Archive for the ‘mexico’ Category

Mi vida sin tu amor sera
como un camino que
que no sabe donde va
solo un recuerdo del pasado
una historia que ha llegado a su final

Mi vida sin tu amor sera
la de un amante con un roto corazon
mi vida sin tu amor es un barco en alta mar
sin puerto ni ilusion.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el crudo invierno de mi soledad
en el silencio de la inmensidad
un alma que no encuentra su lugar.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el tibio abrazo que no volvera
sera la soledad de estar sin ti
yo sin tu amor, yo sin tu amor no se vivir.

Mi vida sin tu amor sera
como un enigma que no tiene solucion
vidas sin tu amor es nube que se va
tu adios se la llevo.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el crudo invierno de mi soledad
en el silencio de la inmensidad
un alma que no encuentra su lugar.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el tibio abrazon que no volvera
sera la soledad de estar sin ti,
yo sin tu amor,
yo sin tu amor no se vivir.

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teotihuacan1pTeotihuacan (fl. 300 to 700) was the ancient and holy city of Mexico, “the city where the gods were created”. At its height it had 160,000 people, making it the sixth largest city in the world at the time. In the centre of the city was the third largest pyramid of the world, the Pyramid of the Sun. Teotihuacan is about 40 km north-east of Mexico City.

We do not know what the city called itself. All we have is the Aztec name: Teotihuacan, “the city of the gods”. It was the seed of a civilization that had lasted more than a thousand years by the time the Spanish appeared. Only the Mayans were able to pass Teotihuacan in science and the arts.

The city fell in 700, destroyed by fire. Mexico fell into a dark age that lasted until the time of the Toltecs 250 years later.

In its day the city was the centre of religion and trade. It seemed to have been the centre of an empire too: it was rich yet had no walls and its gods demanded regular human sacrifice which meant fighting and ruling foreigners. Under one of their temples are 130 bodies.

We do not know what language the city spoke. It may have been Nahuatl, what the Aztecs spoke. None of its books have come down to our time.

Teotihuacan started out as a place where people journeyed to in order to worship the gods. In time it built huge pyramids to the gods and grew into a big city. It was ruled by priests who lived in palaces. On holidays the priests walked up the steps to the top of the pyramids and sacrificed humans to the gods.

The priests lived in the centre of the city. Further out were craftsmen and businessmen, who came from all over Mexico. About two-thirds of the people who lived in the city were farmers. They went out to work their fields in the morning and came back at night. Despite that the city did not grow enough food to feed itself but also needed trade and tribute to live.

The Street of the Dead is the main street. It is very wide and runs north to the holy mountain of Cerro Gordo. Along the street were the main temples, palaces and squares.  The two main temples were:

  • The Pyramid of the Sun at the centre of the city, the largest pyramid in Mexico and the third largest in the world. It is now 63 metres tall but once it was 73. The base 225 by 222 metres – about two Manhattan city blocks on a side.
  • The Pyramid of the Moon is to the north along the Street of the Dead. It is smaller, only 43 metres tall.

There is also the temple of Quetzalcoatl, a snake god with feathers seen in the sky as the morning star. The square in front of the temple can hold 100,000, more than half the city.

Under the city are caves and tunnels.

– Abagond, 2009.

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Miguel Covarrubias (1902-1957) was a Mexican illustrator. I love his pictures! So did Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Vogue and the other top magazines of New York where his pictures appeared in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He also did pictures for books, like those of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Pearl Buck and his own books about Bali and southern Mexico. He was part of the Harlem Renaissance.

Sometimes when you read about people from the past you wish you could go back in time and meet them. Dorothy Dandridge and Covarrubias are like that for me.

He lived mainly in Mexico City, where he grew up in the bohemian part of the city, and New York, where he became famous. But he also travelled the world. He saw San Francisco, Shanghai, Bali, Vietnam, India, Africa and Paris.

He dropped out of school at age 14 and drew maps for his father, who was a civil engineer for the government. In 1923 he left Mexico and came to New York. Vanity Fair saw his talent almost right away. He drew for them and other top magazines. They loved his caricatures of famous people.

Although he drew and painted for magazines and books, his work took on something of the style of the high art of the time. You can see something of Picasso and even Dali in his pictures. It may have looked cool then, but it looks dated now.

He knew all the best places in the city to go for drink, dance and music, many of them in Harlem. And he knew some of the most interesting people, like Eugene O’Neill, Langston Hughes and Frida Kahlo. He knew John Huston and Al Hirschfeld when they were still nobodies in New York.

In 1930 he married a dancer, Rosa Rolanda, and took her to the island of Bali for their honeymoon. They stayed there for three years! When he came back to New York he wrote and illustrated a beautiful book about the island and its people, the way it was before Australian holidaymakers took over the place.

I love his pictures of black and Balinese women. Some of them are pretty bad, but most of them are good, even wonderful. He did not draw them as if they were white women with a few things different. He drew them as if they were the only women on earth; he drew them as a man who loved how they looked, having seen them from living in Bali and New York.

Covarrubias loved to do those maps of countries with pictures showing what each part of the country is known for.

Covarrubias also did some wall pictures. You can still see some of them in Mexico City. He did one for the 1938 San Francisco world’s fair.

He died at 52 of blood poisoning. Rosa lived on and became friends with Adriana Williams, a writer. Williams drank in all of Rosa’s stories about Covarrubias and wrote books about him.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe (1531) is the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary when she appeared in Mexico in December 1531 to Saint Juan Diego, ten years after the Spanish took over the country.

If you live in Mexico or America you have seen the picture: a woman dressed in a mantle of blue with stars of gold. Rays of light are coming out from her. The Catholic Church says it is the one true picture of Mary.

On the morning of December 9th Juan Diego, a simple Aztec farmer, was on his way to morning mass. When he crossed over a hill called Tepeyac he heard the beautiful singing of birds. Then he saw a beautiful woman dressed in blue. Light as bright as the sun was shining out from her. She called him by name and spoke to him in his mother tongue.

She told him she was the Mother of God. She wanted him to go to the city (what we now call Mexico City) and ask the bishop to build a church on that hill.

He asked her to send someone else: he was just a simple farmer in the country; the bishop was an important man who lived in a palace in the city. But Mary said no, she had chosen him.

So he went.

He sat waiting for hours to see the bishop. When he told him the story the bishop did not believe a word of it and sent him on his way.

The next day Juan Diego saw Mary again at the hill. Again she asked him to see the bishop and ask for a church to be built there. Again he waited for hours. This time the bishop asked for proof that it truly was Mary.

Two days later on December 12th Juan Diego saw her again and said the bishop wanted proof. She said go to the top of the hill, there you will find your proof. At the top were roses growing in the cold of the coming winter. He took off his cloak and Mary put the roses in it.

When he got to the bishop he opened his cloak to show him the roses. The bishop could not believe his eyes: not the roses but what he saw on his cloak: a picture of Mary. That same picture of her that you keep seeing in Mexico to this day.

The story spread like wildfire, among the Spanish, the Aztecs and the other people of Mexico. The church was built on the hill and people came from near and far. Juan Diego lived in a small house nearby and took care of the church. He told everyone about the Blessed Virgin and what she told him. In six years six million Mexicans became Christians.

If you go there now you will see a huge ugly church (now part of the city), but inside is the picture. It gets more pilgrims than any where else in North or South America.

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