Connect with Mexico – Carlos Navarro

If you are an English-speaking expat in Puerto Vallarta, come to ArtVallARTa  to Connect with Mexico! This series of weekly conversations is a fun way to learn about Mexican art, culture, and the stories behind the doings and sayings of the Mexican people. Connect with Mexico – Mexico explained, in plain English. • Learn about Mexican culture, geography, history, literature, art, government and its many peoples. • Gain a greater appreciation of the stories behind the doings and sayings of Mexicans. • Interact more and better with those Mexicans with whom you come in contact. Join us every Tuesday from 10:30 am to 12 noon at ArtVallARTa, 213 Calle Pilitas, next to the San Franciscan Resort and close to the corner with Olas Altas on the south side of Puerto Vallarta.   Dates and Topics    
  • January 16 – Catching up with Mexico
 
    • What happened in this country in the last 12 months? Have you been keeping up? Got lots of changes in politics, culture, the arts, the tricky relation with the United States, we even have new federal and state governments. And, by the way, what’s been happening in our dear Puerto Vallarta itself?
   
  • January 30 – Mexico Still Facing a Trump World
 
    • How has Mexico been holding on in face of a challenging US Administration? What is a Mexican to do? How are Americans visiting the country faring? How has the current White House changed the relation between the United States and Mexico? Are we still good neighbors? Does Canada have a say?
   
  • February 6 – The Story of Puerto Vallarta.
 
    • Discovering the story of lovely Puerto Vallarta will reveal to you a lot of the story of Mexico itself. How this did small fishermen’s village become a sprawling tourist destination?
   
  • February 13 – Fabulous Mexican Food!
 
    • What’s the key to the amazing combinations in the huge variety of ingredients – and spices – in Mexican food? In a reflection of the bright colors and strong flavors prevalent all over the country, the food of Mexico is spicy, sweet… and often challenging. Come have a taste! (We should have Rubén present for this talk. This date we can adjust to ArtVallARTa’s “food week” event you told me about).
   
  • February 20 – Not just Tequila… the Spirits of Mexico.
 
    • Mexican spirits have a long history and are the result of the ingenuity of indigenous populations and the art of wine making in Europe, mostly Spain. And tequila is not all there is; we’ll explore the many mezcales and new wineries that are growing across the country’s (we could bring a “sponsor/guest” from one of the local liquor stores in town).
   
  • February 27 – The Natural Beauties of Mexico
 
    • And you thought all of Mexico was a desert and a cactus. Come discover the expanses of Mexico’s immense oceans, its intricate rain forest, its tall mountains, truly deep canyons and huge national parks. And along the way meet the creatures that inhabit this amazing jewels.
   
  • March 5 – El Mariachi Loco!
 
    • Jalisco is where the music of the Mariachi came to be. Why do they dress the way they do? What exactly are they singing to? How many should they really be? Let’s truly listen! (Maybe bring a group in?)
   
  • March 12 – A World of Pyramids
 
    • Let’s explore the world of pyramids around this country. It’s not only about Teotihuacan because there is so much more out there. Depending on the time period, the specific pre-Hispanic culture or the geographic location, pyramids and ceremonial buildings come in all sizes, materials and shapes. You’ll be surprised to find that they can be circular, tiny, very long, well-hidden and quite big.
   
  • March 19 – The LGBTI+ story in Mexico
 
    • What about gay life and gay rights in Mexico? What about the initial marches in 1970s Mexico City that brought pressure on the police and the government to end repression? How are the rights of Mexican LGBTI+ people doing? Can you get married and adopt a child if you are “diverse couple”? And why is Puerto Vallarta now a global LGBTI+ mecca? (Not sure what would the best date be. I thought maybe Spring Break would bring a few more gays at this time, maybe…).
   
  • March 26 – All Those White Crosses! All Those Flowers!
 
    • The strong traditions of Holy Week and Day of the Dead in Mexico. The whole country stops when the 7-day Holy Week period arrives, whether those involved are Roman Catholic or not. And you do know that Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a tradition as Mexican as it gets.
   
  • April 9 – Puebla and 5 de Mayo
 
    • Puebla has played a major role in Mexican history, the greatest being the site of the 5 de Mayor battle in which poorly trained Mexican soldiers defeated the powerful French Army. Once you confirm that this is not Mexico’s Independence Day, we can learn a lot more about this important city, which was not even there when the Spaniards arrived but that has grown to become the country’s fourth largest. It has one of the biggest cathedrals in the country, and well, if you buy a Volkswagen care in the United States, it was probably manufactured in Puebla.
   
  • April 23 – Ever heard of Cri-Cri? The Mexican Walt Disney
 
    • This talented Mexican created a company very similar to Walt Disney’s. So much so, that Disney himself wanted to buy the songs and materials Francisco Gabilondo Soler “Cri-Cri” had written and composed over the years. Come and close the season musically bringing out the child in you.
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