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Falling in love with Mexico !VIVA MEXICO!

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Presentation on theme: "Falling in love with Mexico !VIVA MEXICO!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Falling in love with Mexico !VIVA MEXICO!
Estados Unidos Mexicanos

2 The distance between my birthplace Mlawa, Poland and Cholula, Mexico, where we live now is km or miles as the crow flies.



5 The Mexican flag in the background of the Angel of the Independence column in Mexico City.

6 There are two possibilities that allow one to fall in love with Mexico: either you have to be very tolerant or you are forced to live there because you have no other choice. Joanna Kozinska Frybes, Polish Ambassador to Mexico 1997 Charros

7 Stereotypes Mexico to many foreigners and tourists means big sombreros, Indians riding donkeys, mariachi music and human sacrifices on top of pyramids practiced centuries ago. The Great Pyramid of Cholula The biggest in the world

8 Morenos Today those stereotypes also include the notion that Mexicans are drug traffickers and criminals. People of brown skin – Morenos are portrayed as lazy, drinking tequila and sleeping under a cactus.

9 A joke from an American school: “How did you come to Texas, on a donkey?”


11 Tequila is en vogue in the world and expensive

12 Human sacrifices among the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan
people were sacrificed by the Aztecs annually. Motives: blood and a heart considered centers of courage; to annihilate prisoners of war, spread fear among the enemies and vassals.

13 The Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan (25 miles from Mexico City) – the Totonaca state, and then Aztec occupied from 200 BC to 800 AD. 260 steps lead to the top of the temple for human sacrifices. The interior is made of solid stone blocks. It is the third greatest pyramid in the world after the Great Pyramid of Cholula, Puebla, Mexico and the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt.

14 Teotihuacan – the City of Gods

15 Wealth of landscapes In Mexico you can find volcanoes, deserts, virgin beaches, indigenous villages, but also colonial towns in the shade of pyramids. Hernan Cortes, 1519, asked to describe the newly conquered land simply crumbled a sheet of blank paper and put it on a table.

16 Colonial Taxco The silver capital of Mexico

17 The interior patio in a house in Queretaro

18 Inspiration for artists Mexican pueblo

19 Exotic, Mysterious, Unknown
The expression “I’m a Mexican” not always has the same meaning. If you try to look for a “true Mexico”, you’ll never find it.

20 A girlfriend and a boyfriend - Novios

21 The Mexican United States
31 states + the Federal District Area: 1,958,200 sq km or 756,065 sq miles Population 106 million Capital city Mexico, population 20 million – the biggest city in the world 90% catholic Patron Saint Our Lady of Guadalupe since 1531 St. Prisca Cathedral in Taxco

22 Virgin of Guadalupe Patron Saint of both Americas Reyna de Mexico – the Queen of Mexico

23 La Morenita Appeared to Indian Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City in 1531. John Paul II, the Polish Pope elevated Juan Diego to sainthood during his last trip to Mexico in 2002. Juan Diego is the first Indian saint on the American continent.

24 Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the old one and the new one as seen from the hill of Tepeyac.

25 The old basilica 1561 The new basilica 1987

26 The state of Puebla

27 It’s said that there are 365 churches in Cholula (population 150 thousand). Some sources list 300 or 165. Tonantzintla Acatepec

28 The church of Tonantzintla in the Mexican baroque style

29 The Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios (Church of Our Lady of the Remedies) from 1594 on top of the Great Pyramid of Cholula dedicated to the deity Quetzalcoatl

30 The Franciscan Convent of St
The Franciscan Convent of St. Gabriel – a church and a fortress from 1529 built on the ruins of the Quetzalcoatl shrine in Cholula.

31 St. Gabriel Convent, a view from the top of the Great Pyramid.

32 La Capilla Real (The Royal Chapel) from 1549 adjacent to the convent, built to celebrate mass for the Indians.

33 Altars in farmers’ homes
Saint Mary and next to Her witches’ memorabilia: herbs, seeds, amulets and pictures.

34 At the Great Pyramid of Cholula, waiting in line to see a bruja – a witch doctor who cures body and soul on the day of the Spring equinox – witchcraft and the catholic beliefs coexist side by side.

35 Catemaco in the state of Veracruz is a capital of shamans and witches.

36 Expressing pride in the Indian traditions at the Great Pyramid of Cholula The ritual for Quetzalcoatl and the Aztec King

37 Mexican historians struggle with the interpretation of the origins of their country and national identity. Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador and his Indian interpreter and lover Malinche are symbolically recognized as the mother and father of all Mexicans, but the attitude to them is ambiguous. Jose H. Helguera Clemente Orozco

38 Population today 60% Mestizos
30% Indians belonging to over 50 tribes, each with a separate language, culture and traditions 10% white, often the most privileged, richer and holding positions of power

39 Felipe Calderon elected President of Mexico in 2006 for a six year term

40 Children from San Agustin Calvario Mari Cruz, Lalo and Miriam

41 Boys from the primary school in San Luis Tehuiloyocan, San Andres Cholula

42 Graduation ceremony at a primary school in San Luis Tehuiloyocan

43 Indigenous children from Chiapas

44 Wanda and Garret, Padrinos (Godparents) of Lupita and Veronica

45 Cholula means churches and volcanoes
We live 28 miles from the active volcano Popocatepetl.

46 Watching the sunset

47 Popocatepetl Iztacchihuatl
Popocatepetl in Nahuatl, the Smoking Mountain. One of the most dangerous in the world. 17,887 ft high, linked to Iztacchihuatl, the Sleeping Woman. Its crater has a diameter of 1,968 ft. It has became more active since 1994.

48 Garret on his way to Popo

49 Popo eruption on December 18, 2000

50 Iztacchihuatl, the Sleeping Woman
Iztacchihuatl, the Sleeping Woman. Climbers follow a route leading to the highest point, “her breast” at 17,342 ft above the sea level.

51 Popo and Izta Jose H. Helguera

52 From our house, we can see four volcanoes: Popo 17, 887 ft active; Izta 17,342 ft dormant; Malinche 14,635 ft extinguished; and the highest Orizaba 18,408 ft above the sea level active.

53 We are surrounded by fertile, volcanic ash fields.

54 El Mercado

55 Cactus nopal is used to make salad

56 Cactus trees

57 Cholula and Quetzalcoatl
Cholula – population 150 thousand, continuously existing as a city for 3000 years, the oldest in the Americas. La Gran Piramide de Cholula is the biggest structure in volume ever built by man in the world. It’s twice as big as the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. Seven pyramids one on top of the other.

58 Quetzalcoatl in the Indian dialect Nahuatl means the Feathered Serpent, one of the most important deities personifying Venus, the god of wind, sunrise, the patron of science and knowledge. And also Cortes.

59 La Gran Piramide de Cholula with the Church of Our Lady of the Remedies on top

60 Aztec ritual dances on March 20th, the Spring equinox
Aztec ritual dances on March 20th, the Spring equinox. The apogee of the Aztec Empire was in the 13th century AD.


62 Voladores – the Totonac ritual asking the gods for rain and food abundance

63 Natural disasters: volcano eruptions and earthquakes. The 6
Natural disasters: volcano eruptions and earthquakes. The 6.7 degree earthquake in Puebla on June 15, 1999

64 Puebla de los Angeles 2 million inhabitants
Founded in 1531 by the Spaniards Sister City of Lodz, Poland since 1997 Famous for talavera, mole poblano (sauce made of chicken soup, chile and chocolate) and sweets Santa Clara

65 Talavera is a type of majolica earthenware introduced by the Spaniards in 1653.

66 A living room in a house in Cuernavaca

67 Travelling across Oaxaca


69 Puerto Escondido - a paradise on the Pacific coast

70 Puerto Escondido – a hidden port; population 20 thousand
Puerto Escondido – a hidden port; population 20 thousand. Until 1950 the only access possible was from the ocean.

71 At a wild beach in Puerto Escondido Abbie and Juliana Garret and Katie

72 Katie at La Punta – The Point

73 Garret and Juliana snorkeling in the open Pacific Ocean waters 12 miles from the shore.

74 Rocks at la Punta at the end of Playa Zicatela

75 The waves at Zicatela are known throughout the world as the Mexican Pipeline. At least two international surfing competitions are held there each year.

76 The sunrise and sunset watched from the same balcony

77 Dolphins, turtles and whales are frequent visitors at Puerto Escondido.

78 The National Mexican Turtle Center in Mazunte, about 37 miles south of Puerto Escondido

79 Our Canadian friend Nathan helping to release 14-day old turtles into the ocean waters

80 The morning storm came from the ocean.

81 Colors copied from nature

82 Huipiles – gaily colored, fancifully embroidered women’s ponchos

83 Spring and fall in Cholula
Jacaranda Bugambilia

84 In our garden we grow orange, lemon and pomegranate trees.

85 Ripe pomegranates St. Luis Church is full of live flowers

86 Afterglow over Puebla

87 Sunsets in Cholula

88 A quiet evening at Puerto Escondido

89 Huejotzingo Carnival – one of the spectacles commemorating the battle of Cinco de Mayo, 1862 in Puebla with the Mexicans winning against the French and Moorish armies.

90 Shooting, fireworks, smoke and noise

91 Palm Sunday in San Agustin Calvario Cholula

92 Semana Santa – Holy Week the most elaborate religious festivities staged as street theater with people’s participation

93 Good Friday in San Rafael Cholula

94 Holy Week in Taxco The procession of hooded, self-flagellating penitents, chained at the ankles and carrying huge wooden crosses and bundles of penetrating thorny branches weighing 100 lb.

95 Women sinners

96 Taxco The Silver Capital of Mexico
One of Mexico’s most picturesque towns. Silverwork has long been a vital part of Taxco’s economy, thanks in large part to the American silversmith William Spratling.

97 Taxco clinging to the mountain

98 Day of the Dead

99 We all know her face. In Mexico she’s called Catrina – Lady; la Flaca – the Skinny One; la Huesuda – the Bony One; La Pelona – the Baldy One. DEATH

100 Stores are full of Day of the Dead souvenirs.

101 Fields in October Fields are orange from marigolds which are used to decorate graves and altars for the dead; Marigold – cempazuchitl in Nahuatl The Flower of Death – la Flor de Muerte

102 Catholic and Indian pagan traditions combined

103 In San Francisco Cuapa with the family of Fermin Tochimani
Day of the Dead is one of the most important celebrations, hard to understand by foreigners. Cemeteries are full of people, flowers, food and music waiting for the arrival of the souls.

104 The cemetery in Cuapa Cholula

105 The Ofrenda is a decorated area that displays offerings to deceased souls. This one in Cuapa is more elaborate because it is dedicated to the recently departed head of the household.

106 Altars on All Saints Day in Puebla

107 November 1st – Vigil of the Little Angels, a day devoted to the memory of deceased children.

108 Christmas - celebrating Posada
From December , Mexicans celebrate Posada, which means an inn. St. Mary and Joseph wander from one house to another looking for shelter before Christ is born. The hosts welcome them with parties, children play with pinatas symbolizing Satan.


110 A manger in the courtyard in Cuernavaca.
Christmas or Navidad A manger in the courtyard in Cuernavaca. Mexicans don’t have a custom of sharing wafers on Christmas Eve as they do in Poland, but they also set up mangers and sing carols.

111 Poles in Mexico The Mexican Polonia is small – about 1500 – 2000 people, mostly with higher education, who came in the seventies. They also include refugees from World War II who settled in Santa Rosa, Guanajuato in 1942, and their descendants. Polish musicians from Xalapa

112 Polish Mexican Krakowiak dancers from Guanajuato

113 Slawomir Mrozek a Polish writer lived at Rancho Epiphany near Puebla in the years 1990 - 1996

114 Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo 1886 – 1957 1907 - 1954

115 Diego

116 Frida

117 Frida contracted polio at age six; had a congenital disease spina bifida; in 1925 suffered serious injuries in the bus accident after which she underwent 35 operations. She was in constant pain. Painted mostly self-portraits.

118 Salma Hayek as Frida

119 The Monarch Butterfly Mariposa Monarca The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve located mostly in the state of Michoacan, created to protect the butterflies’ wintering habitat. The butterlies spend the summer in Canada and the United States and in late August begin flying back to Mexico over 2500 miles.

120 The Aztec Calendar, or the Stone of the Sun, excavated in the Zocalo, Mexico City, on December 17, It measures 12 ft in diameter, 4 ft in thickness and weighs 24 tons, on display at Museo de Antropologia in Mexico City.


122 Universidad de las Americas – Puebla is located at ex- Hacienda Sta Catarina Martir in Cholula.

123 !Muchas gracias! Thank you very much!

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