tecate, Mexico in 1940. Although not a yoga-only retreat center, 20 weeks a year are dedicated to yoga at Rancho La Puerta, and classes are available daily. Rancho La Puerta is a 3,000-acre property that boasts a gorgeous yoga studio, immense organic garden and amazing cooking school.

Dana Rae Paré E-RYT500, owner of Infinite Yoga in San Diego, worked on staff at Rancho La Puerta for a number of years in the 1990s, and now returns annually to host one of their 20 “Specialty Yoga Weeks.” She explains that many people “return year after year for a specific teacher. I usually know about 80% of the guests during my weeks.” But she goes on to say that a stay at a destination fitness resort and spa, such as Rancho La Puerta, is different than a

yoga-only retreat, “it’s a bit more general than a yoga retreat center, less intimidating...” which is perfect for those just beginning their yoga journey, or for those who want to practice yoga on their vacations, but not all the time.

“A ‘yoga retreat’ is a completely different experience... A retreat is specifically geared toward yoga, usually with a theme and a progressive program with each teacher bringing their own group,” says Paré, who has also led numerous retreats at Maya Tulum in Riviera Maya. “I usually teach three progressive classes a day and nightly lecture. In between we explore the Mayan ruins, swim in the warm turquoise water and maybe indulge in a massage or spa treatment. With one full week dedicated exclusively to yoga everyone progresses and gains insight

of workouts for a ‘fitness holiday,’ are gaining in popularity.

Another option for practicing yoga in Mexico that doesn’t require an arrival by boat or a bootcamp, is to try the classes offered at many of the country’s finer resorts and hotels. Some resorts have yoga instructors on staff, but those who don’t often contract out in order to provide their guests with quality certified yoga professionals.

Jennifer Ernst, a yoga instructor based in Lexington, Kentucky, who teachers private clients and classes at Yo2Go Studio, devotes a few weeks a year to teaching at resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. She taught for a week at Secrets Marquis in Los Cabos last December, and states, “The beaches of Los Cabos are some of the best in the world. The people at Secrets Marquis were so gracious. It was my favorite teaching experience outside my own classroom.”

Fit Bodies, Inc., a U.S.-based human resource agency that pairs international resorts with qualified, certified fitness and yoga professionals, staffs just under 60 resorts in the Caribbean and throughout Mexico. Owner Suzelle Snowden explains that her teachers are able to reach, “people who are afraid, uncomfortable or don’t want to spend money to take a class at home. Now, when they are on vacation, they have the time, it’s free and right out the door of their room. So no excuses! We offer the guests confidence in the fitness program because it is being led by a professional trained and certified.”

about themselves and yoga, while soaking up the negative ions of the Caribbean Sea, the nutritious food and the Mayan culture.”

“Mexico is an amazing place to lead a retreat,” agrees Lara Heimann MS PT E-RYT 200, creator of YogaStream, based in Princeton, New Jersey. Heimann recently led a yoga retreat at Xinalani, a yoga retreat center near Puerto Vallarta. The 10-acre jungle property is on the southern shore of Banderas Bay, and only accessible by boat. “From the moment we landed in Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican people were gracious beyond measure, happy, accommodating, and playful. I know that there are lots of wonderful locations that would be closer and easier to access, but this resort is worth the extra effort to get there. I really wanted to be somewhere even more remote [than Tulum] and Xinalani’s spectacular location met that desire.”

But what if you don’t want a remote, yoga-only experience? Bikini boot camps, such as the well-known program offered at Amansala in Tulum, and other simi- lar programs that incorporate yoga into a wider range

So whether you’re a seasoned yogi or just tempted to try a single class while you’ve got some down time on vacation, Mexico fits the bill.

“Practicing yoga on vacation—when the everyday stresses of life are left elsewhere—allows the student to deepen his or her practice,” Ernst comments.

“Because they are free from their normal responsibilities, which can require a lot of energy, and they are in a place set up to make them relaxed, they can really delve into the yoga practice in a very rich and rewarding way,” adds Heimann.

With Mexico’s miles and miles of pristine beaches, lush vegetation, fresh local produce, welcoming people and slower pace of life, opportunities to practice yoga are abundant, and bound to increase. Teachers and students alike rave about their experiences on the mat in Mexico. Maybe it’s time for you to make some of your own Mexic-om memories?

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G Guanajuato

…Now offering the Route of Tequila and Wine

Guanajuato is a colonial city recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

There are cultural and sporting events all year round. Their cuisine is traditional and fusion.

Guanajuato is a genuine example of tradition and modernism- simply a great place to discover Mexico’s identity.

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Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Tequila/Wine Route

Guanajuato: Mexico at its Best

Mexico is its uniquely seasoned cuisine, tequila shots, mariachi music, the murals and the colorful architecture – and the modernity of new generations. As a country founded on cultural contrasts, traveling to Mexico means delighting in many different experiences. And it is right here where Guanajuato comes in.

Guanajuato is a state that has it all: colonial cities recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites; cultural and sports events; traditional and fusion cuisines; an exciting nightlife, and stunning natural environments for practicing ecotourism and adventure tourism.

Guanajuato is a genuine example of tradition and modernity. The archeological sites, the colonial buildings, the monuments honoring Independence, and the ancient roads built and used during the Revolution, enclose most of Mexico’s history. At the same time, Guanajuato is the best reference in matters of infrastructure and urban lifestyle found in the center of the country. In short, Guanajuato is the best place to discover Mexico’s identity.

The best Mexican Experience is found in Guanajuato

Surrounded by streets, tunnels, square, temples and alleys from the colonial era, the state of Guanajuato is where Mexico´s history and culture converge. Located in the country´s heartland, Guanajuato contains tourist attractions with distinguished historic relevance. Some of the state´s cities, like Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, possess such a vast historic richness that UNESCO has given them the title of World Heritage Site. In each of its touristic sites, the New Spain´s legacy from the Independence’s epoch is still preserved and can be perceived. Located only 3 hours away from Mexico City, Guanajuato also exists as one of the country´s most important cultural zones.

City of Guanajuato

The ancient streets, tunnels and temples at the city of Guanajuato created one of the state’s most important tourist attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Guanajuato exudes a youthful atmosphere, inviting visitors to share in some of the most important artistic and cultural events in the country, such as the International Cervantino Festival, and indulge in an incessant nightlife.

In the city’s peripheries, the Central Mountain Range becomes the ideal

place to delight in adventure tourism amongst nature. Attractions include the woods, precipitous mountains, historical towns, and a wide-ranging flora and fauna from Guanajuato’s relief.

San Miguel de Allende and its Surroundings

Some say this Colonial treasure, San Miguel de Allende, is the soul of Old Mexico, integrating the best of small-town life with the sophisticated pleasures of a big city. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Miguel de Allende is located high in the Sierra Madre mountain range in the epicenter of Mexico in the state of Guanajuato, remote enough to discourage many with a 90 minute drive from the nearest airport. But once you’ve experienced the visual feasts, walked the winding cobblestone streets, soaked in its welcoming spirit and mystical rhythm, you are captivated.

Soak in the surrounding hills and abundance of trees and flowers. Stroll upon its cobbled streets and turn into narrow alleys in this walkable city, and you’ll be greeted with the festive colors of Mexico – a celebratory palette of a rainbow seemingly splashed randomly on the walls of buildings. The walls are big, edging right up to the sidewalk, but the soft, striking light of day plays off those vibrantly painted walls, begging further exploration.

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GUANAJUATO •Irapuato •Silao •Cristo Rey •Salamanca •Salvatierra •Tarimoro •Moroleon •Celaya •Cuerámaro •San Miguel de Allende •San José Iturbide •Dolores Hidalgo C.I.N. León• Pénjamo• Valle de Santiago• San Luis de La Paz • •Juventino Rosas •Cortazar San Francisco• del Rincón San Luis Potosi Queretaro Mexico City

San Miguel de Allende is one of Central Mexico’s most picturesque colonial and culturally rich cities, a model for historic preservation. Its preserved cultural and architectural role in the Mexican Baroque era has earned the 68 blocks of the town’s historic center and the nearby Sanctuary of Atotoniclo a UNESCO World Heritage designation.

Its streets, gardens, houses, plaza and churches embody the Baroque period of Mexico, the result of the Spanish conquerors influences in the 18th century. The Mexican Baroque design included strategic locations in a town square of cathedrals, such as the fortress-like Sanctuary of Atotoniclo complex, built by Father Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro, a pilgrimage site since colonial times. Period mural work adorns the main nave a chapel, brilliant enough to be dubbed “Sistine Chapel of Mexico.”

The heart of San Miguel de Allende lies in its main plaza, Jardin Principal (Main Garden), surrounded by colonial buildings and archways, fountains, trees and pathways. Sundays, holidays and evenings the square is closed to traffic while locals and tourists alike enjoy the old-fashioned festivities.

The personality of the town lies in its landmark La Parroquia, the parish church. Built in 1683 by a local mason, Zeferino Guitierrez, the church is inspired by a postcard of a European Gothic church and complemented by Mexican-influenced pink spires stretching into the often blue skies of San Miguel. Another early Baroque church, the 18th century Oratorio de San Felipe Neri (San Felipe’s Neri Oratory), is built of pink stone by the local Indians.

Going to San Miguel de Allende means relaxing in a spa-hotel, tasting

delicious recipes at the most famous restaurants of the region, and enjoying a never-ending nightlife. No matter the season, cultural events are be discovered when simply walking down its colonial squares and streets.

Take this route and discover San Miguel de Allende and its folklore, gastronomy, magical unique traditions, culture and magnificent architectures. It’s a city that you will love to explore. The kindness of its people, the art on its street, the quality of its hosting and gastronomy have placed it as one of the best tourist destinations in the world, and yet another reason to visit Guanajuato.

The Route of Tequila & Wine

Guanajuato is a providence that always has something new to offer. Explore and go through the sights and destinations of its routes. In a Mexican party there is always tequila; it is the traditional national drink. Rituals and customs, fun moments, and the country’s entire culture are somehow related to tequila. Explore the sights and destinations of the routes of the Southwest, in the province of Guanajuato, where six important tequila wineries are found .

These routes are this country’s heart — an unvarnished countryside where weathered jimadores (agave farmers) hit the fields before sunrise to beat the worst of the sun’s heat and shadows hug the hilltops covered with acres of spiky blue agave — an industry that all began when the Spanish conquistadors invented “tequila wine” within a few decades of their arrival.

Take the tour across the magnificent fields of blue agave crops; discover the producing towns’ cultures; visit the ancient haciendas, and, among mariachi music and dressed horsemen (called charros), enjoy the most festive side of Mexican identity.

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…its most popular beach destination - Mazatlán

Mazatlán, the Pearl of the Pacific, offers – on a daily basis, possibly the most romantic sunsets in the world witnessed from the best beaches in the Mexican Pacific.

Part of the Sierra Madre crosses the state of Sinaloa, which also boasts 400 miles of coastline bathed by the Sea of Cortes and composed of estuaries, islands, beaches and bays.

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Mazatlán is Northwestern Mexico’s most popular tourist destination and a favored locale for many American and Canadian expats and North American vacationers. Situated within 10 miles of the Pacific coast, across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, Mazatlán is at the same latitude as Honolulu, blessing it with a balmy climate and plenty of sunshine. Maybe that is why it is sometimes called the “Pearl of the Pacific.” And it is the combination of mild weather and dry winters that not only attracts sun worshippers from north of the border but also, more than likely, attracted its earliest founders.

Mixed Heritage

In pre-Hispanic times, the area around Mazatlán was home to an indigenous people known as the Totorames, who left behind polychrome pottery notated with intricate red and black designs. They lived off the bounties of the land by hunting, fishing, and gathering food. However, there is no evidence of a permanent settlement until 1531, when a small group of Spaniards and Indian settlers founded a settlement on Easter Sunday, temporary at best but considered official.

It wasn’t until the arrival of German immigrants in the mid-19th century, that things started thriving. Today, German heritage is undeniable, influencing local music with Banda – an offshoot of Bavarian folk music – and beer, being the home of Pacifico Brewery, established by German settlers on March 14, 1900. Nowadays, it is one of Mexico’s largest breweries. The industrious Germans also helped establish Mazatlán as a commercial seaport that furnished imported heavy agricultural machinery and equipment for gold and silver mines in the surrounding area such as Rosario, Copala, El Rosario, and Panuco.

Mazatlán –Where Shrimp and Tourism are King

text and photos by

Today, Mazatlán recognizes and honors its heritage and common connections with Germany, the United States and Canada, counting sister cities that include: 1) Hamm, Germany; 2) Santa Monica, California; 3) Seattle, Washington; 4) Tuscon, Arizona; 5) San Ysidro, California; and 6) Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.


Commercial Port in Mexico

Mazatlán is home to Mexico’s largest commercial port, lagging only behind Los Angeles and the Panama Canal. And because Mazatlán is at the confluence of the Sea of Cortes and the Pacific Ocean, its harbor acts like a great natural fish trap, resulting in the best shrimp and commercial fishing on the west coast. Therefore, it should be no surprise that Mazatlán is home to Mexico’s largest shrimp fleet, catching and processing nearly 40 tons each year, giving Mazatlán the title of, “shrimp capital of the world.” From the prized giant blue shrimp (more the size of prawn) to the small reds, shrimp are coveted and consumed in great quantities, especially in the many local restaurants that specialize in fresh seafood.

Also known for commercial harvesting and sport fishing, the waters around Mazatlán support the second largest fishing fleet, and the largest tuna canning factories in Mexico. A major source of yellow tail, dorado (mahi mahi), and marlin; nonetheless shrimp is still the top catch. And while sport fishing is still very popular, it was during the 1950s when film celebrities such as John Wayne, Gary Cooper, and John Huston would come here to try their hand – and their pole – at catching legends of the sea.

The movie legends of yesteryear may be gone but fishing is still one of Mazatlán’s main industries: The other mainstay is tourism.

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Old Mazatlán - Centro Historico

The heart of Mazatlán arguably lies in what is known as Old Mazatlán or Centro Historico. With 479 buildings that have been designated as national historic landmarks, the area is not only historical, but a vibrant social gathering of people who enjoy the renaissance of restoration that markedly define this place.

More European than Mexican, the architecture of Mazatlán reflects its history - a substantially unique blend of German and Spanish influence and vestiges of French charm. (This happened after Mexico received its independence from Spain in 1821, prompting French merchants to flock to Mexico with colonial ambitions of expansion.)

Plaza Machado

– Where it’s Happening

This is the place to go to see the local culture: it’s also the place to go for great food, social atmosphere, and to check out a bevy of historical buildings and boutique shops. Perhaps the focal point for watching people and listening to live music at night is Pedro y Lola, named after Pedro Infante and Lola Beltran, famous singers and stars from the state of Sinaloa. Sip some sangria, munch on appetizers, or enjoy a variety of Mexican-inspired creations at Pedro y Lola. Enjoy Mexican time.

Angela Peralta Theater

Just off the plaza on the west side of the square is the Angela Peralta Theater. Originally built in the 1870s, it has been lovingly restored to its original 19th century glory, and houses a concert hall, galleries, an art school, and a conservatory of music and dance. Named after Angela Peralta, a Mexican opera singer of worldwide fame, she died of a yellow fever epidemic shortly after her arrival in Mazatlán, but according to legend, not before singing her last aria from her hotel balcony overlooking Plaza Machado.

Mazatlán’s Malecon

While Old Mazatlán may be the heart of the city, Mazatlán’s Malecon is the backbone, extending from the original city to the end of Cerritos Beach. Only a few blocks from the center of Old Mazatlán, the Malecon is one of the longest in world, with a promenade that features one of the longest natural sand stretches in Mexico. But sand isn’t the only attraction as the promenade features cliffs, monuments, gazebos, old buildings, hotels and even a lighthouse.

The promenade and beach stretch for some 15 miles north, through older sections such as Zona Dorada and terminating in Marina Mazatlán and “Nuevo Mazatlán,” where all inclusive resorts dominate the scene. The lighthouse or “El Faro” is at the southern end and is the highest natural lighthouse in the world. (The title was once held by Gibraltar but lost it when it ceased operations.) At 515 feet above sea level, you will have the best view of Mazatlán. Be forewarned that this can be a strenuous hike, so a taxi might be advisable.

Olas Altas Beach, only four blocks west of Plaza Machado, is a favorite with many and offers a nice selection of restaurants and a beautiful curving beach. Continuing north you eventually reach Punta de Clavadistas or “Diver’s Point,” a four-story platform perched above the ocean. Here are the cliff divers who perform daring jumps for tips from the crowds that are usually gathered around.

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MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 117 Chichén Itzá• •Progreso Valladolid• Xcan• •Rio Lagartos Tzucacab• •Ticul •Becal •Uxmal •Sisal •Celestun Campeche N S W E
CULIACAN Chihuahua Sonora •Concordia •Rosario Escuinapa• •Choix Angostura• Mocorito• Navolato• Cosala• Elota• Teacapan• Mazatlán• Las Labradas (Archaeological Site)• Guamuchil• El Fuerte• Los Mochis• •San Ignacio
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...a new K’atun begins

The Mayan culture, which can be traced back at east 3,000 years, is the defining element of Yucatán.

The Mayans’ historical legacy is renowned worldwide and can be seen today in every city and state within the region. Mayan cultural remnants can be explored at Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Ek Balam, Mayapan and Dzibolchaltun - to name a few.

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Exploring Yucatán …A New K’atun Beg ins

Contrary to popular belief, December 21, 2012 is not the end of the world…it is simply the end of a unit of time known as a “K’atun.” The Maya were very complex people, as is their calendar, which consists of symbolic and symmetrically grouped time-periods. So in actuality, the end of 2012 is a new beginning… the beginning of a new K’atun. The Mayan K’atun predictions are cyclic and each new K’atun brings a new idea and a new energy for the world. As this K’atun begins, the prediction is for a brand new path for humanity… and now that 2012 is upon us, it seems the Mayan culture has become more intriguing than ever.

Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is known as the “Land of the Maya” and it stands as a tribute to one of the most prolific and fascinating civilizations the world has ever known. The ruins of complex ancient cities are scattered throughout dense jungles and lush rolling hillsides. But it’s here, in the state that shares its name with the region, the magic and enchantment of the Mayan world are at their most brilliant. If you have a week (or more), a trip to Yucatán to explore these treasures will be an adventure you’ll never forget.

First, Cancún is not in the state of Yucatán and Yucatán is not in Cancún. All too often everything on the Yucatán Peninsula gets lumped together and travelers think (possibly) it’s all one “big place.” Don’t be embarrassed if you secretly thought it, too… you’re not alone! Take a

look at the map on the next page for some orientation as to what is what and where is where.

A quick overview: The Yucatán Peninsula is located in southeastern Mexico and separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico and is comprised of the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo (as well as the northern parts of Belize and Guatemala). This is the heart of the “Mundo Maya,” and one of the most culturally rich regions in the world. According to El Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, there are 29,000 registered archaeological sites in all of Mexico, of which 180 are open to the public. A significant number of these sites can be found throughout the state of Yucatán and the Yucatán Peninsula. Mérida, Yucatán’s capital city, is surrounded by one of the richest collections of ancient archaeological sites found anywhere in the world, thus making it an excellent jumping off place for exploration.

Unique and spectacular, the state’s geographical features alone are worth the trip. The entire Yucatán Peninsula has a porous limestone surface, so there are no above ground water sources, meaning no lakes or rivers. However, a network of subterranean rivers make a web beneath the peninsula, and fresh water is found in hundreds cenotes (say-notays), or sinkholes. These were the wells of the ancient Maya and exploring them is one of the most rewarding adventures you can imagine.

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MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 124 Chichén Itzá• •Progreso Valladolid• Xcan• •Río Lagartos Tzucacab• •Ticul •Bécal •Uxmal •Sisal •Celestun •Mayapán • MÉRIDAYucatán Campeche Quintana Roo N S W E

Mérida is a true colonial gem… It was once the henequén (a plant used to make rope) capital of the world, spawning an enormous number of grand working haciendas. The exportation of this natural fiber (or “green gold,” as it was called) brought tremendous wealth to Mérida throughout the late 1800s and what remains are fascinating remnants of an important time in Mexico’s history. Mérida was essentially “cut off” from mainland Mexico (rail and road links to Mexico City were not completed until the 1950s), so it was easier for the city’s wealthy land owners to travel by boat to the U.S., Cuba, and even Europe rather than trying to go to other parts of Mexico. The result: European in design, yet undeniably Mayan.

Horse drawn carriages carry visitors down tree-lined boulevards past a fascinating mixture of Spanish and French colonial architecture. Elaborate turn-of-thecentury mansions still stand as a reminder of the wealth that began in the 16th century with the area’s henequén boom. The main avenue, Paseo de Montejo, has been likened to the Champs-Élysées and is one of the most impressive streets in all of Mexico.

The central plaza downtown is framed by huge laurel trees, colorful shops, and lies adjacent to the cathedral (a layout that’s customary throughout Mexico). On Sunday, streets are closed to automobile traffic and the entire area comes to life. Music rings through the plaza as the locals sell traditional handicrafts, intricately embroidered huipils (the regional dress for women), and an enormous selection of handmade hammocks and hats. Try to catch a performance at the Teatro Peón Contreras, a splendid neoclassic style theater that was built in 1908.

Outside the city, the history of the Maya is at its most prolific. The Mayas were one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known, and their finest showcase can be found here. Chichén Itzá (80 miles east of Mérida) is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating sites in all of Mexico. It is a combination of two cities: one under Mayan rule from the sixth to the tenth century; the other a Toltec-Mayan city that emerged around the year 1000 AD. Under the Toltec rule, the buildings were developed and the city came to life.

At the center of Chichén Itzá is the Castillo. This structure demonstrates a mixture of Toltec and Mayan influences and is known for its cosmological symbolism. As seen in many photographs, its four sides contain 365 steps (one for each day of the solar year), 52 panels (for each year in the Mayan century), and 18 terraces (for the eighteen months in the religious year).

The Mayans at Chichén Itzá must have been intrigued by sports as well, as the ancient ball court (framed by carvings) is the largest ever discovered. Also among the ruins are a sacred well, an observatory, the Temple of Warriors, and a nunnery, along with numerous other structures. During the fall and spring equinoxes in March and September, the sun’s shadow forms an enormous serpent’s body across the giant staircase of the pyramid. It makes for an amazing sight.

Uxmal (oosh-mahl) is located 58 miles south of Mérida, along what is called La Ruta Puuc. “Puuc” means “hills” in Maya, so a fair translation would be “the hilly route.” The archeological sites found along this route include Uxmal, Kabáh, Labná, and Sayil. “Puuc” also defines the architectural style of these particular sites whose structures are characterized by elaborate and ornate façades quarried from stone in the region

Architecturally speaking, Uxmal is said to be one of the most significant sites in the ancient world. Founded around 700 A.D., Uxmal (meaning “three times built”) was created in various stages and many of the buildings are stacked in layers of stone. The centerpiece is the extraordinary 115-foot tall “Pyramid of the Magician” which is actually five temples layered on top of one another. This is absolutely one of the most breathtaking sites in all of Mexico.

Izamal (eehs-ah-MAHL) is a “must” for a side trip from the city. Located east of Mérida and known as “the yellow city,” this charming town is highlighted by its bright mustard-yellow 16th century Franciscan convent (San Antonio de Padua). The convent itself (completed in 1562) is built atop the base of a destroyed Mayan temple and boasts the largest enclosed atrium in Mexico. Pope John Paul visited in 1993 and has been commemorated by a statue of the Pope in the convent courtyard. Izamal is also home to its own intriguing Mayan ruins. The pyramid of Kinich Kakmo is located right in town and though it is scarcely restored, it is well worth the steep climb to the top just to take in the view.

And when it comes to an adventure in nature, there are few places in Mexico that compare to Celestún. Located 60 miles south west of Mérida, Celestún (meaning “painted stone”) is a colorful coastal town known for its sandy beaches, excellent seafood… and its famous “pink” residents. The laid back town is surrounded by the breathtaking 147,000-acre Parque Natural del Flamenco Mexicano, better known as the Celestún Biosphere Preserve. This massive wetland reserve is an extraordinary and unique ecosystem that combines fresh water from the estuary (ría) and salt water from Gulf of Mexico. More than 300 species of birds call this region home, but most notable is the huge population of brilliantly pink flamingos. Though the flamingos can be seen year round, the population swells to its largest numbers in the winter months (primarily December) with as many as 20,000 of the feathered phenomenon posing for perfect pictures. The Nature Conservancy has said that “nearly 90 percent of all the world’s pink flamingos migrate to two breeding and nesting grounds: Celestún and Río Lagartos (located 2 ½ hours from Mérida).

It’s a new K’atun…. a new era….and the perfect time to experience the unique energy of Yucatán and the Mundo Maya. The influence of the indigenous ancestors is unmistakable. It would take far more pages than I have here to even begin to convey the magnitude of what this part of Mexico is all about. It’s another world here…. a magical world you shouldn’t miss.

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Social Circles

Pre-Oscar’s Party with Eva Longoria

...Beso, Beverly Hills

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Eva Longoria Eduardo Cruz and Mario Lopez Adrienne Maloof Eva Longoria, Mario Lopez and Courtney Mazza Mario Lopez and Linda Voice Eva Longoria and Brenda Strong Jermaine Jackson and Eva Longoria

Punta Mita Golf Tournament

…during Tianguis at the Four Seasons’ & St. Regis

Social Circles

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Andres and Christian Rossetto Andres Rossetto Sabine Emberson and Ana Lucia Trueba Brian O’Sullivan and Dermott O’Flanagan Alfredo Bonnin and Ricardo Trueba Ken Shapiro and Chuck Kinder Mark Witkin and Rick Smith Osvaldo Freitas and Carl Emberson Andres Rossetto, Carl Emberson and Vic Kerckhoff JP Mahoney and Luis Ituarte José Adames, Andres Rossetto, Carl Emberson, Vic Kerckhoff and Phillip Ferrari Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Walter Hussong Gregory Stanton Cornely Ginger Smith, Vic Kerckhoff, Osvaldo Freitas, Carl Emberson and Phillip Ferrari

Social Circles

SKAL Luncheon in Puerto Vallarta

…Thiery’s Steakhouse

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Jacobo Turquie and Mario Hernandez Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Walter Hussong Mario Hernandez, Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Jacobo Turquie Thierry Blouet and Rolando Miravette Gabriel Higareda, Cecilia Arce, Alberto González and Oscar Rivero Fernando Compean, Santiago Zuñiga, Ruben Miller, Alberto González, José Manuel Ugalde Alberto González, Heinz Rieze, Alfredo Tinajero,Cesar Quijas, Juan Corral, Luis Moran and Bardo Avelar AAlberto González,Bernhard Gütt, Thierry Blouet and Oscar Rivero

AeroMexico &Baja Surs’ Party

at The Sky Bar... Puerto Vallarta

Social Circles

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Luis Palacios and Ana Garcia-Altable Marian Ortiz, Roxana Puente, Jorge Gamboa Patron and Anthony Cheng Augustin Olachea, Mireya González, Mónica Maldonado and Marcela Santistevan Soledad Cabrera, Ruben Reachi and Jorge Goytortua Jason Taylor, Nubia Sarabia and Luis Palacios Ruben Reachi, Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Jacobo Turquie Celestino Atienzo, Cesar Tellez Vincent, Ruben Miller and Walter Hussong Anthony Cheng and Jorge Gamboa Patron Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Jorge Goytortua Tamara Leon Kline, Gail Scott, Jorge Gamboa Patron, Leslie and Juan Cordero Armando Angels Cordoba and Maggie Montenegro Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Maggie Montenegro

Social Circles

2012 Tianguis Turistico

...Opening Ceremony

Puerto Vallarta/ Riviera Nayarit

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Giuseppe Sartor, Federico Spada, Claudia Silva, Thomas Citterio, Monica Garcias, Giorgio Brignone and Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo Jacobo Turquie, Roberto Ibarra, Ruben Reachi, Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo, Agustin Olachea and Mario Hernandez Santiago Zuñiga and Ruben Miller Liliana Rico, Thomas Citterio and Claudia Silva Tamara Leon Kline, Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Gloria Guevara Manzo Gloria Guevara Manzo Secretary of Tourism, Mexico Juan Manuel Ramírez, Jessica Gerardo, José R. Gámez, Santiago Zuñiga, Oscar Simental, Jorge Ayon, Fabiola Galindo and Nubia Sarabia Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Gloria Guevara Manzo

...Closing Ceremony Puerto Vallarta/ Riviera Nayarit

Social Circles

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Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and Karla Urias Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and President Felipe Calderón
2012 Tianguis Turistico
Lisa Coleman, Jorge Gamboa Patron and Walter Hussong Walter Hussong Aurelio Lopez Rocha Javier Plascencia receiving an award from President Felipe Calderon Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo and President Felipe Calderón Raul Iriarte and wife with Ana Diaz and Jorge Gamboa Patron

Social Circles …to benefit the Lorena Ochoa and Liga MAC Foundations the Cabo Celebrity Invitational Dream Homes of Cabo Hosts

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Glen Pakulak and friends Dennis Haysbert, Jeffrey Nordling, Jason Taylor, Andrea Geisler, Tim Pade and Richard Doermer Dustin Merrill, Nicolas Brassart, Mike Dobbyn, Charles Kallassey, Andrea Geisler, Paul Geisler, and Jason Taylor Andrea Geisler, Jesse and Terry Ventura Nicolas Brassart, Charles Kallassey, Paul Geisler, Lorena Ochoa with children from Liga MAC Deena Lee, Doug Moul, Camilla Soghikian, Shahan Soghikian, Bill and Julie Romanowski Paul Geisler, Cecilia Aragon, Lorena Ochoa, Andrea Geisler and Marcos Cauduro Robin Johnson Petty, Fred Griffith, Andrea Geisler, Robin Valetutto, Brett Cullen and Maurine Hagan Jason Taylor, Andrea Geisler, Lorena Ochoa, Paul Geisler and Charles Kallassy Jesse Ventura, Mike Dobbyn, Dennis Haysbert and Cecilia Aragon Jesse Ventura, Mike Dobbyn, and Dennis Haysbert Lorena and Alejandro Ochoa with Glen Pakulak Ziba Salamat, Robin Valetutto, Sepideh Razavi, Axel Valdez, Gina Valdez and Kevin Taguchi Andrea Geisler, Richard Anderson, Ed Hooton, John Boggs, Elena Robles, Mario Araico, Dennis Haysbert, Tom Law and Saul Lopez

…at the Four Seasons’ and the St. Regis

Social Circles

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Punta MitaGOURMET &GOLF Classic

Social Circles

SKAL National Convention

…in Mazatlan, Sinaloa

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Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo, Humberto Avilez, Raul Llera and Rafa Torre Oralia Rice Walter Hussong, Fernando Letamendi, Eduardo Barba, Humberto Avilez, Rafa Torre, Raul LLera and Luis Huerta Lorena and Roberto Valdes Gustavo Jonsson, Jaime Coppel, Mario Huerta, Fernando Ordaz and Alberto Gonzalez Alberto Gonzalez, Oralia Rice and Fernando Ordaz Rafael Millan, Yolanda Ruanova, Raul Valdés J., Conchita and Fernando Ordaz, Oralia Rice, Alberto González, Aime and Alfredo Tinajero, Adriana and Héctor Sánchez Ernesto and Maria Elena Guzman Gabriela and German Ongay Ricardo and Mona Isunza, Oscar Simental, Jaime and Lupita Coppel, Guillermo and Sandra Laveaga and Raul Llera Lance and Brooke Vient, Sergio and Mrs. Pelayo, Humberto and Mrs.Pelayo, Fausto Angulo and Humberto Avilez Ruben Rosales, Celestino Atienzo, Luis de Potestad, Maria and Fernando Letamedi, Juan Ignacio Streta, Bardo Avelar, Cecilia Arce and Luis Yuen Juan Ignacio Streta, Fernando and Maria Letamendi, Luis de Potestad, Celestino Atienzo, Ruben and Liz Rosales, Bardo Avelar and Cecilia Arce Rafa Torre, Gustavo Jonsson, Jaime and Maye Coppel, Mario and Vira Huerta

...Puebla celebrates its 150 th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla

Social Circles

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Cinco de Mayo in Puebla
President Felipe Calderón and wife Margarita Zavala de Calderón with Governor of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle and wife Martha Erika Alonso

Social Circles

Carnival Mazatlan - a Five Day Bash

…February-March, 2012

…the most important and spectacular Carnival in all of Mexico and possible the world- it’s right there next to Rio de Janeiros’ and New Orleans’.

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2012 Winners of theSan Pascual Award

…May 17 _ Puerto Vallarta

Social Circles

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Ulrich Schwartz with Thierry and Martha Blouet Chef Bernhard Gueth and Ulrich Schwartz Guillermo Gonzalez B. and Ulrich Schwartz Alicia Gironella De’Angeli, Juan Ramon Cardenas and Ulrich Schwartz Alejandro Desentis, Juan Ramon Cardenas and Ulrich Schwartz Ulrich Schwartz and guests with Nelly Wolf de Barquet Alejandro Desentis, Ulrich Schwartz and Jose Jove Ulrich Schwartz with Juan Ramon Cardenas, Jose Ramon Castillo and Guillermo Gonzalez B. Juan Ramon Cardenas Juan Ramon Cardenas, Jose Ramon Castillo and Guillermo Gonzalez B.

Book Reviews

Hammered Copper

the finished product. Copper permeates the town, and is the lifeblood of nearly twenty percent of its residents.

Copper in the region was originally mined from ore from the nearby mines along the Rio Balsas, but with the mines long-ago excavated, scrap is now used to make the copper items sold in Santa Clara del Cobre. In fact, one of the books most stunning photos is that of a foundry owner and his young son sitting atop a giant, bright orange pile of scrap copper wire.

One of the books in the Mexican Arts Series, “Hammered Copper,” by professional photographer Sandy Baum, is a concise pictorial primer about the copper artistic tradition of Santa Clara del Cobre, in Michoacan, Mexico.

You have likely seen the gorgeous copper work of Santa Clara del Cobre throughout Mexico, as the copper arts of the region are renowned, and pieces can be found in upscale boutiques throughout the country, as well as abroad. Perhaps the most famous of the region’s copper pieces is the giant 1968 Olympic flame holder, which was on display for all the world during that year’s Olympic games.

The history of cooper work in Santa Clara del Cobre is much older than the 1960s, however. It has been worked in the region for almost 500 years, since the pre-Colombian era; but the 1960s was the decade when two important foreign artists, James Metcalf and Ana Pellicer, arrived in the town. Roy Skodnick’s Introduction to the book provides details of how the two helped to boost the technical skill of the town’s copper smiths with the introduction of additional and more modern tools, develop a sense of community among the artists, and move this community toward improvements in design, materials and finish.

Today, according to the book, 2,000 of the town’s total 12,000 residents are involved in the copper business in some capacity, from fabrication of the metal, to sculpting the metal into art pieces and utilitarian objects, to sales of

Baum’s photographs deftly capture the town’s various copper craftspeople. The photos document the entire process of copper making, from the fabrication plants and foundries, with their burning flames and special molds, copper ingots and giant rolling mills; to the artists workshops, with dramatic shots of sledge hammers beaten rhythmically in time by four or five men in the process of flattening heated copper discs, and artisans using the myriad tools of the trade to shape the copper from the inside while it is being hammered from the outside; to the gleaming sales rooms of the town’s copper tiendas.

Sandy Baum has been a professional photographer for over 40 years. He has been a full time resident of San Miguel de Allende since November 2004, and has published seven books of photographs in Mexico, each with over 350 photographs.

“Hammered Copper” includes 393 color photographs in total, 200 of them items from the Museo Nacional de Cobre (National Museum of Copper). These 200 photos are close-ups of various pieces, and include the artist’s name, a description of the item, its dimensions, and the year the piece was donated to the museum. An “Artists Directory” is included following the photos, which provides the addresses and names of 540 copper artists in Santa Clara del Cobre — convenient for those readers who would like to contact the artists for more information, or drop in on them during a visit.

The book can be ordered directly from Schiffer Publishing Ltd,

Stone of Kings; In Search of the Lost Jade of the Maya

“Stone of Kings” is an excellent read that truly lives up to the book-jacket’s claim that it’s, “A gripping account of the 400-year quest for the precious stone revered by the ancient Maya.”

For jade, before the arrival of the Spaniards, was the most coveted stone in the Americas. Prized by Olmec and Mayan royalty, it was treasured above all else. But following the conquest, due to the Spaniards lust for silver and gold, the sources of Mayan jade were no longer important, and over the years, forgotten. When, centuries later, archaeologists began uncovering amazing jade masks, jewelry and other jade pieces from important burial sites, the question of where this revered stone was sourced emerged. It left academics scratching their heads. Could it be from China? Some even proposed Atlantis, but both options seemed unlikely. Where had the raw stone come from?

Where were the local mines?

Helferich fills in the gaps, taking his readers on

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Tales of the Yucatán Jungle; Life in a Mayan Village

Kristine Ellingson’s memoir, “Tales from the Yucatán Jungle; Life in a Mayan Village” is the culmination of numerous letters and other writings that she complied over the last 20 years in her adopted home — a small Mayan village on the Yucatán Peninsula, near the archaeological ruins of Uxmal.

During her time there she has bought land, designed and had a large house built, gotten married, ‘adopted’ a daughter and opened a successful water-purification plant, which was eventually turned into a boutique bed & breakfast hotel, the Flycatcher Inn. She currently runs the hotel with her husband and nieces.

a well researched quest to find the source of jade in the Americas. Helferich’s presentation of the material is compelling. Although some of the subject matter could be considered dry, he does a great job of both bringing it to life and putting it in historical perspective. From plate tectonics, to the geological makeup of the stone itself, to Meso-American history and modern-day politics he distills it down, making the subject matter effortlessly readable.

The book moves between ancient peoples and modern treasure seekers and scientists, introducing the reader to both long-dead Mayan kings and a host of various characters that have influenced the modern-day search for new-world jade. Important among these are the entrepreneurs Jay and Mary Lou Ridinger of Antigua, Guatemala who have played a central role in both jades re-discovery and in the rebirth of the art of jade carving in Guatemala.

“Stone of Kings,” published just earlier this year, is already receiving high praise, and may well come away with literary awards, as have Helferich’s earlier works. His highly acclaimed “Humboldt’s Cosmos,” was a Discover magazine Science Bestseller, and “High Cotton,” received a 2008 Author’s Award for nonfiction from the Mississippi Library Association. Helferich currently lives in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

“Stone of Kings” can be purchased from Globe Pequot Press:

Raised in a small eastern Oregon lumber mill town, Ellingson settled in Portland after college, where she married and had two children. Subsequently, she began what grew into a very successful jewelry design business. Years later, when her children were leaving for college, she decided to take a 2-month sabbatical to step away from the high pressure world of jewelry design, as well as her lackluster marriage, to figure out her life’s future direction. She chose to go first to the Yucatán because she has visited before and knew it was somewhere safe where she could get away from it all— no phones, no TV, just time to think. Second on her itinerary was Portugal.

But Ellingson never made it to Portugal, and only made it back to Portland for the time it took to put her affairs in order. She sold her business, her Mercedes and packed the three boxes allowed for transport back into Mexico. At the age of forty-four, in love with both the town of Santa Elena, and one of its inhabitants, Santiago, many years her junior, she grabbed her chance at a new beginning.

Ellingson met Santiago while he was working as a clerk in the hotel where she stayed upon arrival in Santa Elena. His desire to learn English, and hers to learn Spanish, first brought them together, but their spark remains intact decades later. Ellingson was welcomed into his family and community, and she has hardly looked back.

The book is divided up into thirty-one short chapters with black and white photos dispersed throughout. Chapters were written at various points during her 20 years in the Yucatán Although not a scholarly anthropological work, you come to learn a great many details about Mayan life, both past and present.

Ellingson does a deft and honest job of describing the pace of life, traditional customs and heart of the modern Maya. She does not romanticize their way of life, nor does she judge it. She explains it, and frequently describes how it affects her as a foreigner. Often humorous, Ellingson is resourceful, determined, artistic, open-minded and completely bi-cultural. If you’ve ever longed to know how today’s Maya eat, sleep, raise their children, interact with family, and celebrate, or about their shamanic traditions, rituals, festivals and ceremonies, this is the book for you.

Each year, many thousands of people visit the Yucatán, but few, if any, enter small Mayan villages. Those who do don’t experience them as Ellingson does — as an insider. Reading this book is a chance to glimpse the inside world Ellingson has come to inhabit. Hers is a story of courage, adaptability and love — a testament to what can happen when one lets go of what is safe and familiar and opens up to a new and completely different life.

The book can be purchased from Sun Topaz A portion of the sales will be donated back to the village.

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MexicoTRAVELER 2012 -2013 Collectors’ Edition 142 Mexico’s Ports of Call: ... Puerto Vallarta & Costalegre Fabulous Resorts ... “The Careyes & The Tamarindo” Great Spas Golfer’s Paradise Sport Fishing Real Estate Maria Conchita Alonso Maria Conchita Alonso Puerto Vallarta & Cabo San Lucas Sweepstakes Puerto sailing in Baja! sailing Baja! 2007-2008 2002 2003 2006-2007 2001 2005-2006 2000 Premier issue 2004 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 Reminiscing its famed guests “Just Back from Mexico” Sirak Baloyan Performs at the Oscars! OPENS Cabo! Amazing Destination: OAXACA Voted #1 destination to visit Baja Boutique HOTELS Donald Trump On Baja Juan Luis Guerra BT SWEEPSTAKES Featuring Baja! Best of BAJA Readers’ Choice Awards! BEST in Baja! Pausini “ “ Laura can’t wait to visit Baja THE Baja TRAVELER .com n 100,000 issues n 5 million+ readers n Edited in 6 languages n Distributed w orld-wide n Reaching a highly upscale and influential audience Collect them all!!! Back Issues of our sister publication— Baja TRAVELER ® Celebrating our 14th Anniversary Issue! $12.95 U.S. per issue. Canada add $5.00 U.S. (incl. GST) Foreign orders add $9.00 U.S. Send payment in U.S. funds to: P.O. Box 210485 Chula Vista, CA 91921 To Order

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The perfect companion for everyday carrying or to use only on those special travel occasions. Zippered and lined. MT logo made with exclusive high quality Swarovski crystals.

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This self-fabric sweatband, has a fashionable curved bill and a hidden adjustable Velcro closure. MT logo made with exclusive high quality Swarovski crystals.

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7oz. heavy weight pique, pre-washed, 100% combec cotton. This shirt will wear well and retain its original color after multiple washings. MT logo made with exclusive high quality Swarovski crystals.

$87.00 U.S.

MexicoTRAVELER® Tote Bag

18 oz. cotton canvas, water repellent padded gusset and inside pocket with velcro closure, outer pocket and 1 1/2:” wide cotton web handles of same canvas. MT logo made with exclusive high quality Swarovski crystals.

$102.00 U.S.

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MexicoTRAVELER 2012-2013 Collectors’ Edition 143 Receive a free one-year subscription to the most complete magazine on Mexico when you order over $50.00 of MexicoTRAVELER® Gear. Add $10.00 / foreign orders add ($15.00 U.S.) for shipping and handling. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. To order e-mail us at: Or call us at: (619) 216-8035 Get the MexicotRAVeLeR®, GeAR! I did! Maris Angelica Rodríguez

Just Back From Mexico: Actress Eva La Rue A Life Well Lived

Eva La Rue is one of those classy people you wish was your friend. She’s talented, confident, caring, and slightly gorgeous to say the least. A former Frederick’s of Hollywood model, Eva has made a difference in the world.

She’s a successful actress, singer, wife, and mother, and since 2005 she’s played the vivacious and brilliant DNA analyst Natalia Boa Vista on the popular CBS crime drama “CSI: Miami.” Her first spotlight, though, came at the tender age of seven. “I did my first commercial for Del Monte green beans,” says Eva. “When we started shooting the commercial, I loved green beans, but by the time we finished I absolutely hated them!”

An avid traveler, Eva and husband Joe Cappuccio recently purchased a home in the exclusively private paradise of El Dorado Golf & Beach Club in Los Cabos. Eva has a longrunning love affair with Mexico, the people, and culture as well. Eva and Joe tied the knot in June 2010 on the beaches of Zihuatanejo at The Tides Oceanside Resort.

Eva was born Dec. 27, 1966, in Long Beach, Calif., and grew up in Los Angeles, specifically the horse community of Norco. “I’ve always loved horses and riding, it’s something I’ve done since childhood,” shares the olive-skinned actress of Puerto Rican, French, Dutch, and Scottish descent. A 1985 graduate of Norco Senior High School, Eva’s acting career got started in the late 80s and early 90s when she appeared on shows like “Rags to Riches,” “Charles in Charge,” “Santa Barbara,” and “Perfect Strangers.” Her big break, though, came when she won the role of neurologist Dr. Maria Santos Grey on ABC’s long-running day-time soap opera “All My Children.” She has one of the most recognizable faces on television today – a testament to both her talent and beauty. Eva has earned Emmy and NAACP nominations, and won the prestigious Gracie Award by the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television. She was also honored with two American Latino Media Association (ALMA) Awards, and a second Emmy nomination for a song she co-wrote and performed entitled, Dance Again with You. While a member of the “All My Children” cast, she eventually married her on-screen husband John Callahan who portrayed Edmund Grey. In addition to co-hosting the Miss America pageant and Lifetime’s Weddings of a Lifetime, the couple had a daughter Kaya in 2001.

Though life has been very good to Eva La Rue, it is not a one-way street, for she has done her share of giving back as well. One of her main philanthropic focuses in recent years has been as national spokesperson for the Beckstrand Cancer Foundation. “This is my baby,” she says affectionately of the nonprofit. “After seeing the effects of cancer within my own family, I wanted to help out in any way I could. As national spokesperson for the Beckstrand Cancer Foundation, I have an opportunity to be a voice of inspiration and strength for the vulnerable – and provide help during one of the most difficult times of their lives. There is hope, and that is the message I want to share with them.”

Since 2006, Eva has dedicated her off-screen time to playing an instrumental role in raising awareness for the needs of cancer patients by collaborating with various nonprofit organizations nationwide, including the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). Having lost her grandmother and great-grandmother to cancer, the cause remains close to her heart and was a catalyst for her involvement in Beckstrand Cancer Foundation. As the foundation’s national spokesperson, Eva works to extend Beckstrand’s mission of improving quality of life for cancer patients and their families by providing patient advocacy, financial assistance, counseling, art therapy, and education. While research is imperative to finding a cure for this devastating disease, Eva’s objective is to shed light on an equally important part of the fight: The critical day-to-day survival needs of patients as they undergo treatment. Beckstrand Cancer Foundation completes the circle of care for patients by providing help and offering hope to meet these needs.

“Watching a friend go through cancer really opened my eyes to the financial burden that accompanies a cancer diagnosis,” shares Eva. “Before her treatment, both she and her husband worked professional jobs for years and got by quite nicely. But when she got sick and could not work, the couple really struggled to pay their mortgage and provide for their three children. The husband’s income alone was not enough to make ends meet. This really made me realize the importance of Beckstrand Cancer Foundation’s programs. People going through cancer are faced with frightening financial situations when they can’t work and Beckstrand helps them through so that they can remain focused on treatment and recovery.”

Having just returned from Mexico, Eva has added another area of philanthropic focus: To get involved with the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing medical, educational, and humanitarian assistance to the children, their families, and supportive organizations of the Los Cabos area.

Life has been good to Eva La Rue, but the world has benefitted much more from her presence.

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