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Mexican Journal: Day 6 – Eduardo Ruiz National Park, Uruapan

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Mexican Journal: Day 6 – Eduardo Ruiz National Park, Uruapan

After lunch we head back to Morelia from where we return home to Denver the next day. As I look back at this entire trip, I feel very fortunate to have had this culturally rich experience. Many folks contributed to the success of this trip. Thanks to Sheridan Samano of Reefs to Rockies for putting together an incredible itinerary and coordinating all the logistics with the local ground operator. This...

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Mexican Journal: Day 5 – Tzintzuntzan & Uruapan

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Mexican Journal: Day 5 – Tzintzuntzan & Uruapan

About 20 minutes from Patzcuaro is the Tzintzuntzan Archeological Site, which was built by the native peoples of the region, the Purépechas around 1200 AD. The name Tzintzuntzan means ‘place of the hummingbirds’. The ruins consist of five ceremonial temples with circular, terraced platforms. The Purépechas were a community of Native Americans who were the only ones who stood up to the Aztecs and were not defeated. Until the arrival...

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Mexican Journal: Day 4 – Patzcuaro

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Mexican Journal: Day 4 – Patzcuaro

Our next stop is Jenitzio Island, with its monumental statue of José Maria Morelos, a leader of Mexican independence, at the top of the hill. The inclined streets are lined with handicraft stores and restaurants. We climb the steep hillside and at the top is the huge statue of Morelos made of stone bricks. Within the statue are paintings by Ramon Alba de la Canal and other great Mexican muralists...

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Mexican Journal: Day 3 – Sierra Chincua Monarch Sanctuary

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Mexican Journal: Day 3 – Sierra Chincua Monarch Sanctuary

After spending a couple of hours at the butterfly site, we head back, each of us having been touched by the wonder and spirituality of this experience. While we will always cherish this experience, our thoughts and prayers today were also with the local people of nearby villages who have been devastated by the recent floods and mudslide. These local folks depend on this ecotourism for their livelihood, which provides...

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Mexican Journal: Day 2 – Tlalpujahua

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Mexican Journal: Day 2 – Tlalpujahua

So, on Day 2 instead of visiting the Sierra Chincua Monarch Sanctuary we detoured to Tlalpujahua on the outskirts of the sanctuary in the Tansvolcanic Mountains of Central Mexico. The 2.5 hour drive from Morelia brought us to the quaint town of Tlalpujahua with narrow streets paved in cobblestones. On either side, the colorful buildings, large plazas and cathedrals are reminiscent of days bygone. Of horticultural interest were the strawberry farms...

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Mexican Journal: Day 1 - Morelia

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Mexican Journal: Day 1 - Morelia

Of course, a tour is not complete without visiting a place of botanical interest! So, in finding out that there was an Orchid Museum (Orquidario) within a short distance from our hotel, a few of us plant nerds ended up at the Orquidario. Though the display itself was not very significant, I am now in possession of a tissue-cultured Laelia autumnalis orchid to add to our collections. The advantage of...

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Holy Cacao! Making Chocolate with Your Child

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Holy Cacao! Making Chocolate with Your Child

Kids will taste chocolate that has no cream or sugar added usually referred to as baking chocolate. This is the first time you will see your child spit out chocolate!  From there, the experience will only get sweeter and kids will finally find out what it is they really love about chocolate: cream and sugar!  So come ready to make your own chocolate, drink some chocolate and learn about theobroma,...

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