Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The annual Festival de la Ciudad de MĂ©xico will take place this year from March 11 to 28.  More than 280 activities will take place in over 90 locations around the city, involving over 500 participants from 21 countries.

March is a great time to visit Mexico City, as the jacarandas are in bloom and the weather is usually close to perfect.  See my previous article about jacaranda season by clicking here.

For a complete schedule of events, visit the website http://festival.org.mx/main/home

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



A buddhist monk meets with his followers to announce that he has decided it is time to build a new, bigger temple.

"But master, our bank account is empty.  Where will the money come from?" someone asks.

Looking around calmly, the monk answers slowly, "From wherever it is now."


According to a recent editorial by Bob Herbert in the New York Times, money these days is heading into the pockets and bank accounts of the rich, as unemployment rates for the lowest economic levels of society skyrocket.

I've hear many conversations where Mexico is described as a poor country, but I think of it as a rich country whose wealth is poorly distributed, badly managed, or simply carted off by those with power to do so.  Sound familiar?

Mexico is famous for its corrupt politicians, who often leave office far wealthier than when they began.  When I read about the enormous bonuses paid to corporate executives in the U.S. I wonder how different things are? Although it shines with a veneer of 'legality', the end result is not unlike what happens here in Mexico:  the money moves up the economic scale. The same thought can be applied to the mortgage crisis and bank bailouts--all legal, but once again, the money gets funnelled into the same fast-flowing stream. 

Around 40 per cent of Mexico's population lives under the line of poverty, sharing just 11 per cent of the nation's wealth (some studies are even more pessimistic).  The minimum wage is around 54 pesos a day (equivalent to $4.30 U.S.).  For many, much of the misery fits into the category of 'out of sight, out of mind', but that may be not be possible much longer. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Monterrey is the most expensive place to live in Mexico, according to a recent survey of 42 cities.

The survey compared the cost of 122 products and services, such as housing, health care, education, clothing, appliances, transportation, food and entertainment.

Mexico City is used as the base line with a ranking of 100%.  Comparatively, Monterrey stands at 103.9%, Los Cabos 103%, CancĂșn 101.1%.

On the lower end, Tijuana tallies 89.2%, Guadaljara 86.6%, Chetumal 69.9%, Pachuca 69.6%, Durango 69.3%, Tlaxcala 64.4%, and Tepic 69.2%.

The high cost of electricity accounts for Monterrey's position in first place.  Across the board, the area of greatest cost increase last year was food, which went up 10.47%.

For the complete article (in Spanish) click here.