Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

Nahuatl celebration
Nahuatl Indian speaks with great determination about the old Mexican days in the Zócalo.
More Beetles
Taxis from Mexico City fill most of the capital's roads. They are a means of transport considered unsafe.
Nahuatl pride dances
Nahuatl Indigenous people exhibit exuberant choreographies of one of the original peoples of Mexico, in the heart of the Zócalo.
Collect from flag I
Soldiers carry out yet another ceremony to collect the Mexican flag, held in the center of the Zócalo.
Power Lines
Soldiers and visitors inside Mexico's National Palace, the seat of the country's federal government.
urban cowboy
A passerby in the Mexican capital wears a cowboy hat that highlights his portentous figure among the crowd.
Policía follows a political demonstration that takes place in the center of Independence Square, next to the base of the statue known as El Angel.
Dance of the Fliers
Flying men carry out one of the traditional Mexican ceremonies, believed to have been held for centuries as a way of praying to the gods for an end to drought and famine.
jewelry and taxis
Green and white beetle taxis dominate traffic in front of one of the many shopping centers in the heart of Mexico City.
Rush in Chapultepec
Demonic children run along the porch filled with statues of the Castello de Chapultepec, Mexico City's former imperial residence.
greetings taxi drivers
A taxi driver greets the foreign photographers in a busy corner next to the capital's zócalo.
Walk in the heart of Mexico
Nuns cross the vast zócalo, one of the most imposing historic squares in the world.
Latin American Tower
With 44 floors and 188 meters, it was one of the most striking skyscrapers in Mexico because it was built on highly seismic land.
Styles and Times
One of the statues that adorn the long balcony of Chapultepec Castle, standing out against the architectural coldness of one of Mexico City's skyscrapers.
Last market hours
Sellers and buyers occupy a market area in the old part of Mexico City, near the great zócalo.
business and history
Buyers and sellers interact in a huge street market in the historic area of ​​the Mexican capital.
Collect from Flag II
Soldiers carry the long, newly collected Mexican flag inside the National Palace.
Roger, Roger
Police speak on the radio in a street in the center of Mexico City, a short distance from your Zócalo.

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.

In the middle of a rush hour, taking the metro from the airport to the center quickly proves to be an adventure. The carriages are too crowded and the authorities present in the also overcrowded underground corridors follow to the letter the instruction to separate men for the former and the ladies for the latter, with the purpose of defending them from pickpockets and unwanted contacts. We are unaware of the Mexico City subway and its dangers, but it seems to us that a forced separation can only make us more vulnerable. We remind the police that we have just arrived, we convince them to let us go together to one of the front carriages, and we resist together unharmed the plague of pickpockets which, we realize, however, almost always attack foreigners at central stations like Hidalgo, Cuauhtémoc and Alameda Central.

We are on our knees and night is beginning to fall when we finally pass outside the city through one of the many exits from the Zócalo and we are dazzled by the dimension (240 by 240 meters) and the drama of the huge Plaza de la Constitución. As we look for the place where we are supposed to settle, we feel the historic weight of the long arches as we move. And we began to absorb the leading role of the DF (Federal District) – that's how they prefer to treat the Mexicans – and to understand better why it has become one of the largest and most desirable cities in the world.

After being conquered by the Spaniards, the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlán, at the time with 200.000 inhabitants, was razed to make way for a new city. In just five centuries, Mexico City – as it came to be called – has been transformed into an ever-expanding megalopolis that occupies more than 2000 kilometers of the dry bed of Lake Texcoco.

With 20 million people, it is the third largest city on the face of the Earth – and welcomes 1100 new arrivals every day. You paratroopers, as the residents call them, come from all corners of the country, attracted by the concentration of opportunities that have almost always been taken advantage of, and settle in the suburbs, some located many tens of kilometers from the center. Thanks to this influx, the capital has acquired the attributes of size, poverty and insecurity that we recognize in it, but which in themselves prove to be unfair. The city can be, in general, uncontrolled, violent and polluted, but its prime areas have the power to dazzle.

Of all of them, the one that stands out the most is undoubtedly the Zócalo, a huge square delimited by grandiose buildings: to the north, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest on the American continent and one of the largest in the world; to the south and west are small palaces built on arcades that house government offices and hotels and to the east, the National Palace, where the flag-gathering ceremony begins every evening, a militaristic ritual that moves Mexicans to tears. more patriotic.

At around 17:30 pm, the gates open and, from inside, a group of soldiers comes out and forces the traffic to stop. With the path clear, two huge columns of soldiers run parallel to the center of the square and form a square around the mast of the gigantic national flag. Around this human barrier, hundreds of people await the high point of protocol.

At the sound of the anthem, the flag is then lowered, carefully folded and taken by the hands of several officers to the palace.

I wish the authorities everything around here was so orderly. During the day, the walks around the square are full of vendors who install themselves in front of refined establishments, some of them belonging to powerful multinational chains. This fair becomes even denser in the area that extends behind the National Palace, an authentic mobile domain where the population comes to get supplies.

Despite the chaotic landscape, the Zócalo and its surroundings are among the safest areas of the city. Until some time ago, assaults on establishments were frequent, but with the emergence of centers jewelers and other sophisticated stores, in addition to the reinforcement of the public police, several private security companies were created.

All of a sudden, the downtown area was protected by countless Mexican-style Robocops. At the same time, American-made trailers began sweeping the streets. Any improperly stopped car is presented with blaring sirens and orders to proceed sent via megaphone: "Forward🇧🇷 Adelante…! "

We arrived on Saturday afternoon. The Zócalo is teeming with life. A group of Indians dance to the sound of drums, surrounded by a small crowd. They are painted and dressed to the nines, with masks, furs and feathers, jewelry and other gold and silver artifacts. They suddenly interrupt the show. One of them asks the people around him to come closer and starts speaking. These are words of appeal and protest. It speaks of the way of life of the original tribes, so different from what the Mexicans now lead. How they only drank spring water, how, to avoid health problems, they cooked and ate nopal (a kind of cactus) and how they slept on the hard floor to preserve an upright posture. For a while, it describes these and many other lost behaviors. In between, he utters sentences in Nahuatl, a language also doomed to extinction.

The Nahuas – direct descendants of the Aztecs – are not satisfied with the direction the nation has taken: as if the conquest of the Spaniards were not enough, they are increasingly witnessing the “invasion” of the gringos. This is just a manifestation of the internal conflict in which the Mexican soul lives. Five hundred years later, the country is still divided between the past and the present and, if on almost every face a mixture of Indian and European features is detected, in their hearts there is passion for the martyr Emperor Cuauhtémoc and hatred for the villain Hernán Cortés.

In this country too close to its American neighbor, financial, political and cultural independence is always under pressure. And if the indigenous way of life remains oppressed and on the sidelines, mestizo customs are also now under threat. After the US was left, in the XNUMXth century, with several states that made up the original Mexico: California, Texas, Utah, Colorado, most of New Mexico and Arizona, the powerful Yankee culture seems to be ready to conquer the rest.

The former president, Vicente Fox, rancher and former head of operations for Coca-Cola in Mexico, is perhaps the best example of this. Every day he appears under a cowboy hat, on television channels as Americanized as the Fox chain, which he owns, and a large part of the investments made in the country come from his companies. There is no way to escape. Whatever one makes, buys or uses in Mexico City and the country in general, it is directly or indirectly influenced by the United States. 

But despite all the odds, the Nahuas don't give up. Next weekend or holiday, as soon as the Zócalo fills with people, they will once again start their little demonstration. Among the public that gathers around and the population in general, there will always be those who are angry, but, as seen during the Spanish conquest, Mexicans are too busy living to resist the loss of their identity.

Overall, 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.
Mérida, Mexico

The Most Exuberant of Meridas

In 25 BC, the Romans founded Emerita Augusta, capital of Lusitania. The Spanish expansion generated three other Méridas in the world. Of the four, the Yucatan capital is the most colorful and lively, resplendent with Hispanic colonial heritage and multi-ethnic life.
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.
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.
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.
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.
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.
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.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th- Ngawal-BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
Architecture & Design
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
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.
Leisure Channel
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

From Channel to Channel in a Surreal Holland

Liberal when it comes to drugs and sex, Amsterdam welcomes a crowd of outsiders. Among canals, bicycles, coffee shops and brothel windows, we search, in vain, for its quieter side.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Tatooine on Earth
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
capillary helmet
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Viti levu, Fiji

The Unlikely Sharing of Viti Levu Island

In the heart of the South Pacific, a large community of Indian descendants recruited by former British settlers and the Melanesian indigenous population have long divided the chief island of Fiji.
Santiago, island, Cape Verde, São Jorge dos Órgãos
Santiago, Cape Verde

Santiago Island from Bottom to Top

Landed in the Cape Verdean capital of Praia, we explore its pioneer predecessor city. From Cidade Velha, we follow the stunning mountainous ridge of Santiago to the unobstructed top of Tarrafal.
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.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Tunisian Atlas Oasis, Tunisia, chebika, palm trees
Chebika, Tamerza, Mides, Tunisia

Where the Sahara sprouts from the Atlas Mountains

Arriving at the northwest edge of Chott el Jérid, the large salt lake reveals the northeast end of the Atlas mountain range. Its slopes and gorges hide waterfalls, winding streams of palm trees, abandoned villages and other unexpected mirages.
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.
Natural Parks

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
UNESCO World Heritage
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
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.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.