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The tortilla, sun of the corn.

Unique, traditional, hearty, hot, with salt, toasted, in a taco, al pastor, in quesadilla, Chilaquil, sope, in soup, by hand, griddle , blue, white, yellow , fat , skinny , small, large, the Tortilla is the symbol and the older tradition of the culinary culture of our country.

 Beloved by Mexicans regardless of social class to which she belongs, the tortilla

maiz-grano-sustento-mexico

is consumed every day as our bread alone or in multiple ways to present rich, accompanying the colors and scents of the exotic cuisine of Mexico, the tortilla is, with its distinctive simplicity, the protagonist of the Mexican dishes, and along with the tequila and chili, culinary sign representing the Mexican .

But when, where and how the tortilla is born ? Its origin is so ancient that its origin is not known with accuracy. However, we know that the pre-Hispanic history is related to corn and a few myths and legends found different references to it .

In the province of Chalco is said that the gods descended from heaven to a cave where he slept with XochiquétzalPiltzintecutli; Tzentéotl born of that union , the maize god , who crawled under the earth and in turn gave other seeds , of her hair came out cotton, sweet potato fingers and nails another kind of corn. Therefore, this god was the most beloved of all and called him “Lord loved you.”

tortilla

 

” The origin of the tortilla is very old – master says Desiderio Hernandez Xochitiotzin , muralist and beloved chronicler of Tlaxcala – and it is impossible to tell where it was invented , as the tortilla is also found in the Valley of Mexico , Toluca and Michoacan . “

In the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya quiches, describes how in the creation stories of indigenous Mesoamerican corn and humanity are inextricably linked . We are people of corn and corn is of the people , because this plant is not in the wild.

Corn can’t live free , and therefore dependent for survival on the hands of the people who shelled, planting and harvesting. The Mexican needs the corn as much as the corn needs the Mexican.

Fuente: México Desconocido.

Oaxacan Markets

mercadoDuring the pre-Hispanic era, markets where placed in the places that were considered the heart of the city.

A crier carried a decorated banner which announced the day that would be consecrated for this activity. The surprising and innovating sight of the tianguis really made an impression on the Spanish conquistadors; it was an impressive example of organization and the variety of Mexican products. The essence of pre-Hispanic Mexico remained in the country throughout the years; one of the characteristics, which endure, for everyone’s enjoyment, is the ancient tianguis structured in the indigenous way.

Plaza day or great market is still present today, especially in the world of everyday life in provincial Mexico. Today, like before, a trading culture still remains in some places; this need for exchange continues to be the reason that the plazas are the place where different communities connect. The word plaza came from the Spanish word for central area, normally surrounded by religious and government buildings, which is where these markets always took place.

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It would not be an over statement to say that in the State of Oaxaca we can find, still this day in age, we can find the most diverse tips of Mexican markets. The many ethnic groups, with their products and traditions, mark the Oaxaca markets with color and flavor with a variety unmatched it the entire country. Farmers, artisans, and merchants bring their products to weekly markets and there, in the common plazas of different towns, an unparalleled social exchange begins.

It’s hard to say which market is the best of all. In the Oaxaca city market you can find a varied range of colors and textures: pottery, textiles embroidered by a waist loom, flowers, local chocolate, egg bread, leather products; an endless variety of edible insects to which aphrodisiac properties have been attributed and are used in many regional dishes.

In the coastal Mixtec region, the Pinotepa National market is famous for its contrasts and diverse communities that congregate weekly. The Istmo region has two very important markets: Juchitán  & Tehuantepec, at the later you can find iguana tamales, a local specialty. In the Mixtec region there are many famous markets like Tlaxiaco, Huajuapan de León, Juxtlahuaca and Putla. Visiting Oaxaca and visiting its markets is, without a doubt, an experience you cannot miss.

 

 

 

Source: Mexico Descocido

COATEPEC: A COLONIAL JEWEL IN THE SIERRA OF VERACRUZ

landsacape CoatepecOn the skirts of the Pico de Orizaba and Cofre de Perote, this small town stands out, distinguished by its wide houses built in the Andaluz tradition with beautiful interior gardens. Around the street you can smell hints of toasted coffee, distinctive seal of its magic, which can also be seen in its landscapes, parks and haciendas.

Coatepec is merely eight kilometers south of Xalapa, at 1,250 meters above sea level; it has a temperate climate with very scarce variation in temperature throughout the year. With its combination of mountain forest, low jungles, cultivated lands, flower fields and greenhouses, this town boast of wonderful vegetation. The primary agricultural product is coffee, with national prestige followed by bananas, mangos and other tropical fruits.

Mesón del Alférez Coatepec1

The name Coatepec derives from náhuatl cóatl (snake) y tepetl (hill), which is to say ‘Hill of snakes.’ This town’s fame can be dated back to the XIXth century when the Arabica coffee seed was first brought over to be planted in its fertile lands. It is now considered to be the coffee zone with the most tradition and prestige it the entire country.

One more defining factor of Coatepec is its houses. To this day, they still reflect the way of life, the origin and the aesthetic tastes of the locals.  Many keep their original floor plans and use the spaces the way they were intended to be used. The traditional Coatepec house has an average with of 20 meters and the access in through a large wooden door, flanked on either side by two or three iron rod covered windows. A long the entire façade it is decorated by a frieze and the windows hold beveled glass in order to keep the home warm and private.

Casa coatepec

The local cuisine is another shining jewel of Coatepec. Here you can eat exquisite regional dishes such as: mole, chileatole, Mexican antojitos, exotic meats, shrimp, trout and seafood. To follow a homemade local meal, in Coatepec, there is no better dessert than lemon sherbet served with orange leaves as your spoon. And finally a nice up of local coffee with masafina, bread made out of ricotta cheese and baked in a wood burning oven.

There are many things to enjoy in this sleepy mountainside town, you just have to take the time and wander a bit off the beaten path; you might me surprised what can be found.

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Source:www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx

10 Reasons to Visit Veracruz

The city of Veracruz is famous throughout Mexico for its festive atmosphere and people. The nights are especially lively in the zocalo, where the locals congregate in the late afternoon for a drink, a coffee or to dance danzón. This seaside city has an abundance of life and spirit which cannot be described; it is truly a city which must be experienced. Yet, this vibrant city is only one reason to visit this seaside state.

Veracruz offers a wide range of options from outdoor activities to cultural immersion in the country’s recent and ancient history. It’s also home to a rich culinary tradition which will delight your senses.

Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to visit Veracruz:

Foto Café

  1. The Magical towns of Coatepec and Xico- Coatepec is a picturesque coffee-producing town a half hour’s drive from Xalapa, with a quaint main square, while Xico, a smaller town nearby is home to the beautiful 80 foot Texolo waterfall.
  2. IMG_7880The Magical town of Papantla- Located in the northern part of the state, this town is the birthplace of vanilla and the ritual of the Papantla Flyers, men of the Totonac ethnicity who climb a pole and swing down to the tunes of a flute and a drum, a ritual declared UNESCO Cultural Heritage.
  3. Pico de Orizaba- At 18,491 feet tall, Mexico’s highest peak and third highest in North America, this snow capped volcano is a challenge even to experienced climbers.
  4. Los Tuxtlas – South of the city of Veracruz, lays the region of exuberant vegetation called Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, the heart of Olmec territory and a land full of mysticism.Rafting in Veracruz!
  5. Jalcomulco- One of the best places in Mexico for white water rafting, merely 30 minutes away from Xalapa this town offers rafting at many levels allowing for hours and hours of fun.
  6. Costa Esmeralda- This stretch shoreline, to the north of the city of Veracruz, offers unspoiled beaches framed by green fields and small boutique hotels.
  7. antiguaLa Antigua & Cempoala- La Antigua is the site of one of the first Spanish settlements in Mexico and home of the oldest church in the Americas. Nearby Cempoala, is a testament of a much older history, a Totonac archeological site of what was in its day the largest city on the gulf coast.
  8. Tuxpan- A coastal town with 30 miles of beaches, Tuxpan is a great place for water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. This town also offers boat rides along the river and a one of the best carnivals of the state.
  9. Xalapa and el Tajín- The state capital, Xalapa, is a city with a busy cultural scene, a rainy climate and dense vegetation. Near the state Capital is EL Tajín, the largest and most important archeological site in the state. With an architectural style unique in all of Mexico. DSC_0102
  10. The coffee and Vanilla route- Veracruz is home to come of the best coffee and vanilla in the world. Come and travel a  route that will take you through coffee plantations in Xico and Coatepec and ancient vanilla plantations neat Papantla.