San Juan Chamula: traditional Maya and a bit more

  For sheer weirdness, it’s hard to beat San Juan Chamula. This little village, located about 30 miles from San Cristóbal de las Casas, has become a tourist attraction for weir…um…its unusual religious practices. The jungle-y state of Chiapas, on Mexico’s southern border, is one of the most indigenous in a country of ancient nations. […]

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Tourist tantrums in the Sumidero Canyon

  The adventure didn’t begin well. I’d arranged a tour to Sumidero Canyon because, when in San Cristobál, one “does” the Sumidero Canyon. I had been assured that it was vale la pena. Worth the effort. When I hear those words, I take them seriously, and I have rarely been lead astray. Apparently, Sumidero Canyon […]

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San Cristobal and the children

A lot of children wander around San Cristobal selling trinkets their parents have made–or just outright begging. If you frequent a tourist area and if you have the right touristy look, you will be approached by children asking for money. This can be uncomfortable, because it sticks the unfair disparity between you and these children […]

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San Cristobal de las Casas: a mecca in Chiapas

  San Cristobal de las Casas doesn’t feel like Mexico. For one thing, the city is located in the state of Chiapas, which is more green and jungley than Mexico’s arid north. For another, the architecture looks different with its layers of red tile roofs and stout, bright plaster walls. I recall San Cristobal as […]

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Oaxaca: Mitla and other places I haven’t mentioned

  The city of Oaxaca is one of those places that gets under your skin–pretty but not prettified; vibrant with a twist of grit. It’s a place where ordinary people rub shoulders with tourists on the plaza and in the markets. A parade or street dance may pop up at the least provocation. Women wear […]

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