Sex-Ed in Mexico City?

by Lola

The Catholic Church has long tried to keep Mexico’s sexuality under its massive thumb, gaining millions of souls through disapproval of birth control, while averting its gaze towards married men having affairs, steamy telenovelas and other goings on. But you know how it is: the tighter you try to hold onto something, the more you lose it.

Now Mexico City governor Marcelo Ebrard proposes “Responsible Sexuality” by distributing a high school text book in public schools (oh, and the metro) entitled “Your Future in Freedom, for a responsible sexuality and reproduction health”. Or something to that effect. My powers of translation are at an all time low today.

I wonder how loud the Catholic officials will scream. I predict to High Heaven.

The presentation was done at a “World Village” forum set up as part of the recent XVII International Conference on AIDS. According to Ebrard, the objective of this publication is to give youths the necessary information so they can practice sex freely (free sex???) and educate them about their sexual and reproductive rights.

Sounds mighty mighty progressive to me. Especially in a Catholic nation known, again, for its severe allergy to birth control.

Topics include birth control (yikes), relationships and emotional issues between couples, sexually transmitted diseases and legal abortion (double yikes).

The book is 168 pages long, with a print run of 580,000. I think there are more than 580,000 sexually-active teenagers out there in Mexico City, but I could be wrong. It’s a start, though. Plus, they can learn to share more than their bodies, I guess.

According to Ebrard, the books to be distributed in the metro are there because “we all have the right [to own the book]”. Cool.

This is a SERIOUS sign of the times. If someone would have come up with a book like this 20 years ago—never mind the fact that it’s being distributed in schools—the priests would have happily brought back the Inquisition in one fell swoop.


Playa Suites Acapulco Completes Major Renovation Project

By: MP Mexico News Staff

Playa Suites Acapulco Completes Major Renovation Project – Investment Focuses on Security, Convenience and “Going Green.” This well known property in Acapulco has recently completed a million-dollar (USD) renovation project that improves amenities and enhances guest safety and security with the added benefit of reducing the resort’s eco-footprint.

The Playa Suites Hotel has completed a million-dollar (USD) renovation project that improves amenities and enhances guest safety and security with the added benefit of reducing the resort’s eco-footprint.

The Playa Suites Acapulco is a beachfront all-suite resort featuring 502 spacious suites and penthouses. The property is located in the heart of the city amid upscale clubs and restaurants and stands as one of the most popular resorts in Acapulco for both European and American tourists year-round. College and university students from across the USA faithfully flock to the resort from mid February to mid April, officially turning The Playa Suites Hotel into the “Headquarters” for the vast majority of spring breakers.

All suites and penthouses have been refurbished and amenities such as wireless internet, hair dryers and alarm clocks have been added. Improvements have also been made to common areas such as the front desk, administrative and sales offices and the El Morro Beach Restaurant. A new lobby bar has been added as well as a new meeting room for up to 80 people.

The hotel has taken extra precautions to protect the wellbeing and security of its guests, adding electronic keys and electronic in-room safety deposit boxes to every suite. In addition, The Playa Suites has made enhancements to their existing state of the art Honeywell FCI 7200 Series fire detection system which is inspected monthly by an independent company.

In an effort to reduce its eco-footprint, hotel management has invested in environmental improvements that include the installation of solar energy panels for water heating, activation of garbage and recycling programs and the initiation of water recycling.

Guests can locate the hotel, book accommodations or find out more information by contacting Marilu Saldana Mendoza, Sales Director via, by calling: +52 (744) 485-8050, or by visiting Spring Breakers can book accommodations by calling 1-888-777-4642.


Placido Domingo Concert Update

Update on the Placido Domingo Concert
Chichen Itza, Oct. 4, 2008

By Marita Adair

 August 4, 2008. Placido fever is spreading, or so it seems. One message I read has a daily countdown to his Oct. 4 concert at Chichen Itza. There’s expectation that the concert will be a sellout and that hotels will fill. One source mentions 5,000 tickets will be sold, another reports 7,000 while the official release is mum on the count. One thing is certain, the grounds have ample space for either number.

 Below are reassuring organizational details from event organizers.

Placido Domingo will attend the dinner after the concert that’s included in the $1000 Premium VIP tickets.

At the archeological site, where the concert will be held, visitors can expect bathrooms, paramedics, strategic directional signs, assistance for those with disabilities, ushers, section assistants, sale of soft drinks, public telephones, and security.

Parking will be in five lots with shuttle transportation from parking lots to and from the concert entrance:

            Parking lot at the Archeological Zone

            At the Hotel Mayaland.  The Mayaland abuts the Chichen Itza grounds.

            At the old airport.

            In Piste (Piste 1). Piste is about a mile from Chichen Itza.

            At the baseball field (Piste 2).


The Placido Domingo site previews the concert and its setting at Chichen Itza, as well as the organizational arrangement for the concert at the site. All, of course, with Domingo singing in the background.

Tickets, available through, range in price from $50 to $1000. They should be arranged in advance of arrival since none are expected to be for sale at the concert or through travel agencies. The concert  will start at 8:30 p.m. and  end around 11 p.m.

Hotels with concert packages

A couple of hotels have already created special “concert packages.” The 18th-century Hotel Hacienda Xcanatun, near Merida, is offering a concert package that includes transportation to and from Chichen and a special evening of dining and music prior to concert day. The historic Hotel Hacienda Chichen, beside the Hotel Mayaland, and next to the ruins, plans a special dinner after the concert. Hotels as far away as Cancun and Cozumel are expected to participate and include transportation.

In the area

Of course, anyone who goes this far to hear Placido Domingo sing won’t want to concert and run.  To explore the latest information about the Yucatan Peninsula, go to The superior website is loaded with cultural as well as practical information including maps, and what’s new from haciendas, to food, to historic convents, to the latest in where to stay, eat, and relax.

As for Chichen Itza, an astounding amount of restoration makes it seem like a whole new site. Many of the fallen stones that littered the ground at the perimeters of many structures for decades have been put in place. 


Mexico Meets Mahalo

( * Below is a “guest blog” written by one of my dear friends and an ICON in the Mexico travel industry. Greg Custer, along with his lovely wife Jane, own and operate Destination Ventures. This amazing company has been almost single-handedly responsible for educating and promoting Mexico to travel agents nationwide. In turn, those of you who utililze these skilled travel specialists have certainly been touched by their experience. For the last 20 years, Destination Ventures ( has presented the most well known and comprehesive educational seminars about Mexico available today. In addition, their “Online Learning Modules” are changing the dynamic of the entire travel marketplace.  If you’re a travel agent, this is a shameless plug to visit their site and check out their offerings for 2008-2009.

Destination Ventures is also closely tied to UNESCO and “Friends of World Heritage” ( and works tirelessly to promote this organization to preserve and protect the World Heritage sites for today’s travelers and future generations. Thanks, Greg, for sharing your story with us, and we hope to see you more often! )

Mexico Meets Mahalo

By: Greg Custer

I just spent seven days touring Hawaii. It was a most rewarding trip, being able to make presentations with the US National Park Service, Expedia and the U N Foundation. The mission was to promote the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and its credential as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The World Heritage program is mostly about identifying and protecting all things natural and cultural that represent humanities shared legacy. There are 20 of these sites in the U.S. and Mexico now has 29 sites. World Heritage is about what connects us all as humans. It’s about how we’ve interacted with each other and our physical world. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

So it was with great amazement that while touring the islands I came across a bit of botanical history. It turns out the flower used to make Hawaii’s iconic lei is actually not Hawaiian. It’s Mexican. That’s right. In 1860, a renowned German physician and botanist (who happened to also be the doctor to the Hawaiian Royal Family) crossed the Pacific from Mexico. He carried cuttings and planted Hawaii’s first plumeria adjacent to an early hospital in Honolulu. While the Mexican source of these clippings is unknown, visitors can today see the original blooming tree on the grounds of the Foster Botanical Gardens.

The plumeria has a storied past in Mexico, supposedly used by Mexica (Aztec) in ceremonies and rituals hundreds of years ago. Now firmly embraced by our Hawaiian amigos and their millions of visitors, the plumeria is loved and cared for by all who see, touch, smell and feel her flowering limbs. Like World Heritage, it belongs to everyone — it belongs to no one.


Oaxaca Hosts 8th Annual Wild, Edible Mushroom Fair

by Ron Mader

Attention foodies! The date for the 8th Annual Mushroom Fair in Cuajimoloyas, Sierra Juárez, Oaxaca has been announced: August 23 – 24, 2008. Visits can be arranged for one or two days and include lunch, mushroom walks and exhibition.

The fair is one of the longest-running rural tourism events in Mexico. Details about the event are posted online the Planeta Forum.

FERIA 2008