Conference on International Mother Language Day

I will be giving a conference on Wednesday February 21st, 2018 on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day at the Consulate of Mexico in Laredo, Texas at 10:00 am.

My lecture will cover basic (but still interesting) aspects of the importance of natives languages. A language helps shape a person and a culture, and Mexican indigenous languages have do

ne so in modern times and around the world — with words like chocolate, avocado, tomato amongst others.

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It will also focus on how native languages have formed a Mexican identity since millenia ago. Nahuatl being the most important generator of words for Mexican culture and Spanish language, including the word “Mexico” itself, yet there are other languages who have also given identity to the Mexican people.

Finally, the highlight of the conference will be the indigenous languages which were once spoken in Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico — mostly those around the Laredo area and along this part of the Rio Grande river cultural area.

 


If you’re interested in native history, Mexican culture and its languages you may enjoy reading my novel, Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

 

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A Greek goddess in a French Avenue is one of Mexico’s most cherished image.

Photo I shot at Mexico City.

Reality can and will surpass fiction.

One would think of the Virgin of Guadalupe or the so-called Aztec Calendar, but reality can and will surpass fiction — a Greek goddess in a French Avenue is indeed one of the most cherished and easily identified symbol of the Mexican people. This statue ironically represents the surrealism of Mexico.

The statue was put at the top of a tall column to celebrate in 1910 the 100 aniversary of the Independence of Mexico. Built by then President Porfirio Diaz — considered to be one of the longest serving dictators not only in Mexican history but in all of Latin America. The column crowned with its golden statue is located at the most iconic streets of all of Mexico, Paseo de la Reforma.

Paseo de la Reforma was built by Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, which under the French Empire’s auspice and patronage he ruled the Second Mexican Empire. It is somewhat of a copy of Champs Elysee and it is said to be a gift the Emperor gave to his wife, Carlotta. The avenue had (and still has) wide streets, rotundas, small gardens, statues, trees — all of which you would find in modern-day cities but back in mid-19th century Mexico City.

The irony goes further, as the name of this avenue was forcibly put by left-winged liberal president Benito Juarez, who not only killed Emperor Maximilian but toppled the Second Mexican Empire and sieged the Catholic Church through his Laws of Reform. The word Reform became linked to his liberal anti-Catholic ideals. So, as a coup de grace, the famous avenue was named Paseo de la Reforma or Reform Avenue.

On top of that, the original statue was destroyed during the 1957 earthquake. Earthquakes are very common in Mexico City, and a new one was built and the tall column reinforced. So far, it has survived the 1985 and 2017 earthquakes.

Finally, the Greek goddess of Victory is known today as an angel, because of its wings. So we have a Greek goddess who became an angel, at a French avenue with an anti-French name, built by a dictator to honor independence — and this is the symbol of Mexico City and one of the most recognized in all of Mexico. I guess the irony of Mexican history speaks itself.

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If you would like to read and know more about the intricate history of Mexico you may enjoy reading my novel, Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

Why Hollywood hates us Mexicans on film but pretend to like us in real life?

Please explain to me.

Column.

Why is it Hollywood hates us Mexicans so much in films series and such in real life but they pretend to like us in real life?

Is it for political reasons? After all, they love to show themselves as modern progressive liberals in the political arena while portraying Mexicans in the most backward ignorantly stereotyped way — which not even conservatives or the alt-right ever expresses.

These liberals rampantly vomit stereotypical imagery of Mexicans.

It is quite shocking the treatment Hollywood takes on with Mexican issues on screen. We can actually see how they relish and enjoy depicting Mexico or the Mexican people in the worst manner. Even historical depictions (as in History, a social science filled with facts) are more often than not fantastical lies. And that’s with history, in fictional movies and series rampantly vomit stereotypical imagery. Remember, these guys are self-proclaimed liberals of progressive views, tolerance-lovers, and adamant SJW defenders of cultural diversity — so they say.

Two-faced Hollywood actors.

In stark contrast, these two-faced Hollywood actors, directors, producers, and media moguls tell off Donald Trump, the alt-right movement, and what they call hillbilly nazi-loving conservatives as being racists against Mexicans. And frankly, apart from political memes and some (((actually))) accurate descriptions of the war and violence in Mexico, I have not seen alt-right people blatantly using unmeasurable economic and manpower resources to insult Mexicans and/or Mexican culture as Hollywood has done.

Trump will leave one day, but Hollywood will remain.

Please explain to me, a Mexican living in Mexico, why a White wealthy actress says she’s liberal and cries — literally — in front of cameras defending Mexicans from the “wrath of Trump” while she and other like her has condoned, conformed, and actively been engaged in multimillion productions where Mexicans are either left out (you don’t see that many Mexican actors in a so-called progressive industry) or are bluntly insulted. It may very well be a cheap charade to present themselves as these cool, suave leftists — and that is way more insulting that whatever policy president Donald Trump have done or may do in the future. After all, Trump will leave office in 7 or 3 years but Hollywood and their evil ploys will remain to denigrate Mexican culture.

Can people be that gullible?

I’ve heard many conspiracy theories about Hollywood, going from being CIA controlled to the all-powerful jewish producers. The reality is, all actors, actresses, directors, writers, and producers in Hollywood who call themselves left-winged progressives are hypocrite liars — plain and simple — and have been racists toward Mexicans and Mexico. What worries me is that Mexicans and American liberals are buying into this movie-worthy drama — and I frankly don’t believe that people can be that gullible.

Mexico is much more than pamphlet SJW racist propaganda with which they attack us with one hand but pretend to defend us with the other. Mexico has a rich culture and millenia-long history. Mexico is a failed state with one of the worst wars ever to not be reported by CNN. This is Mexico, and I can explain you this. But please explain to me why Hollywood hates us while pretending not to.

American Liberals are the real racists

Politically Insurrect.

Column.

Americans do look down on Mexicans — but the liberal, “progressive”, and diversity-inclusive Americans. In a race war craze brewing in America for a couple of years, fingerpointing of who hates Mexicans has become a sport for both blue-haired Liberals and dixie Conservatives. For me, as a Mexican, I believe I have the right to think and say who are the ones who really hate us — you can guess which group went ballistic.

Liberals send me to the children’s table while they defend us from the big bad alt-right.

Yes, American Liberals. They believe they are the crusaders of SJW pamphlet ideals, the white knights of the dispossesed, and the mesiahs by having media and Hollywood at their disposal. And however inclusive and diversified they want to present themselves, they have been the only group in the US so adamant in looking down on me or paternalistically dismiss me. I almost feel being sent to the children’s table, as if they “the adults” are defending me from the big bad alt-right.

“You should inform yourself”

I have the theory that for US Liberals we — Mexico — are just a political card for them to play. That card have kept the BLM movement going, the 3rd wave feminism active, and the Welcome Refugees hashtag meaning. I see them in no way actually getting involved in all-things Mexico. This is an irony, since those purple-haired people always shut whatever argument I say with their infamous “you should inform yourself” — and walk away.

I know Mexicans because I am one.

Really? As a Mexican in Mexico I should inform my self more? Being an Anthropologist, at some times a journalist, may even qualify me a bit to give an informed report of what Mexico is and how Mexican society functions (including legal and illegal Mexicans in the US). I know the hardships and pains, also the lazyness and the obession for handouts. I know Mexicans because I am one — I know our strengths and whatever glories we are capable of, just as I know our weaknesses and troubles. What can White Liberals or Black Democrats know about me as a Mexican in order to shoosh me away?

Let him have cake while we discuss this poor creature’s future.

But American Liberals, Democrats, Black Lives Matter and other groups could still believe I still inform just a bit more in order to be accepted into their conversations. It’s almost as if Pharao and High Priests don’t want to talk to us inferior chaste. Funny — they believe (because they’re not) to be left-winged and progressive but have insulted me royally. Let him have cake while we, the high order of the purple-haired pink-hats, discuss the future of this poor creature from the South.

Liberals and Democrats are so visceral to be so into diversity.

When people here in Mexico tell me “Americans hate us” I always answer: “Yes, Liberals”. I understand where Conservatives come from — they believe in protecting their country, their community or their family. When I talk to them, we actually engage in an true conversation. We always surmise that both our governments are at fault — they say they have too much government and I say we have no functional government. But we can agree on stuff! American Liberals and Democrats are so visceral and full of rage, that their diversity conversation stucks at name-calling and deaf ears in benefit of safe space. To me safe space is a first world issue, and they should straighten up and be at least open to hear us the despicable creatures they are trying to save from Trump. Sad.

As the day ends, at the land of the Coahuilteca.

Mobile photo I shot while hiking near the Rio Grande river banks.

The land of the Coahuilteca.

Under this vegetation knapped pieces and paleolithic tools lie since ancient times, once used by the native Coahuilteca people who used to live along the Mexico – Texas border.

A vast land which rivers are the only features and places for survival — the few streams one can find, at least. Not a grassland entirely, but also not quite a desert. Life does appear to survive at the land of bushes, cactus, reeds, and tall grass (like in the image).

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Guanapetnan.

For hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago, this area was already a border area. Back then it was the limit where the Comecrudo (Carrizo) people (east of modern-day Laredo and Nuevo Laredo) and the Coahuilteca lived (west of the two cities).

A land where rivers are the only feature you’ll find, if you find one.

Our ancestors once lived along the Rio Grande. After all, this is a land where rivers are the only feature you’ll find — assuming you can find a stream or a proper river. And the mighty Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo, as the Mexicans call it) is the most important river in the part of the world, and one of the most important in the Americas.

Perhaps that’s why they called it Guanapetnan — which means Big River in Coahuiltecan indigenous language. It is quite understandable to recognize it as “the” big river if you ever travel accross all Texas towards it, or from Central Mexico to the north.

A border — back then and now.

There is evidence of antiquity in this area. I have been informed of many findings at the west side of the two Laredos (both sides of the border, that is). And I have identified a large site southest of Nuevo Laredo or South of Laredo, where the ancient ones once inhabited.

Chronicles from post-contact travelers and expeditions refer to this area as a border zone between the Coahuilteca and the Comecrudo nations. Nowadays, Laredo and Nuevo Laredo are still a border region, where the Guanapetnan or Rio Grande separate the United States (Texas) and Mexico (Tamaulipas).

Hiking where the Coahuilteca and the Comecrudo once hiked.

Although it is a rough terrain and the climate can be an issue in Summer or Winter, the experience can be as rich as hiking in a high mountain forest or a secluded beach — trust me, I’ve done it. To me, being as picky as I consider myself, the hiking trails of the border can be a handful. So you can’t be disappointed — unless you don’t like hiking or nature (or bugs, or the sun).

As with all thing in life, if done with caution hiking in the deep of South Texas or the Mexican side of border can be fun. One can see animal life, interesting plants, erosion formations along the creeks, and all kinds of pebbles.

Hiking in the actual Rio Grande river can be difficult if you’re a newbie, not because of its difficulty in terms of the terrain but because of the overwhelming vigilance of law enforcement. Hey, it’s a border, remember that. Don’t get me wrong… there are parks exactly at the Rio Grande — 2 parks, 1 resting stop and 1 golf course at Laredo, Texas, 4 parks and 1 zoo in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, and 1 park at Colombia, Nuevo León.

But hiking actual trails along the Rio Grande can be difficult, desolate, and expect to be stopped by authorities. I have been stopped by authorities on both sides of the border, and they just ask who you are and what are you’re intentions. Of course, if you’re up to no good, you’ll see it with them — in the US side you have the Border Patrol are omnipresent at those trails and parks, and in Mexico side you have the Mexican Army.

If you ask me, the most dangerous thing you’ll face when hiking in South Texas or Northern Mexico is the heat — hands down. And both Laredo and Nuevo Laredo are famous for their infamous hot weather. Winter is very cold, but nothing a good and sturdy clothing choice can help. But the sun of summer literally kills people every year. Again, if done with caution and at certain hours, you’ll be fine.

Why Liberals focus on deportations and not on issues which led to mass migration?

Please Explain to me.

Column.

Please explain to me… why liberals focus their attention on deportations rather than the root cause of people leaving Mexico?

After the deportation of undocumented Jorge Garcia, liberal media and people in the US turn their attention against Trump — as if he was the one president who created or implemented migratory laws. For decades, president after president has deported Mexicans back to their home country. Yes — including president Obama. But lately I’ve noted full batteries against Trump.

I can understand the animosity from liberals and so-called Hispanic groups, but I can’t figure out why they don’t want to see the full picture. They refuse it, actually, to learn the root causes of why illegal immigrants ended inside the Unites States as illegals and as immigrants (which by the way, they are two different terms squeezed as one for some reason by celebrities, Hollywood, and CNN).

A society which no longer functions.

Slowly but surely Mexico has become a failed state. This for one should be a dead giveaway. The USA has as a neighbor a failed state? That should be the first thing a common American should think of — many do thankgoodnes.

As a failed state, Mexico has lost its ability to control huge parts of its own territory (now lost to organized crime), to police and enforce the law (because of the ongoing war and mainly due to corruption, agriculture laid in waste, ecocide is rampant, genocide as well, no economic stability (none at all), dangerous spikes on gas and goods, underpaid industry (which generate jobs) from South Korea, USA, Japan, and Europe, Canadians destroying whatever mines are left, and social degeneracy which had downspiraled to open chaos, broken families, teen pregnancy, and murder.

A society which no longer functions. A government which no longer governs. People are pushed away to flee elsewhere by this self-fullfilling prophecy poverty. With poverty, despair, and no future but death, war, prostitution, or crime Mexicans run away. Everyone can understand why people run, either to be a better person or because they are not good enough to change their country. It is only one of those two reasons — period. But they are not at fault, it is Mexico who is at fault.

American liberals don’t care about Mexico?

So I ask again. Why do Liberals in America don’t want to listen to this? Is it because I am a Mexican in Mexico telling them this? Is it because this has not been said at CNN? Is it perhaps because they just want to quarrel with Trump and use the Mexican card in a political way? Is it because they don’t care about Mexico — its issues and current history?

I believe Liberals don’t like Mexico. And I also suspect they don’t care about illegal immigrants as they care for their political allegiance. If not — please do explain.

Yum

chavacomiendopizzaizcalli_by_photo_tlacuilopilo-dbwkujyCandid street photography I shot at Guadalupe Lake, Mexico.

This girl is eating pizza by a lake where people gather during the weekends for a stroll, horse-backriding, or enjoy nature’s scenery. During weekdays, people go there to jog or related activities. There are places to eat nearby, especially during the weekends, when people go and visit.

Mexico is the true land of contrasts.

It is ironic that people from all classes share together this huge place, but the lake itself is located in a very upscale residential area — where huge mansions have a view (or even a piece) of the lake. But families from all walks of life gather there to do some picnic, or just relax. Mexico is the true land of contrasts, and this place speaks for itself.

Guadalupe Lake (or Lago de Guadalupe) is located at Cuautitlan Izcalli, in northern Mexico City metro area. A great place to shot sunset photographs, nature pictures, and of course street and candid photos.

Chava mexicana con la boca abierta metiendosela por la boca.

Human Era Calendar Date link.

This is a page I created with programming code I wrote showing today’s date according the Holocene Calendar, also known as the Human Era calendar.

Click the image and see today’s date according to the Human Era calendar.

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The Human Era calendar:

  • Measures time since Humans began their era on this world.

It counts time since the neolithic began, from which our technological prowess increased exponentially — from the knapping of stone tools and the first construction ever built to our days of quantum computers, CRISPR genetic editing, and the Internet.

  • Negative years are eliminated.

The famous B.C.E. (before current era) years are negative, making it confusing in historical and geological terms. Such difficulty discourages people from fully understanding that huge period of time.

  • It marks a common starting point for the human species.

Whatever race, nationality, or religion, this calendar would be appropriate for everyone. And maybe — just maybe — this would encourage a grater unity amongst the peoples of the world.

  • No major changes except adding 10000 years to our current years.

Contrary to other more precise calendars such as the Mayan Long Count calendar or traditional calendars such as Chinese calendar, the transition would be more smoothly (computer, economic, government and culture-wise) without affecting current months, days, days of the week. The importance is given to add a 1 to the left of whatever Gregorian calendar we use (like our birthdates, anniversaries, official deadlines, and the such).

 

This is a personal effort from my part to bring awareness of this option to the world. An option to make the people important to this world, and unity as the option to face the future.

For any technical issues or glitches on that website, please let me know.

5 reasons why my country is indeed a shithole

Politically Insurrect.

Opinion column.

Amid the confusion of whether such word was even uttered by President Donald Trump when allegedly referring to African nationes, one thing I can assure you — my country is indeed a shithole.

Headlines can be sensationalized and biased click baits. We know it from this latest American fiasco, where two parties are fighting it out to see who wins the headline wars. But curiously enough, Jimmy Kimmel, CNN, the Guardian, and other media outlets and celebrities are ignoring the fact that Mexico was just deemed — yet again — as dangerous as Syria or Yemen.

Outside the United States there are bad places where corruption is the currency, the daily killing of women a given, and poverty the greatest disease. And I’m talking most of the globe. I for one can not talk with certainty of other countries but my own — and this can’t be denied by Jake Tapper or any other attention seeker. So I will explain why Mexico is a shithole.

Whatever good and beauty Mexico has (and it surely has a lot — tell me about, I love blogging and photographing it) undoubtly has nothing to do with the current state of this crippled nation. But the country in general, if we make a balance, is in deplorable shape. SJW’s, hippies, Super Bowl commercial lovers, and SNL cast… you’ve been warned of how I will tackle this.

And it is quite simple. You can analize my country as a state (government apparatus and its way of governance), as a culture (the way Mexican people behave, customs, and trends), as its laws (what are the rules, and how they are enforced and judged), its territory (the land and resources it comprises) and historiography (the way one sees history):

State.

The different levels of government in Mexico have failed. Not only entire parts of Mexico are under no-man’s land, but others are part of cacicazgo or a similar form of feudal lordship (if you will) under dangerous governors. Mayors and city councils organize like Chicago mobs from the movies — literally. The federal government has become all-powerful that it has become obsolete or useless to regain control of things — assuming they want to regain control instead of creating the chaos. The only part of the state that has remained steadfast — mostly — has been the Mexican military.

This sense of things getting out of hand comes from the inability for any government to take action. They do take action to fill the union’s pockets or gamble on candidates as if it was a game. All money comes from the heavily taxed Mexican people. And the same people who pay for their luxurious travels in Europe, yachts, Russian girlfriends, and Disney-like mansions live in impoverished conditions. Mexicans are killed daily by common thefts or war, many parents and siblings die under the guns sent by Obama — too me that’s way more racist.

Culture. 

Once a people who made astronomical calculations and created incredible engineering prowess now fall slowly but surely into a dark abyss of ignorance, broken families, admiration for crime, and ultimately a broken society.

This has made society unable to function properly anymore. We Mexicans always boast to be a community-centered people. Not any more. We Mexicans had always put family first, no matter what. Not any more. We believe we are clever and have a unique ingenuity — after all, we made life hacks way before they were made popular by YouTubers. Not anymore.

But to me the worst is the outcome, the broken society, unable to keep going it is stalled with female killings, kidnappings, cutting in line, teenage pregnancies, and an ever growing debauchery. People are actually enslaving other people for their organs or to sell to the best bidder, and this is happening not on a distant continent but next to the USA.

Social erosion has given way to weekly headlines here in Mexico of middle-schoolers performing oral sex in class, fathers killing their babies because they were crying too much, drunk politicians getting away with murder (for real), a governor or a mayor wanted by Interpol or the FBI, parties being interrupted by hitmen where everyone is killed for no reason. This is happening on a weekly basis.

Laws.

The most complicated laws in the world, enforced by corrupt or prepotent police forces, and where judges are rarely seen or heard as the chupacabras. No really, here in Mexico there are no courts of law as in the US, Great Britain or other countries. And the Supreme Court only makes non sequitur laws while earning millions of dollars per year.

There is a gun ban. We have a lot of ban laws. And the more restrictions are put the less strengthen society is. There is a saying here in Mexico, that criminals are more protected by the law than the murdered or the raped. Laws are decorative, or only good intentions. The only functional laws are the organic laws which govern the inside of the government apparatus… or how else would they get paid?

Territory. 

Once a rich land Mexico is becoming a wasteland. Ecocide is the word for what is happening right now as you read these lines. Entire pine tree forests are destroyed, sacred mountains leveled to the ground, beaches and choral reefs contaminated beyond human repair, carte blanche to Canadian mining companies and Spanish natural gas entrepeneurs.

Mexicans have always lamented loosing Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Guatemala, and that eeny tiny bit of Colorado. Go figure what would it be of those impressive landscapes and gorgeous natural parks under such a mess. If you think Los Angeles is polluted, think again.

Historiography.

Mexicans think they are white, or can be white. It is an odd excenticity for a foreigner to comprehend and yet here lies a major issue of the Mexican people. For we have racism too — Mexicans insult native and black people.

The way Mexicans see it is that Mexico started when the Spanish came and conquered. That dangerous way of seeing history is what has fueled a lot of issues. The natural hatred between Spaniards and the English was passed to today’s Mexicans against Americans.

If you want to insult a Mexican — but really hit deep — is to remind him or her how the US “stole” (notice the quotes, please) half the Mexican territory than anything you may think. Mexico is stuck in the 19th century, while the rest of the world has moved on — we haven’t. This is in part because of how we see and understand historical processes. And Mexicans believe they should have retribution (for what, I don’t know) instead of working out ideas of how to improve whatever is left of Mexico.

 

To me this is not a model nation, to me this is a bad country — one that has mud and apparently loves mud by not trying to be better as their ancestors.

Female Volleyball of Nuevo Laredo

Photos I shot of Volleyball girls playing at a local league match in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

A city known for other things than volleyball, it lives a strong subculture around this sport — one that trascends class, gender, or even age.

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A vibrant subculture.

For many years now, decades, Nuevo Laredo has been known to international news outlets for its gritty violence and the colossal volume of import-export commerce that crosses through this border. And it is true — both statements would even fall short. But none would realize that amid local struggles (sometimes created by international ones) there is a vibrant subculture for volleyball.

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An impression that would go down the Rio Grande.

Girls and boys alike immerse themselves (almost religiously) into this sport. Its fast-paced action would seem to require a high degree of agility, quick reaction… and youth. Swiftly, that impression would go down the Rio Grande once you see all the matches — adults, short, or even the elderly join these local league tournaments.

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Perhaps the real future for Nuevo Laredo lies in sports.

Perhaps it is a way to escape of all troubles happening at border. After all, Nuevo Laredo and Laredo, Texas are the twin cities located in the epicenter of immigration struggles and the ilk. As ill fated as the future may seem for Nuevo Laredo, perhaps the real future lies in sports such as volleyball. As a way to escape from everyday issues in this bordertown. Or perhaps — and this may have more sense than any of my anthropological dissections — it is the love for the game.

voleyrecepcion

Beautiful hot girls volleyball players. Sexy mexican teen girls, tight butts, asses. Chavas de Nuevo Laredo, bonitas hermosas nalgonas, nalgas, culos, colegialas. 

Never A Blaze Inflamed Loudly Everyday

Never A Blaze Inflamed Loudly Everyday
As my heart yearns for yours to claim
But fate fades away and forbade
In this eternity and plane
Locking our ways to never be the same
Ending all odds for love to flame.

I’ll be the echo that carries your name
Until time wanes dry with the same pain
After meeting you too late in vain,
My cry will be the anthem of shame
Heralding love that never came
Prasing moments we shall never make.

addison

Implied nudity portrait of Addison.


If you like poetry you can read more about tribulations of love in my novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.


 

Beautiful white girl photo, gorgeous face, pretty lady, hot nude nake.

Outside the Museum of Anthropology

Street photography I shot with my J7 mobile phone, outside the National Museum of Anthropology and History. 

The Museum is not only a great visit because of the treasures it houses — literal treasured pieces, monuments like the Aztec Calendar stone, unique statues, glyphs listing kings, and gold craftsmanship — but for its location.

It is a huge and ancient forest designed by Nezahualcoyotl.

At the heart of an upscale area of Mexico City, the National Museum of Anthropology and History rises amongst a forest of trees. On one side of the museum, you have the Chapultepec Forest (or Bosque de Chapultepec). The equivalent of Mexico City’s Central Park, it is a huge and ancient forest — designed by King Nezahualcoyotl of Texcoco for his Aztec Mexica cousin King Motecuhzoma I — which recieves tourists and locals from all walks of life. You can find Mexican families flocking with their improvised picnic a la mexicana, or you can stumble upon elegant couples who march with haste towards some classical music concert. If you like being surrounded with people — and most of all seeing all kinds of them — this is a great spot.

Dotted with posh bars.

On the other side of the museum you have the Polanco district (or colonia Polanco), where you can find not only embassies, high-class hotels, or offices, but also a lot of cafe places, and international cuisine restaurants from around the world. Nightlife may be even more interesting in Polanco, since it is dotted with posh bars and exclusive restaurants.

Our version of the White House but more sumptuous (unfortunately).

The location of the museum is quite interesting not only because of its peaceful trees in the heart of Mexico City’s chaos, but because of its proximity to power. You see, quite near, just blocks away, you have the official Presidential house — sort of our version of the White House but more sumptuous (unfortunately for the Mexican people). We call it Los Pinos, or The Pinetrees (for real). And between Los Pinos complex and the Museum we have the National Auditorium, which is like our Madison Square Garden — all things concerts happen there (as well as quinceañera limos hanging cruising around Reforma Avenue).

Tortas are like burgers, but bigger and with way more ingredients.

Curiously enough, at the immediate surroundings of the museum we can find a lot of snack vendors, selling esquites (corn in a cup), tortas (like burgers but bigger and with way more ingredients), raspas (sno-balls), chicharrones (pork skin), and more. If you’re lucky you may see native dancers — you can’t miss them with all their feathery display.

girl_resting_at_mexico_city

Butterflies – The Souls of Ancient Warriors

Photo I shot at Xochitla, Mexico.

For thousands of years native people in what is now Mexico, Central America and Southwestern United States had stories, epic accounts, and even religious beliefs regarding animals. One of such admired animals was the butterfly.

They revered nature almost to religious levels.

Who knew that people who admired fierce jaguars, stealthy snakes, and mighty eagles would have butterflies in high esteem — from all animals. And yet it is true. Once you know the ancient lore and culture of the indigenous people you can easily understand. For their reason in life wasn’t all about war — or inexistent human sacrifices. They revered nature almost to religious levels, or even more!

Such a society would respect the delicate.

The societies of Ancient Mexico were composed of poets, artists, performers, mathematicians, astronomers, dancers, and great teachers — but you won’t hear this in any Discovery Channel or National Geographic documentary (since they either lack historical knowledge or work on a biased agenda). Such a society would know and respect the delicate, the artistic, and the beautiful. We know that because their poetry and way of talking is full of empathy and care. They were no blunt warriors only — the vast diversity amongst the ancient native peoples of the Americas is not only impressive but still unknown.

Warriors carried a big butterfly symbol.

Motifs of butterflies adorned clothing capes, artisan’s clay figures, and even the glyphs written on deer hide or amatl paper by scribes. In Tula, Hidalgo (known back then as Tollan Xicocotitlan), the capital of the historical Toltecs, warriors carried a big butterfly symbol over their chests as part of their military attire. Also printing seals — a great tradition in Ancient Mexico not so much discussed — were also made with various butterfly shapes and sizes.

There are still traditions to honor the deceased.

But beyond the visible, butterflies were part of the ancient’s stories and beliefs. For instance one of the most famous one, which still survives to our times: butterflies being visiting souls. Although Day of the Dead traditions has been quite tainted and manipulated for centuries — I.E. Disney-Pixar’s Coco — there are still some original traditions who once honored or remembered the deceased. The butterfly story is one.

Now they come to bring joy to us, and for us to honor them.

It is said that if you see a butterfly pass by or visit you, it is in reality the soul of an ancient warrior visiting you. And it is probable that person died in battle to became a beautiful butterfly in the next life. We know from Tula the connection between warriors and butterflies, probably as if they knew that if they were to die in the fight a chance to become a peaceful and delicate butterfly awaited. So people respected and protected butterflies, because they may even have been a father or a sibling who perished under the spears and arrows at the chaos of the battlefield. Now they come to bring joy to us, and for us to honor them.

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Lecheria, Mexico – The Crossroads of Irony.

Photo I shot at the Mexico City metro area.

A kind of no-man’s land.

An area commonly known as Lecheria, it is a crossroads of paths where highways, public transportation and train routes intersect. A kind of no-man’s land, since it is trapped in the local borders of the Tultitlan and Cuautitlan Izcalli municipalities — where crime, people traficking, illegal migration, and road accients thrive. The blurry jurisdiction in the area has created fertile soil for organized crime and urban decay.

The irony lies in this train tracks.

The irony lies in this train tracks, where most Central American illegals hover before going to the United States, since it is used for most of the import-export flow between Mexico and the US. These old tracks has been used for more than a century to communicate the Mexican capital with the far northern part of the country — and hence, America.

A hub for people who work or study.

Lecheria has its name because there used to be many establishments in the area selling milk many decades ago, way before the urban sprawl reached it. Today, the commuting train has one of its stations here, making it a hub for people who work or study daily in Mexico City proper.

It is a micro cosmos of Mexico in general.

The stark contrasts of Lecheria are too easy to spot. There are decaying factories, warehouses, and improvised wooden slums next to upscale malls, luxurious hotels, a museum, and several restaurants and movie theaters. The mountains — part of the Guadalupe Mountain Range — on one side simple unfinished houses, while on the other towers of coveted departments rise tall. It is a micro cosmos of Mexico in general.

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Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico

Photo I shot at Dolores Hidalgo, in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico.

One of the many churches that stand since colonial times — many made with cantera stone, which create the delicate soft color. Also, tiles and other artistic expressions were used to decorate the facade of Mexican churches.

A town populated by talavera ceramic artisans.

While visiting Dolores, I always love to stroll at the local market, where fresh produce and prepared food is available. The outskirts of the town are populated with artisans who work 24/7 on the creation of pottery and home decor based on talavera ceramic. Although tourism is what nowadays is making Dolores stand, talavera ceramic is still by far the main reason Dolores thrive.

Located in Central Mexico, in Guanajuato state. 10 hour drive from the US-Mexico border — give or take.

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Why The Watermarks?

For quite a while I have been absent from WordPress, DeviantArt, Flickr, Instagram and other internet outlets and social media, places where I used to regularly share my photographic and artistic works. The main reason was that I was discouraged to find one of my photos being used by a company without asking me permission — let alone letting me know.

Thieves come in all sizes.

After finding my photo being used (((in all glory))) in their website, I immediately contacted them. I never jump into conclusions, after all, maybe someone thought it would be a naive idea. So I figured, better to ask. And indeed I ask them, and what I thought would be a normal phone conversation swiftly escalated into an all-out confrontation.

Not only they denied it, but they questioned me how would I prove it was my photograph. I should tell you my photograph was heavily edited and cut so that my signature wouldn’t be visible. I was appalled by the bravado with which that fella (((with quite a manlet’s voice))) attacked me — a clear sign they knew they were wrong. It is a big company, and for some reason we still believe that they can’t be thieves. This should show — once again– that thieves come in all sizes, shapes, and forms.

Did anyone catch his name?

My resolve was to protest with bigger and louder watermarks. Something that would infuriate people, because after all that is what protests are about — aren’t they? Or perhaps I slept during my Anarchy 101 classes.

Any how, people did get angry with my watermarks. Apparently I did touch a fiber amongst photography and art lovers. At some point in Imgur people flooded with comments criticizing the watermark, instead of the work itself. Their attention turned towards the watermark signature en masse — well not literally, but you get the point. The joke that struck me the most was when an imgurian said, “Did anyone catch his name?”

The internet can make you believe you’re crazy.

At that point I decided to not post pictures anymore, photography or art-wise. Which now I know I was wrong. But at the moment I had an urge to disconnect to keep my sanity. Yes, the Internet can make you believe you’re crazy. And crazy things I did — like not sharing my art and photography any more.

Watermarks make them uncomfortable.

Slowly but surely I began to share again at Instagram, and for the past weeks at DeviantArt. Now I am returning. And we’ll see what new adventures my photographs take me to. Many people ask me about stories or anecdotes when taking photographs, especially street photography (because it may seem more invasive). I always tell people the backlash, the ignorant critique, and the raising eyebrows are what have got me more in trouble than the actual shooting of the picture. And now… the watermarks. Apparently people have no issue with nudes, candid shots, critter close-ups, or poverty pictures I document — watermarks make them uncomfortable. Well, here you go — kryptonite for our times. I always believed kryptonite was telling the truth, but oh well.

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Wildlife at the Mexican deserts

Photo I shot of a Mexican prairie dog.

What one can find at the apparent desolate and barren deserts can be surprising. Is it because no one expects anything and suddenly you stumble upon life? Or is it because there is indeed a wealth of thriving life?

It has always surprised me to find beautiful flowers, bunch of critters, colorful birds and of course the occasional furry friend like this one.

Contrary to worldwide popular belief Mexico is not all desert. Central Mexico has pine forests, and South Mexico has jungles and swamps. I’ve visited all of them! The place that never fails to surprise me when finding little animals, or just life, is the Mexican desert.

Of course I won’t like to cross roads with a bear or a jaguar — probably won’t since they’re in near extinction. Sad. And still the lonely desert is a cradle of life.

These furry pals are could also face extinction. Prairie dogs along with other desert animals are in danger due to human activity (hunting or poaching). Until recent years the Mexican government has enforced protecting these animals, and hunt down illegal hunting. Especially in San Luis Potosi state I have seen it, people getting arrested for killing endangered coyotes or selling baby deer to passing tourists.

Still much has to be done. And I for one support hunting animals with a camera. It’s actually more fun, and like pretty gals say when we men foolishly drool at their beauty “take a picture, it lasts longer.” Indeed it does!

If you’re interested in Mexico and its riches, check out my ebook novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

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Remember, remember, the 5th of November

Photo I shot at Mexico City.

Remember, remember, the 5th of November.

There is a crisis with police worldwide. It’s not just a one-nation phenomenon.

Civilians are having trouble with police — aggressive, authoritarian, corrupt, insensitive, and racist. Yours truly too. It is not an issue of complying or not anymore. It is not an issue of criminal activity anymore. It is about undermining democracy and freedom (if any).

For those of us who have had issues with police for NO reason is frustrating for other police or authorities to understand. Especially here in Mexico, where laws are only a list of good will.

This ends up ultimately with world governments, they inability to see the issue. We ended up in a police state world, where the Internet, free speech, or even carrying a camera at a demonstration is far worse offense than rape, kidnapping, or mass murder.

Criminals all around the world are getting a nice treatment — warlorlds, drug pins, and mass shooters. We the people have become the scapegoats for the blunt inefficiency of police. Their frustrations vent on us.

We should remind the police (the bad apples that is) that we are the more. That they work for us. That they serve and protect us, not themselves. The moment we begin to do this reminding to police corporations around the world, the moment democracy has failed — though we need to do something to mend it.

Unless you don’t believe in democracy, the police should be held accountable for their actions — the good and the bad. Good actions should be rewarded, yes. Bad actions from police should have the most severe repercusions.

If you’re interested in how a system becomes rotten check out my novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes, and see how Yacanes and Atotoztli defended their love in Ancient Mexico against the actions of the High Ruler’s police.

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Mexico City metro area — what is it?

Photo I shot at Cuautitlan, Mexico.

Mexico City metro area is gigantic. Not only it spans over a large area but it’s also over-populated. There is a Federal District, locally known as DF — Mexico City proper. Surrounding it is the other metropolitan area in the State of Mexico.

Outside the DF limits there are 22 municipalities, to explain each one is a hard task (perhaps for another post). Each has its goodies and its bad sides, as with any place.

The northern municipalities of Mexico City’s metro area is the more vast, it encompass Teotihuacan pyramids for instance. We could divide it in Northeastern and Northwestern, all beyonf the Guadalupe Sierra mountains. Tepotzotlan and Cuautitlan are here. Before the mountains there are other municipalities as well.

Then you have the western municipalities, more posh and upscale. They’re best attractions are the pine forests. Yes, in Mexico we have forests, sorry to dissappoint Hollywood.

On the East, behind the airport we have small towns that also have ancient ruins and yearly fairs.

Finally there’s the Chalco region and volcanoes, where the main attractions are obvious although there are also beautiful colonial towns and breathtaking landscapes.

If you’re interested in Mexico, check out my novel set in Ancient Mexico. Till Stars Shut Their Eyes, a romance and political thriller based on true events.

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Let the Earth remain

Ancient Mexico’s poet saw it way before the heavily ideological Climate Change quarrels from both sides.

One side says Climate Change suddenly appeared, blaming fossil fuels (instead of many other made factors).

The other side is either in denial human activity has anything to do, or call for more science evidence.

Ayocuan Cuetzpaltzin talked about the ephemeral nature of our existence as people. He lamented how people and things have to perish. So in his poem he says that at least our planet, which in nahuatl ancient indigenous people called it Tlalticpac, should remain.

No matter how, let’s save our planet!

If you want to read about how Atotoztli and Yacanex wanted to change the world, check my ebook novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

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School systems have failed

School systems world wide have failed.

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Every school in every city in the world is failing as you read these lines. The argument defending school systems is is laughable when we see the world we live in — violence, numb sleepy minds, disregard for nature, wars, no jobs, racism, and rampant ignorance.

To defend the world’s school systems is to be blind to the chaos we’ve been spiraling into. We erected part-time jails for our children (yes, I have children) to waste years and years of their lives in useless trivialities with the utmost stupid way of evaluating them.

It’s like having Ussain Bolt learning all-things skiing, and telling him the goal in life is to ski at Aspen. Poor Ussain Bolt wouldn’t be the fastest human on the planet, but surely the most frustrated one. Well, all kids are having this problem. We all had this issue.

And those are first-world problems to say the least. In countries like here in Mexico children are taught to be employees or factory workers, not innovators. Systems like these only create robot-like flocks instead of artists and scientists.

You wonder why there is no cure for cancer? It may be locked in one of the millions of numbed minds in the workforce (or unemployed). Worried to pay bills, watch sports, and envy on materialistic things, the cure for cancer may be doomed to never be known. Or teleportation for that matter, or the solution for peace in the Middle East, and such.

Schools are so important that the moment they failed (and they did) the world begins to look as the dark ages or Colonial Mexico. With inquisition-like institutions and lack of quality debate. The way we think has become less scientific, less spiritual, less artistic, less free, while being more stupid and frivolous.

If you’re interested in fighting the system check my novel, Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

My Day of the Dead altar

Photos I shot of my Day of the Dead altar.

A Mexican tradition which involves mainly going to the cemetery for an all-nighter and literally dine with the dead. For some reason this has transformed into making the recreation of the tomb at our homes, schools, offices, and malls.

Maybe is the lazyness of going to the cemetery during the wee hours of early November 2nd. After all in places like here in Mexico City it can get overcrowded. Yes, he have not only traffic jams and packed subways, also cemeteries.

There are endless ways of doing a day of the dead altar. Some very odd, others very Catholic. I may say I’m no scholar but actually I am an Anthropologist, so I’m gonna tell you what I use and put.

A must is cempaxochitl flowers (also known as cempazuchil). These are the flowers of the dead. Then I put food, candles, and objects.

For food what I put were amaranth skulls (these are the original ones used by the Aztecs Mexica), sugar skulls (more modern and popularized by White American hipsters for some odd reason), bread of the dead (which is made and sold only during these days), some like my mom like to put their favorite meals when they were alive, perhaps also alcohol drinks and cigarretes (against hipsters’ advice they can’t do any more harm in the other side).

With candles many make crosses, circles — I make a native cross signaling the fours cardinal points. Yes, indigenous peoples had crosses, not Christian though.

Some put photos of the dead, I prefer objects.

If you like Mexican traditions and stories yoy may enjoy my novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

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Pumpkins are Mexican

Photo I shot last year of the carved pumpkin I did.

Whether Mexicans accept it or not, Pumpkins are originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. And I fear Mexicans will be more prone to reject the historical fact than Americans (or the rest of the world for that matter) because there’s a strong anti-Halloween sentiment in Mexico.

And to think Mexicans feel offended by Donald Trump’s vision for HIS country, and still they also feel hatred (and even bigotry, I shall add) against all things Halloween. Allegedly they dislike Halloween because it’s an “all-American Holiday”, but if you ask me that title should go to the Fourth of July or Memorial Day. Anyhow, in the process Mexicans have developed hatred against pumpkins! They hate more these innocent pumpkins (they’re food after all) than Donald Trump! Media, ads, and even government propaganda attach these orange yankee “demons”.

Let’s have a raw reality check.

Pumpkins are Mexican. I wonder if the RNC are asking for visas to these friendly orange fellas. They were originally domesticated 10,000 years ago by the indigenous people that inhabited the region, most likely the ancestors of today’s Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Mixes (and others). Just like it was done with beans, squash, corn and chilli in Tamaulipas and Puebla, pumpkins began to take its current shape in Oaxaca.

The reason pumpkins ended up in Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is because it is what white settlers found (or immigrants, I’m confused to what Ann Coulter would say — not). To those days pumpkins had already extended over North America. “So those savages had trading routes before the arrival of Europeans?” Yup, pretty neat for a hoard of savaged, won’t you think. (Coff, coff, sarcasm, sorry if you’re like Sheldon Cooper and can’t read between lines. Coff, coff!).

To sum up.

Mexicans are bigots with their own stuff. Most of the time Mexicans are fighting for things they don’t have facts or data. That’s why there’s a saying here in Mexico that you gotta have the “hair of the donkey in you hand”. Don’t ask me, that’s the way the proverb goes, but I assure you it sounds way cooler in Spanish. It means that you gotta have your info before speaking, whether we’re talking gossip or a scientific breakthrough.

If you want to read or more know about true (and exciting) Mexican history, download my ebook Till Stars Shut Their Eyes. It has romance, action, and poetry!

Carved pumpkin. Copyright 2014 Miguel Omaña.
Carved pumpkin. Copyright 2014 Miguel Omaña.

Family at the Mexican border

Photo I shot at Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

While interviewing him, this man worked on construction structures. These structures hold cement columns, and also seem to hold the survival of this family.

After giving me permission to take portraits of him working and of his son, he explained the hardships of living in such conditions. This place was (and still is) at the outskirts of Nuevo Laredo.

Nuevo Laredo is considered an international trade hub, where goods and people pass through from the US into Mexico and vice-versa. Because of its strategic position it has attracted the best riches can get and the worst poverty can summon. This the dark side of this city and the whole of the US-Mexico border. A couple of miles from this place the United States begin.

When I presented this at my university in the American side, they were baffled and even incredulous that such scenes could exist on the other side of the river where they live, work and sleep.

If you’re interested in Mexico and inequality you should look into my novel, Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

Family at Mexican border. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.
Family at Mexican border. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.

Me doing a photoshoot

Me doing a photoshoot with my model CJ.

The behind-the-scenes shot of one of my shootings here the US. I am grateful to her and her lovely family that accompanied us during the session. I’ve always loved making this shootings within a family-friendly environment. Many have requested her for modeling, but she decided to try it with me. Professionalism goes beyond gadgets or the know-how, but encompass the human touch one imprints.

And well when two crazies meet supported by both their families, wonders are born. My wife accompanies to every shoot I do too. Not only for safety, but because it is something I like to share with those close to me. It is not a hobby or just work, it is me.

Photoshoot with a model. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
Photoshoot with a model. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Mexican woman, mother of two

Acrylic painting I did of a Mexican girl.

Life modeling for me to paint. Artworks can be daunting when done in front of a model (or behind) but it is an amazing experience that makes us remember of times before instagram of photography.

Here, she is a mother of two I wanted to do a portrait.

If you like Mexican beauty, you may enjoy my novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes, where a young man falls madly in love with some he shouldn’t be with. Her curves amazed his eyes, but her wits brought him down to her feet.

Mexican girl painting. Copyright 2009 Miguel Omaña.
Mexican girl sexy painting. Copyright 2009 Miguel Omaña.

A girl from Nuevo Laredo.

Photo I shot many years ago at Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

It is a face I still remember. Just as we are prone to photograph a vivid sunset for our eyes sake into posterity, so I felt with this beautiful girl.

I never knew who she was. It must have been 2006. I was shooting photos at the border city’s downtown. There was some kind of event which for some reason organizers called it a callejoneada. Then I saw her up in the air. Well, she wasn’t literally floating or anything. She was an edecan of sorts for some beer. An edecan is a girl that promotes products, yes, usually on the ground. But for some reason she was up there, I can’t even remember on what.

Whatever she was doing up there she was teasing us with her girly smile and zesty eyes. I wanted to get up close but I also remember why I couldn’t. Believe me when I say I don’t suffer from memory loss (at least not yet). But he encounter had me confused with loss of time, just like abductees describe their horrid experiences with aliens. Except there was nothing nightmarish about this, but quite the contrary.

If you are out there, I would love to know at least who you are. If you know her, please let her know about this mini-quest of mine to find her. She may still be living in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Whatever the case, please let her know I took this picture. At least that.

Girl from Nuevo Laredo. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
Girl from Nuevo Laredo. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Nuevo Laredo / Laredo International Bridge

Photo I shot at Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas / Laredo, Texas.

This is International Bridge #2 at the US-Mexico border. Below streams the Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo as it is known to Mexicans).

Nuevo Laredo and Laredo have several international bridges. Nuevo Laredo has three and Laredo has four — the disparity is because Laredo also borders another state. One of those bridges is used exclusively for trade, where epic cues of transfer trailers cross several times a day in both directions. There’s also a railroad bridge which nobody counts but is there nonetheless.

These bridge, officially known as Juarez-Lincoln bridge (in honor of both presidents that live the same time and also faced divided nations) it is used for cars only. Pedestrians use Bridge #1, the oldest of them all. But in bridge #2, where I shot this photograph, people tend to go and sell whatever they can from pirate DVDs, pillows, figures of saints and like in this cases lollipops. They sell them in the Mexican side of the bridge, which gives them safety from the occasional American officer checking things out.

The US-Mexico border has many realities, and this is just one of them. Unlike what politicians in Washington or Mexico City think every border city or region has its own goodness and difficulties. In this case the Laredos (or Los Dos Laredos as they are also known in Spanish) are a commerce powerhouse. It is considered the fifth most important trade spot in the whole world, and the first in the whole of Latin America. And Laredoans don’t take it lightly (and Nuevo Laredo people too), they have pride on the fact that commerce between North America and Latin America takes place here. This has attracted one of the brightest people but also one of the worst kind at the same time. For obvious reasons in the Drug War, if Laredo and Nuevo Laredo are pivotal in international trade so it will be in illegal activities and smuggling.

US-Mexico international Bridge. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
US-Mexico international Bridge. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Ancient Maya writing basics

Photo I shot of my student Fatima.

One of my students learning how to write Ancient Maya glyphs.

First I taught them how to transliterate their name phonetically into Maya glyphs. This in order to grasp the concept of constructing Maya cartouches.

A Maya cartouche is composed by one or several glyphs.

Once they knew how to write their name in Mayan, we began building sentences in order to comprehend structure. One easy task was to begin writing using the TZOLKIN-HAAB’ DATE + NAME + “WAS BORN” sentence that was used a lot by the ancient indigenous Mayas. This formula was written like that in glyphs while read: In the year X of the month Y so and so was born.

If you’re interested in Ancient Mexico or native history you may enjoy my novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

For classes in your city, please contact me.

Mexican girl learning ancient Maya writing. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
Mexican girl learning ancient Maya writing. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Mexico City Public Transportation 101

Photo I shot at Mexico City metro area.

In Mexico City suburban areas and the inner city have different kinds of public transportation. In the Federal District, which is Mexico City proper, there is a vast subway, metrobus, trolebus, normal buses, cabs, electric cabs, tricycle cabs, a small commuting train, and a long interstate commuting train that connects with the State of Mexico northern municipalities.

In the surrounding area of the Federal District, locally known as Distrito Federal or simply DF, there is of course the commuting train, cabs, mexibus, normal buses, and what locals call combis (which are glorified minivans that swarm the almost 21 municipalities that surround Mexico City).

The one in the picture is known as a micro (pronounced mee-cro), which usually are outdated American buses from yesteryear. These micros roam in the metro area, while buses usually connect to Mexico City downtown.

Mexico City inhabitants and yours truly have to undergo the intricate public transport at some point. American cities are more car oriented but the Mexican capital is enormous and overpopulated that at times it makes its avenues and expressways useless because of epic traffic jams. After all, this is the third largest urban agglomeration of the world. Hence, its mobility problems are far greater and more challenging than way (way) smaller cities like New York or New Delhi.

I have crossed the whole city from one city limit to the other using only public transportation, it took me a bit more than 4 hours. And I was lucky, because I avoided rush hour. I did the same time one makes from Mexico City to Acapulco beach by car.

If you’re interested in Mexico City and its history, check out my book Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

Girl on Public Transport. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
Girl on Public Transport. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

There Is Always Another Day — Shortstory.

Photo I shot at Cholula, Mexico.

The sun went down to hide behind the volcanos. That afternoon was really chilly — a typical Central Mexico summer day. I was walking behind the huge Cholula pyramid temple (or what is left of it). Away from the usual tourist path, I discovered this track and field place. The air turned colder and windier as if the day hurried in vain despair to make its presence known, when it was well aware its death was inevitable. Suddenly the sky bled, gushing to the mountains and to my skin. The red hues signalled the looming demise of that day. And with his head high and proud the Sun realized it could not hold any longer but to fall into a dignified death — it was its time. So the Sun slowly descended into the pitch darkness of the underworld, not without glaring a final goodbye for a day that will never be again. I turned and no one was watching. So I realized the mighty Sun was waving at me, regal but sadly. My hands swiftly went to brag my trusty camera. But when I took it in my hands, it was actually an old camera. I was furious to discovering this camera instead of the new one I had. The final day’s light suddenly shone my eyes, they were reflecting below my. The Sun did not wait for me, for death does not way for anyone, not even the shiniest of stars. All it could do was to give me a monumental farewell that lit the clouds. So I took my camera, and trusted it would take one final photograph, for it was too the end of its life. Barely I could make it work. “This is it”, I murmured to my old camera. One last light for one last photograph. Two lives fade, two lives willing to leave one final effort for each other in order to be remembered. I shot the photograph, and then my camera blinked into its death. As I struggled to turn it back on the Sun blinked as well. I lifted my eyes towards the west, and the light dimmed into its doom. As the wind ceased and the cold became harsh, I sat to mourn. The two have died but not in vain, for both gave each other a chance to be remembered of their existence as one. It wasn’t just a sunset or an old digital camera, it was majesty. Their death was not unsung or ill-remembered since it brought hope for goodness in this world. Darkness now reigned but I thought, “there is always another day.”

Cholula Sunset. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
Cholula Sunset. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Innocence in a boy’s eyes

Photo I shot of my model Abigail.

I wanted to mimic Renoir’s vision of women changing or bathing. Of course one of the great masters of painting did it in a time so different from our own. Today the idea of seeing a women in a private place seems more apt for a sexy webcam chat. Perhaps we need to go back to the basics.

Something that always struck me about the work of Renoir is the pastel rose tones that inundate his cadres (paintings). There are some of his oevres (artwork) here in Mexico City at the Soumaya Museum. They are my favorites to go and see. I see those rosy brush strokes bring innocence and peeping tom curiosity intertwined into one. No man can say, “Oh right, a nude women bathing” and carry on. There is an element of voyeurism in Renoir’s paintings, but more realistic, almost as if seen by a honest-to-God curious boy. And maybe, just maybe, this is why women are able to see his paintings without overtly censoring ideas.

His arrangement of innocence and voyeurism always defined the way I wanted to portray my work of portrait photography. After all, in case you haven’t noticed, I tend to paint, draw, photograph, and write poetry about women.

Abigail. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
Abigail. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Photographing everyday women

Portrait I shot of my Mexican model Lina.

I love to do portraitures with everyday girls and women I meet out there. From the most elaborate to the simplest (like in this case) I ask if they’ll like to model. Usually many don’t know consider themselves as models — you’d be surprised the huge low self-esteem that roams amongst women.

People I know are fascinated by how I approach them — I’m not. So here’s how I do it, I simply approach a totally strange female and ask them if they would like being photographed (either on the spot or by appointment, depends of the kind of girl). Sometimes this takes place at public places, i.e. movie theaters, parks, grocery stores, malls, museums, and even at kid’s parties (yeah, I’m a dad, so I don’t frequent actual parties, lol).

And actually people do get excited, especially if there’s a husband or boyfriend involved since they encourage them. But I don’t do it massively, or randomly. First of all they have to be a girl I see myself photographing. Second, they need to have an air of je ne sais quoi that tells me she may be willing to do so. After all, a camera lens can be intimidating and even invasive.

So even though I state they are MY models, they’re actually ordinary people, moms, or college students. Tricky part is they have to be of legal age, and sometimes when they’re underage (search for my teen model Adriana) I must have her parent’s/guardian’s permission.

Lina. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña. Lina. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

Climate Change isn’t new

by Miguel Angel Omaña

Many are struggling to decipher what causes Climate Change in this world of ours. Scientists and politicians alike have their ideological thoughts about what is creating Climate Change. One thing that is at the core of the debate is how fast is happening in such a short time. What I’ve found is that there is evidence of it happening since many centuries even millenia ago in Ancient Mexico.

There are two major periods in Mexican history in which Climate Change appeared in Mexico way before fossil fuels. I focus on the years 600’s and 1200’s, but we can even bridge both periods into one huge period. Then there’s also a third period immediately after the Europeans began populating Central Mexico. I want to refer to the pre-hispanic periods because it may be more dramatic to see how Climate Change could have existed in a low-tech era.

The Fall of Teotihuacan.

It was the most powerful and influential city of the time perhaps in the entire Americas, although the era is more commonly associated with the Classical Maya nations. Climate Change studies focus on the disappearance of these nations, especially Tikal, Calakmul, and later Yucatan nations, but not on Teotihuacan. It would be as if people in the future would focus on a major catastrophe of our days in Paris or Tokyo and not New York City, for instance. Teotihuacan was the New York of that time — multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual, with numerous embassies from various part of the known world, highly urban, sophisticated, and of course influential to the rest of the major capitals of the time in fashion and politics. So why not look at Teotihuacan.

Mysteriously Teotihuacan fell around the year 600 and after that Maya and Zapotec cities fell as well in an eerie domino effect. Climate Change scientists focus on the latter effects of this domino effect, and not on the beginning. Whatever destroyed Teotihuacan (or weakened it for a major political fallout) had to be related by climate. Why? Because Teotihuacan was not only described but painted in murals of its time as a paradise-like place with numerous trees, exotic animals, with abundance of water. Now, Teotihuacan is located in a dry (almost barren) environment that resembles more the deserts of the American Southwest than the pictures left to posterity by the native artists of the time. There is one word for this: desertification. And desertification is a symptom of today’s Climate Change.

This desertification process also appeared in Monte Alban, the capital of the Zapotecs, and at major Maya cities like Tikal and Calakmul. Once the so-called Classical cities fell, the process extended to Yucatec Maya cities, Western Mexico cities, until something dramatic happened in the northern Mexico and Southwestern US.

The rise of Xolotl the Great.

Xolotl became a powerful ruler only because he was the first of millions of refugees that migrated south to today’s Mexico City’s basin. What was he and many others fleeing from? Desertification, once again. Once a land with big cities like La Quemada in Zacatecas became dry, barren, and ultimately inadequate to live and harvest food. Entire nations fled, and were welcomed by Xolotl and his descendants. This people might very well be the first refugees produced by Climate Change — and we’re talking about mid thirteen to early fourteen century!

Chronicles written by natives and Spanish describe these people as wanderers looking for a hospitable land to live. Whatever pushed them from their ancestral lands in Northern Mexico and Southwest USA was so menacing and life-threatening that they needed to migrate and clutter the Mexico City basin. The last to arrive were the Mexica, later known to world history as the Aztecs, and they were so desperate that they even went and inhabit in a tiny island in the middle of the great Texcoco Lake.

Climate Change studies should focus in this time periods. Although human activity is suspected, we should not discard any cyclical behavior from our weather. Apparently the growth of cities and the need for resources are linked. But we should remember this was a low-tech civilization type, other factors may and should be accounted to. Still, to say Climate Change is recent or modern is a mistake. What we are certain is that Climate Change phenomenon is now global and perilous to our world.

If you’re interested about these times of migration and social changes it brought, you may enjoy my historical novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes based on true events.

Melancholy in a picture

There is a strong melancholy that emerges from my heart evertime I see this photograph. Is it the wide endless desert sky that reminds me of my youthful reckless days? Or perhaps the place itself — with those lamps towering above me everytime I came out of the photography dark room to take the last bus during the dry cold winter? The smell of Texas grass? Was it that air so pure that bordered in being bland? The loneliness of the place, the city, and my heart?

If you think of it, my heart aches for a barren flat land and a lonely sky. Now that I think of it, I yearn for senseless days of my younger years where only dreams existed but nothing more. The idleness of my past now jolts my mind longing for it. The recklessnes of other years now makes my heart sit to remember them in the serenity of the present. The fire that ignited my dreams have now scorched my hopes.

And just perhaps that is what I fear most when I see this photograph. That all I ever wanted has become, all that I dreamed has vanished, for there is no future to pursuit since I am here now. And that — that I can’t bear.

Photo I shot at Laredo, Texas. Back in 2006 at the campus of Texas A&M International University, aka, TAMIU.

Photo I shot at Laredo, Texas. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.
Photo I shot at Laredo, Texas. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.

Mexican caterpillar

Mobile photo I shot at Mexico City of a Mexican caterpillar.

Locally called azotador, because if touched it can hurt you by leaving a burned irritated skin.

Since ancient times this little critter was famous for its spiky appearance, known in Nahuatl (or Mexican language) as Chinahuate (Chignahuate), Huahuatl or Ahuate.

Nowadays, people in Mexico with thick eyebrows are called Azotador Eyebrows, an expression that also comes from Nahuatl language.


If you like Mexican languages and native stories you will enjoy my novel, Till Stars Shut Their Eyes.

Mexican caterpillar. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.
Mexican caterpillar. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.