Tag Archives: cholula

Magical Cholula Revisited

22 Oct

Memories can shape our lives. We can run from them or toward them. And if they are significant enough, we can build little alters to them and freeze them in time. That’s what I did to the village of Cholula.

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We never saw the volcano due to the rainy season.

I left home in 1973, twenty-one years old, and went to “study abroad” in Mexico. I lived with a local family, studied intensive Spanish and raised as much hell as I could. In those days it wasn’t much.

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Making tamales with my Mexican family and fellow student Brian.

In 2013, I saw the youthful dream of living in Mexico realized as my wife and I retired and built a home on the southern most border near Belize on beautiful lake Bacalar. It wasn’t colonial Central Mexico, but you can’t have everything. I longed to go back to Cholula and visit my old stomping grounds. Boy was I in for a shock. A lot had changed in forty years.

Dirt roads and hand-made brick buildings have been replaced by cobblestone and cement block architecture. There is a modern indoor mercado that resembles all others in Mexico. People were fascinated by my old pictures but no one could remember where they had been taken.

This was the 1973 view from the Cholula pyramid looking down on the old mental hospital. I was fascinated at the time with the gardens (right) that the patients worked providing their own food and therapeutic activity.

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Today the hospital is a beautiful museum with adjacent park and playground. The university is buried somewhere in the buildings in the distance.

Cholula has become a suburb of the state capital, Puebla. There are trendy restaurants and festivals galore. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t  experienced the quaint village it used to be. Frankly I was shell shocked.

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A day trip to an old hacienda was worth the visit to see this exquisite talavera fountain.

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The church of Tonancitla, one of the best of the trip.

Do not allow my letdown get in the way of visiting this magical city. My suggestions are 1) do your homework, there is much to do 2) find a hotel close to the center. The buses are not difficult to maneuver but conversational Spanish is useful. 3) check the weather (duh) Cholula’s altitude is 7,000 feet which makes it a great escape from the hot, humid jungle we live in. There is also a rainy season. Don’t let it put a damper on your vacation. Dress appropriately. Cholula is really a hopping place and well worth a visit. DOS TORTAS

 

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Musings

24 Sep

The continuation of the glowing account of our recent month-long journey to central Mexico needs to be put on hold in light of the recent earthquakes. Many of the places we visited are damaged, destroyed or at the very least suffering. 

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The two bell towers of the 16th century church in Cholula that sits on top of the world’s largest pyramid toppled.  Our Lady of the Remedies.

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We visited here three weeks ago.

We are blessed to have a roof over our heads and food on the table. The need is so great and overwhelming in the world that some days I must turn off the news and simply be kind to the person in front of me. It’s all I have. Other days I have more.

IMG_0580We were robbed again this week. While we are certain of the culprit, there is little definite proof. We have increased the security with bars on my MIL’s house and two of our vulnerable windows. Sad, but necessary.

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Security for Alice.

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Enjoy your week. Connect with your neighbor (unless they are the ones robbing you).  Get outdoors. Be grateful, no complaints.

DOS TORTAS 

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