MISCELLANOUS MEXICO INFORMATION
Premium Mexico Links
Premium Mexico Links
MISCELLANEOUS MEXICO INFORMATION
Mexico is a large country and we have categorized much of it in our 124 directories. However there are some categories that are not as easy to define, so we have created this Miscellaneous section as a sort of Mexican Grab Bag! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your surfing!
If you think you may need the services of an emergency Air Evacuation company while visiting Mexico visit the web site of SKY MED INTERNATIONAL or call them at (800) 475-9633 for additional information.
Looking for additional piece of mind for your next trip to Mexico. In case of a medical emergency it can be a huge advantage to be a member of BI-NATIONAL EMERGENCY SERVICES. Review their web site for additional information.
The remote locations in Mexico host some of the last remaining natural open spaces on the planet. As we proceed into the new millennium, it is amazing that much of Mexico remains unspoiled. However, development poses a very real threat to Mexico's open land and pristine waters. Virgin Mexico is subject to abuse from many sides, including over-fishing, over-hunting, and over-development both on land and along it's 6,000 mile coastline.
Fortunately, we as a global society are becoming increasingly aware of how fragile our Earthly environment is, at a time when we can still make a significant impact on an area as large as Mexico.
The goal of preserving Mexico's natural elements will not come easy. As a third world country Mexico will always have the conflicting ideals of culture and employment versus conservation. It is easy for an outsider to fight for causes such as saving the turtle or the prevention of over-fishing. It is a different perspective, however, if you and your family have had a history of living off of the sea, and your very livelihood is at risk. The learning curve takes time, on both sides, and it is difficult to keep everyone happy as solutions are negotiated and implemented.
In the long run, there is good reason to believe that much of Mexico's natural wonders can be saved. But it will take time and cooperation on all sides.
This section of Mexico Expo was designed as a forum for environmental causes, to help with the planned growth of Mexico. The organizations here each have a specific concern, and reviewing their information is the first step towards moving forward on each issue.
What better way to learn Spanish than to dunk yourself into an environment specifically set up to teach Spanish! These language schools are very effective, and usually offer the extra value of learning about the Mexican culture as well. Ole!
To learn Spanish from the comfort of your own home via telephone or the Internet visit the web site of MULTILINGUAL CENTER.
For a fun stab at Spanish, check out the word translator at the FREE TRANSLATION web site!
Baja's missions played a very special part in the Peninsula's history. The 31 missions built in Baja constituted more than half of the 52 total missions that were built along the western coast of North America. Before starting construction of the first mission in Loreto in 1697, missionaries had over 100 years of experience in building missions on the mainland in Mexico. However, unlike the missions on the mainland that were designed to be self-sufficient enterprises, the remote and harsh conditions of Baja made it nearly impossible to build and maintain these sites without ongoing assistance from the mainland.
Although the Missionaries and Indians who built Baja's missions performed an amazing feat under the circumstances, supplies from across the Sea of Cortez in the port of Guaymas played an important part in keeping the mission system intact.
The missions that were established were not random acts of construction, but rather well planned projects following established rules set forth by the authorities. These completed missions played a very important part in Mexico's history, and were ultimately the driving force behind the permanent colonization of Mexico's Baja Peninsula.
The missionary system (not to be confused with the missionary position) was established by three different religious groups, and was a common tool for Spanish expansion into new territories. The Jesuits and the Dominicans were the most successful, although kudos should be given to the Franciscans for a significant yet mostly unproductive attempt.
The road to the development of the 31 missions in Baja was rocky indeed, and the lack of government financing made the construction of most of the missions a private endeavor. Difficult terrain, unforgiving weather, and resistance from unsympathetic local Indians only added to the struggle. This was especially true in the southern missions where the local Indians were polygamists, and who resented the Christian values being imposed upon them. Indian uprisings ultimately led to much of the demise of the missions in La Paz, Santiago, Todos Santos and San Jose del Cabo. These same Indians also paid a heavy price for the mission system, where their population decreased from 50,000 to about 5,000 due to epidemics of small pox and syphilis brought in by the missionary groups.
Contributing to the demise of the missions in Baja was Mexico's independence from Spain, which promoted a conversion of the missions to local Pueblos.
By the early 1800's the big push for missions moved north under the guidance of Father Junipero Serra, who started the system of 21 missions that are located in what is now the state of California.
Many thanks to those Baja Mision fans who have helped add information to this section of Mexico Expo, especially David K. We graciously welcome any additional data (or links) on the misions of Baja from anyone who wishes to pass on accurate information.
As we begin the new millennium, a very important event is in motion to help restore two of Baja's missions, Mision San Francisco de Borja and Mision Santa Gertrudis la Magna. Father Mario Menghini Pecci, who has finally retired after a lifetime of pastoral duties at a church near San Jose del Cabo (at the age of 69), is moving forward with his life goal to restore these two special Baja missions. Your donations can help make his dream a reality. Donations may be sent to his organization:
BAJA CALIFORNIA MISSIONS FOUNDATIONS
For additional information on this project, their e-mail address is email@example.com.
For more information on tours to Baja's missions, stop by ECOTUR MISSION TRIPS.
And for an awesome wall map of all the California and Baja missions
you can contact Garza Communications Group by e-mail
Okay, we all have our stories about the evils of Tequila...they often start out very similar..."I can't drink Tequila anymore, because once I..." and then the victim goes on to tell how the ravages of this wild spirit turned their life upside down for a week one night! Tequila does seem to be able to bring out the best and worst in people...usually bringing out more of what an individual already has going when they are sober!
The good people of Mexico alone consume over 45,000,000 liters of tequila each year, and this unique drink is quickly circling the globe as a premier ingredient for cocktails, or taken straight up. Exports to the world are now close to $400,000,000 per year. Yikes!
Looking for a good article on Tequila? Check out this shot ABOUT TEQUILA by Cabo San Lucas resident John Bragg.
For a different slant on Tequila see what Baja author ANN HAZARD has to say about the liquid gold!
And, if you really like Tequila, you gotta check out the web page of JOSE CUERVO TEQUILA.
Think you've heard of all of the different types of Tequila? Think again! This is a list of your options if you stop by for a shot of tequila at PANCHOS in Cabo San Lucas!
Ready to try something different? Drop by the web site of TEQUILA ROSE for a new flavor in Tequila!
Need more good stuff on tequila? Wax your board, grab your wetsuit and surf TEQUILA - CULTURE & MYTHS. Yikes!
THE HISTORY OF TEQUILA
Sometime before the year 1,000 AD an elite member of an Indian tribe on a plateau in northern Mexico discovered quite by accident that the sweet water inside the heart of the maguey plant, when removed from the plant and allowed to ferment, transformed into a creamy liquid that was quite pleasant to drink. And to his delight, after drinking substantial quantities of this sweet liquid, the Indian noticed that the world seemed to be a much happier place to live. Thus was born the predecessor to tequila, pulque. And if you have ever tasted pulque you will indeed learn to quickly appreciate the flavor of today's tequilas.
Always looking for new ways to catch a buzz, another Mexican Indian (and you thought these guys just sat around all day and smoked peyote!) discovered that a similar process could be performed with the agave plant, also common in the central high plains of Mexico. After maturing for approximately 10 years, the roundish ball of the agave plant is stripped of it's leaves, cooked for 24 to 48 hours, and then pounded and crushed to extract the liquid inside. Then, after a specific aging process in wood barrels that varies depending upon the type of tequila being made, the tequila is ready to party! The question is, are you ready for the tequila?
TYPES OF TEQUILA
The government of Mexico strictly controls the making and labeling of tequila to protect the product's integrity. By law all tequila must have at least 51% Blue Agave Tequila ingredients.
Want to have fun at a party? Become a tequila expert. The girls will love ya!
Whales are one of the special treasures of Baja! There are few places on the planet where these large mammals can be viewed so easily, and so close up. It only takes one whale sighting to create a memory that can last a lifetime.
Whales that visit Baja incluse the California Gray whale, Finback whales, Sperm whales, and Blue whales. Come...enter the world of the whales!!!
Baja is well known as a great place to whale watch. The Peninsula is home to several different types of whales, including the California Gray whale and the Finback whale. While the California Grays are just visiting for short periods of time along the west coast, the Finbacks are full-time residents in the Sea of Cortez. Both breeds are a spectacle to behold and a true natural treasure.
The whale that seems to get everyone most excited in Mexico is the California Gray whale. This magnificent creature spends summers in the waters off of Alaska, and then heads 6,000 miles south to the warmer lagoons of Baja in January, February and March. Their main reason for heading south is to mate and give birth in the protected shallow lagoons in Baja.
The three main lagoons these whales return to every year are (from north to south) Laguna Ojo de Liebre about half way down the Peninsula, Laguna San Ignacio about 100 miles further south, and Bahia Magdalena, which stretches about 100 miles from the northern end to the southern end, below Laguna San Ignacio. All three areas offer an excellent venue for whale watching up close and personal, and stories of close encounters and whale "petting" are becoming increasingly common.
After being hunted to near extinction at the turn of the century for their blubber and oil, these gentle giants have grown in population to about 23,000 today. Debate about removing the California Gray from the "Endangered Species" designation and an increased level of awareness of the plight of these mammals is proof that mankind can indeed turn around an almost tragic situation.
For years the northern lagoon (often called Scammon's Lagoon after the whaler who originally discovered this 'hiding place') was the main venue for whale watching. This is where the whales were originally discovered by whalers, and this became the main location for whale watching for many years. After a while it became common knowledge that Laguna San Ignacio a bit further south was also popular with the California Gray, and in the 1990's a small contingent of boats started offering whale watching in this 15 mile long lagoon. Bahia Magdalena, another 100 miles south, is now becoming an increasingly popular whale watching location, mainly because of it's proximity to the International Airports in LA PAZ and LORETO. A small percentage of whales make it as far south as CABO SAN LUCAS and the EAST CAPE, but there are no large lagoons in those areas for viewing them.
There are several companies that specialize in whale watch tours to all three locations. Many of these companies are listed below. Most of these tours include lodging and transportation to the lagoons, and some include airfare as well. The shorter basic tours can be quite affordable, and the longer and more elaborate excursions can be expensive. So no matter how much disposable time and money you have, Baja's whales are waiting for you!
WHALE WATCH COMPANIES
Companies that specialize in helping visitors views Baja's whales perform a very valuable service. Most of these companies have had years of experience, and have the whale watching routine down to an art. There are three basic methods to enjoy the whales...
LAND BASED COMPANIES
Land based whale watch companies are those that provide transportation (and often lodging) to the whale watching sites by either driving down or by a combination of flying down and driving. These adventures are usually shorter in length than the liveaboard boat trips mentioned below.
BOAT BASED COMPANIES
Spending the night on a boat! Now there's a way to really get in touch with nature. Most of the boat-based whale watch companies offer a nice vessel with very nice accommodations. These companies offer whale watching on both the Pacific side of Baja as well as the Sea of Cortez. These adventures can last from 7 to 14 days and usually involve much more that just whale watching. Exploring Baja's empty beaches and deserted islands can also be on the itinerary.
CARLOS FIESTA'S HOT TIP!
If you have always dreamed of seeing the California Gray Whales up close
and personal, but didn't want to sign up for a package tour in the process,
then this Hot Tip is for you!
Of the three main viewing lagoons for Baja whale watching, Bahia
Magdalena is the closest to an international airport. And of the various
whale watching sites in this 100 mile long lagoon, one particular port
is especially well set up for the independent group who wants to plan
their own trip. Puerto Lopez Mateos is a sleepy Mexican fishing village
located less than a 2 hour drive from the international airport at Loreto.
This special viewing venue has everything you need to experience the
whales just like you have imagined! The 2 hour dive from Loreto airport
is all on a well paved highway. The whale watch departure point has a
parking lot, small restaurant, bathrooms, curious shops and boat rentals.
Boats are available without reservations on a first come, first serve
basis, and prices run about $80 per boat (maximum 6 people) for a 2
hour tour including a captain. These skippers know right where to go
to put you in the middle of the action!
The lagoon at this location is narrow and protected, making it a
great place to get close to the whales and for taking pictures.
The best month to go is February, so book your flight on AeroCalifornia
(flight #162) by January to experience the trip of a lifetime. And
don't tell anyone about this Hot Top...let's keep this a secret
as long as possible!
Of the three main viewing lagoons for Baja whale watching, Bahia Magdalena is the closest to an international airport. And of the various whale watching sites in this 100 mile long lagoon, one particular port is especially well set up for the independent group who wants to plan their own trip. Puerto Lopez Mateos is a sleepy Mexican fishing village located less than a 2 hour drive from the international airport at Loreto.
This special viewing venue has everything you need to experience the whales just like you have imagined! The 2 hour dive from Loreto airport is all on a well paved highway. The whale watch departure point has a parking lot, small restaurant, bathrooms, curious shops and boat rentals. Boats are available without reservations on a first come, first serve basis, and prices run about $80 per boat (maximum 6 people) for a 2 hour tour including a captain. These skippers know right where to go to put you in the middle of the action!
The lagoon at this location is narrow and protected, making it a great place to get close to the whales and for taking pictures.
The best month to go is February, so book your flight on AeroCalifornia (flight #162) by January to experience the trip of a lifetime. And don't tell anyone about this Hot Top...let's keep this a secret as long as possible!