Mexico

Santa Muerte: Saint Death — By Lydian Shipp
MexicoNorth America

Santa Muerte: Saint Death — By Lydian Shipp

Santa Muerte: Saint DeathSanta Muerte is the female personification of death. She goes by many names, such as Lady of the Night, Skinny Lady, Santa Sebastiana, and The Godmother among others. She is not seen as being a dead human being herself, unlike other Catholic saints, although some people do believe that she was once a real person. There are many people that follow the cult of Santa Muerte, but ...
Finding del Truco — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Finding del Truco — By Jennifer Shipp

With 3 hours to kill between Spanish classes at Escuela Falcon, Lydian and I try to find sights to see in Guanajuato. When I say “try” it’s not because there aren’t plenty of sights, museums, and cool activities in Guanajuato. I don’t know if we’d ever run out of things to do here, but finding them is the hard part. Don’t misunderstand me though. I thoroughly enjoy the search and corresponding surprises ...
Haunted Guanajuato: The House of the Witches and the Public Cemetery — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Haunted Guanajuato: The House of the Witches and the Public Cemetery — By Jennifer Shipp

We search for haunted locations and folklore when we travel. Not all cultures accept the idea of ghosts, but luckily Mexico is a place where people are obsessed with the idea of death. Guanajuato is a city filled with fascinating legends and myths. Guanajuato is an old city, dating back to the 1520’s and there have been plenty of tragedies here to keep the ghost stories spinning. Finding haunted places is ...
Haunted Guanajuato: Casa De Las Brujas in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Lydian Shipp
MexicoTrips

Haunted Guanajuato: Casa De Las Brujas in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Lydian Shipp

(NOTE: This post was written when I was 13. I edited it in 2017 for grammatical errors and other technical stuff, but maintained the content to preserve my 13-year-old perspective)Yesterday, we visited Casa de las Brujas. It took us about 2 ½ hours to find the place due to the winding streets of Guanajuato. The Casa de las Brujas (the House of the Witches) is a blue Victorian-looking house on Paseo de ...
Navigating Streets Laid out in a Grid System vs. Navigating Streets Laid out Like a Pile a of Yarn — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTripsUncategorized

Navigating Streets Laid out in a Grid System vs. Navigating Streets Laid out Like a Pile a of Yarn — By Jennifer Shipp

Yesterday, Lydian and I decided that our afternoon activity between Spanish classes would be to get to Casa de las Brujas, a haunted location in Guanajuato. I had carefully planned our adventure. I had maps, my phone, and plenty of advice about how to get to Paseo de la Presa (the street where Casa de las Brujas is located). I was very concerned about getting hopelessly lost with Lydian, since this has ...
Stop Striving and Just Be: Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Stop Striving and Just Be: Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

Traveling for months at a time means radical changes in the way we do things. Our routine is altered. Our food is altered. What we wear is reduced to a few choice items. Obtaining basic necessities can be challenging at times (like aspirin, bug spray, or tampons). I sleep in a different bed. Cook in a different kitchen. We sit on furnishings that aren’t ours and watch TV in a language that isn’t our own. ...
Making Piñatas at Escuela Falcon, Guanajuato Language School — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Making Piñatas at Escuela Falcon, Guanajuato Language School — By Jennifer Shipp

There are a number of Spanish language schools in Guanajuato, Mexico. Luckily, we decided to look into Escuela Falcon first. Though it's a good 45 minute walk from our house (over gigantic hills and up plenty of stairs), it's worth it. This week, we tried our first evening activity at the school: Making Pinatas.Every week, in addition to an assortment of daily Spanish classes, at Escuela Falcon in ...
Get What You Want…Start with Good Health — By Jennifer Shipp
MexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Get What You Want…Start with Good Health — By Jennifer Shipp

There is a recurring conversation that I keep having with the people at home in the United States. It has to do with the American Machine. These are talented, educated people who can't find work that's fulfilling for a decent wage. We cross paths with these people through our work or through projects that we do for fun. These see us traveling. They read about us and they wonder, how are we able to make ...
The Sad Stinking Truth about Here and Home — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTips

The Sad Stinking Truth about Here and Home — By Jennifer Shipp

Between home and the Spanish language school, Escuela Falcon, are a variety of smells that cannot be sent home, captured in photographs, or otherwise communicated easily to friends and family back in the United States. When we travel, there are many smells that waft around us as we go about our travel-related activities. The smells wake us up in the morning or sometimes signal that we’re getting close to ...
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part IV — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part IV — By Jennifer Shipp

Down the stairs and then up an enormous hill, a steady stream of locals made their way to the cemetery which is located near the Museo de las Momias (Mummy Museum) in Guanajuato. A veritable party was happening along the street leading to the cemetery, which was actually only about a 3 minute walk through the ghettos of Guanajuato from our house (most of Guanajuato is very safe and really cool, but we ...
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part III — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part III — By Jennifer Shipp

I have read that Dia de los Muertos is more comparable to Thanksgiving than to Halloween, but my experience hasn’t confirmed this. Indeed, walking through Guanajuato last night around 11:00 PM, the town didn’t have the quiet-American-holiday feel to it. No. No. No. Guanajuato was seething. The music was loud and the bars were overflowing. There was a cantankerous, rebellious vibe in the air. Yes, there were ...
Calaveras de Azucar: Sugar Skulls and the Day of the Dead — By Lydian Shipp
MexicoNorth AmericaTips

Calaveras de Azucar: Sugar Skulls and the Day of the Dead — By Lydian Shipp

Sugar skulls (Calaveras de Azucar) are used to entice the dead to visit the living during Dia de los Muertos in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Sugar is molded into the shape of a skull and then decorated into creative designs. Many of the designs have symbolic meaning. For example, candles within the hollowed out eyes mean remembrance. Cobwebs symbolize death while flowers within the sugar skull ...
Cempasuchil: Marigolds and the Day of the Dead — By Lydian Shipp
MexicoNorth AmericaTips

Cempasuchil: Marigolds and the Day of the Dead — By Lydian Shipp

According to a variety of different pagan and occult belief systems, flowers contain etheric energies that beings on other planes can use for energy. Aztecs used marigolds for this purpose in their July and August ceremonies that celebrated dead loved ones. Westerners send flowers (usually without thinking about why) when someone passes and the flowers are typically stacked around the loved one during ...
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part II — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part II — By Jennifer Shipp

Writing about traditions that are deeply ingrained in a culture is difficult in part because none of the participants in the tradition really knows or remembers where it originally really came from or why they do what they do to celebrate it. The meaning of the holiday, the holiness, in a sense, becomes lost underneath all the ritual and requirements of the festivities.But still, there's comfort in ...
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part I — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guanajuato, Mexico: Part I — By Jennifer Shipp

Since we arrived here a week ago, there have been booths and tiendas set up with sugar skulls. Mexico is where Dia de los Muertos originated and so the festivities and traditions surrounding the event still supercede the goings-on of El Cervantino (a festival celebrating Miguel Cervantes and art in general) and the arrival of the Carrera Panamericana cars.Dia de Muertos takes place over the course of ...
Carrera Panamericana 2013 — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTipsTripsUncategorized

Carrera Panamericana 2013 — By Jennifer Shipp

This is one of the most famous and craziest road racing events in the world. For seven days every year, people drive their cars at break-neck speeds on public roads in Mexico.The Carrera Panamericana is a road rally that passed through Guanajuato in late October when we were there in 2013. It was originally a road race began in 1950 to celebrate the completion of the Pan American Highway in Mexico. It ...
Estoy Perdida: Lost in Guanajuato — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Estoy Perdida: Lost in Guanajuato — By Jennifer Shipp

“The streets are serpentine.” Hugh, our taxi driver told us as we stood outside the hotel on our way to the bus station. I’d heard that the city was rather like a labyrinth, but I doubted it could be worse than the medina in Fez. I’d looked at a few maps, but I just didn’t think that we’d struggle finding our way around.And I tend to enjoy being lost anyway. I find the coolest thing when I have no idea ...
Spending Time with Jesus or the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato? You Decide… — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Spending Time with Jesus or the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato? You Decide… — By Jennifer Shipp

Guanajuato, (also known by locals as GTO)  was overflowing with people when we arrived here on October 23rd. I had read in numerous places that it would be nearly impossible to find a hotel room during El Cervantino in Guanajuato, but luckily, we hadn’t booked a hotel. We were in a vacation rental, up a meandering staircase just a short distance from the city center.Today is the last day of the Festival ...
Loitering Dogs, Criminals, and Lovers Deter Earnest Jogger from Exercise Routine — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Loitering Dogs, Criminals, and Lovers Deter Earnest Jogger from Exercise Routine — By Jennifer Shipp

Although the stairs leading up to the front door of our vacation rental are a little obnoxious (there are 100-150 of them), I was pleased that I wouldn't have trouble finding a place to work-out while we were in Guanajuato. At home, I normally jog at least 5 days of week and do a few supplementary activities to keep myself fit, but when we travel, I never know what kind of space or work-out facilities will ...
The Laundry Lady vs. My Mexican Washing Machine — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

The Laundry Lady vs. My Mexican Washing Machine — By Jennifer Shipp

I was so pleased when I realized there was a washing machine at our Guanajuato vacation rental. In many parts of the world, the only way to do your laundry is to send it away or wash it in the sink. Having a washing machine would make the task of laundry into a no-brainer. I’d just stick our clothes in the wash when we got there and Voila! They would be clean.

But washing machines in ...
Bruised Banana