jump to navigation

Helmut, the German medicine man April 7, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Ecovillages, Mexico , add a comment

IMG_8306

Living in Teopatli Kalpulli has many advantages, and one of them is the constant stream of wise and interesting individuals who come our way.

Recently we enjoyed a workshop with Helmut, a German medicine man who comes to Teopantli Kalpulli every two years to participate in the Promesa del Sol ceremony. During his stay he offers a workshop on medicinal plants. This year he didn’t know what the topic would be so he decided to spend the night sleeping under a sage bush to see if he would get any clues about what the teaching should be. Here in the Kalpulli the sage grows up to eight feet tall, towering over us in its mature state. I have two of them standing guard outside my door.
(more…)

Behind the Scenes: What Wirikuta Fest fans bought with their tickets April 5, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Indigenous culture, Mexico, Mexico City , 1 comment so far

IMG_8183
“Wirikuta is not for sale!” Wixarika leaders and activists take the stage at Wirikuta Fest to the chants of 60,000 fans.

Story and photos by Tracy L. Barnett

It was a long time coming – but it was worth the wait.

Nearly two years ago, more than a dozen of Mexico’s biggest performing artists came together in a mega-event aimed at saving Wirikuta, one of the country’s most sacred sites, from devastation at the hands of Canadian gold and silver mining operations.

It was a triumphant moment for the indigenous Wixarika people and for indigenous movements in general when, as the daylong festival came to a close, they were invited to come up on stage. A massive screen flashed images of traditional Wixarika beadwork behind them as 60,000 fans chanted, in unison, “Wirikuta no se vende! Wirikuta se defende!” (Wirikuta is not for sale! Wirikuta will be defended!)

Leaders of the indigenous Wixarika people and the Wirikuta Defense Front, the civil society coalition that is supporting them, came forward in a Mexico City press conference recently to give an accounting of how the money was spent – an example of innovation in the face of daunting challenges.
(more…)

Our Father March 6, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Adventure , 1 comment so far

Snow

Our father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name…

One night not long after you had left us
I stepped out onto the porch
Of the house that you built
With your own strong hands
With the help of our mother
And your brothers
So many years ago

I was confused
There was your workshop, dark and empty
And the barn that you built
To hold the farm equipment, the tractor that plowed Mom’s gardens, the buckets and shovels and hoes
And the RV that held so many of your adventures and your stories
And so many dreams of adventures not yet lived
(more…)

Walls that Speak: Westside San Antonio’s Murals February 20, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : San Antonio, Uncategorized , 2comments

Walls that Speak

By Tracy L. Barnett
Texas Journey magazine
March/April 2014

Deep in San Antonio’s Westside, at the corner of El Paso and Chupaderas streets, the 10-foot-tall face of Jesus overlooks a scrappy landscape, a world of sadness reflected in his weary brown eyes. For more
than a decade, the locals have come to this corner to pray.

There’s a story about this corner that artist Cruz Ortiz likes to tell, a story that’s been retold so often it’s become local lore. One time, Ortiz showed up at the mural and saw a woman resting against a nearby pole.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“I come here every Sunday,” she replied. “Because they won’t let me in at the church.”

That corner had become her church, her resting place, her place of hope.

On other corners in this neighborhood, people find stories of triumph and defeat, of musical legacy, of loved ones lost, and of celebrated heroes.
(more…)

Costa Alegre meets San Antonio January 31, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Uncategorized , add a comment

mermaids sunset

I was happy to see my story, Coasting Along the Costa Alegre, featured in the San Antonio Express-News this week, along with Cuixmala, Resting Place of the Soul.

It was followed by a heartwarming writeup by my former editor, Terry Scott Bertling, together with a slide show of my photos from the Costa Alegre, in her blog, Here and There.

Thank you, Terry!

Mixtli: A culinary journey through the heart of Mexico January 30, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Food, Uncategorized , 1 comment so far

Mixtli

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — It was only the second night that they were open for business, and the two young chefs worked madly. Barely had they had a chance to break in their new cookware when the news came: They were to have three icons of Latin American cuisine at their table: Rick Bayless of Frontera in Chicago, Maricel Presilla from Cucharamama in New Jersey, and Roberto Santibanez from La Fonda in New York City, accompanied by the Culinary Institute of America’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Board – the leadership from Diego’s own alma mater.

“That was incredibly nerve-racking,” confesses Mixtli co-founder Diego Galicia. “Trial by fire.”

The pair passed the test with flying colors; the room full of chefs ate and drank their fill, admiring the various offerings and conversing and sharing until nearly 1 a.m.
(more…)

Coasting along the Costalegre: Puerto Vallarta January 16, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Mexico, Uncategorized , 1 comment so far

PV1

Part 6 of a series

PV2Driving up from the south in the golden light before sunset, we were entranced with the undulating highway hugging the cliffs and opening out to spectacular views of rocky, dramatic seashore. We passed Mismaloya, where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s steamy romance was captured for posterity in Night of the Iguana; past the little seaside villages where fishermen still cast their nets from wooden boats; plunged into the crowded cobbled streets of Old Puerto Vallarta with its jumbled mix of modernity and antiquity – Starbucks-meets-Maria the Taco Lady, on a grand scale. Later we’d immerse ourselves in the heart of this, but tonight we were headed straight through the city to the hotel zone on the other side, to a soaring white all-inclusive resort on the Marina called Vamar Vallarta.
(more…)

Coasting along the Costalegre: Costa Careyes January 2, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Adventure, Mexico, Nature tourism, Uncategorized , add a comment

Copa 1
Part 5 of a series

From the land, the cryptic entrance sign says it all: a question mark, followed by an exclamation point.

From the sea, the first thing I noticed was a strange inverted dome perched atop a narrow tongue of land, a crystal-studded cup opening skyward upon a bridge of wave-pounded cliffs. La Copa del Sol, it’s called, and it’s the brainchild of the same visionary who created the lavish dwellings tucked along this 22-kilometer stretch of coast known as Costa Careyes.
(more…)

Coasting along the Costalegre: Cuixmala, the Soul’s Resting Place December 26, 2013

Posted by Tracy in : Healing retreats, Latin America, Mexico, Nature tourism, Sustainability, Uncategorized, ecotourism , add a comment

La Loma

Part 4 of a series

This fairyland of Moorish-style villas scattered about on a 25,000-acre nature preserve was once the private hideaway of British multimillionaire-turned-conservationist Sir James Goldsmith. The late Goldsmith’s family decided to open the estate to guests and the low-profile, exclusive resort has been visited by the likes of Madonna and Tom Cruise.

I’d received an invitation to visit this off-the-map retreat center, or I’d never have known about it. Had we seen nothing else on our journey along the Costalegre, our escape to Cuixmala would have been well worth the trip.
(more…)

Coasting along the Costalegre: Manzanilla and Tenacatita December 20, 2013

Posted by Tracy in : Adventure, Mexico, Nature tourism, ecotourism , add a comment

laguna

Part 3 of a series

We awoke early this morning and went to the wildlife refuge at the backside of Barra de Navidad, a place seldom frequented by tourists but a hotspot for migratory waterfowl. A beautiful place to watch the sunrise and the sometimes extraordinary birds that appear there; once I saw several very large waterfowl that I didn’t recognize, over a meter in height. Today there were a pair of graceful blue herons fishing for breakfast; we observed them quietly before hitting the road north.

Today was the day we’d arrive in Cuixmala, the mysterious coastal refuge that was the high point of our trip. But first, we had a bit more coast to explore.

(more…)