Mexcaltitan, Nayarit, Mexico

An Island Between Myth and Mexican Genesis

Méxcaltitán del Ar
Disney birthday
Fishing under Pelican Gaze
a boatman
discreet conversation
Central plaza
Frigates vs Pelicans
The Little Church
Almestrada Santos and Flavia Garcia
The Aztlan Mural
Call with History
Drying, Tropical Mode
american pelicans
Forced Drainage
Restaurant “El Camaron”
street life
Calle Venecia
Senor Cuauhtemoc
of arrival
Mexcaltitán is a rounded lake island, full of houses and which, during the rainy season, is only passable by boat. It is still believed that it could be Aztlán. The village that the Aztecs left in a wandering that ended with the foundation of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the empire that the Spanish would conquer.

The crossing from the dock to the island's entrance dock is so fast that it makes a mockery of the road trip we had faced to get there.

From San Blas to the north, newly built highways followed one another.

To them, a labyrinthine route, through increasingly narrow roads and lanes, between people lost in the parched plains of Nayarit State.

The last stretch on asphalt, with more than 10 km, is already covered by the stray waters of the Laguna Grande de Mexcaltitán, a lagoon on the edge of the Pacific, immense, although not as much as others to the north.

In this paved preamble, on both sides, endless mangrove hedges, high and dense, guard it. Spaces, streams, large puddles and other less defined bodies of water break the mangrove dictatorship.

Some of these gaps reveal groups and families of fishermen, equipped with lines and nets, entertained by the fish that abounds there.

Without warning, the endless straight gives itself. Towards the back of the Embarcadero de Tuxpan, an earthy shore that serves as both a port and a car park.

The usher on duty shows us where the boats depart from. We approached the pier convinced that we would wait for the next exit.

The boatman is quick to explain that the procedures were different: “No friends, this is more passenger arrives, passengers leave. The island is already there.”

Mexcaltitan in sight. Anyway.

We boarded the covered vessel. In a few minutes, we crossed paths with two almost identical boats. Moments later, we arrived at the pier closest to the island of Mexcaltitán.

It is decorated by a mural in panoramic format, with the center in the shadow of a roof shelter that protects the design of an ancestral medallion.

On the far left, an indigenous man in a loincloth maneuvers a canoe, as a gondolier.

On the contrary, what appears to us is a king, or emperor, encased in a plumed helm stands out. We were yet to disembark. The island and its islets were already trying to convince us of their historic magnitude.

We went from the boat to the pier. Two residents carry mattresses about to be moved to other locations.

Another one struggles with the area's unstable telephone network, in an emotional call that, as happens with homesickness, comes and goes.

We advanced to the heart of the island. A few dozen steps and we enter Plaza Central.

We thus prove the almost radial smallness of Mexcaltitán, which has a perimeter of about 400 meters, 350 m from north to south, XNUMX m from east to west.

The Catholic Pilgrims of Mexcaltitán

On a Sunday afternoon, the village welcomes a good number of foreigners.

A part are tourists.

As we were to learn, many more were Christians, gathered there for the Mass of a Colombian priest who had won the esteem and sympathy of a growing community of believers.

So many that could not fit in the church of San Pedro y San Pablo, the oldest and smallest Catholic church on the island, which we found frequented by a family committed to their prayers, but not as much as they would have liked.

A strange murmur resounds from the back of the altar. It comes from the opposite end of the square, on the other side of the bandstand and the palm tree that keeps it company, a buriti, it seems to us.

During the morning, the various Christian delegations disembarked on the island had gathered in the most open building of the Museo del Origen.

From inside, emanated the prophetic words of the idolized Colombian priest, Carlos Cancelado, and the cries and groans of moved faithful, in a state of absolute ecstasy.

In the square, other natives gave themselves over to the mundane priority of their subsistence.

Among devotees and tourists, more and more visitors landed on the island.

The islanders with an eye for business were waiting for us at newsstands. souvenirs shop and colorful crafts Huichol, an indigenous ethnicity of the western states of Mexico, including that of Nayarit that we continued to discover.

An Island that Lives for Shrimp

Others exposed an array of snacks and specialties that Mexicans treat as snacks, and the nation's favorite drinks. At micheladas and the cheladas, the special ones from Mexcaltitán, with shrimp flavor.

The reddish arthropod is, after all, the island's main product and main source of income. Fishermen catch it, especially between May and August and from three in the morning until morning.

We see the seafood and its work drying in the tropical sun, on green plastic sheets.

Local restaurants serve it fresh and plentiful in glorious ceviches and other must-try dishes, barbon shrimp meatballs and tlaxtihuil, a traditional broth that results from cooking corn with shrimp.

The home store “Angelica” advertises that it sells gelatin, but most notably, shrimp tamales.

One of the restaurants in Plaza Central, humble, popular like no other and where we ended up having lunch, is actually called “El Camaron”.

The Rains That Make Mexcaltitán the Venice of Mexico,

We set out to discover the rest of the island.

A circular street, Venecia, allows us to walk around it, between the ground floor houses painted in an assortment of bright tones, in good Mexican fashion, no longer in the white and red that color much of Plaza Central.

In the middle of the dry season in western Mexico, the waters of the lagoon are low. They go down from day to day.

As Señor Cuauhtémoc, the village's expert in repairing fans, explains, bare-chested, in May the heat and humidity become unbearable.

As soon as the sun rises over the horizon, people are barely able to leave their homes.

That's when they most request their services, almost always urgently.

From June to November, constant and heavy rains inflate the lagoon without appeal. Instead of walking through the village, the approximately eight hundred residents travel by boat.

A calle Venecia, such as the nickname of Mexcaltitán's Mexican Venice, illustrate the island's amphibious and even more eccentric era.

In the pre-season we are going through, the flow off the southeastern tip of Mexcaltitán and its pier reveals a spit of sand.

It has become the favorite resting place for dozens of American white pelicans and a few other birds that they tolerate, overfly and tormented by opportunistic frigates.

While the feathers dry, the birds inhabiting the ephemeral islet keep an eye on the fish.

On those who swim there and on those that fishermen unload when they return to the muddy anchorage below the street Miguel Hidalgo.

This was the street chosen to honor the father of Mexico's independence.

The Eventually Real Myth of Aztlan of the Aztecs

In the image of thousands of other streets and avenues from the four corners of the nation.

According to several historians, the role of Mexcaltitán in the formation of Mexicanity was much earlier. And, in historical terms, just as, if not more, crucial.

The term Aztec, later with a synonym in Mexica (from Valley of Mexico), defines the town that left Aztlán, its an ancestral land. Aztlán would be a lush island situated in a large lake, full of birds and animals where the indigenous fished and hunted from canoes, among floating gardens of cornfields and complementary plantations.

A section of historians argues that, despite its mention in ancient Aztec writings and the belief that the now secular Chicano Movement places in it, Aztlán never went beyond a mythological place.

Some, especially the politician and archaeologist Alfredo Chavero (1841-1906) and Wigberto Jimenéz Moreno, claimed to be apologists for its real existence.

Those who contest them emphasize that the fact that it spread from 1970 onwards makes their theory more suspect.

In the decade when Mexicans and Americans “discovered” the wonders of the state of Nayarit and its authorities began to make an effort to promote it.

Be that as it may, Chavero, Moreno and supporters of their postulations assert that, based on these same writings and on others by the Spanish conquerors and chroniclers, Mexcaltitán would have been the island that the Aztecs left in 1091.

That from there they left for a pilgrimage towards the south, in search of stops pointed out by the divinities, where they should settle and found their own nation.

Mexcaltitán, and the Departure Point Thesis for Tenochtitlán

It is known today, without great doubt, that the place where the Aztecs arrived was Tenochtitlán, an island located in Lake Texcoco, in the heart of the Valley of Mexico.

The writings narrated that Tenochtitlán was revealed to the Aztecs by Huitzilopochtli, god of the Sun, through the vision of a perched eagle that devoured a snake on a cactus. This animal scene appears, even today, centered on the red, green and white national flag of Mexico.

The Aztecs turned Tenochtitlán into a powerful city-state, capital of a great empire that they expanded southwards, until they came face to face with the rival empire of the Aztecs. Mayas and until, in 1521, Hernán Cortéz and the conquerors under his command, supported by thousands of rival natives, defeated them.

At the time of our incursion to Mexcaltitán, we did not detect any other foreigners on the island.

All the visitors, including the hundreds we saw leaving Father Cancelado's mass, sailing to a secondary island and heading to the Embarcadero La Batanga, were Mexicans from Nayarit, from other states and places.

The doubt that remains and that, of course, will remain forever is whether or not Mexcaltitán is the land of origin of their ancestors.

Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Campeche, Mexico

200 Years of Playing with Luck

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the peasants surrendered to a game introduced to cool the fever of cash cards. Today, played almost only for Abuelites, lottery little more than a fun place.
Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

From New Spain Lode to Mexican Pueblo Mágico

At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, it was one of the mining towns that guaranteed the most silver to the Spanish Crown. A century later, the silver had been devalued in such a way that Real de Catorce was abandoned. Its history and the peculiar scenarios filmed by Hollywood have made it one of the most precious villages in Mexico.
Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

The Depreciation of Silver that Led to that of the Pueblo (Part II)

With the turn of the XNUMXth century, the value of the precious metal hit bottom. From a prodigious town, Real de Catorce became a ghost. Still discovering, we explore the ruins of the mines at their origin and the charm of the Pueblo resurrected.
San Cristóbal de las Casas a Campeche, Mexico

A Relay of Faith

The Catholic equivalent of Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Guadalupe moves and moves Mexico. Its faithful cross the country's roads, determined to bring the proof of their faith to the patroness of the Americas.

Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

With more than 20 million inhabitants in a vast metropolitan area, this megalopolis marks, from its heart of zócalo, the spiritual pulse of a nation that has always been vulnerable and dramatic.

Campeche, Mexico

A Bingo so playful that you play with puppets

On Friday nights, a group of ladies occupy tables at Independencia Park and bet on trifles. The tiniest prizes come out to them in combinations of cats, hearts, comets, maracas and other icons.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

On the Yucatan Peninsula, the history of the second largest indigenous Mexican people is intertwined with their daily lives and merges with modernity. In Cobá, we went from the top of one of its ancient pyramids to the heart of a village of our times.
Tulum, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

Built by the sea as an exceptional outpost decisive for the prosperity of the Mayan nation, Tulum was one of its last cities to succumb to Hispanic occupation. At the end of the XNUMXth century, its inhabitants abandoned it to time and to an impeccable coastline of the Yucatan peninsula.
Campeche, Mexico

Campeche Upon Can Pech

As was the case throughout Mexico, the conquerors arrived, saw and won. Can Pech, the Mayan village, had almost 40 inhabitants, palaces, pyramids and an exuberant urban architecture, but in 1540 there were less than 6 natives. Over the ruins, the Spaniards built Campeche, one of the most imposing colonial cities in the Americas.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 13th: High camp - Thorong La - Muktinath, Nepal,

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Architecture & Design
Luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Ceremonies and Festivities
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Accra, Ghana, Flagstaff House
Accra, Ghana

The Capital in the Cradle of the Gold Coast

Do From the landing of Portuguese navigators to the independence in 1957 several the powers dominated the Gulf of Guinea region. After the XNUMXth century, Accra, the present capital of Ghana, settled around three colonial forts built by Great Britain, Holland and Denmark. In that time, it grew from a mere suburb to one of the most vibrant megalopolises in Africa.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
extraterrestrial mural, Wycliffe Wells, Australia
Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Wycliffe Wells' Unsecret Files

Locals, UFO experts and visitors have been witnessing sightings around Wycliffe Wells for decades. Here, Roswell has never been an example and every new phenomenon is communicated to the world.
Native Americans Parade, Pow Pow, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Albuquerque, USA

When the Drums Sound, the Indians Resist

With more than 500 tribes present, the pow wow "Gathering of the Nations" celebrates the sacred remnants of Native American cultures. But it also reveals the damage inflicted by colonizing civilization.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Rabat, Malta, Mdina, Palazzo Xara
Rabat, Malta

A Former Suburb in the Heart of Malta

If Mdina became the noble capital of the island, the Knights Hospitaller decided to sacrifice the fortification of present-day Rabat. The city outside the walls expanded. It survives as a popular and rural counterpoint to the now living museum in Mdina.
São Miguel Island, Dazzling Colors by Nature
São Miguel (Azores), Azores

São Miguel Island: Stunning Azores, By Nature

An immaculate biosphere that the Earth's entrails mold and soften is displayed, in São Miguel, in a panoramic format. São Miguel is the largest of the Portuguese islands. And it is a work of art of Nature and Man in the middle of the North Atlantic planted.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Tombolo and Punta Catedral, Manuel António National Park, Costa Rica
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Lenticular cloud, Mount Cook, New Zealand.
Natural Parks
Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
UNESCO World Heritage
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Gangtok House, Sikkim, India
Gangtok, India

An Hillside Life

Gangtok it is the capital of Sikkim, an ancient kingdom in the Himalayas section of the Silk Road, which became an Indian province in 1975. The city is balanced on a slope, facing Kanchenjunga, the third highest elevation in the world that many natives believe shelters a paradise valley of Immortality. Their steep and strenuous Buddhist existence aims, there, or elsewhere, to achieve it.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Devils Marbles, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path
Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.