Tag Archives: 2010


by Ron Mader

My good friend Marlene Ehrenberg took this photo ‘la esposa de Moctezuma y la Malinche’ while attending the town festival in Teotitlan del Valle.

For me this photo is a good example of responsible tourism photography. Marlene asked permission to take the photo and visited the family of the girl on the left. This was a slow visit to a rural town, respecting the rhythm and valuing the traditions of rural Mexico.

Más Alla

by Ron Mader

This week I received via the dreaded email attachment the poster (seen below) about an upcoming tourism conference in Oaxaca. The idea behind the poster is great and asks academics and academic wannabees to think about tourism that goes beyond the books (más alla de los libros). But walk the talk! In terms of conversing about tourism using the Web (más alla de los libros), this conference and many like it fall short. Woefully short.

Personally, I find this event and many of its kin, truly wonderful hip and up-to-date venues … provided you’re living in 1977. If you’re not living in the Lost Universe that asks where where you when Star Wars debuted, then you might ask, what would it be like to promote tourism in 2010? Here is where Mexico falls short. Tianguis Turistico? Great idea a few decades ago. Not so much in the 2010s.

Don’t get me wrong. Mexico has wonderful options for visitors and locals, but conversing about the long tail of options is where officials fail and where TripAdvisor, Flickr and YouTube succeed in the current info climate. What worked in the 1970s simply will not thrive in the 2010s. We’re beyond Peak Oil and we’re beyond Peak Tourism. What can work is slow travel and the burgeoning local travel movement.

Foodies love Mexico and it makes sense to have events that showcase local cuisine. I invite anyone visiting Oaxaca to try out the chocolate and mezcal treasure hunts.

Looking beyond this particular event, what should event organizers change? Almost everything and we have a few ideas on making conferences more engaging for locals and visitors. Highly recommended listening is the ABC program The Future of Conferences.

On the bright side, most countries are adapting to the new digital divide measured no longer but whether or not do you or do you not use the Web but how well you use it as a tool for conversation instead of as a megaphone.

Más Alla de Los Libros

Friday of Sorrows (Viernes de Dolores)

by Ron Mader

Mexico celebrates Easter with great passion. In 2010 Holy Week (Semana Santa) is celebrated March 28- April 4.

Tomorrow is the celebration of Viernes de Dolores or Friday of Sorrows. The tradition dates to the Colonial period when priests consecrated a chapel to the Virgen de los Dolores. Altars are built in public areas, markets, homes and churches to commemorate the pain of the Virgin Mary. Altars are decorated with seedlings, straw flowers and chia pets. Check out the photos!

Viernes de Dolores @ 2010

FotoSafari in Oaxaca!

by Ron Mader

Oaxaca City — Parque Juárez, also known as El Llano, is one of the largest city parks and one of the most noteworthy urban spaces in Mexico. Join us for a free FotoSafari Sunday, March 14 at 8:30am. We’ll look for native trees, exotic species and the living historic monuments that are a testament to Mexico’s Independence celebration. Afterward upload your favorite photos to the Flickr Groups Arboles de Oaxaca and City Parks.

lion in winter

Valentine’s Day in Oaxaca

by Ron Mader

It’s Valentine’s Day! Here in Oaxaca for the past few weeks we’ve been working with Mixe (Ayuuk) friends as they’re preparing a special meal this afternoon. Today we’re going to fill our hearts and our stomachs!

14 de febrero (poster for oaxaca)

To get into the spirit, try pronouncing the Mixe (Ayuuk) expressions of love!:

To’k aa tö’k joot
De todo corazón te quiero
With all my heart I love you

Tsokï tö’k aa tö’k joot
Ama de todo corazón
Love with all one’s heart

Akijpxa ja tsojkïn ti yo’oyï
Ama a todos por igual
Love for all in an equal manner

Yï tsojkïn ka’a x’a’ix xpëjkïmpitït
Ama sin condición
Love without condition

2010 Responsible Tourism Fair in Oaxaca

by Ron Mader

A group of friends in Oaxaca are creating the Responsible Tourism Fair (January 17-30), our 10th event since 2001 and a veritable model of frugality and slow travel.

feria de turismo responsable

Visitors have a number of options, including weaver-guided walks in Teotitlán del Valle, photosafaris in public parks and authentic indigenous meals including Caldo de Piedra (Chinanteco), Maatsy (Mixe) and tamales (Zapotec-style). Self-guided treasure hunts asks foodies to try various cheeses, chocolates and mezcal. Photographers are invited to share photos in relevant Flickr Groups with prizes to be awarded at the end of the fair.

Responsible tourism is treating others the way they wish to be treated. A growing number of travelers want their journeys to be less invasive and more beneficial to the local community. They want to better understand the culture of the people they meet in the places they visit. Travelers should be mindful that they are entering a place that is someone else’s home. Interpretation begins long before the trip and ends long afterward. Those who enjoy a trip will look back fondly for the rest of their lives.

If you cannot attend in person, there are many ways to participate. We are inviting our friends to create your own RT event during this time and share the news via Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and all of the cool toys and and tools of Web 2.0. Twitter Hashtag: #rtf2010