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Mexico

Mexikatzin's essay

Log Book - Mexico

Here is an essay of our friend Mexikatzin about the education in Mexico and about the values of the natives (pre-colombian's people) that people forget. However, we have a lot of things to learn from them. It's in Spanish as we are not good enough to translate it yet. So if you are curious and if you speak Spanish we encourage you to read it, it's very interesting! Click on the Calameo's link or download the PDF to read it.


Publiez sur Calaméo ou explorez la bibliothèque.


Here is the  PDF.

Mexico: the Making-up

Log Book - Mexico

We liked:
  • Our Mexican family. We couldn’t imagine better. Muchas gracias y hasta luego amigos!
  • The warm atmosphere where we lived for 10 days.
  • The food! The juices, the fruits, the « tortillas »… Everything was delicious (yum-yum!)
  • The chilli. Even though we were afraid at the beginning we loved it at the end.
  • The hot chocolate made with real chocolate. You just have to mix the milk and the chocolate with a special wood spoon. We bought one!
  • To finish we also liked the markets, the Indian dances, the dunes, the Teotihuacán pyramids, our guide Santos, the salsa dancers and all the presents we received from so many people. Thanks guys!

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We didn’t like :

  • Pay more than the price on the market of Teotihuacan because we were from Europe.
  • People snoring in the buses! All the protections were useless…
  • To be roused by our neighbours who were dancing salsa at 3 AM! Next time we dance with them Tongue out

Best memories :

  • Delphine’s : drawing and painting with the children.
  • Max’s : Temascal.

Our favorite : the Huichol community. His kindness, his honesty and his purity of heart…

It made us laugh :

  • To see a French brand of cream for baby who translated « crema para el culito del bébé » on a cream bottle (which means “cream for the ass of baby”!)
  • When Maxime has been arrested by security agents (before taking the bus to Veracruz), they thought he was drunk because his face was red. The truth is he just had a sunburn on his face! They even said « kiss me » in order to check his breath. Very funny!

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The presents we got before our departure !

It did’n make us laugh!

  • To not take a shower for 5 days!
  • To go to the toilets in the wood!!!

We were surprised by :

  • The bus without doors.
  • The blue corn!
  • The oester in the beer (an idea for the Irish breakfast?!).
  • The salt in the beer.
  • The construction of the current city of Mexico above the existing Aztec building…

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Our itinary in Mexico, click on the picture to see it bigger.

Last days in Mexico

Log Book - Mexico

It’s (already) our last moments in Mexico. This country has been a wonderful discovery for us and every day was more and more intense. It will keep a big place in our heart. We will go back to Mexico one day for sure! But it is not time yet for “making an overall assessment”, we still have a few stories up our sleeve …

 

On Saturday, we celebrated Delphine’s Birthday. Never would we imagine us, one day, eating a barbecue for her birthday in December! But the truth is: “Never say Never”! We ate a delicious « barbacoa Mexicano » with chorizo, beef and cactus leaves roasted. Absolutely gorgeous! And for the dessert, Fatima, Aldo’s wife (Mexikatzin’s brother) cooked a birthday cake « a la mexicana ». If you want to know a little more about this unforgettable birthday, we invite you to watch the video!

 

On Sunday, we participated to an indigene ceremony. The « ceremonia de las pipas ». A sacred ritual made by Mexican ancestors to connect the physical world and the spiritual world. It was a very good moment. What wisdom in their words, on their faces and their actions. We learned a lot again and we were happy to share this spiritual moment with this people.

 

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We are preparing the spiritual circle.

On Sunday night, we took the bus to Veracruz. After six hours on the road, we arrived in the city at around 5:00 am! It was really early but it was a good occasion to be the witnesses of a wonderful sunup! We observed the sun behind the sea and which was coming up in the sky in only a few minutes, in a quiet and cool atmosphere. Fortunately, we had our camera with us and we could take a few shots to immortalize this moment.

 

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Sun rising up in Veracruz

When we arrived in Chachalacas (a beach which attracts only Mexican people and not foreigners), we walked a little bit on the beach to choose our hostel randomly. « La cabana del pollo », chicken’s hut! What a name for a hostel! But for €12,50 the room we didn’t really care for the name. We wouldn’t find better.

 

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What a contrast between the two sides.

While we were there we visited the side where the river flows into the ocean. We discovered a lush flora near desert dune! Mexico is a country of contrasts. And once again we could verify this quote. Off course we also tried the “siesta” (a national sport) in a hammock.

 

Here is Santos. A fisherman who was our guide for 2 hours.

When we got back to Mexico City on Wednesday, once again, the contrast was amazing: after the calmness of chachalacas we were in a crazy city. We never saw that much people in the metro or in streets. Now we know. And we can understand better what Mexicatzin was telling us: “if you can live in Mexico, you can live anywhere in the world!”

Find our last pics here.

See you soon for our last article on Mexico.

First videos

Log Book - Mexico

In order to share our adventure with you in the best way possible we have some videos to offer you.

We wanted to give you some « live » moments of our daily life here, that’s the reason why the videos are the “originals” without any music and any change. We wanted them to be “authentic”.

However, don’t hesitate to tell us if the videos are too short. We can make them longer.

To finish we apologize for the quality of the videos but the internet connection does not allow us to download HD videos (and we don’t want to spend our afternoon in the cyber!)

And thank you to Dermot and Jon from GOA for making the « jingle » En Piste pour le Monde!

Enjoy!

A week in Mexico

Log Book - Mexico

Already one week that we are back from our trip with the « Huichols ». Obviously this was unforgettable but the week we just lived was also incredible!

Local markets, pyramids of Teotihuacán, dance, discovery of “Mexico”, daily life in a Mexican family, walk in the mountains… Here are some details of our week.

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Mexican Market and its colors

Food discovery

Our week was also the week of several discoveries of the local foods. Last Tuesday we went to the restaurant with Mexikatzin’s family to celebrate his father’s birthday. We discovered a very special beer! They told us to taste the “local beer”. « Why not », we were thinking. What a surprise when the beer arrived in a big glass with oysters, prawns and a chilli sauce. We were in a “fish restaurant” but still! We don’t have pictures of this beer as we forgot our camera this night. But we let you imagine that every time you want to drink you have to eat something!

We also discovered:

  • The « chicharron », pork skin fried in oil.
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The « chicharron »
  • A little chilli orange. If we eat it our faces become red! Here they say about this chilli: « Piqua a la entrada y a la salida » we let you guess what that means Smile.
  • And tortillas with Nutella! The Mexicans are chocked because they can’t imagine eating tortillas of corn with sugar. We are trying every day to make them taste!

Mexico City here we come!

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We took the "colectivo"  to go to Mexico city, we were 14 in the van!

We discovered the city of Mexico. A city of 18 millions of habitants and situated at 2 200 meters in the mountains. The city was impressive by the number of cars, the noise, and the number of resellers in the streets… What we liked the most was the fresco painted by Diego Rivera, in the Palacio Nacional, which is telling the story of Mexico. Every details count in this fresco to understand the history of Mexico.

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The history of Mexico

Teotihuacan

For this mythic place it’s better to see the pictures

that are telling more than words. You can also check the Wikipédia.

 

 

After the visit we went to the city of Teotihuacan. We watched Mexikatzin and other persons dancing some sacred dances. It was superb!

The Huichol community

Log Book - Mexico

We already explained in a former article what we did during a week in the Huichol village. Now, we would like to share with you a few anecdotes. We think it’s a good way to understand their culture.   

The fire: a Huichol man explained us that the fire is sacred for them. It is like a communication media with their Mother Earth. He made the comparison between their fire and our Internet network, he said that it’s their communication media and a mean to be connected with all human beings. He said briefly, « it’s like Internet without cable ! ». This comparison was funny but it explains well the importance of the fire for them.

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The skirts of Huichol women : these skirts are not wearing because it’s feminine. These skirts are used like an image : the Earth is waering a « skirt » which protects all its inhabitants (the skirt represents: the trees, the grass, the ground, the water, the mountains). The skirt of the earth is like a real protection. The Huichol ladies are wearing a skirt, like the Earth, to protect their children, it’s like a maternal protection.

Childbirth : the Huicholes are giving birth in their village without any doctor. There was a time where they used to go to the nearest city, in a hospital. But the doctors sterilized the women in order to limit the development of the population.

Exclusion : the Huichole community is ignored by the government. Some people even thought they didn’t have a soul.

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The age of the oldest person of the village : this anecdote is very touching. That is why I would like to share it with you. The first day we arrived in the village, I took a seat closed to the oldest person of the village. I asked him how old he is. He answered me that he doen’t know. He showed me then his electoral card with the date 1993 writted on it and his age: 55. I told him that he was between 71 and 72. He laughed then ! It was really touching for me.

Naked feet children: they explained us that the children in the village walked with their feet naked not because they are too poor to buy shoes but only because they need to communicate directly with the Earth. Being in constant contact with the natural ground is a way to be protected by their Earth.

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The Coca-Cola : it’s easier to find a coke than a bottle of milk in the Huichol mountains Frown

How our association is going to help the Huichol community?

Log Book - Mexico

This question is frequently asked and we wanted to answer it! You can discover our webpage called «I will run with you» to see what our foundation is going to work with all the associations met.

des problèmes avec le site ?

Log Book - Mexico

There are no translations available.

Nous avons noté, dans les commentaires, que certains d’entres vous avaient des problèmes pour lire les articles du site.

 

Si vous rencontrez des problèmes, 2 solutions s’offrent à vous :


- Mettre à jour votre version d'Internet Explorer ici : http://www.microsoft.com/france/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie8/default.aspx

- ou télécharger Mozilla FIrefox, un navigateur bien plus performant ! Vous le trouverez ici: http://www.mozilla-europe.org/fr/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=french&gclid=CK34uI_LtZ4CFShGagodAgtOmg

(notre site est optimisé pour le navigateur Internet Firefox.)

N’hésitez pas à nous dire si votre problème est résolu en laissant un commentaire !

Nous en profitons pour tous vous remercier pour vos commentaires. Ca fait plaisir d’en voir autant !

A bientôt

The Maguey

Log Book - Mexico

"Live and Learn ", this old expression is becoming real for us since our departure to Mexico! So why not share this knowledge with you?

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The maguey

The maguey is a plant very widespread in Mexico. This plant can live up to 30 years. It is used for several things liker:

- The aguamiel: it is a local beverage appreciated by Mexican people. They called it "water of honey" because it is as sweet as honey.

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A bowl of pulque, "the magical potion" of Mexican people!

- The pulque: this is an alcohol made from the aguamiel fermented. This beverage is very energizing, it is like the "magical potion" of Asterix! A few years ago, the Mexican workers used to drink a bowl of pulque before their working day. This bowl contained all the energy necessary for working all day long without eating anything else.

- The piercings: The needles of maguey are so sharp that Mexican people use them to pierce their ears!

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Maxime's sombrero is made from maguey.

- fabrics and hats: the fibres of this plant are used to make fabrics as well.

- healing a wound: this plant heals wounds and is used to cure the human body.

 

Temascal

Log Book - Mexico

This last Saturday we lived a unique and magical experience. We did a « Temascal » which is described in our Lonely Planet guide as a « Mexican sauna ». It is true that they « westernized » the Temascal, in the touristic places, in order to adapt it to the needs of tourists. But what we actually lived was stronger than a simple « Mexican sauna ». We did this Temascal following the traditions of the Aztecs, the way they used to do it 1000 years ago.

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When we asked Mexikatzin what was a Temascal, he explained us that it was like a sauna and a « curacion » at the same time.

The place is like an igloo made of stones with a big hole inside in order to put hot-stones. In this « igloo » we are in direct contact with our « mother earth », there is no covering on the floor. This is made to communicate better with “la madre tierra”.


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We entered in the place where we were about 15 persons. We were all seated around the burning stones. The Temascal has 4 distinct stages.

Stage 1 : They closed the door, we were now in the dark. This was weird to be in the dark in a such small place. We had to introduce ourselves (who we are, why we are here…). It was not easy to do so in our basic Spanish. After this was done they put water on the stones and the place started to be warm. Then we had to say words in an old Aztec language to open the door.

Stage 2 : While the door was opened they brought more stones, red because of the heat. They also brought more « Atlachinolli » (hot water and herbs). This second stage is dedicated to all the women. We had to thank them. Thanks the women we knew or not. We can share all that we want. Obviously all in Spanish…! Then when Mexikatzin put the water on the stones we felt the difference with the first stage! It is warmer and this is longer. When they opened the door we were happy to feel the fresh air.

Stage 3 : They got more stones in. This time we didn’t need to talk. Just to listen to Mexikatzin talking about life. We were also singing. He told us that we could cry if we wanted to, or shout… Why? Because it was becoming warmer and warmer. Not easy to bear. We could feel our body burning. It was so hot that we had to lay down on the floor to support it better. When they opened the door it sounded like a release to us.

Delphine decided not to do the 4th step as it was difficult to support.


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Stage 4 : We had to thank again. Anybody. Then when we started to put the water on the stones, we are all suffering more. We were coughing, some were shouting. It was like a journey in our mind. This is just mental. We have to resist! The feeling of being in a closed and small place plus the high temperature made the thing very hard to live. The wait until the opened the door appeared to be an eternity.

When I got out, Mexikatzin surprised me by throwing me a bucket full of cold water! Nice! He told me it was to avoid any sickness.

What a unique experience for us. It was like a travel in the past.

A week with the Huicholes community

Log Book - Mexico

This is our first article about Mexico on our log book. And this was a first experience unique and marvelous for us.

We have to precise that Mexikatzin is a wonderful guide, even if we did not know him before, only by email and thanks to Martina Jade and her foundation “Tierra Sagrada”.

We started our road trip on Saturday, the 21st of November at 6 :30pm in the bus station of Mexico city. This travel by bus was very long : we took a first bus from Mexico City to Fresnillo, the most important city of Zacatecas state. Then, from Fresnillo to Huejuquilla, we took a second bus. And, to finish, we took a last “bus” (it was more a van than a bus!) to climb the mountains until “Cebolleta” village, a little village where people were waiting for us. It took us 22 hours in total.

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When we arrived, the village was empty! Only an old woman and a little boy were there. According to the lady, everybody was in the “Tristessa”, which is a sacred place (lugar sagrado) located down the mountains.

- « How do we do to go in this place ? » asked Mexikatzin

- « Follow the guide » answered the old woman.

The guide is named Francisco, or « Pancho », 10 years old, with his feet naked and a good sense of direction for a little boy! After nearly 40 minutes of walking, (or climbing!), we finally arrived in the place.

We have been welcomed very warmly. They organized a short ceremony for us. They were singing in their native language and asking the god of fire to protect us during our long trip and to success in our initiative. We decided to leave this magical place before the night because our stuff was still in the village. And we could not sleep here without our sleeping bags because it was so cold. Guided by “Pancho”, Martin (13 years old) and Hector (9), we walked back in the dark to reach the village.

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Day 1: Discovery of the village

After 12 hours of sleep, we went to the school (la escuela) in order to identify their needs and define the help we can bring to the community. The children were staring at us all day long, it was the first time they saw “gringos” (white people).

The lunch time was coming. We were surprised to discover the kitchen, very simple with just a fire to cook the food. In the menu, courgettes, tomatoes and oignons with tortillas homemade! Delicious!

In the evening, we ate meat of bull which has been dried by the sun all day long… I have to admit that I did not eat it all, eventhough Delphine appreciated it a lot!

 

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Day 2 : Another sacred place

The night was rough (- 6 degrees) and it was a good occasion to test our sleeping bags. The result: I was sick! Delphine was stronger than me!

We went to the school again with Mexikatzin to organize an activity with the children. Not easy to explain the rules of the game with our basic Spanish. Fortunately, Mexikatzin could understand quickly!

Then, we went in the mountains to discover a new sacred place. This time our guides were Hector, Martin and Natividad. The place was wonderful. When we got back from this magical place, we teached a few words of French and English to the children. It was surprising to see how quick they could learn. With the game and the walk we did, the children were becoming more and more confident with us. It’s a real pleasure!

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Day 3 : El Rancho of Don Tonio !

Mexikatzin decided to take us to the « Don Tonio »’s house. We helped him to cut some wood. Then he told us he could make us a “curacion” because “Don Tonio” is like a “shaman” in the village. He is like a “healer”.

I went first. After 5 minutes of singing and doing movements around me he inhaled strongly around my throat. He told us it was to get the disease off our body. In the meantime, he got out his mouth like a small piece of white cristal and he explained us that it was the disease which has been materialized. We stared at this little piece very surprised. Anyway the day after I was not sick anymore!

Delphine had a « curacion » as well even if she said several times that she was not sick!

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Day 4 – Good bye!

It was our last day with the Huicholes community. We went to the school to organize activities with the children. One hour of drawing with Delphine, and then, a little bit of athletics with me. Once again it was a very good moment of simple happiness with the children. We said good bye to everybody and we promised them that we will send the pictures we took as soon as we are back in France.

Enjoy your reading!


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