Brave New World — In Mexico

by Jeanine Kitchel

I recently read that middle class families in Mexico are having tiny transmitters placed under their skin so that satellites can locate them if they’re kidnapped.  According to a report, sales of the device have jumped 13 per cent this year after kidnappings rose 40 per cent from 2004 to 2007 in Mexico.  True statistics on kidnapping are kept underwraps.  Some reports say there were four times more than the 750 cases reported last year.

A transmitter in the chip sends radio signals to a device carried by the client, with a global positioning system in it, says the manufacturer, Xega, from Queretaro.  A satellite can then pickup the kidnap victim’s location.

The crystal encased chip is the size of a piece of rice and is injected under the person’s skin with a syringe. The technology came about when one of the owners of Xega, originally a global positioning system used for tracking down stolen cars, was kidnapped in broad daylight in 2001. Frustrated by his powerlessness, he then adapted the technology to track stolen people.  The pricetag isn’t cheap — upwards of $3700 USD.

In July 2004, 100 employees of the Mexico Attorney General’s Office received surgical implants containing tracking devices that control access to high level security locations.  By scanning their arm where the implant was embedded, they were allowed access to secure sites. A report at that time by Martin Reynolds, Garnter Research, stated the ability for a micro chip to also locate a kidnap victim could be overblown.

So far we’re not at the kidnapping stage in Quintana Roo.  Probably why we’ve been seeing so many Mexico City plates here in the land of the Riviera Maya. With the exception of the occasional hurricane, life is good. Wonder if Huxley would agree.

Chiles en Nogada—¡Qué rico!

By Lola

With the Mexican Día de la Independencia celebrations coming up in a couple of weeks (El Grito is celebrated every 16th of September—the day every Mexican the world over celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule WITH A SHOUT), chefs and homemakers prepare for the creation of historic dishes like the chiles en nogada. The name comes from the walnut tree, or nogal, but the inspiration comes from the Mexican flag: picadillo-stuffed poblano chiles are laid on the plate, topped with a white walnut-based cream sauce and sprinkled with red pomegranate seeds, representing the three colors of the flag (green, white and red).

Chef Ricardo Carrillo from the restaurant Paixa (meaning “peace” in the Náhuatl language) located in San Angel, gives us a behind the scenes glimpse of the preparation of this historic dish in this video clip, originally published in El Universal’s webpage. The video is in Spanish, but then again, pictures are worth a thousand words.

Want to make your own? Check out this great recipe from Gourmet Sleuth, Diana Kennedy’s version from her book, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico or Rick Bayless’ version on Frontera Kitchens.

American Airlines Puts Select Caribbean and Mexico Destinations on Sale for Travel Through Early December

Grab Your Stuff and Go

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — If you missed out on a getaway to the Caribbean or Mexico this summer, don’t throw in the towel. Instead, grab the sun block, golf clubs, guidebook and anything else you’ll need on a relaxing vacation trip and contact American Airlines immediately.

American and its regional affiliate, American Eagle, have put select destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico on sale for travel Sept. 2 through Dec. 10, 2008.

Fall is a great time for a Caribbean or Mexico getaway. Crowds are smaller and prices are lower, but everything else that makes for a relaxing vacation is still in full swing.

American, a founding member of the global oneworld(R) Alliance, and American Eagle combine to offer extensive service throughout the Caribbean and Mexico, so if and when you’re ready for a great vacation at a great fare, we’re ready to take you there.

Don’t miss the boat — or rather, plane — again. Grab your stuff and fly with American Airlines for a fabulous fall vacation.

  Here are highlights of American’s sale:

            American Airlines Sale to the Caribbean and Mexico

  —  Sale fares available from select cities in the continental U.S. to
      select destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.
  —  Begin travel Sept. 2 through Dec. 8, 2008; return no later than Dec.
      10, 2008.
  —  Purchase tickets no later than Sept. 12, 2008.
  —  Other restrictions, including embargo dates, apply.  For rules and
      restrictions, see the terms and conditions below, or visit American’s
      Web site, AA.com.

Here are samples of American and American Eagle’s great low fares to the Caribbean and Mexico.

                            SAMPLE SALE FARES
             City Pair                              Fare Each Way Based
                                                       on Round-Trip
                                                         Purchase*
   Los Angeles – San Jose del Cabo, Mexico                  $95
   New York City – Cancun, Mexico                          $115
   New York City – St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles       $127
   Miami – Grand Cayman, Cayman Is.                        $129
   New York City – St. Croix, U.S.V.I.                     $173
   Miami – Bridgetown, Barbados                            $198
   Chicago O’Hare – Guanajuato/Leon, Mexico+               $228
   Chicago O’Hare – Cozumel, Mexico                        $277
   Kansas City – Monterrey, Mexico                         $286

   *  Fares shown are each way based on off-peak round-trip Economy Class
      travel purchased on AA.com, and are in U.S. dollars.  Fares are valid
      for travel beginning Sept. 2-Dec. 8, 2008; complete travel by Dec.
      10, 2008.  Fares do not include all government-imposed taxes and fees.
   +  Service operated partly by American Eagle.

Travelers can check schedules and fares and book flights by visiting http://www.aa.com/. On AA.com you’ll find the absolute lowest fares available for American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection(R) flights — guaranteed. For full details on our Lowest Fare Guarantee, visit http://www.aa.com/benefits.

For an additional $20 per ticket, travel arrangements can also be made by calling American’s reservations number at 1-800-433-7300 (en espanol 1-800-633-3711) within the United States. Outside the United States, call the local reservations number. For an additional $30 per ticket, travel arrangements can be made at an American Airlines Travel Center or Airport Ticket Office. Tickets may also be purchased through a travel agent. Travel agents may impose a service charge for ticketing.

A “Fly Now, Pay Later” deferred payment option on American allows holders of the American Airlines Credit Card(SM) account to enjoy six months of no payments and no interest for tickets purchased on AA.com. For terms and conditions and more details, visit http://www.aa.com/paylater.

AmericanAirlines Vacations(SM) has a number of exciting and affordable travel packages available throughout the Caribbean and Mexico. For more information, visit http://www.aavacations.com/.

* Fare Sale Terms and Conditions

Fares shown are each way based on off-peak round-trip Economy-Class travel purchased on AA.com, and are in U.S. dollars. Fares shown are valid for travel Monday-Thursday; other travel days are available at additional cost. Fares are subject to change without notice. International fares are subject to government approval.

Fares do not include (a) a federal excise tax of $3.50 per U.S. domestic flight segment, defined as one takeoff and landing, of a passenger’s itinerary; (b) up to $18 per round trip in local airport charges; and (c) September 11th Security Fee of $2.50 per enplanement originating at a U.S. airport. For international/Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands destinations, government taxes and fees of up to $180, varying by destination, are not included and may vary slightly depending on currency exchange rates at the time of purchase.

Tickets must be purchased within one day of making reservations, but not later than 11:59 p.m., Sept. 12, 2008 (Central Time).

Fares shown are valid for travel beginning Sept. 2-Dec. 8, 2008; all travel must be completed by Dec. 10, 2008. Travel is not valid Nov. 22-30, 2008. A two-day minimum stay is required, and a 30-day maximum stay is allowed.

Advertised fares are valid only on American Airlines, American Eagle, and the AmericanConnection(R) airlines and do not apply to other codeshare flights. Seats are limited. Fares may not be available on all flights. Schedules are subject to change without notice.

Fares are nonrefundable and nontransferable. Changes to your ticket may be made if you meet the restrictions of the new fare and pay up to a US$150 fee plus any fare difference. Changes must be made before your ticketed flight’s scheduled departure time. If you cancel your flight prior to the scheduled departure time, the ticket will be valid for one year from the date of issue for an unused ticket or one year from travel origination for a partially used ticket. If you do not cancel your flight prior to the scheduled departure time, the ticket has no value.

A portion of or all travel booked on American Airlines may be operated by American Eagle or an AmericanConnection(R) airline. American Eagle is operated by American Eagle Airlines, Inc., or Executive Airlines, Inc., which are wholly owned by AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines. AmericanConnection service is operated by one of the following independent contractors: Trans States Airlines, Inc., or Chautauqua Airlines, Inc.

To purchase tickets on AA.com you must use a credit card with a billing address in the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, the United Kingdom, or select Latin American and Caribbean countries.

AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AAdvantage, AmericanAirlines Vacations, and AA.com are marks of American Airlines, Inc. oneworld is a mark of the oneworld Alliance, LLC. American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers at any time without notice and to end the AAdvantage program with six months’ notice. For complete AAdvantage program details, visit http://www.aa.com/. For full details on our Lowest Fare Guarantee, visit http://www.aa.com/benefits.

 

WONKA Arte Awakens Day of the Dead Spirits with Virtual Art Contest

GLENDALE, Calif.,/PRNewswire/ — This Halloween, alongside chocolates and candy, Willy Wonka is bringing out pan de muerto and sugar skulls in anticipation of this year’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) WONKA Arte contest. Beginning August 22nd, teens are invited to show Willy their talent by creating art that reflects what Day of the Dead means to them.

As part of the WONKA Arte program, WONKA is partnering with Latino cable network, mun2, who will host the Day of the Dead contest via www.HolaMun2.com/wonka. mun2 staff and celebrities will judge all art entries and select fifteen finalists, which will get their art pieces posted on the website. Visitors to the site will be able to view all entries and vote for one grand prize winner.

Teens ages 13-to-18 are invited to create artistic representations of what the Day of the Dead means to them. Entries can range from flat art, to 3-D art, to music and/or video. Each entry must incorporate the Day of the Dead theme, as well as the WONKA(R) brand and WONKA(R) candies. Participants will need to upload a photo or video of their artistic masterpiece onto www.HolaMun2.com/wonka. All entries will be judged based on creativity, incorporation of WONKA(R) brand, candy, and Day of the Dead theme and relevance. Deadline for entries is September 30, 2008

“WONKA Arte is about celebrating Day of the Dead traditions with modern-day Hispanic youth in fun, wacky and artistic ways,” said Gilberto Gutierrez, Wonka marketing associate. “We partnered with mun2 to provide an open canvas that would allow teens to express themselves freely, while embracing their cultural roots.”

All entries will be judged and narrowed down to the top 15 finalists by mun2 VJ, Pico, mun2 staff and celebrities. All entries will then be posted in a special gallery on HolaMun2.com/Wonka. Visitors to the site will view entries and vote for the final grand prize winner. The grand prize package is valued at over $2,200 and includes: a Macbook Pro computer, an iPod nano and a $150 iTunes gift card. Those who vote will also have a chance to win an Apple iPhone as part of a separate online voter’s sweepstakes, which is open to legal residents, 13 years of age and older. No purchase necessary for sweepstakes or contest. Voting period ends October 22, 2008. Winners will be announced November 2, 2008. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules at www.holamun2.com/wonka/rules for full details.

About Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead is a Pre-Columbian holiday traditionally observed in Mexico November 1 and 2. The holiday focuses on honoring loved ones who have passed away by celebrating their lives. Traditional ornaments, alongside items like sugar skulls, candies, photographs, papel picado, candles, incense and marigold flowers are included in altars made to honor a loved one.

About mun2

mun2 is the preeminent voice for Latino youth in America. Launched in 2001 as the first national cable network to offer bilingual programming for young U.S. Latinos, the multiplatform entertainment network offers authentic content that reflects the lifestyle of this fast-growing segment of the population with original, relevant and cutting-edge programs in proven genres including music, movies, sports, fashion, and social activism. The network, which reflects emerging trends in all areas of pop and youth culture that are endorsed by its bicultural audience, is available nationwide on digital and analog cable, and satellite and free television. mun2 is distributed to over 25.1 million U.S. TV households and is the first-ever Latino youth-oriented cable network to have full subscription to the Nielsen Hispanic Household Index measurement service. The network is part of Telemundo Cable Networks, a division of NBC Universal Cable Networks.

About WONKA

The Willy Wonka Candy Factory company opened its doors in 1983. Since that time, Wonka has been dedicated to the art of producing fun, innovative, high-quality candies for kids of all ages. WONKA(R) candies include well-known favorites such as: NERDS(R), NERDS(R) Rope, Giant Chewy NERDS(R), SWEETARTS(R), SWEETARTS(R) SQUEEZ, SHOCKERS, LAFFY TAFFY(R), RUNTS(R), EVERLASTING GOBSTOPPER(R), LIK-M-AID(R) FUN DIP, PIXY STIX(R), BOTTLE CAPS(R), and the WONKA(R) Bar.

About Nestle

Named one of “America’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for the eleventh consecutive year, Nestle USA provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine(R) to baking traditions with Nestle(R) Toll House(R), Nestle USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself. That’s what “Nestle. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Nestle USA, with 2007 sales of $8.25 billion, is part of Nestle S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company — with sales of $90 billion. For product news and information, visit http://www.nestleusa.com/ or NestleNewsroom.com.

2008 Ecotourism Fair

by Ron Mader

Good news, everyone!

Oaxaca.travel announces the second ecotourism
fair will take place in Oaxaca City on September 6 and 7 in the Llano Park.
There is a promotional flyer at the tourism kiosk outside Santo Domingo
Church
.

Some background. Here is how the first ecotourism fair took place in 2002
>> http://tinyurl.com/5lcsln
>> http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/mexico/oaxaca/feria2002.html

What is ecotourism? Check out Planeta’s popular guide and learn about the
25th anniversary celebration and the special role Mexico has played in
defining the vision of eco-friendly travel and ecotourism in particular.

Ecoturismo 2008

Little League And The Olympics

David Simmonds

It has been a good month for Mexico’s sports enthusiasts. The year got off to a bad start, after the unexpected failure of the national soccer team, El Tri, to qualify for the Olympic games in March. Soccer, or fútbol, is the national sport by a wide margin. I recall attending a huge gala party in Acapulco last spring featuring a large video screen focused on the speakers and entertainment. But the proceedings would start at least 90 minutes later than scheduled until the live satellite feed of El Tri’s soccer match had completed. Everyone seemed to think that this was pretty normal as beer and margarita swilling continued unabated.

Yesterday, Mexico’s Matamoros little league team advanced to the final championship game of the Little League World Series  after defeating Japan in the semi-finals. They went on to lose to Hawaii 12 – 3, but to get that far was an incredible achievement, and illustrates the growing popularity of baseball in a soccer country.

In the Olympic Games from China, Mexico acheived three medals, two gold and a bronze. Although there has been some criticism by some of the country’s best atheletes to the committment and expertise of the Olympic Committee, the medal count should be applauded considering the questionable efforts and massive money expenditures that many competitor countries earmark for what are essentially just games. The Olympics have become very big business with pumped-up national pride overshadowing remarkable individual acheivement. Doping concerns and underage competitors make the news, casting a long shadow on what should be pure athleticism.

Nonetheless, we applaud and offer our congratulations to all of the members of the Matamoros baseball team and the Olympic participants. Viva Sportsmanship!

 

Calderon Ties Safety To Sports Participation

Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón stated that in view of the challenge of stopping organized crime, he has used everything in his power to stop crime and made citizens’ safety Federal Government’s highest priority and main task.

After swearing in the athletes in the Mexican delegation who will participate in the 2008 Beijing Paraolympic Games, the President recalled the fact that the National Security, Justice and Legality Agreement, designed to create a safer country, was signed yesterday.

He stated that the branches of government, governors, civil society and media assumed specific commitments regarding public safety, together with specific deadlines, as a result of which it is now up to everyone to do his or her part so that Mexicans will be able to see results soon.

He told an audience of Mexican athletes that one way of combating the lack of safety on the streets is to provide opportunities for sport in Mexico, as a form of entertainment, personal discipline and physical training that will provide better living alternatives, particularly for children and young people.

“For the sake of Mexicans’ personal and human development, safety and health, we must turn sport in Mexico into an everyday practice accessible to everyone,” he explained.

The President expressed the admiration felt by all Mexicans over the Para-Olympic sportspersons’ ability to overcome adversity, set new goals and achieve major triumphs.

He also urged them to win medals for Mexico, “You are the finest representatives of Para-Olympic sport, and in many respects, our finest sports representative, because you honor Mexico and, as the great athletes you are, give everything of yourselves during the Olympics.”

He explained that with a view to their participation in these Para-Olympic games, Federal Government has supported their efforts and for the first time in history, created a Special Scholarship Program, which will assign $30 million pesos for their training.

Lastly, the president remarked that all of Mexico will be following them and encouraging them so that the effort they have made so far is transformed into success.