Tecate take two

courtesy of tecate.com

courtesy of tecate.com.mx

It’s that time again…Tecate time..!! This is one of my favorite Tecate commercials. It’s called Tecate Novia or Tecate Bride. Basically, the plot goes something like this –

When they were young, Jorge promised to marry this girl Valeria when they got older. Since then they both have changed and grown…up. Valeria finds Jorge in a bar and reminds him of his promise to marry her. He tells her that was so long ago and they were young. Valeria begins to cry…and the rest is Tecate history..!! Enjoy. Salud ūüôā

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Ruins schmuins..!! Where’s the mall..?!

Temple of the Descending God and The Castle

Temple of the Descending God and The Castle

It is impossible to take a bad picture at the ruins in Tulum. It’s as if one becomes a National Geographic photographer the moment one steps into the ruins. In fact, all the photos used in this post are photos I personally took during my visit to Tulum in June 2010. And I am by no stretch of the imagination Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz..!!

The Castle or El Castillo

The Castle or El Castillo

Tulum is located about 80 miles or two hours south of Cancun. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans. It was occupied between 1200 – 1500 A.D. and was still a hustling and bustling town when the Spaniards arrived. The name Tulum means wall or fence which fits since it was one of the few Mayan cities protected by a wall. It was also the only Mayan city built on a coast. On the coast side, it was protected by steep cliffs facing the sea. On the other side, it was protected by a wall of about 12 feet in height.

God of Winds Temple or El Templo Dios del Viento

God of Winds Temple or El Templo Dios del Viento

Every Mayan city served a specific purpose, and Tulum was no exception. It functioned as a trading port and seaport for Coba, trading mainly in obsidian, turquoise and jade. The coastal setting also allowed the city to defend against invasions which is one of the theories regarding the wall. Another theory suggests only priests and nobility lived inside the city’s walls, while peasants resided outside. However, archaeologists still do not know why the wall was built. While the Mayans took their secrets with them when they abandoned Tulum.

Tulum seaside

Tulum seaside

But what the Mayans did leave behind is one of the most well preserved ruins in Mexico. Which is what sets Tulum apart from other ruins such as Chichen Itza or Coba. The Castle or El Castillo is the tallest building at the site. The structure probably served some navigational purpose such as helping the Mayans circumvent breaks in the reef. The Temple of the Frescoes is one of the better preserved buildings. As its name suggests, you can see several frescoes painted on the walls inside the building.

Tulum ruins

Tulum ruins

What also sets Tulum apart from the other ruins is it boasts its own, inviting beach. The beach at Tulum is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mexican Riviera. Many tourists take advantage of the turquoise waters to go swimming after touring the ruins. It’s a breathtaking way to refresh yourself after a hands on history lesson and tour! While Tulum may not have the largesse of Chichen Itza or the steep temple climb like Coba, it more than makes up for it through the fantastic cliffside view overlooking the gorgeous Caribbean Sea!!

Tulum cliffside view

Tulum cliffside view

http://www.tulumruins.net/
http://gomexico.about.com/od/ancientsites/p/tulum_ruins.htm

what do you mean it’s the end of the world again?!

courtesy of lolsnaps.com

courtesy of lolsnaps.com

I feel I would be remiss if I did not address the earlier doomsday predictions of the Mayan apocalypse. Of course, it has come and gone and we are still here. But still, I thought now would be a good time to address why we are still here.

So for starters, who were the Mayans? The ancient Mayans were central American peoples that occupied parts of present day Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Their earliest settlements date back to 1800 B.C. But their classical period was between 250-900 A.D. At their peak, there were over 2 million Mayas. Today, there are still descendents of the Maya scattered among those same countries preserving the culture and speaking many different Mayan languages. *warning – future blog post – learning Mayan words*

courtesy of cagle.com

courtesy of cagle.com

The Mayan Long Count calendar was one of three calendars the Mayans used. December 21st, 2012 marked the end of the 13th Baktun in the Mayan Long Count calendar. The Maya divided this calendar into 13 ages, or Baktuns, each consisting of 144,000 days. Smaller cycles included the k’atun (7,200 days), tun (360 days), uinal (20 days) and kin (one day). The coming of each new Baktun was not feared, but celebrated by the people. The question, of course, remains, why did the Mayans not finish the calendar?

courtesy of bizarrocomics.com

courtesy of bizarrocomics.com

Archeologists have insisted that there is nothing in this date that suggests an apocalypse. Some people believe the numbers in the date were considered divine; therefore, indicating that a significant change was expected to befall Earth. While other people have proposed that the Maya simply did not get around to adding any further ages to the calendar before their civilization collapsed. Whatever their reason, it continues to remain a mystery to us.

However, the doomsday date has brought extra interest in Mayan culture, the ancient Mayan civilization and the plight of current Mayans who are the second largest ethnic group in Mexico. As well as, upped the tourist ante!! Many Mayans, Mexicans and tourists, not to mention expats, embraced the coming date as the start of a new phase or a new beginning. It’s always nice to clean the slate and start fresh. We could learn something from the ancient Mayans! Plus it makes a great t-shirt –

courtesy of dobrador.com

courtesy of dobrador.com

http://www.christianpost.com/news/mayan-apocalypse-2012-top-5-facts-about-the-maya-87012/
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/mesoamerica/g/010709Maya.htm

Tecate take one

courtesy of tecate.com

courtesy of tecate.com.mx

Tecate is a small city in Baja California, Mexico. However, it is best known for Tecate beer. Tecate beer is one of the most popular beers in Mexico. It is typically drunk pouring lime and salt on top of the can. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the beach, a game or a party ūüôā

However, it is also known for it’s vastly entertaining commercials. I leave you with one today and more to follow in the future. This one is called Tecate Rec√°mara or Tecate Bedroom. Enjoy….and salud..!!

Look. Look! is it a bird? is it a plane? omg – it’s just the sky!

courtesy of gettyimages.com

courtesy of gettyimages.com

I miss many things about Mexico.¬† The people, food, micheladas, the beach and the weather!¬† Oh the weather…¬† But one of the things that I miss the most is the sky!¬† I have never seen a more beautiful sky than the sky in Playa del Carmen!

courtesy of shockgrafix.com

courtesy of shockgrafix.com

It’s a crystal blue like I have never experienced before.¬† And the clouds!¬† Everywhere!¬† Huge, puffy, nebulous!¬† So close that sometimes I would try to reach out and touch them.¬† But of course I never could…

courtesy of flickr.com

courtesy of flickr.com

The tropical storm season in Playa lasts from May to December.  But the rainy season lasts through January.  It is this constant flux of rain that brings the clouds rolling in and then rolling out again toward Cozumel.  You can get lost for long periods of time watching the clouds roll through.  You can actually see them moving across the sky Рthe winds blow them that quickly.

courtesy of R. Pena 2009

courtesy of R. Pena 2009

You can also stare at the clouds long enough that you see faces and animals and shapes of all kinds.¬†¬†I would spend extra time staring at the sky every day.¬† On the drive to work and back home, I would sit in the car with my head half hanging out the window as I tried to visually breathe in the entire Caribbean sky to my memory!¬† Luckily I wasn’t driving!!¬† But my colleagues did think my profound silences while staring at the sky were slightly anti-social.¬† Hahaha…

courtesy of kootation.com

courtesy of kootation.com

The sky in Chicago is nice – it has crisp blues.¬† But not blues that shimmer like jewels and are as rich.¬† Chicago has clouds and sometimes you can see shapes in them.¬† But they seem so far away.¬† I would never think of trying to touch them.¬† Nor are they as fluffy.¬† I remind myself that I will return one day to Playa.¬† And I will either lay myself on the beach or hang my head out a window and once again stare into paradise…

courtesy of flickr.com

courtesy of flickr.com

fair trade super woman!!

courtesy of treehugger.com

courtesy of treehugger.com

In June 2009, according to treehugger.com, Danish woman under 35 who lived in Copenhagen with a higher education and who worked in a public office¬†were the most dedicated¬†fair trade consumer.¬† Hence, the photo….

However, I like to consider myself a fair trade super woman! Well, minus the Danish part, the blond part, the under 35 part and I don’t live in Copenhagen… Oh hell, I would just like to consider myself a super woman!! ¬†lol….

But seriously, I worked for a major coffee company for over a decade which is how I become interested in fair trade.¬† Mainly coffee…¬† Hence, as I pointed out in my first post here, I went to school for¬†a master’s degree which brought me to Chiapas, Mexico.¬† That initial visit to coffee farms and fair trade co-operatives is noted in the blog below…¬† Enjoy..!!

http://sustainablechiapas.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-is-fair-trade-important.html