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.

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, a 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.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Safari
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to 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.
Sirocco, Arabia, Helsinki
Architecture & Design
Helsinki, Finland

The Design that Came from the Cold

With much of the territory above the Arctic Circle, Finns respond to the climate with efficient solutions and an obsession with art, aesthetics and modernism inspired by neighboring Scandinavia.
Adventure
Volcanoes

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.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Ceremonies and Festivities
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Cable car connecting Puerto Plata to the top of PN Isabel de Torres
Cities
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
Meal
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Culture
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.
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.
very coarse salt
Traveling
Salta and Jujuy, Argentina

Through the Highlands of Deep Argentina

A tour through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy takes us to discover a country with no sign of the pampas. Vanished in the Andean vastness, these ends of the Northwest of Argentina have also been lost in time.
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Ethnic
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Santa Marta, Tayrona, Simón Bolivar, Ecohabs of Tayrona National Park
History
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

At the gates of PN Tayrona, Santa Marta is the oldest continuously inhabited Hispanic city in Colombia. In it, Simón Bolívar began to become the only figure on the continent almost as revered as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Brava Cape Verde Island, Macaronesia
Islands
Brava, Cape Verde

Cape Verde Brave Island

During colonization, the Portuguese came across a moist and lush island, something rare in Cape Verde. Brava, the smallest of the inhabited islands and one of the least visited of the archipelago, preserves the authenticity of its somewhat elusive Atlantic and volcanic nature.
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.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Literature
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Nature
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
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.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Natural Parks
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Playa Nogales, La Palma, Canary Islands
UNESCO World Heritage
La Palma, Canary Islands

The "Isla Bonita" of the Canary Islands

In 1986 Madonna Louise Ciccone launched a hit that popularized the attraction exerted by a island imaginary. Ambergris Caye, in Belize, reaped benefits. On this side of the Atlantic, the palmeros that's how they see their real and stunning Canaria.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Characters
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Beaches
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Religion
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Mahu, Third Sex Polynesia, Papeete, Tahiti
Society
Papeete, French Polynesia

The Third Sex of Tahiti

Heirs of Polynesian ancestral culture, the Mahu they preserve an unusual role in society. Lost somewhere between the two genders, these men-women continue to fight for the meaning of their lives.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge, Bahia
Wildlife
Gandoca-Manzanillo (Wildlife Refuge), Costa Rica

The Caribbean Hideaway of Gandoca-Manzanillo

At the bottom of its southeastern coast, on the outskirts of Panama, the “Tica” nation protects a patch of jungle, swamps and the Caribbean Sea. As well as a providential wildlife refuge, Gandoca-Manzanillo is a stunning tropical Eden.
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.