Friday, March 30, 2012

Baja Wine

Mexico's best kept secret is being exposed! Mexican wines are fast becoming a prized commodity among the most refined and sophisticated wine lovers around the world. Discover the secret of Mexico’s international award winning wines and explore this beautiful valley with it's excellent wineries, inns, restaurants and gracious people.
Guadalupe Valley is northeast of Ensenada on Highway 3 that leads to Tecate. You can find Highway 3 ( 70 miles south of San Diego) two miles south of the last toll station before Ensenada. About six miles from the start of Highway 3 at El Sauzal you drop into the western end of Guadalupe Valley at San Antonio de las Minas. This is the beginning of the wine country which is about two-thirds the size of Napa Valley, fourteen miles long and about three to five miles wide. The valley is blessed with ideal conditions for growing and producing world-quality premium grapes and wine. The soil is rich, the climate is Mediterranean, water is abundant, and the winemakers and growers are very creative and innovative. In fact, Camillo Magoni, winemaker for L.A. Cetto Winery, was named as the best winemaker in the world by the Dutch wine magazine, Vinbladet.

Today there are over sixteen established wineries in Guadalupe Valley and four wineries in Ensenada which together produce over eighty percent of all Mexican wines. Many superior wines are being created to include both white and reds. L.A. Cetto Winery is the largest wine producer in Mexico and is mostly responsible for giving Mexican wines international attention through winning global awards and with aggressive, ingenious marketing tactics. Several boutique wineries: Vinicola Suenos, Monte Xanic, Chateau Camou, Dona Lupe, Bibayoff, Mogor-Badan, Baron Balch'e, Vinisterra and others make award-winning wines of distinct character. Dona Lupe Winery has a wonderful selection of premium organic wines, natural jams, jellies, salsa, cheese, herbs and more.

You can enjoy the wine country during an overnight stay at the Rosarito Beach Hotel. It's about a one hour drive to the wine country from the hotel down along the beautiful coastal highway towards the seaport of Ensenada. The new Baja wine country maps are available at the front desk of the hotel or at the Baja Tourism offices in Tijuana and Ensenada.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What to do in Ensenada

If you are coming from Tijuana on the Scenic toll road, you will enjoy the panoramic sites, you will see how coastal cliffs and soft  hillsides tumble one-to-one to blend into the blue sea. Upon arrival, El Mirador ( Rosarito to Ensenada Km 23) will first welcome with its beautiful panoramic view of Bahia Todos  Santos (All Saints Bay ), We recommend this site to watch the sunset and the ocean with their boats and Scallop and yellow fin tuna farms and excellent photo opportunities.

Follow the coastal highway all the way to the city about 20 minutes more and you will reach Boulevard Lázaro Cárdenas and Lopez Mateos Avenue the heart of downtown Ensenada .
In the area you will find emblematic sites as the Civic Plaza, with its sculptures of Mexican  heroes  and the huge Mexican flag and the Malecon (board walk) whose coastal access is the best place to admire the port activities (Blvd. Teniente Azueta 224) and the Naval cruise terminal (Blvd. Lázaro Cárdenas and AV. Castillo). From here you can contact small tourist barges  that will take from the old shipyard to archipelago (Isla Todos Santos) All Saints Island, on the way you will view the sea lions shelter.


If your passion is geared to surfing, scuba diving or for whale watching, fishing, Bahia Todos Santos (All Saints Bay) is a marine undiscovered horizon. There are multiple tour operators that can help you organize your trip. View options in the service directory of this guide.


If there is a destination in Baja California where you can find great culinary array it is in Ensenada. Don't leave without sampling fish and shrimp tacos or baked clams. Toast to the good life with a Margarita cocktail a drinks originating in the area. See options where to eat in this guide services directory.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dental Care Across the Border

A while ago I was chewing on a piece of pizza when CRUNCH and I suddenly realized I was chewing on a piece of my molar. “Ew,” you say. Well, it happens, but my immediate thought wasn’t “Ew,” it was “How much??” I have a dental plan, but it’s dinky—at best. In fact, it only covers 50% of most important procedures, and then only if it involves certain teeth and not others, blah blah blah. Won’t bore you with the details.
The thing is, I was going to spend north of a thousand bucks on my tooth, namely because I not only needed a crown for the broken part, it turned out I needed a root canal (ouch indeed). So I did the only logical thing I could: I drove three hours to Los Algodones, Mexico, where I sat myself down in a high-tech dental office and had all my procedures done for a grand total of $650 (plus couple of tanks of gas, since it took three visits to accomplish).
Medical tourism to Mexico is nothing new.
Here’s the drill: I drove down to the border, parked right across from the gates in a $3 a day lot (with security), walked across and into town and to my dentist’s office three blocks down. Simple. And very safe. Even though I had a wad of cash in my pocket and I’m sure every single person on the street knew it, since most doctors only accept cash. Did I say I felt very safe?
Los Algodones has a sterling reputation for excellent dentistry and opthalmology. Google it, you’ll see.
The doctors in Los Algodones have state of the art equipment, immaculate offices and many are educated in the U.S., crossing the border themselves on a regular basis to update their techniques. Of course, do some research. I happen to have a personal friend with a dental office down there: Dra. Alma Luna.
In my humble opinion, if you’re within driving distance and don’t have piles of dough to put the dentist’s kids through Ivy League College, consider dental care across the border.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Real Heroes of Mexico

The MEXICO Report believes it’s vital to showcase the positive news and goodwill efforts taking place in Mexico, especially those who are making a difference. That’s why we are pleased to introduce the “Real Heroes of Mexico” Awards.
We see everyday people in Mexico, doing amazing things in the community, in business, in the environment, in their homes, in non-profits and all around who go above and beyond, and most go unrecognized. Our goal is to recognize and showcase their efforts, their bravery, their kindness, their achievements, their positive, inspirational stories and share them with the world!
Meet the Real Heroes of Mexico Ambassadors, our awesome team who have their eye on Mexico, those who are also eager to join in on this mission; those who are also passionate about identifying and showcasing the good in Mexico, the unspoken heroes and acts of kindness, and those sincerely making a difference in bettering the image of Mexico.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Food Crisis as Drought and Cold Hit Mexico

MEXICO CITY — A drought that a government official called the most severe Mexico had ever faced has left two million people without access to water and, coupled with a cold snap, has devastated cropland in nearly half of the country.

The government in the past week has authorized $2.63 billion in aid, including potable water, food and temporary jobs for the most affected areas, rural communities in 19 of Mexico’s 31 states. But officials warned that no serious relief was expected for at least another five months, when the rainy season typically begins in earnest.
While the authorities say they expect the situation to worsen, one of the five worst-affected states, Zacatecas, got a reprieve on Sunday. Heriberto Félix Guerra, head of the Ministry of Social Development,  saw the rain, the first in 17 months, as a guardedly reassuring sign.
Among the more seriously affected communities are tribal areas of the Tarahumara indigenous community in the Sierra Madre, in the north. Known for endurance running and self-reliance, the Tarahumara are among Mexico’s poorest citizens. When false reports of a mass suicide brought on by hunger surfaced recently, journalists and aid organizations poured in to shed light on the situation.
“I think it has really become extreme poverty,” says Isaac Oxenhaut, national aid coordinator for the Mexican Red Cross. Mr. Oxenhaut recently visited the Indian communities where, he said, the land was too dry to grow any crops the Tarahumara usually depend on for their livelihood. “They don’t have anywhere to harvest absolutely anything,” he added.
Nearly 7 percent of the country’s agricultural land, mostly in the north and center, has suffered total loss, according to Victor Celaya del Toro, director of development studies at the Agriculture Ministry.
The drought, which has been compounded by freezing temperatures, has already pushed up the cost of some produce, including corn and beans. The governor of the Central Bank, Agustín Carstens, speaking last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, cautioned that it might cause inflation to rise later this year.
But government officials have said they do not expect the price of exports to be affected.
Some of the most devastated areas are hard to reach, slowing the flow of aid to a trickle. The Red Cross is sending 70-pound sacks of rice, beans and sugar, as well as winter clothing.
“A cargo bus will not fit,” Mr. Oxenhaut said. “You have to do it with four-wheel drives or donkeys, or the people who take it on their backs.”
Even illicit crops have suffered in the drought. Pedro Gurrola, army commander in the state of Sinaloa, told reporters on Monday that many marijuana crops had dried up but that the harvest of what remains has continued.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Evidence Mayans used tobacco 1,300 years ago

Ancient Mayans from 1,300 years ago may have liked a smoke, it has emerged.
A cask with Mayan hieroglyphics on it saying: “y-otoot ’u-may,” (“the home of its/his/her tobacco) was found in Mexico.
Researchers matched the writing with tiny evidence of nicotine.
They analysed samples extracted from the Late Classic Maya period (600 to 900 AD) using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) and 

liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) which can find faint chemical remains.

Nicotine was identified in extracts from one of the 150 vessels in the collection. The flask was made in southern Campeche, Mexico and dates to around 700 AD.
Many of the Mayan flask vessels from the Kislak collection of the Library of Congress were filled with other substances, such as iron oxide used in burial rituals, making it difficult to detect the original content.
The study published in the journal Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry.

Actress Gabriela de la Garza Discusses Her Most Important Role in Mexico: Giving Back

Gabriela de la Garza is a well-known actress in Mexico with an impressive portfolio of work, from modeling to television, film and theatre to taking an active role in the community. Recently I had the opportunity to meet with her, thanks to Aida Bernal of Spellbound Entertainment, to discuss her activity in the community and what Mexico means to her.
What I learned and enjoyed hearing most in the interview was that she utilizes her celebrity to bring awareness to the issues that matter most in her life such as education, the environment and women and children’s issues.
Gaby was born in Mexico City to musical parents: Sergio de la Garza Richardson (pianist) and Carmen Tames Mejia (organist) and is the granddaughter to Manuel Tames “Regulo”, one of the most recognizable faces from Mexico’s Golden Film Era.
Raised in Mexico City and Guadalajara, she developed her musical skills and went on to study contemporary dance at the prestigious Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. Concurrently, she began booking commercials and print/modeling jobs for Ford Models and other international agencies. She became a host for then popular music show “Ya-TV” produced by HBO and Warner Music that aired in South America, Mexico and Miami.
Without leaving her artistic endeavors behind, she received a degree in Psychology from the distinguished Iberoamericana University in Mexico City.
Gabriela’s passion for theater has led her to produce and star in several plays in Mexico: “Una Pareja Perfecta” (A Perfect Couple), “Hamlet Garcia” and “The Shape of Things” among others. Gabriela received Best Actress in a Leading Role honors in the 2010 Argentina International Telenovela Festival (FyMTI) for “Las Aparicio”.Gabriela has become one the best known actresses in Mexico. She landed a small role as an avatar in 20th Century Fox’s 2009 hit “Dragonball Evolution” and in 2010 she had leading roles in two hit television series: “Bienes Raices” and the hugely popular “Las Aparicio” as well as several independent films.
Gabriela landed the lead role on the critical acclaimed HBO Latino series, “Capadocia” which will air in Mexico, the U.S. and Latin America in 2012. Her film, “Nos Vemos Papa” (See You Dad) premiered at the 2011 Morelia Film Festival and her film “El Fantastico Mundo De Juan Orol” had its gala premiere in Mexico City in December 2011. Orol will also go the Guadalajara Film Festival in March 2012.

Friday, March 2, 2012

In Celebration of International Women’s Day Conference on Transforming Women’s Lives: We Move Forward 2012

ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO – On March 8, 9, & 10, marking both International Women’s Day and the end of the old Mayan calendar, Mexico’s Isla Mujeres will host the 3-day We Move Forward 2012 Women’s Conference. Mayans
believe that 2012 is an auspicious time to move forward, to evolve, to grow. We Move Forward 2012 is a transformational event that brings together internationally renowned speakers; organizational and personal facilitators; and mind, body, fitness, and meditation experts who will offer participants opportunities to shed what no longer serves them and inspiration to move forward into the next chapter of their lives.

We Move Forward 2012 is an event for women of all ages and backgrounds to come together, listen to and be inspired by the stories of women who have struggled and made it through. Through practical workshops, breakout sessions, and under the guidance of professionally trained facilitators, participants will recognize impediments in their own lives, get clarity on their dreams and potential, and be encouraged to allow themselves to take the time to clear the way for new growth so they can move forward in a desired direction with a renewed sense of hope – What will my next chapter look like? What do I want more of? What will my new beginning look like? What do I need to do to get there?
At the very same time the old Mayan calendar ends its 5,125-year cycle a new one begins. This conference is about acknowledging and honoring endings while moving forward to create sustainable new beginnings. Participants will have an opportunity to immerse in Mayan and Mexican culture, connect and create community with women from around the world, take part in activities and interactive workshops designed to shape and clarify their values, visions, and voices. We Move Forward 2012 will give them insights and tools to help them discover their potential and facilitate forward movement in their lives.
We Move Forward 2012 begins on International Women’s Day. Isla Mujeres – Spanish for Island of Women – is home to the Temple of Ix Chel, the Mayan Goddess of women fertility, healing, and abundance. Known for its white sand and calm beaches on one side, roiling ocean and volcanic rock coastline on the other, and easy access from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is the ideal place to host a celebration

of the feminine, moving forward in one’s life, and rejuvenation of the spirit.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leaders investing in alternative vision for troubled area

TIJUANA – The city’s east side, long a home to industrial parks and gritty neighborhoods, should also be home to art and science.
That’s the goal the private and public sector are advancing on several fronts to improve life in the most troubled area of the city.

For years, newly arrived residents settled there in sprawling barrios, which had few public services, such as parks and schools. Predictably, the explosive social and economic cocktail brewing there exploded in the years 2008 to 2010, when hundreds of its young residents were assassinated and others arrested.
Criminal cells aligned with competing drug cartels had enlisted them as foot soldiers, and when war broke out among the traffickers, the bodies of their young charges littered eastside streets.
At the end of 2008 a private-public project was inaugurated long in the making, the interactive children’s museum called Museo El Trompo, next to Parque Morelos, located in the heart of the east side. Since then, little by little, other cultural, artistic and entrepreneurial institutions have begun to spring up.
These included the State Center for the Arts, a music conservatory and headquarters for the Baja California Orchestra and the young ensembles it organizes; the soon-to-be-opened Ámbar Museum, which offers scientific displays on the effects of drug abuse; the Culinary Art School; and, most recently, the World Trade Center Tijuana.
On Friday, Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán inaugurated two halls in the Museo El Trompo -- “Educa” and “Genera” -- built for $1.5 million and which make up the next-to-the-last phase of the museum.
He also announced that the area will be promoted as a corridor dedicated to science and art, though he didn’t elaborate what that promotion would entail.
As is the case with the entire museum, the new halls aim to interest children in the science through diverse games.
The “Educate” hall seeks to establish a relationship between student and the technology sector, while “Generate” invites visitors to relate ideas, such as the creative process, innovation, design and solving problems, explained Gustavo Camarena, president of the El Trompo foundation.
Together, 27 new interactive exhibits opened at the museum, which already has the halls “3D,” “Explica,” “Integra,” and “Experimenta,” plus an auditorium, lecture hall and a lab equipped with a multi-media room, among other features.
The museum was built by a group of business leaders who raised $14.5 million, of which the state contributed $7.5 million.