A new up-load to my “NaturesBounty ” Imagekind gallery.
A new up-load to my “NaturesBounty ” Imagekind gallery.
I have up- loaded some new photos to my Imagekind gallery. NaturesBounty.
Copy & paste this link and take a look—
These and other new additions may be found at Imagekind SEE YOU THERE ! —– Bill Pandolf
The Parade of GIANTS in Saltabarranca, Veracruz is a tradition started in the late 1800s and continues to this day on the 14TH of May every year. Many towns in the state of Veracruz have the tradition of the MOJIGANGA — As I posted earlier in this BLOG — but none can surpass the shear size of the entries nor the full support of this entire community as seen in Saltabarranca. These giant figures require from 8 to 30 people to carry them, and manipulate the different mechanical and electrical parts. And several months to construct.
The MOJIGANGA GIGANTES DE SALTABARRANCA is well worth the late hour .( it starts at around 10:30 PM) with a Mojiganga for and with the NIÑOS starting at 8PM…The thousands and thousands of people that throng from all over the state of VERACRUZ, and beyond , come to enjoy the festivities, see…and be seen…and party till dawn with live music and fireworks …and , of course..CERVASA !
The MOJIGANGA-PARADE OF GIANTS ends around 1 AM. Here are some photos of the fantastic, animated figures. I hope you enjoy them !
My good friend Dina teaches English in the ESCUELA PRIMARIA FEDERAL–CIUDAD de TLACOTALPAN.
She had this great idea..a project to help her 3rd graders with some basics. And, WOW, what a reaction she got ! Now all her students, through the 6th graders want to participate!
She had them create a barnyard scene, with all the animals named in English.
Some of these children come from homes that are hard pressed to be able to fund these extra projects, but as you will see…this does not dampen their imagination or enthusiasm. Some can not afford the extra Pesos per week for this English class, so Dina happily includes all who want to learn. God bless her. Here are a few photos of their completed projects….
As you probably could tell…some barnyards were labeled in English, some in Spanish, and some….not labeled at all. NO MATTER. After show and tell, with each item in each barnyard called out loud ( in English ) by the whole class..A certificate of achievement was given to each student who completed the project. What a fun way to harness that short attention span of a classroom of 3rd graders and teach at the same time. BRAVO, Dina !
My friends Joy & Duncan invited me and my friend Bart to stay with them in their 200 year old home in San Cristobal, Chiapas in February. We have known each other for about 4 years, as they stay in my Posada–Casa De La Luz–in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, on their long journey to and from Florida about twice a year. GADS-!–they must truly be Nomads !!
Their home incorporates the carriage entrance of a stately 200 year old town home that has since been divided into three residences. Everywhere you look, in every possible location, on every square inch of space, you encounter their incredible collection of FOLK ART from Mexico and beyond.
Every day, wandering from room to room, I would see another piece I had missed the day before. Having taken over 100 photos, below are just a few…and more will be uploaded to my “WEBSHOTS” page this week.
Loading these photographs is so frustrating for me, that again, just click on the WEBSHOTS link at the top of this page to view the rest of the photos ! I can not control the position of these pictures and am giving up for now.
I have not posted for a couple months…sorry ! Here are a couple new photos. And I`ll be back in a couple weeks.
The “SOTAVENTO” : That area of the Papaloapan River, and other rivers and their tributaries, covers an area of over 47,000 square miles.
Flowing down to the east from the volcanic highlands of the Mexican Plateau, originating from cold water springs, …on to the MIGUEL ALEMAN DAM, in the state of OAXACA, constructed to prevent disastrous flooding and to generate power, the river meanders down to the GULF of MEXICO; creating an ecosystem that is one of the largest and most bio-diverse in North America.
With TLACOTALPAN situated on the banks of the Papaloapan River, we at the CASA are in a unique position to offer easy, close access to this abundant and diverse natural habitat.
With its MANGROVE SWAMPS, LAKES, and connecting, SHALLOW WATERWAYS, this is a nature lovers paradise. All located within 10 minutes of TLACOTALPAN and the CASA.
Whether you chose a walking or boating tour of birdwatching, or a tour by horseback and /or boating through the mangroves, there is gurentered to be a rewarding, visual experience for the whole family.
For the passionate birder, there is a knowledgeable guide, DAVID McCAULEY, who makes his home here in TLACOTALPAN. He can arrange walking and/or boating excursions for the enthusiast or armature alike. And his packaged tours of the FALL HAWK MIGRATION are unparalleled.
Here at the CASA, we can put you in touch with DAVID for birding tours, and with other knowledgeable guides who live in the area, for tours on horseback, and by boat through the MANGROVES and LAKES. If you wish to contact David McCuley direct, GOOGLE “birdingveracruz” and you will be directed to his website and contact information.
These excursions can last from 2 to 4 hours. The horses are genial and the boat rides are smooth—without the noise of a motor that would otherwise scare the birds and animals.
Here are some pictures taken by a guest at Casa De La Luz…MARNI…from Northern California. She and I also took a boat ride on the Papaloapan River one afternoon and came upon a rancher moving his herd of cattle ( swimming ) across the river. There are pictures of this event in an earlier post on this blog.
MARNIES’ guides’ name is MARTIN. He understands English, having worked in the states for a few years, but, alas, refuses to speak it ! But he and his 4 brothers and 2 sisters grew up on a RANCHO next to this wonderful ecosystem and he knows almost everything about its’ plants & animals and its’ secretes.
This church known locally as.. Little Saint Michael… SAN MIGUELITO…is the oldest church in Tlacotalpan.
The construction began in 1785, on top of the remains of another church destroyed by fire. It’s primary services were to the Indigenous community.
The building , as it stands today, inaugurated in 1800, is a unique example of Tlacotalpan architecture, combining a neoclassical style with a wooden ceiling and a mud tiled roof.
There are also two towers, the highest housing a clock, placed there in 1800, and the smaller one containing a belfry, topped by a semicircular dome.
This is Bill Pandolf..( billdelaluz ..in my photography work )..A retired American, and your host here at the Casa.
Having lived in Mexico for over 10 years, and over 5 years here in Tlacotalpan, I try to bring together the colors and style of Mexican Gulf Coast living, with the amenities and personal service enjoyed by the seasoned traveler.
Casadelaluz is located in the small port/fishing village of Tlacotalpan, on the banks of the Papaloapan River, 15 kilometers from the Gulf of Mexico. And 80 kilometers south of the Port of Veracruz. You can read more about the history of this once thriving port and what brings it into the 21 century as a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE in another posting on this blog.
You will also find links on this blog to the casadelaluz-mexico website, and photo tours of the Casa and Tlacotalpan in ” flicker ” and “webshots “. Just click on the links and then use your back button to return to this blog page.
Casadelaluz has a fully furnished apartment on the second floor, with a screened patio, overlooking a tropical garden. Including a full kitchen with pots & pans, glassware, plates, and utensils.-A microwave, blender, and a toaster, among other things. The all-tiled bath has a glass block wall to allow in plenty of natural light. The main room has an antique French wardrobe, table and six chairs, two double beds, satellite TV, a ceiling fan, floor fan, and original paintings on the walls. Looking through the three sets of all-glass French doors, you see the patio with wicker chairs, and a marble topped table—the perfect place to sit and observe the many birds in the garden while having a morning cup of coffee, or an afternoon of reading and planning the next days activities. And if you are up early in the morning, watching the beautiful Tlacotalpan sunrise above the coconut palms swaying in the distance.
The Casa also has a large room, with private bath, two single beds, satellite TV, and a ceiling fan. There is also a set of French doors and floor to ceiling window, looking on to a small screened patio next to the garden. There are two chairs and a table on the patio where you can sit and enjoy your morning coffee, which is provided by the Casa.
The Casa has a second, smaller room with a double bed, no TV, a floor fan and the bathroom is shared with me. This room also has French doors opening onto the screened garden patio, where you will find coffee in the mornings. All three units come with AIR CONDITIONING and they have street access through the garden.
During my five plus years of living here in Tlacotalpan, I have done some research on the history of the town and the surrounding area, and offer a walking / orientation tour of the town. Starting in the Zocalo, pointing out good places to eat, where to hire a boat to view the town from the river, as well as other points of interest such as museums, the opera house, the central market and a well stocked grocery store. And, oh yes, lets not forget the cantina where the famous Tlacotalpaño, Agustin Lara used to drink and regale his friends. I am also happy to arrange ECO tours on horseback, and boating tours of the Mangrove swamps and waterways, where you will see many birds, plants and wild animals. I can also help you plan day trips to the Tuxtlas Mountain towns of Santiago, and San Andres…and on to the Lake town of Catemaco…a lake formed in the creator of an extinct volcano. There is also a day trip to the beach town on Monte Pio.
With bicycles and horseback being predominant forms of transportation, you will experience the friendly, outgoing, and always willing to stop and talk, attitudes of the people of the slow paced and beautiful Caribbean style town.
Tlacotalpan and CasaDeLaLuz is the place to come for a family holiday, a couples getaway, and a nature lovers dream come true. A place where artists and writers can come to let their creativity flow.