Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guitar Festival in Paracho - 2011

The Paracho Guitar Festival is actually a national music festival held once a year. Dates for 2011 are July 30 through August 7, starting this Saturday.

Dozens of guitar shops line the main plaza and side streets of Paracho, where you can buy a guitar from the person who made it. Every August Paracho comes alive as it hosts the Mexican National Guitar Festival. The festival features classical guitar concerts, parades, mariachi and Purepecha folk performances and competitions for guitarists and guitar makers. But ultimately, it is the town that emerges as the main character in a spirited display of tradition and community pride.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mexican Indian Town Fights to Keep Out Illegal Loggers

MEXICO CITY – A small Indian town in Mexico has blocked roads in an effort to keep out illegal loggers who are protected by gunmen from organized crime groups, an attorney told Efe.

Cheran, located in the western state of Michoacan, has been plagued for three years by the illegal logging of its forests, which residents use in a sustainable manner, attorney David Peña said.

Gunmen began guarding the trucks used by loggers about 18 months ago, when residents tried to stop the illegal activity, Peña said.

Nine people have been murdered and five others disappeared after they confronted the criminals, the attorney said.

Three people have been murdered since mid-April, when residents closed off access to the community because officials took no action to help them.

“If the government does not have the ability to protect them, they are going to take care of themselves,” Peña said.

Classes have been cancelled in the town of 19,000, the majority of whom belong to the Purepecha tribe.

Residents managed to get the gunmen out of Cheran and closed off the entrances to the town with burning buses.

One person was shot in the head during the clash and is near death, the attorney said.

A delegation from the town met with federal Government Secretariat officials and asked that Federal Police officers be sent to the town.

Nothing has been done to end the illegal logging and violence, even though complaints have been filed with state, federal and environmental prosecutors, Peña said.

Residents do not want state police to guard their land because they consider the force less qualified for the job and suspect that some officers work with drug traffickers, the attorney said.

Michoacan has been the scene in recent months of numerous violent incidents blamed on the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel and the newly formed Caballeros Templarios gang.

Illegal logging is a problem across Mexico, where organized crime groups are involved in the activity, contributing to deforestation. EFE

Latin American Herald Tribune article

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Diana Kennedy in Zitacuaro

Author Diana Kennedy, a leading expert on Mexican cuisine, checks a draft of her newest book while working in her kitchen at her home in Zitacuaro, Mexico. Sparkling brown eyes, sharp tongued and hilarious, at 87, Kennedy has a new cookbook coming out, "Oaxaca al Gusto," featuring more than 300 recipes gathered over decades. (Associated Press).

ZITACUARO - If the grand dame of Mexican cooking were a foodstuff, Diana Kennedy might be a pickled pepper. Absolutely indispensable at the table. But be careful. A little chili habanero goes a long way.

Three hours west of Mexico City, we pass happily up the cobblestone drive of her home tucked into a forested hill outside a sleepy little pueblo in the wilds of Michoacan. But when Kennedy spots an unexpected guest, a fellow reporter just along for the ride, she recoils in fury, points, and demands, "What is she?"

"I am very, very annoyed," Kennedy says, and turns on her heel.

There is a difference between hospitality and gastronomy, and Kennedy is much more about the latter and is famous for her tart tongue, quick temper and withering appraisals of competitors.

The Washington Post Article
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