Mexico Lindo y Querido

The Most Comprehensive Resource About Mexico,
On the Internet or anywhere, in English.




Inside Mexico offers a comprehensive source of cultural videos and DVDs about Mexico. We offer in depth articles and news about Mexico and its amazing rich culture and traditions.

The Most Comprehensive Resource About Mexico, 
On the Internet or anywhere, in English.

The National Museum of Mexican Art's Permanent Collection contains over 6,000 objects, and is one of the largest collections of Mexican art in the nation. The NMMA is the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums and one of only a handful of museums of color in the country to receive accreditation. It has become the premier repository for Mexican art in the nation. In 2001, the Museum tripled in size to accommodate state-of-the-art storage vaults and additional galleries to showcase its Collection. Browse and see images of art colletions:

a gallery of 30 centuries of art from Mexico, along with timelines, identification of art games, and essays






NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY (Information on Ancient Cultures, tips to enjoy Mexico City)

The origin of chocolate takes us to Mayan culture. Take a Ghirardelli chocolate factory tour.

We celebrate Latino culture, spirit, and achievement in America. By facilitating the development of exhibitions, research, collections, and educational programs at the Smithsonian and its affiliated organizations, the Center turns a powerful spotlight on Latino heritage and culture in our country. Online youth & educator activities.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Art Museum is acquiring a permanent collection of important works of art from New Mexico and throughout the United States, Latin America, and Spain, as well as from other regions of the Spanish diaspora. The Art Museum’s collecting efforts focus on artists' boundless creative energy and enthusiasm from the most dedicated of traditional artists and craftspeople within the New Mexican Hispanic historical heritage, to the most experimental of contemporary visionaries working in cutting edge materials. In contemporary society Hispanic/Latino artists work in all media including materials and techniques passed down through generations, to those currently being created on a state of the art computer or scientific lab. The Center's permanent collection reflects the best work made by the best of these image makers.

Cesar Estrada Chavez 
An American agrarian labor leader 
Cesar Estrada Chavez, 1927–93, was an American agrarian labor leader, born near Yuma, Ariz. A migrant worker, he became involved (1952) in the self-help Community Service Organization (CSO) in California, working among Mexicans and Mexican Americans; from 1958 to 1962 he was its general director. 
In 1962, he left the CSO to organize wine grape pickers in California and formed the National Farm Workers Association. Using strikes, fasts, picketing, and marches, he was able to obtaincontracts from a number of major growers. In 1966 his organization merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO. 
Chavez also launched (1968) a boycott againstthe table grape growers, mobilizing consumer support throughout the United States. In 1972 the United Farm Workers (UFW), with Chavez as president, became a member union of the AFL-CIO. Chavez expanded its efforts to include all California vegetable pickers and launched a lettuce boycott, as well as extending his organizational efforts to Florida citrus workers. 
His successes in California were sharply diminished, however, as the result of a jurisdictional dispute with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters over the organization of field workers. In 1973 the Teamsters cut heavily into UFW membership by signing contracts with former UFW grape growers, but Chavez renewed the grape workers' strike. In 1977, the two unions signed a pact defining the types of workers each could organize. Membership in the UFW later fell, in part due to disputes between Chavez and his followers, some of whom accused him of nepotism. 
See J. E. Levy, Cesar Chavez: Autobiography of La Causa (1975); R. Franchere, Cesar Chavez (1988).


LAS POSADAS - December 16 - 24

Las Posadas (with translation  ‘pa que todos participen)


En nombre del cielo
Os pido posada,
Pues no puede andar
Mi esposa amada.

In the name of heaven
We ask thee for lodging
Because the dear wife I love
Can no longer walk.

2. No seas inhumano.
Ten nos caridad.
Que el dios del cielo
Te lo premiará.

2. Don’t be so inhumane.
Show us some charity.
Then the god of heaven
Will reward you.

Venimos rendidos
Desde Nazareth.
Yo soy carpintero
De nombre José.

3. We have come worn out
All the way from Nazareth.
I am a carpenter
By the name of Joseph.

4. Posada te pide,
Amado casero,
Por sólo una noche
La reina del cielo.

4. Asking for lodging,
Dear landlord,
For only one night,
Is the queen of heaven.

5. Mi esposa es María.
Es reina del cielo
Y madre va a ser
Del Divino Verbo.

5. My wife’s name is Mary.
She is the queen of heaven.
And mother soon will be
of the Word Divine.

6. Dios pague señores
Vuestra caridad
Y así os colme el cielo
De felicidad.

God will reward all of you
For your charity.
Then the heavens will overflow
you with happiness.


Aquí no es mesón.
Sigan adelante.
Yo no puedo abrir.
No sea algún tunante.

1. This is not an inn.
Go on ahead.
I cannot open the door.
You might be a crook.

2. Ya se pueden ir
Y no molestar.
Porque si me enfada
Los voy apalear.

2. You can leave now
And stop bothering
Because if I get angry,
I will thrash you.

No me importa el nombre.
Déjenme dormir.
Pues que ya les digo
Que no hemos de abrir.

3. I don’t care what your name is.
Let me go back to bed.
Didn’t I already tell you,
I will not open the door.

4. Pues si es una Reina
Quien lo solicita,
¿Cómo es que de noche
Anda tan solita?

4. Well, if she’s really a queen
that is petitioning?
How is it that this late of night
She travels all alone?

5. ¿Eres tú, José?
¿Tu esposa es María?
Entren peregrinos
No los conocía.

5. Is that you, Joseph?
Your wife is Mary?
Enter pilgrims.
I didn’t recognize you.

6. Dichosa la casa
Que abriga este día
A la virgen pura
La hermosa María.

6. Lucky is the house
That shelters this day
The pure virgin,
Beautiful Mary.

Entren Santos Peregrinos, Peregrinos
Reciban este rincon.
No de esta pobre morada, pobre morada
Sino de mi corazon.

Come in Holy Pilgrims, Holy Pilgrims.
Please take this corner of the house
Although it’s a humble abode,
it is offered with all my heart.

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS - November 1 & 2

In Mexico, the influence of Halloween has caught on, but the holiday they celebrate is Dia de los Muertos on November 1st and 2nd. (Day of the Dead). It may sound a bit gloomy to us, but in Latina culture, the idea of your loved ones that have passed on watching over you and guiding you is quite natural and not scary. They face and laugh at death, as if to say, "Death, you have not taken my family from me. Family history and genealogy is passed on from generation to generation and many are able to recite names that go back generations, knowing what area or place their family settled. This holiday is celebrated, honoring their deceased ancestors by having a family reunion and celebration, complete with music and food, at the gravesite in the cemetery of their loved ones. The deceased ancestor is expected to also attend, which is why they choose the menu from the favorite foods of that particular ancestor. - Amelia

Articles, information, art of dia de los muertos

An Arizona newspaper relates history of Dia de los Muertos

From a food blog:
"It happens every year. Halloween comes and goes, and shortly after, Day Of The Dead. I haven't lived in Mexico for well over 12 years now and not one November 1st goes by without that inherent sense of emptiness. I miss the air of it, the bright colors, the crowded cemeteries full of those who go to honor their dead.

It's a sea of flowers, people walking with brooms, buckets of water... all walking back and forth to the communal water tap so they can clean up their headstones. I guess what I like about it the most is that death is not about sadness but it is about celebration. They set up their altars, bring food, alcohol, music and sit around with their dearly departed for a good portion of the day.

I miss it. A lot. And it just isn't the same on this side of the borderline. So one day I woke up with this itch- "I am going to try
to make some sugar skulls."

How a community in Watsonville celebrates:

"We remember life when we see death."
— Jos? Ort?z, painter and teacher

También es una costumbre hacer pequeños versos burlándose un poquito de la muerte, a estos versos se les llama "calaveras" y son más o menos así:

"Amelita muy ocupada estaba
cuando la muerte la vió
y sin preguntarle nada
derechito al panteón se la llevó"


Have students listen to this song and through research decide what is true, legend, or just false.

CORTEZ - Neil Young
He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his cocoa leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wondered
With the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects gathered round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

They carried them to the flatlands
And they died along the way
But they built up with their bare hands
What we still can’t do today.

And I know she’s living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can’t remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water, now
Cortez, Cortez
And many died there
He came dancing across the water, now
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer. 






They shall not pass!
--a Mexican battle cry

No quiero oro. No quiero plata.
¡Yo lo que quiero es romper la piñata!
I don’t want gold. I don’t want silver.
All I want is to break the piñata!
--Traditional piñata chant

Respecting other people's rights creates an atmosphere of peace.
--Benito Juarez

Sing and do not cry,
because with singing
the heart becomes happy.
--lyrics from Cielito Lindo

In the spring of 1862, after receiving word that French forces were marching on Mexico City, President Benito Juarez (a native Zapotec Indian) sent troops to head them off. It was on May 5th, in the little town of Puebla, that a small, ragged, untrained, and under-equipped army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza met and defeated the invading French, a well-armed, professional army led by Napoleon III. Though the battle was only a temporary setback for Napoleon, it proved to be the catalyst which provided the Mexicans with confidence enough to persevere and ultimately triumph over the French in 1867. The French defeat must have surprised Napoleon III, the ruler of France, who was attempting to annex Mexico by taking advantage of the destruction and bankruptcy that existed there. Mexico's condition at that time was the result of the War of Reform (1858-1860), an internal political, economic, and religious struggle. At the end of this civil war, Mexico owed more than $80,000,000 to foreigners. France invaded Mexico, using debt collection as an excuse. Napoleon III's true motivation, however, was total control of Mexico and its potential wealth.
In addition to its importance in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is significant to all Americans because it marks the last time that any foreign power has acted the aggressor on North American soil.

THE CELEBRATION: Parades usually start moving about 11 o'clock, when the first band strikes up a lively marching tune. Marchers dressed as French and Mexican generals lead the way with soldiers following, armed like the original freedom fighters with machetes and old-fashioned rifles. Paraders wearing skirts and flowery hats represent the women (soldaderos) who traveled with the army to cook and care for the men. Those portraying French soldiers carry knapsacks with wine bottles sticking out of them. At mid-afternoon the "battle" begins in the plaza. Rifles and cannon roar, there is much smoke and shouting, and at nightfall, the Mexican and French generals meet face-to-face for a sword battle. The Mexican general, of course, wins. The fiesta also includes speeches by government officials, lively dances and games, mariachi music, traditional foods, bullfights, and colorful decorations. At night there are pinatas for the children and the celebration ends with beautiful displays of fireworks.
Though Cinco de Mayo is a day of huge military and political significance, we must remember that it is not the battle of Puebla itself that we celebrate. Rather, it is a day to celebrate pride, independence, and freedom. Viva la Fiesta!

Puebla is famous not only for the Cinco de Mayo victory that occurred there but also for a festive dish called mole poblano de guajolote (turkey in chocolate and chili sauce). Prepare a report about Mexican chocolate. Include its source, history, use during festivals, and recipes.
The basis for many Mexican fiesta dishes is the tortilla. Try to make tortillas by grinding corn with a metate (flat rock) and molino de mano (roller) or by using a tortilla press and masa harina (cornmeal).


MAKING PIÑATAS: Plan a Cinco de Mayo party. Investigate the history and significance of the pinata. Make a pinata out of cardboard and colorful crepe paper or make it out of papier-mache using an inflated balloon as the form. Decorate the pinata in bright colors or shape it into the form of an animal or other shape associated with the holiday. Remember to leave an opening for candy or prizes. Once the pinata is ready, hang it from a rope or heavy string. Each person then takes a turn hitting the pinata with a stick while blindfolded. When the pinata breaks, the participants dash for the candy or prizes that have fallen to the ground/floor. Teach the children nursery rhymes like "Tortillitas para Mama" ("Little Tortillas for Mother") and "Rima de Chocolate" (Chocolate Rhyme"). Play games such as "A la Vibora" ("To the Viper"), the Mexican version of "London Bridge Is Falling Down."

SINGING: Teach your students a beautiful and moving song about the colors of nature, sung all over the Spanish-speaking world at fiesta, called "De Colores." Learn the lyrics to the song, “La Bamba.” After reviewing it a few times, try singing it. Now for an amusing feat, try singing along with an authentic mariachi recording of it. It’s a very fast moving song!

MAPS: Make a large wall map of Mexico. Include and label the Sierra Madre Occidental, Sierra Madre Oriental, Sierra Madre del Sur, Central Plateau, Yucatan Peninsula, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Puebla, and Mexico City.
Many Mexican villages celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a central plaza and a nearby mercado (market). Construct models of these places.

ART: Study pictures of the historical murals by Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Create a classroom mural depicting the battle at Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Present information about the origin and nature of mariachi music in an imaginary interview between a talk show host and a mariachi musician. Or create 6 to 8 paper doll mariachi players. Make traditional traje de charro costumes for them. Construct violins, horns, and guitars. Listen to records and performances of mariachi music. Include two early mariachi songs such as "Las Olas" ("The Waves") and "La Mujer Negra" ("The Dark Woman").

A Tale of Two Mexicos
July 5, 2006
Alvaro Vargas Llosa

WASHINGTON—It's just as well that Mexico has two self-proclaimed presidents while the final count in Sunday's presidential election takes place: Mexico is not one, but two countries. Roughly one-third of the voters espouse modernity and globalization, and two-thirds cling to one of two forms of traditional politics: left-wing populism and the type of institutionalized political patronage represented by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
That is not to say that Felipe Calderon, the National Action Party, or PAN, candidate whose votes signify a desire to take Mexico to the next level under the global sun, will necessarily deliver just that—or that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the populist who is tied with Calderon, will be able to get away with every messianic dream he comes up with. What it means is that Mexico will most likely be stuck with its socioeconomic system for the next few years.
This division between modernizers and traditionalists is not new. While the PRI was in control of the country, the split took place within its own ranks. Now that the PRI has become the third force in Mexican politics, the division pits opposing parties. The process of modernization started in the mid-1980s and continued in the 1990s under three successive presidents of the PRI—Miguel de la Madrid, Carlos Salinas and Ernesto Zedillo. After Vicente Fox debunked the PRI in 2000, the PAN became the rallying force for modernizers and the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD—which had split from the PRI in the late 1980s—took up the traditional populist banner that mythical PRI figures such as Lazaro Cardenas had brandished in the past. The PRI, for its part, came under the control of the so-called ``dinosaurs'' and refused to espouse any kind of political idea, behaving like a vested interest content with enjoying power in the 17 states it still controlled and blocking all attempts at economic and social reform in Congress, where it constituted a majority.
Although Fox needs to be commended for continuing to open up the political system and guaranteeing freedom of the press, he failed to push through the types of reforms that might have helped his country leap forward and build a constituency for the acceleration of structural change. Because he couldn't untie the many knots that keep productivity low, the big divide between the small segment of society that is fully globalized and the masses who gravitate toward the informal economy or toward the border with the U.S. has not been bridged. With an average annual growth of 2 percent, the economy has failed to pull people out of poverty. The only reduction in poverty Fox can point to has to do with cash transfers that provide temporary relief.
The failure to modernize means, for instance, that oil production—the source of 40 percent of the government's revenue—is showing signs of decline. The Cantarell complex, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of Mexico's oil production, will probably lose half its output capacity in the next couple of years. Since the sector is closed to private investment, the possibilities of redressing the decline and expanding production in other fields are nonexistent. This is just one example of how the system holds back production. Not to speak of high energy costs and taxes that account for Mexico's drop in various competitiveness rankings.
Felipe Calderon is aware that he needs to throw open the doors and the windows of the Mexican socioeconomic system and let fresh air in. ``I am tired of the old caricature of the Mexican sitting idly against a tree with a sombrero over his face,'' he told me a few weeks ago—a line he has repeated in many public appearances in the last few weeks of his campaign. But so did Fox and here we are.
As for Lopez Obrador, it is true that he will face many constraints if he attempts to turn the clock back. International commitments—including NAFTA, which has helped expand Mexican exports by just under 300 percent, and membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development—might induce moderation. The crude reality of a split Congress might hold him back too. But Latin America has seen populist leaders bend the rules once they achieved a critical mass of support. And the PRI, Lopez Obrador's alma mater, might be responsive to the siren songs of a former PRI guy desperate to mend fences and trade some power for legislative support.
Whatever happens, don't expect Mexico to become the next India—a nation now enjoying surprising growth—anytime soon.