Book Review: Narcocorrido by Elijah Wald

note: Click on links for music. Would you rather listen to gangster rap, country music, or polka?  If you cringed in horror at any of the three options, well, brace yourself. If you answered, “All three!” then you probably already know your Tigres from your Tucanes. Whatever your musical tastes, the blood-splattered accordion-happy world of the Mexican narcocorrido is a fascinating place to visit. In Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerillas, folklorist and musician Elijah Wald explains […]

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Solidarity through Mezcal

The news from Guerrero has not been good of late, what with the abduction and probable murder of 43 students at a teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa, and the subsequent riots. But real life can’t be reduced to one storyline, and so I was happy to get some better news from our friend, tequila and mezcal expert Clayton Szczech, who wrote to tell me about a kickass organization of indigenous peasants  in the Río de Balsas region of Guerrero. Sanzekan Tinemi  […]

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Book Review: El Narco

I shouldn’t be reviewing this book or recommending it to our readers. As an editor for a travel site and managing editor for The People’s Guide to Mexico, one of my goals is to, you know, encourage people to go to Mexico. It’s my job to say that your fears about Mexico are overblown, that the media is mongering fear, that our vision of modern Mexico is skewed by the press, that vast portions of Mexico are still safe, that […]

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Abduction of Students Fuels Fires of Protest

Mexican Highway 200 with Mexican road sign that says "Guerrero"

Tony Burton at Geo-Mexico wrote a comprehensive overview of the horrifying situation in Guerrero, where the police abducted 43 student protestors, who are now presumed dead. His article contains a lot of interesting links that will fill you in on the details of the story to date. Check it out. If moving pictures are more your oeuvre, Vice News has some good video coverage of the case, including footage of the protests in Mexico City and interviews at the liberal […]

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How to Prepare for a Hurricane

A cigarette card showing hurricane warning flags.

I am writing these notes after passage of a bad hurricane. We have been without services for a week and it looks like basic survival mode is going to last a lot longer. Note: Please bear in mind the ideas and suggestions listed in this article have nothing whatsoever to do with the most important issue – personal safety. Hurricane personal safety has been discussed in other articles and is, of course, far more important than comfort or convenience. But […]

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From the Eye of the Hurricane

Vintage image of man in tux in hammock with a cocktail.

editor’s note: Loyal PG correspondent El Codo is hunkered down in a shack on the coast of baja, facing the worst of Hurricane Odile. Reporting live… Hurricanes are not tropical adventures where people in pith helmets sit in a fern decorated tropical bar while ceiling fans slowly revolve. “I say old sod, another gin & tonic, and you’d better mop by the door. Now as I was saying about the issue with the porters and the taboo…” The bar would […]

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Is Acapulco Safe?

A reader writes: I really enjoyed reading your guys’ book with all the practical advices about Mexico; a question: any current concerns for traveling to and around Acapulco? -Dan Churpa responds: Hi Dan, Thanks for reading. Hmmm…Acapulco. That’s a tough one. The last time I was in Acapulco was in 2013. We drove the coastal Highway 200 from Oaxaca, through Guerrero and Michoacan, and up into Sinaloa. As you may already know, Guerrero, Michoacan and Sinaloa are all considered hot […]

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El Codo's Michoacan Travel Advisory

Coat of arms of Michoacan

After recently visiting Michoacan and talking with friends and neighbors (all Mexicanos), I have come to the conclusion that travel in the state is inadvisable due to the strife between the LCT (Los Caballeros Templarios), the Rurales, the authentic cops, SSP and military authorities, and the utterly corrupt state and local police. Tourist cars have been carjacked outside the sancturio mariposas, Uruapan, Tzintzuntzan, and north of Caleta de Campos on Mex 200. Tourist pedestrians have been robbed at gunpoint during […]

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Birding Hikes in the Copper Canyon?

Michael Huckaby hikes the Copper Canyon.

Erin writes: I’m a gal traveling solo (with dog) and plan on spending 1.5 weeks in the Barrancas del Cobre region and am looking for advice. I have a truck and a safe place to keep it in Baltopilas and Creel. I am an avid birder and naturalist and am looking for some birdy multiday and day hikes. Do you have any insight as to good spots for eared quetzal or military macaws? I just finished reading the PG and […]

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Is Oaxaca Safe?

Stone ruins of Mitla and old church

A reader writes: We were thinking of renting a house outside of Oaxaca this April. Heard some rumors that it may not safe? Also does one need your own transportation? Are there enough buses around and frequent enough to be taken places? Thanks. –D Churpa answers: For as long as I can remember, Oaxaca has been a politically charged state, with more strikes and demonstrations than most other parts of Mexico. However, this agitation doesn’t tend to be aimed at […]

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