10202018Sat
Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 7am

‘Reciclon’ Electronic Recycling Project in full swing

It’s normal to see shopping carts filled with electronics rolling away from Wal-Mart towards the waiting cars of happy purchasers, but last weekend the heavily laden carts were being pushed the other way by conscientious consumers anxious to give their worn-out computers, printers and other devices a “decent burial.”


The basalt sculptors of San Lucas Evangelista: Hard work, hard rock & mind the flying chips!

San Lucas is one of those sleepy little communities lying along the shore of Lake Cajititlán, just 20 kilometers northwest of Chapala. Well, sleepy it may appear if you walk around the plaza and fail to spot even a stray dog, but don’t be deceived by appearances. There’s plenty of activity going on behind the scenes in almost every backyard, for this little town has been home to makers of metates and molcajetes for at least 600 years and probably a lot more. Metates, of course, are flat slabs of volcanic rock for grinding lime-softened corn, while molcajetes are round mortars traditionally with three legs, used for pulverizing chili peppers, tomatoes and other ingredients used in salsas. Today, as in the past, each of these kitchen tools is hand-made from appropriate native rock which, as you might suspect, can be found in great abundance only minutes from the village.

Skype unites far-flung Mexican family – and makes soup to boot

Many years ago I became a member of a Mexican family when I married Susana, one of the nine children of Francisco and Carmen Ibarra of El Platanal, Michoacán. Most of the Ibarra children grew up on the grounds of a hydroelectric plant located in a remote corner of a veritable Michoacán jungle and run by their father, an electrical engineer. The children had no other playmates but themselves and not even schoolmates, as their mother was the local “school marm” sent by the government to teach at La Planta, as the power-generating facility was called.

Helping Mexicans improve their English: Wordlists and Word Games

Because you are a native speaker of English, there’s a lot you can do to help interested Mexicans improve their command of your language. In a previous article, we took a look at the most important technique in a good teacher’s basket of tricks: giving feedback in such a way that students can easily discover and self-correct their own mistakes.

The remarkable petroglyphs of Lake La Luz

“We want to show you some petroglyphs located not far from Arandas. We’ve never seen anything like them before.” This email message immediately grabbed my attention because it had been sent by two archaeologists, Rodrigo and Cyntia Esparza.  If the Esparzas considered this rock art extraordinary, I told myself, it must be extraordinary indeed. So, I made an extra effort to try to set up an expedition to Arandas—no easy task because the site was at the end of “un camino feo” (literally, an ugly road) and only high-clearance vehicles would be suitable for reaching the place.