Hotel Las Hadas – Fairyland – Manzanillo, Colima MEXICO © John Lamkin
It was in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico and I was staying at a five-star hotel on the beach called Las Hadas (meaning the fairies). (“Bo Derek slept here” while filming 10.) I heard that in the morning there was a van leaving on a trip to the Magic Town (Pueblo Magico) of Comala, Colima so I signed up. In this case “magic” has nothing to do with Harry Potter, but is the designation Mexico has given several towns around the country that offer visitors a “magical” experience–by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches or historical relevance.
The van left in the morning with me, an attractive actress from Hollywood, a PR woman from Miami and a reporter from Chicago. We toured the Manzanillo Bay, then headed out to the Magic Town. On the way we came to a small hill, la Loma de Fatima, where more “magic” had occurred. It seems that Volcan de Fuego (Fire Volcano), the active volcano that overlooks the town of Colima had once erupted, threatening to inundate the town and surrounds with lava. The people went to the top of this hill and prayed to Fatima. The lava miraculously stopped just short of the town, so the people erected a shrine to Fatima here. Read more at Global Writes.
The Dock at Rancho Encantado Eco-Resort on Laguna Bacalar, Mexican Caribbean
Rancho Encantado Eco-Resort, Laguna Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico — December 2010
I ‘discovered’ Rancho Encantado about 14 years ago – not that it was lost. It had been languishing on the shore of Laguna Bacalar, the Lake of Seven Colors, in the southern Yucatan Peninsula for 10 years before that discovery. I try to get to that magical place at least once a year. The Rancho exists in the midst of the Zona Maya, the home of the old Maya civilization. Archaeological sites abound. I met my querida there and we have been together for 13 years.
You can find Rancho Encantado at www.encantado.com.
Click on the image or here to view in 360 degrees.
Story and photos by John Lamkin
“SPA TREATMENTS” read the hand-lettered sign, which seemed perfectly normal…until I remembered I was in a prison, in Mexico!
Prisoner in Courtyard with Pet Coatamundi
Outside, a tarp strung between the large trees was flapping in the breeze. Beneath were chairs for chair massage and pedicures. Inside the wooden shack I found one massage table and three therapists – one man, one woman and one of unidentifiable sex. This primitive spa “palace” was in the middle of the courtyard of a prison located in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, just a half an hour north of the Belize border. Read more at Global Writes
The Hippie Hat
Story and photos by John Lamkin
We were looking for sombreros–hats. Viewing the giant hat sculpture in the village plaza, there was no doubt we had arrived at the hat-making town of Becal, Campeche, Mexico.
Hat Monument and Church, Becal, Campeche, Mexico
We saw several tricycle rickshaws in the town center waiting for passengers. Judie, who has ridden camels in the Sahara, funeral boats in Mog Mog, said, “I want to ride one!” So she hired one of the taxistas
to take her to the cave of the best hat maker and we followed in the car.
Hats have been made in Becal for generations in the humid environments of backyard limestone caves. The humidity keeps the fibers pliable for easier weaving. It is said that there are more than 2,600 of these caves in the area.
The women of the families weave hats in the caves, while the men gather the materials and sell the sombreros. They make everything from colorful, floppy beach hats to expensive fine “Panama” hats. Don’t mention “Panama” to them, however. “Panama” hats are not from Panama. Originally men building the Panama Canal bought hats from Ecuador and called them “Panama.” This is somewhat akin to buying a Christian Dior or Chanel chapeau in Chicago and calling it a “Chicago hat.” Continue reading at Global Writes.
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Sierra Lodge, Cusarare, Chihuahua, Mexico - Early Morning © 2009 by John Lamkin
The morning sun filtering through the pine trees splattered shadows across the lodge steps and the Tarahumara women setting up their impromptu crafts markets.
Tarahumara Girl with Heart Tattoo & Smile - Sierra Lodge, Cusarare, Chihuahua, Mexico - © 2009 by John Lamkin
The young Tarahumara girl with the heart tattoo on her cheek turned away shyly when I spoke to her then turned back with a smile when I greeted her in her language. I bought a small carving of a Tarahumara women weaving for 30 pesos (about $2.50 U.S.) from her. Then another smile when I said goodbye in Tarahumara. Read at Examiner