Welcome to Mexico Premiere

In early 2007 Lisa Coleman and I were geared up to launch a hard-copy, print magazine focused on Mexico. We had a very slick media kit completed and a premier issue in progress. We were ready to rock and roll…but something didn’t feel quite right. The 2006 Mexico presidential election and the Oaxaca unrest were bringing business to a standstill and no one knew with certainty what the climate would be in the near future in a country that is no stranger to revolution.

Faced with this reality we backed off for a while. In the meantime I was starting to see the future, albeit light-years later than anyone under 30. It was becoming clear that traditional media as the world has known since the invention of the printing press was in a revolution of its own. People my age with bad knees and good intents still read magazines and the daily newspaper, but monster winds are blowing against us. Traditional media is on a rapid decline…newspapers, magazines, movies, television, all losing readers/viewers. Meanwhile there are billion people online with another billion expected in the next decade. After a load of research and conversations with Lisa (the only person I know with more opinions than I), we knew what we had to do. We both ordered a mental hard-drive replacement and jumped headfirst into the world of blog, following the advice at every step of our tech-partner, Doug Macy, who makes this page jump the way it does. We have formed a group of Mexico experts to be blog contributors, including John Mitchell, Ron Mader, Jeanine Kitchel and Marita Adair. Our mission is to become the place where anyone who wants Mexico information will check out frequently. Each blogger is free to editorialize, report and rant uncensored, and the readers are encouraged to post their comments.

So, that’s the short version of the genesis of Mexico Premiere. Please check us out from time to time and tell your friends about the site.

Dave Simmonds

David Simmonds

Author Dave SimmondsDavid has traveled Mexico extensively, from the Chiapas jungles to the deserts of Baja by train, foot, auto, bus and plane. Since everyone always asks, his favorite place is the “next place…most likely with a beach and not many people”. He is the founder of the non-profit charity, One Town at a Time (www.onetownatatime.com), whose mission is to help the rural villages of Mexico towards sustainability. David  published “The Mexico File…the Newsletter for Mexicophiles” from  1995 – 2007, and has a travel business for people looking for golf vacations in Cabo.

A San Diego State University graduate, David lives with his wife, Felice, and his kids, Tanner and Nicolette, in San Diego when he’s not beating around Mexico. You can contact David by email at dave@mexicopremiere.com.

Lisa Coleman

Lisa ColemanSort of like Margaritas and Mariachis, Lisa Coleman has become a fixture in Mexico. She worked in Mexico for more than 13 years as both a travel writer and (in the latter part of that run) instructor for the nationwide “Mexico Expert” seminar series. Being Anglo and blonde, Lisa is more than happy to stand on a soapbox about women traveling alone through Mexico… of which she whole heartedly believes is okay if you have your wits about you.

Known for her direct approach and passion for everything Mexican, she’s hardly a “gringa.” Lisa has published over 200 articles on Mexico throughout the U.S. and Canada, and won the 2000 Pluma de Plata (Silver Pen Award), which is the highest honor given to a journalist by the Mexico Ministry of Tourism. That said, she has the propensity to share her knowledge at any given opportunity (whether you want to hear it or not). Lola (another Mex Premiere contributor) jokes that Lisa has been known to answer a simple question about where to stay in Puerto Vallarta with an overview of Mexico’s history since the Conquest and finish with her views on politics and immigration.

You’ll never wonder how she feels about things… it will all be there in black and white. Oh, and she does have a couple of favorite places in Mexico… Zihuatanejo and any place in the state of Michoacán. And, when she’s not writing about Mexico, she’s usually shopping for a new Derby hat.

Lydia Gregory AKA Lola

caboscatamaran001.jpgOK, innocent shminnocent, I’m letting my hair down and coming out (metaphorically speaking, of course). This blog is more fun than I bargained for and cute as she may be, I can’t keep letting that black kitten take all the credit. To those who know me: I’m ba-a-a-ack!! Un abrazo, LG

Writing under a pseudonym to protect the innocent, Lola brings to the group a unique perspective on this whole Mexico deal: she’s actually Mexican. Well, make it half Mexican. The other half is also Hispanic, which happily makes her 100% Latina and that’s just how she likes it.

Besides the obvious personal experience she has accumulated over her many years of eating one abuela’s pozole and the other’s arroz con habichuelas, she’s had the good fortune to have served as Mexico Editor for one of the nation’s top travel agent magazines and a PR guru for a boutique agency specializing in upscale clients in Mexico. Add to the mix a stint as a TV personality, an enlightening few years as editor of a woman’s publication on a Caribbean island, a swing as editor of a bilingual wedding magazine in Miami and another couple of years as fashion and beauty editor of a seriously swanky fashion rag (yeah, the one with the short French name) and the result is a very opinionated, very passionate, very short person in very high heels.

We hope you enjoy her rants, raves and commentaries and she invites you to please drop in and play.

Jeanine Kitchel

Jeanine KitchelWhen author Jeanine Kitchel first embarked on a vacation to Quintana Roo in 1985, little did she realize she’d be living there a decade later in the Caribbean Coast village of Puerto Morelos.

In 1997 she and her husband escaped the corporate world of San Francisco and headed south. They built a house on the beach and opened an English language bookstore in their town, sold it in 2002, and in 2003 Jeanine wrote a nonfiction book about her Mexican experiences titled Where the Sky is Born: Living in the Land of the Maya.

The author has also recounted her travel adventures in Tales from the Yucatan on Planeta.com, as well as writing for The Miami Herald, Fodor’s,Guide, Mexico File, Mexico Connect and Sac-Be. She’s also Mexico co-host of The Expat Show, which airs on WTBQ-1110 AM Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. from New York.

Today the author is busy pursuing the art of doing nothing, which can easily be accomplished by finding a good book, a white sand beach, and a sunny day–all quite accessible in Quintana Roo.

Marita Adair

adair.jpgMarita Adair admits, “I couldn’t know that a chance day trip to Nogales, Mexico when I was 11 would create the thread linking all of my life. Or that when, the same year, deciding to be a writer, that the two, Mexico and writing, would be the pathway to my bliss.”

“But It was a decade before I could really ‘get at’ Mexico during a college summer in Saltillo,” she says. And even longer, she laments, from using Frommer’s guides to Mexico and also South America on $5 a day to eight years writing six guidebooks (23 editions in 8 years) in the Frommer’s series to Mexico. And longer still from canned tamales, her first intro to Mexican food (she knows that’s sorry) to The Hungry Traveler Mexico, a menu translator and guidebook to Mexico’s food for publisher Andrews McMeel.

“Meanwhile I pestered Mexican American kids at school to teach me Spanish, and my older sister to regurgitate her Tues/Thurs Spanish lessons. Fortunately, in 6th grade, we had Latin American geography and current events accompanied by United Fruit Company pamphlets on the cultures of Latin America.

Formal education eventually accompanied deep desire. “At Northeastern State College,Tahlequah,OK. I studied history, political science and Spanish, besides self-directing my version of everything Latin American and editing the college newspaper. Then off to Washington D.C. and jobs in U.S. Naval History and in public affairs at the Organization of American States experiencing a whole new closeness to Latin America. And finally, finally, years spent in self-directed cultural immersion all over Mexico while building a career writing about the country and adding a degree in journalism.”

As for influences, she says “I imagine myself holding hands across the centuries with my Mexico travel and writer mentors who include James Norman (who wrote the last editions of Terry’s Guide to Mexico), Frances Toor, Fanny Calderon de la Barca, Frederick Ober, Oscar Lewis, Charles Flandreau, Elizabeth Borton de Trevino, and Carl Lumholtz. Through them I came to value most the country’s culture in all its ways—daily life, customs, food, festivals, and folk art. The place where I yearn to spend a hunk of time next is around Huauchinango, Puebla.”

John Mitchell

jmitchphotoJohn Mitchell is freelance writer and photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His articles and photos have been widely published in magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and guidebooks in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. He is currently a contributor to The News, an English-language newspaper published in Mexico City. John has been writing about Mexican culture and travel for over two decades. When he’s not on the road, he is planning his next trip south.

You can contact John through his website.

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