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Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

Day of the Dead, Minnesota

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 30, 2010



The Day of the Dead, celebrated on the first two days of November, is a time when Mexican families remember and honor their ancestors. Families gather in cemeteries to clean and decorate gravesites, eat and drink, and tell stories about the departed — just like a family reunion. In their homes, people set up ofrendas, or altars, dedicated to the spirits of their loved ones and covered with symbolic objects and some of their ancestors’ favorite food and drink. Friendly images — like a skeleton playing guitar — make death seem more approachable.

Ofrenda created by René Lopez, a teacher at Guadalupe Alternative Programs, for display at the Minnesota Historical Society's Dead of the Dead Celebration.

Thanks to a strong Latino community and the support of local arts organizations, every year the Twin Cities sees several Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Every year, the Minnesota History Center hosts a celebration.

CENTRO's Day of the Dead

Latino community organization Centro offers a traditional tour of altars. (Noon-6 p.m. daily through Nov. 5. Free. 1915 Chicago Av. S., Mpls. 612-874-1412.)

Mercado Central

Lake Street’s Mercado Central throws a traditional celebration with Aztec dancing, traditional foods, mask-making, music, candlelit procession to El Colegio and an exhibit of ofrendas by students and community members. (2-9 p.m. Mon. Free. Mercado Central, 1515 E. Lake St, Mpls. 612-728-5401.)

Minnesota Institute of Art, Minneapolis

And continuing through Nov. 14 is the Young People’s Ofrenda Project put on by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, an exhibition featuring ofrendas created by students from urban charter school El Colegio. (Free. 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-3131.)

Altered Esthetics invites the community to come together and celebrate the lives of those we have lost. El Día de Los Muertos is a time to remember loved ones who have passed away and a time for families and the community to come together. Altered Esthetics is having a one-day celebration, art show and candlelight procession on November 2nd 2010. The celebration and exhibit opening will take place in the evening, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and is free and open to the public. The candlelight procession will take place at 8:30pm. We will begin the procession at Ae and continue around the surrounding Ae neighborhood, returning to the gallery at 9:00 PM. Artists and guests are welcome to set up their own ofrendas at Ae gallery prior to the event – we are open Saturday, October 30th 1pm-5pm and Tuesday, November 2, from 1pm-4pm. Altered Esthetics Gallery is at 1224 Quincy Street NE
Minneapolis, MN.

A Day of the Dead Dinner will take place on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 5:30 at the Campus Club West Wing on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. The program is hosted by Angelica Afanador Pujol, Assistant Professor of Art History and will display Day of the Dead Folk Art. The dinner is co-sponsored by the Office of International Programs and the Campus Club. Reservations are required. Call 612-626-7788.

Posted in cultural heritage, Mexico | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Underwater sculpture park in Mexico – Museo Subacuatico de Arte

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 20, 2010

La Evolución Silenciosa (The Silent Evolution) by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor

Just over 30 feet underwater in the Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park, 400 statues–each based on a real person–have been anchored together as part art, part artificial reef and part tourism. The work, called The Silent Evolution, is in the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, the world’s first underwater sculpture park.

The Silent Revolution


The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor

The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor

Jason deCaires Taylor, the British sculptor (former grafitti artist who grew up near the sea in Malaysia) who created the project says he built it to reduce the negative impact tourism has had on Mexico’s reefs, as well as show humans and nature living in harmony. The cement statues are part of an artificial reef that coral and aquatic plants will grow on. His other underwater art includes a sea garden in the West Indies and human under water sculptures in a quaint English garden. Go to his website to see how the sculptures look after coral have started to grow on the installations.

The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor

Coral growing from sculpture created by Jason deCaires Taylor.

Posted in art, climate solutions, cultural heritage, Mexico, ocean, quite unusual, water | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tourism, Climate Change & Indigenous Biodiversity

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 27, 2009

The Climate Change talks in Copenhagen were disappointing… and while the mainstream travel industry continues to greatly contribute to global warming the REAL change is, of course, being made by the people who have consistently been the best care takers and conservationists of Mother Earth – our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

The 2010 Award for the best Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website, is a collaborative effort between Planeta.com and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity/UNEP (CBD) with the support of the Heidehof Foundation to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. The award is presented to indigenous tourism operations for websites that promotes sustainable practices and educates visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation.

A good slideshare description, posted by Ron Mader (host of Planeta.com) is available at ITBW2010 and the ITBW2010 wiki.

So far, the nominees include:

Bicicletas Pedro Martinez is a Zapotec-owned biking company in Oaxaca, Mexico. Pedro prides his operation on respecting indigenous peoples and the incredibly rich ecosystems.

Brambuk the National Park & Cultural Centre introduces visitors to the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) in Victoria, Australia.

Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) in Pakistan is owned and operated by the indigenous Kho, Wakhi and Kalash communities.

Chalalan Ecolodge is the most successful effort made by indigenous people in Bolivia and is 100% run and owned by our indigenous community.

Hospitality Kyrgyzstan, is an umbrella association uniting 18 diverse destination communities with more than 350 families in Kyrgyzstan.

Kakadu Culture Camp is owned and operated by Fred and Jenny Hunter, Aboriginal people from Australia’s Kakadu National Park. They live out bush (live in a tent) for eight months to operate the culture camp in the ‘tourist’ season, and work as park rangers in the ‘wet’ season.

Nutti Sami Sii in Sweden features reindeer sled trips, which is a way to preserve knowledge. Owners Nils Torbjörn Nutti and Carina Pingi are both Sami. Nils is a reindeer herder in Saarivuoma Sameby and Carina has her reindeer in Gabna Sameby.

Pathways Hotel in Micronesia promotes sustainable tourism through conservation efforts, environmental awareness, community assistance and marine management activities.

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Canada is the only Cultural Centre in the world that shares the cultures of two distinct indigenous cultures in a visionary partnership on shared traditional territories. The Centre is staffed by Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors from both Nations.

In New Zealand, Taiamai Tours was founded by Ngati Hineira – Te uri Taniwha descendant Hone Mihaka of Ohaeawai Kaikohe in 2001. Our ancient customary practices of kaitiakitanga [guardianship] and manaakitanga [hosting people] connects us to our unique ancestral living landscapes in the Bay of Islands and the wider region of Northland.

Terenga Paraoa Tours highlights the traditional customs – Maori tikanga – in tours based in Whangarei, Northland New Zealand.

TIME Unlimited NZ Tours and Travel provides unique and high quality Auckland and Maori Cultural Tours in New Zealand.

Te Urewera Treks strives to operate in a sustainable manner in accord with Maori principles and values.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park showcases indigenous culture of the Tjapukai people, featuring theatrical performances and interactive activities in Far North Queensland, Australia.

Xe Pian National Protected Are features tours and accommodation 100% owned and managed by local communities in Xe Pian NPA, southern Lao PDR.

Posted in climate solutions, dogsledding, ecotour, green travel, Mexico, Native tourism, sustainable tourism, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Spring Solstice with the Mayans!

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 6, 2009

We’ve just returned from our Yucatan adventure. I’ll write some short reviews over the next few days. First, for anyone interested in heading there for the Spring Soltice on March 21st, you may want to visit the HACIENDA CHICHEN RESORT & YAXKIN SPA, which claims to be “Mexico’s Best Green Jungle Resort and Eco-Spa Wellness Destination.” I wouldn’t disagree!

C.H. is run by 99% Mayan people from local villages. The Hacienda is owned by 4th generation Mexicans who have dedicated their lands and business to improving the land and culture of the Maya. The grounds are a bird sanctuary, set in a lush tropical forest. The restored cottages were originally built for the Carnegie Institute archeologists who were investigating Chichen Itza starting in the early 1900s. Organic foods are grown in their garden and used in their delicious recipes, based on traditional Mayan foods.

At first I was concerned that they advertise Mayan ceremonies as part of their experience. However, I learned that the staff has helped create and promote the work of the local Mayan Elders Association and the Maya Foundation In Laakeech. These organizations are dedicated to preserving Maya culture, creating healthy opportunities for their people, and sharing culturally-appropriate customs and ceremonies with visitors that help them protect the lands they are making a living on.

More from their website:

Both Jose Santos and Lorenzo Tamay have worked since their late teen years at Hacienda Chichen with a high dedicated service attitude to the guests and an eager personal commitment to learn and grow spiritually in the traditional Mayan holistic Cosmovision of their ancestors. Their commitment to the Maya Foundation Board of Trustees has helped them become the Hacienda Chichen’s Maya cultural spokesmen. They work together preparing the many Mayan rituals performed at the Sacred Maya Ceremonial Site use by the Holy Elder J-Men, or Wiseman, while they continue their training to become Elder J-Men themselves.

In their work as Mayan cultural representatives, they continue promoting the Mayan language, culinary arts, and holistic spiritual understanding of the Mayan healing traditions. Their dedication to preserve their ancestors Mayan cultural legacy has help co-workers see the value of their ancestors Cosmovision and spiritual believes. In August 2008, Jose Santos Tamay represented the Maya Foundation In Laakeech in the 8th International Mayan Encounter dedicated preserve the Maya Culture & Traditions, specially the language and rituals, this three day convention was held in Jolom Konob’ (today the town of Santa Eulalia, Guatemala).

Learn more at Hacienda Chichen.

Posted in ecotour, green travel, Mexico, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, Uncategorized, Yucatan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Luz en Yucatan

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 2, 2009

A beautiful world in the middle of an old Mexican city.

Check out Luz en Yucatan!

mask-off

Posted in Buy-local, Mexico, sustainable travel, travel, Yucatan | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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