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.
lookout
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.

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.
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.
Izamal, Mexico

The Holy, Yellow and Beautiful Mexican City

Until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Izamal was a center of worship for the supreme Mayan god Itzamná and Kinich Kakmó, the one of the sun. Gradually, the invaders razed the various pyramids of the natives. In its place, they built a large Franciscan convent and a prolific colonial houses, with the same solar tone in which the now Catholic city shines.
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.
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.
Yucatan, Mexico

The Sidereal Murphy's Law That Doomed the Dinosaurs

Scientists studying the crater caused by a meteorite impact 66 million years ago have come to a sweeping conclusion: it happened exactly over a section of the 13% of the Earth's surface susceptible to such devastation. It is a threshold zone on the Mexican Yucatan peninsula that a whim of the evolution of species allowed us to visit.
Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico

The Mayan Capital That Piled It Up To Collapse

The term Uxmal means built three times. In the long pre-Hispanic era of dispute in the Mayan world, the city had its heyday, corresponding to the top of the Pyramid of the Diviner at its heart. It will have been abandoned before the Spanish Conquest of the Yucatan. Its ruins are among the most intact on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
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.
chihuahua, Mexico

¡Ay Chihuahua !

Mexicans have adapted this expression as one of their favorite manifestations of surprise. While we wander through the capital of the homonymous state of the Northwest, we often exclaim it.
Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

On the Edge of the Cenote, at the Heart of the Mayan Civilization

Between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries AD, Chichen Itza stood out as the most important city in the Yucatan Peninsula and the vast Mayan Empire. If the Spanish Conquest precipitated its decline and abandonment, modern history has consecrated its ruins a World Heritage Site and a Wonder of the World.
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.
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
safari
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Adventure
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Parade and Pomp
Ceremonies and Festivities
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Cities
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Fogón de Lola, great food, Costa Rica, Guápiles
Meal
Fogón de Lola Costa Rica

The Flavor of Costa Rica of El Fogón de Lola

As the name suggests, the Fogón de Lola de Guapiles serves dishes prepared on the stove and in the oven, according to Costa Rican family tradition. In particular, Tia Lola's.
Culture
Competitions

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Namibe, Angola, Cave, Iona Park
Traveling
Namibe, Angola

Incursion to the Angolan Namibe

Discovering the south of Angola, we leave Moçâmedes for the interior of the desert province. Over thousands of kilometers over land and sand, the harshness of the scenery only reinforces the astonishment of its vastness.
Miniature houses, Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Volcano, Cape Verde
Ethnic
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fogo

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

scarlet summer
History

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Islands
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Literature
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Nature
Valdez, Alaska

On the Black Gold Route

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker caused a massive environmental disaster. The vessel stopped plying the seas, but the victim city that gave it its name continues on the path of crude oil from the Arctic Ocean.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Natural Parks
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
UNESCO World Heritage
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
Characters
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Drums and Tattoos
Beaches
Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti Beyond the Cliché

Neighbors Bora Bora and Maupiti have superior scenery but Tahiti has long been known as paradise and there is more life on the largest and most populous island of French Polynesia, its ancient cultural heart.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Religion
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.
Serra do Mar train, Paraná, airy view
On Rails
Curitiba a Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

Down Paraná, on Board the Train Serra do Mar

For more than two centuries, only a winding and narrow road connected Curitiba to the coast. Until, in 1885, a French company opened a 110 km railway. We walked along it to Morretes, the final station for passengers today. 40km from the original coastal terminus of Paranaguá.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
Society
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
the projectionist
Daily life
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Bather rescue in Boucan Canot, Reunion Island
Wildlife
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.