Forbes: Mexico 7th Hardest Working Country

David Simmonds

A couple of years ago I was doing some remodeling on my house and yard, or I should say I was observing others do some remodeling on my house and yard. And, like any practical lawbreaker, I often drove to  the grocery store corner, where the latino laborers hang out, to pick up one or two guys. They would get $100 each and lunch for eight hours work, and at the end of the day I’d drive them back to the corner.

On about my third time I picked up a guy named “Arnie” from Oaxaca. A good-sized man, 26 years old, Arnie had a working-gear I hadn’t seen before. He would accomplish in a morning what took a full day for anyone else. He was a very pleasant guy, always smiling, asked questions, and didn’t yack on his cell phone 10 times a day like some of the others I had employed. He told me he was here, in the States, just long enough to make enough money to send to his family, but goes back to Oaxaca frequently, where he feels at home and peaceful. And although Arnie was the best, every man I hired during the project gave an honest day’s work and I was never disappointed.

So it came as no surprise to me that Forbes magazine has recently announced yet another list (they have lists for everything) that declared Mexico to be the 7th Hardest Working Country in the world. South Korea was ranked #1 and followed by Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The least hard working are the Dutch, perhaps because they make the world’s best beer, Heineken. The U.S. shows up at a respectable #9, which I find surprising since we hardly make anything anymore other than weapons and autos.

So it’s official. Forbes has confirmed what many of us have known for a long time…Mexicans are hard working people. And that is why the country has a bright future.

Chilean Folk Group Reunites with Mexico

By MP Mexico News Staff

Twenty-five years after their first visit to Mexico, the legendary Chilean folk group, Quilapayún, is hitting the stage at the Teatro Metropolitano on Thursday, July 3rd, at 7:30 p.m. Quilapayún is among the longest lasting and most influential exponents of the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Song) movement. Formed in Chile during the mid-1960s, the group became inseparable from the musical revolution that occurred during the government of Salvador Allende.

Emblematic of the collective memory of Latin America, Quilapayún represents the “search for freedom and the hope of justice and democracy.”

Capulalpam de Mendez added to List of Mexico’s Magical Towns

By: MP Mexico News Staff

The tourism credentials of Capulalpam de Mendez, located in the southern state of Oaxaca, were given a boost when it became the thirty-fifth community to be added to the list of Mexico’s Magical Towns.

“I hereby recognize and express our pride in the array of great attractions that Capulalpam de Mendez possesses, attractions that range from its majestic Church of St. Matthew and its monuments to the flora that make it an ideal destination for ecotourism,” Mexican Tourism Secretary Rodolfo Elizondo said in announcing the designation.

Launched in 2001 by the Tourism Secretariat, the Magical Towns program has attracted thousands of tourists who in ever larger numbers are discovering the unique charm of the culture, nature, legends, history, important events and daily life of each one of these places.

According to the Tourism Secretariat, “a Magical Town is the reflection of our Mexico, of what it’s made us, of what we are, and we should feel proud. These are its people, towns that throughout time and in the face of modernity have been able to conserve, value and defend their historical-cultural heritage and manifest that in different ways through their tangible and intangible attributes.”

In addition to its natural wealth and its appeal to aficionados of eco-tourism, Capulalpam de Mendez, located in the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, a heavily-wooded area 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the capital of Oaxaca, stands out for its artistic and cultural wealth, the main highlight being the Dominican Church of St. Matthew, which was built in the 17th century and is best known for its 15 baroque altarpieces.



Velas Vallarta Introduces New Spa Packages

Jumping Bean Massage and Princess Mommy & Me Ritual Highlight the New Collection at Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort

NUEVO VALLARTA, Mexico, /PRNewswire/ — A Jumping Bean Massage, Little Green Elf Facial, and a myriad of mother-daughter spa rituals make up the new Family Spa Collection at Grand Velas Spa in Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.  From relaxing Glamour facials to energetic Champion sports massages, family spa treatments are held year-round en-suite or beachside with spectacular views of the Banderas Bay.  Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort is the only AAA Five-Diamond Award winning all-inclusive family-friendly resort in North America.  For more information on the Grand Velas Spa, please call 1-877-398-2784 or visit .

  The New 25-minute Kids’ Spa Treatments / Cost: $55 USD
  — Jumping Bean Massage
  — Flower Shower Massage
  — Magic Elements Massage
  — Little Green Elf Facial
  — Malt Baths
  — Pancho’s Bubble Massage
  The 50-minute Mommy & Me Treatments:
  — Glamour Ritual
  — Princess Ritual
  — Tarzan & Jane Ritual
  — Champion’s Ritual
  — Dream Nails

For luxurious accommodations in an ocean-view Parlor Suite, rates begin at $460 through December 18, 2008, based on double occupancy.  Until July 17th, children ages 2 to 12 are $125 USD per child, per night, and from July 18th thru December 18th, children ages 2 to 12 are $98 USD per child, per night. Twenty-four hour in suite service; gourmet dining; unlimited premium international and national brands throughout the hotel; Grand Kids’ Club; and taxes and gratuities are included in the nightly rate.

Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort is a member of Leading Hotels of the World.  The resort, located just 15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta on the Banderas Bay, features 267 ocean-view suites including ultra spacious Spa Suites in the resort’s new tower and new three-bedroom and two-bedroom Imperial Suites.  The 16,500 sq ft Grand Velas Spa features 20 treatment rooms, over 80 spa treatments, a high-performance gym and exercise room, spa boutique and a beauty salon.  Five restaurants, three of which are gourmet, feature stylish decor and a la carte choices for French, Italian or Mexican cuisine. The family-friendly resort also offers a tennis court and special entertainment for adults and kids.

Family Travel Made Easy in Mexico

Kids’ Club and Spacious Casitas Where Kids Stay Free at Marquis Los Cabos

Los Cabos, Mexico (PRWEB) — Free accommodations for kids, a daily kids’ club, welcome gifts, and dining discounts make family travel easy at Marquis Los Cabos, which offers a “Marquis Kids Package” from now until October 10, 2008.


The package includes complimentary accommodations in a choice of a Junior Suite or Casita, which features its own private pool, for up to two children under age 12, sharing the room with parents; the MarKids program where children explore their creativity with beach games, painting and drawing, attend moves and even learn Spanish; a welcome cocktail for parents and “mocktail” for kids; welcome gift of crayons, coloring book and beach accessories for kids, and complimentary dessert at Dos Mares or Vista Ballenas restaurants.


Rates through May 31 start at $520 per night for accommodations in a Junior Suite and $1,025 per night in a Private Pool Casita. From June 1st through October 10th, rates start at $375 per night in a Junior Suite and $690 in a Private Pool Casita. The MarKids program is available to children age 5 to 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including holidays.


The “Marquis Kids” Package, which also includes roundtrip airport-hotel transportation, is available by calling 877-238-9399 or visiting


The Casitas at the Marquis Los Cabos Casitas evoke the ambience of a private beach house. Similar to a one-bedroom apartment, the Casitas are steps from the water and feature a living room, wet bar, floor to ceiling window walls, and private pool. A complimentary Marquis breakfast is delivered daily via a small latticed alcove adjacent to the guest room door


The 237-suite Marquis Los Cabos Beach, Golf, Spa & Casitas Resort, a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World and only member of Leading Spas of the World in Los Cabos, features dramatic water highlights, an extensive Latin American art collection and a 15,000 square foot holistic spa and fitness center. All guest rooms are suites and feature Bulgari amenities, imported Italian Frette linens, goose down comforters, internet access and hydro-massage bathtub. The beachfront property is located in the “Cabo Real” section of Los Cabos, 18 miles from the airport and only six miles from San Jose del Cabo. Marquis Los Cabos has been named both a Gold List Resort by Conde Nast Traveler and a World’s Best Awards hotel by Travel + Leisure numerous times. Canto del Mar, its gourmet restaurant, has been honored with the Five Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

Footnote on the Tequila Story…

Lola again, amigos.

I just had to mention this: as much as I loooove tequila, there’s another beverage out there that’s giving it a run for its money. It’s called sotol. I had the pleasure of tasting a particular brand, Hacienda de Chihuahua, about a year ago on a cold night by a bonfire on a ranch somewhere in the Great Plains (hello, Mr. Wild Horse Man). The drink was pretty amazing. If I would’ve had four hooves and a tail I might have had more to say about the guy, but that’s neither here nor there. Anywayyyyy… It’s not made from the agave plant, it’s distilled from something called the daisylirion (agavaceas)—a family member. Straight up, no frills. Smooth as seda.

Just thought I’d add that to the mix. In my opinion, it’s certainly worth the price of admission.

Artisan Tequila—It Does a Body Good

By Lola

I am an unabashed fan of good tequila, the kind you sip, not shoot. No body shots, no jello shots, no giant pools of blue margaritas. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m referring to the wave of premium tequilas that have crossed the border.

Giants such as Herradura and Cuervo entered the fray quite early in the game (try Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia, or Don Julio Añejo, yum) , but it’s the artisan tequilas that have been garnering headlines lately. In my (current) home-state of Arizona, in fact, a local farmer is hard at work promoting his family’s brew, 3 Amigos. In the name of research, I’m planning on buying a bottle of añejo to try it for myself.

Here’s a link to the article, and another to their website. They’re being distributed mainly in the Southwest, so if you’re in the area, snag a bottle and lemme know what you think. In my opinion, good tequila is the nectar of the dioses. I’ll be back with my verdict in a few… 🙂 ¡Salud!