The Caravan from Honduras — Tapachula, Mexico

Yesterday, my San Francisco friend Diane and I arrived in the unassuming, humid and hot city of Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It’s definitely a weird choice for a  visit — unless you want to support the people of the Caminata de Migrantes, referred to in the English language press as “The Caravan.”

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“El Jaguar:” A Mexican Whodunit

El Jaguar

My visit to Oaxaca, Mexico, has been fun and interesting in all of the ways I expected. But it has also involved a mystery that has connected me to a lot of people in ways I could never have expected. The mystery begins and ends with a water color painting called “El Jaguar.”

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The Artisan Villages of Oaxaca

The state of Oaxaca has many folk art traditions, many centered in the small pueblos (villages) outside the city. Learning about local folk art is a great way to learn a little bit about local communities so this week I visited a few of them. Each village I visited seemed passionate about its art and happy to have visitors. Continue reading

Oaxaca: The Art of (R)Evolution

Templo de Santo Domingo

The first time I visited Oaxaca almost 30 years ago, a friend asked me why I would choose Oaxaca for a vacation because “it’s the Fresno of Mexico.”  I’m Armenian so it wasn’t a good choice of insult but the cities are similar in a few ways. Both have a lot of poor people and strong connections to the ethnically diverse rural communities outside their city centers. But only one has world-class colonial architecture, a prominent arts community, and a spirit of political activism. Also a lot of mole and mezcal. Continue reading

Loved In Translation: American Artist Channels Mexico

You have probably heard the phrase “If you remember the 1960’s, you weren’t there.”  Well, Anado McLauchlin was there and he remembers a lot. He hung out with the Grateful Dead in San Francisco, Rajneesh in India, and the literati in Greenich Village. And then 17 years ago, Anado (not his original Born-in-Oklahoma name) settled down in the countryside outside San Miguel de Allende to pursue his passion for art.                            Continue reading

The First World Problems of Three-Worlds Traveling

 

Image result for allie brosh problems

Artwork by Allie Brosh.

The nomadic life is full of joy and surprises but it wouldn’t be travel if it didn’t come with annoyances. Just like real life!  I have had my share of travel annoyances which, ironically I guess, usually remind me of my privileges in one way or another — because all travel annoyances are First World Problems. Continue reading

Magical Prague

The towers of St. Nicholas Church in Old Town Square.

I spent a few days in Prague this week with good friend and refugee family “mom,” Anne-Lene. I don’t think I have ever been to a place that felt so light and uncomplicated. The city lived up to everything I had heard about it — wall-to-wall charm, stunning architecture adorned with elegant detail of all kinds, walkable streets, friendly Czechs and a lot of very happy tourists. It is the kind of place you want to visit when you want to forget about “it.” Continue reading