by Ron Mader
Teotitlán del Valle hosts its third annual Fiesta del Maíz (Corn Party) December 12-13. Celebrating more than 7,000 years of culture and history in Oaxaca’s Central Valleys, the event pays tribute to the mainstay of agricultural sustainability in Mesoamerica – corn. It’s a grassroots campaign that is educational, not to mention delicious fun.
Event organizer Zeferino Mendoza says the two-day party includes something for everyone — lectures, parades, tastings and a market showcasing various corn products.
The Fiesta began in 2006 as an innovative event to engage visitors and locals during a time of social unrest and uncertainty. The turn-out grows each year.
A copy of the 2008 poster is available via free download
by Ron Mader
Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated throughout the Americas and combines ancient indigenous traditions and modern fanfare. It’s a whimsical and yet serious holiday that takes place between October 31st and November 2nd.
Mexico may have the most spectacular festivals in the hemisphere. Well known are festivities in Oaxaca, Michoacán, and Mexico City.
YOUR TURN – We are seeking photos of the holiday in the Day of the Dead Group hosted on Flickr. Photographers are asked to share their own photos. Registration on Flickr — http://www.flickr.com — is required.
Quito, Ecuador – Planeta.com’s Ron Mader will show videos and photos
from Mexico at South American Explorers, Jorge Washington #311 y
Leonidas Plaza, on Thursday, September 18, 6pm.
MexicoNight (NocheMexicana) explores the conservation movement, Web
2.0, Mexican markets, traditional crafts and the ever-changing views
of what constitutes ecotourism and responsible tourism. Free gifts (!)
include the 2008 jaguar calendar, the map of historic and notable
trees in Oaxaca City, examples of business cards from artesanos and
bits and bobs of tourism materials.
The presentation includes higher quality versions of one or more of
the videos Mercado Central de Abastos, Oaxaca Flickrmeet 2008 and
Caldo de Piedra. There will also be a fast-moving auction of Mexican
crafts and sale of the famous postcards from Oaxaca.
Lessons from Mexico
by Ron Mader
To raise awareness of the extensive cultural and biological diversity in Oaxaca, Mexico, postcards with images taken by Ron Mader are being designed with Oaxaca City-based graphics design company Despacharte.
“Postcards are a terrific souvenir of a trip and a reminder of people and places worth remembering,” said Ron Mader, a journalist based in Oaxaca City.
Each postcard includes a bilingual description and a classic Mexican proverb. The postcards are on sale at bookstores, hotels and cafes. Consult the Oaxaca Wikispace to find out where to find the postcards.
In an age of email and twitter, postcards are an example of slow travel.
“By using images that are less common and by including comments from locals, we highlight the value of Oaxaca’s unique cultural and biological diversity,” Mader said, adding that when purchased in Oaxaca any postcard can be sent to friends and family at a leisurely pace.