Friday, November 20, 2009

A New Volcano Erupts in Mexico (1943)

A very strange thing happened in Paricutin, Mexico on February 20th, 1943.

This was the day when, with no real warning, the farmer in Paricutin suddenly found himself with a highly explosive cinder cone volcano suddenly sprouting up in his corn field.

Fortunately he and everyone else who was near the sudden flurry of lava and ash which began spreading quickly scorching vast areas of land, had a decent amount of time to escape the impending danger.

The pyroclastic portion of the eruption of the Paricutin volcano continued nearly unabated for almost a year, during which time the lava and ash continued to compact onto itself, growing into a hill with a height of nearly 1,100 feet.

It is officially a dead volcano now but after destroying two entire villages (Paricutin, after which it was named, and San Juan).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Elite Island With Pyramid Found

Ancient Elite Island With Pyramid Found in Mexico

Alexis Okeowo in México City
for National Geographic News

May 13, 2009
An island for ancient elites has been found in central Mexico, archaeologists say. Among the ruins are a treasury and a small pyramid that may have been used for rituals.

The island, called Apupato, belonged to the powerful Tarascan Empire, which dominated much of western Mexico from A.D. 1400 to 1520, before the European conquest of the region.

"Because Apupato was an island and relatively unsettled, it is a neat window into how the [Lake Patzcuaro] basin looked like years ago," said Christopher Fisher, lead investigator and archaeologist at Colorado State University.

"If you would paddle up to the island [during the time], you would see a number of buildings, some temples with smoke coming out of them from rituals, and a small village of specialized people—priests, elites," Fisher said.

The Purépecha people—named Tarascan by the Spanish—were formidable enemies with their neighbors, the Aztec. From their powerful capital city and religious center Tzintzuntzan, the Tarascans successfully thwarted every attack by the Aztec.

Tarascan people valued such products as honey, cotton, feathers, and salt, and they often expanded into neighboring lands in search of these goods.

ritual island
National Geographic Mexico Ritual Island full article

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tinganio Archaeological Zone

Tinganio - why didn't someone mention this place sooner

The town of Santiago Tingambato is located on the road that goes from Patzcuaro to Uruapan, 37 kilometers from Lake Patzcuaro. In the south side of the village an archaeological zone is found; it is named Tinganio; those who speak the purepecha language say the name comes from "tinanio", which means "place of the lukewarm", referring not only to the climate, but also to the social environment, to the feelings of the villagers.

This site apparently had two periods of occupation, the first one between A.D. 450 and 600, and the second one between A.D. 600 and 900. During this latter stage, an architectural style was introduced which has been described as similar to the one at Teotihuacán. The site's location apparently was chosen not only because it is in a privileged area with ample access to water and good soils (the site is at present surrounded by avocado orchards and the area has some of the most fertile land in all of Michoacán), but also because it is a strategic location between two ecological niches: the cooler highlands and the warmer lowlands. Tingambato may have served in Prehispanic times as a link between these two areas, as it did during colonial times.


ball court

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Patzcuaro - Plaza Grande

Plaza Grande, also called Plaza Principal or Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga, is one of the prettier plazas in Mexico, with a fountain and a statue of Vasco de Quiroga. Hotels, shops, and restaurants in colonial-era buildings surround this plaza.

Plaza Grande

Christmas on the plaza

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Paracho Guitars

Paracho de Verduzco ("Paracho") is a small town in Michoacán, Mexico. Its population measures about 16,500 people; still it has a unique reputation as a guitar metropolis. The town is full of workshops and music stores in which handmade instruments are made and sold. Estimates say that over 3,000 people in Paracho work in the instrument-making field. The numerous workshops produce all kinds of acoustic guitars, mandolins and bass guitars.

Visitors of the workshops will always be able to get a good view of the manufacturing process. The instruments can be purchased on the spot, while the offers range from beginner to sophisticated master instruments.

The "International Guitar Festival of Paracho" takes place once a year, mostly in the second week of August. Participants say that the concerts are preceded by a kind of "guitar procession" where e.g. a 12ft guitar - rumoured to be playable - is carried through the streets.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Patzcuaro is the ex-capital of Michoacan and before that was Tzintzuntzan, a small town nearby dating to the Purhépecha empire in the 1300's. The museum in Patzcuaro is finding ruins in it's back yard that predates history and they are believed to be earlier than the history of Tzintzuntzan. The Purhépecha were one of the indigenous tribes that were not conquered by the Aztecs

Patz/Uruapan Trip 2003
Monarch Butterfly Watch
CELEP Spanish School
Ruta Don Vasco
Michoacan Net Facebook