Following the popularity of the world’s only Mexican beaded Volkswagen, namely “Vochol”, the Museum of Popular Arts’ Friends Association (Asociación de Amigos del Museo de Arte Popular - AAMAP) has made available miniature replicas which can be purchased at their… stores in Mexico City. The miniature replicas, also known as “Vocholitos”, are a wonderful way to promote and recognize the unique artistic expressions of the Mexican Huichol popular tradition. Even the role of the women is represented through the Vochol – and the Vocholito.
MexicoToday is raffling 4 Vocholitos – two in Germany and two in France – via its Facebook pages, so make sure to participate for a chance to win one of them if you are based in any of those two countries!
The “Vochol” has been touring around North America and Europe for people abroad to enjoy such a magnificent piece of art. Following its exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC in March and the Denver International Airport in June, the “Vochol” visited the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris in October, when it head to the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany where it will be exhibited until the first week of January in 2013.
In an exclusive interview with MexicoToday, the then president of the Marie Therese de Arango AAMAP invited people from around the world to admire and visit one of the Vochol upcoming exhibitions. The Vochol is up for sale, and as de Arango said on the video, “We hopefully want to sell it. We would like to find a very interested collector or museum that will want to buy it.”
Watch this video where one of the Huichol bead artists that made the Vochol explains how much he appreciates its art and culture, and invites people to see the Vochol.
As Mexico Today first reported in May, the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders spent a week at the Iberostar Paraíso Maya on the Riviera Maya for their 2013 calendar photo shoot. The 2013 calendar marks the third consecutive year that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have chosen Mexico's beaches for the production of their promotional calendar.
During the episode, the cheerleaders had warm things to say about Mexico, “We look for a lot of things in our locations. First and foremost: great sand, great color of water, sunrises and sunsets.”
“Iberostar Hotels & Resorts is proud to have a strong partnership with Riviera Maya and one of the most celebrated football teams in the nation, the Dallas Cowboys,” said John Long, Iberostar’s vice president of sales and marketing, in a written release.
Click here to watch the full episode of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
In popular culture, many inaccurately associate December 21, 2012 with a Mayan prophecy about the end of the world. This is false. According to the Mayan Calendar, the world will NOT end on December 21, 2012, but rather a new cycle in life will begin. The Mayas never mentioned the world nor time would end. In fact, Mayan texts refer to dates after… 2012. The Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque refers to dates in the year 4772, two thousand years from now.
The interest in Mayan culture and Mayan cosmology has prompted renewed interest in visiting Mayan sites in Mexico. The Mexico Tourism Board launched an initiative called Mundo Maya to promote tourist interest in the states of Yucatan, Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco and Quintana Roo, key locations of the Mayan civilization.
Mundo Maya promoted such sites as the ruins of Calakmul in the state of Campeche, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. In Yucatán, the observatories of Chichén Itzá tracked the heavens. Explore the Tomb of the Red Queen in Chiapas, and learn how the indigenous jatropha plant is being refined into biofuel. And beyond the beaches of Quintana Roo, the modern-day Maya are pioneering new eco-tourism ventures to protect their natural resources. And in the state of Tabasco, chocolate was first invented as a Mayan religious beverage.
Many of the challenges facing today’s global community – such as climate change, biodiversity and food insecurity – were faced by the Maya more than a thousand years ago. Learning the lessons of the Mayan civilization can help the modern world escape a similar fate.
Sergio “Checo” Perez recently concluded his second season in Formula 1, for which he was named one of the top ten drivers of the 2012 campaign. The end of the season marks a significant transition for the 22-year-old driver. After two years with Sauber, Checo will now take his talents to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes… racing team, signing a multi-year deal to race alongside 2009 world champion Jenson Button. Said Perez, “I'm under no illusion that it is indeed a very big step – as it would be for any driver – but I'm ready for it.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Martin Whitmarsh noted that Perez’s performance this season brought him a lot of favorable attention. “It was a string of giant-killing performances, a trio of podiums and a brilliant fastest lap in this year’s Monaco Grand Prix that showed us that Sergio lacks nothing in terms of speed and commitment, said Whitmarsh. “We've been monitoring his progress carefully for some months - and, now that he's become part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, our task will be to refine and develop his abilities as his career progresses over the coming years.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn thanked Checo for his time at Sauber “Our thanks also go to Sergio Pérez, who has claimed three podiums for the team so far and now has the opportunity at McLaren-Mercedes to display his immense talent with one of the most successful teams in Formula One history. We would also like to wish Sergio all the best and every success for the future.”
Watch this video where Checo thanks his fans at the conclusion of a successful season.
Rich in culture, history and attractions, Veracruz was an obvious filming choice for Hidden Moon.
Veracruz is Mexico’s oldest, largest and historically most significant port since European colonization. It has always acted as a main gate for Mexico, accepting many sea travelers and products since the 16th century. Hernan Cortes first landed in Mexico only 20 km northwest from Veracruz. Because Veracruz is the oldest standing city settled by Europeans, it is overflowing with historical sites. Visitors tour the San Juan de Ulua Castle, the last fortress of the Spanish Empire that was later used as a prison during Porfirio Diaz’s government.
Veracruz is home to a blend of cultures from the indigenous Mexican, Spanish and Afro-Cuban. The mixture is showcased in the city’s food and music, which carries strong Spanish, Caribbean and African influences. The traditional vericruzana music is called “Son Jarocho,” which is the perfect example of the city’s blended cultures.
The downtown harbor plazas are teeming with life. The city rarely sleeps, with most of the locals listening to music in the squares late into the night, only to wake up in the early morning to sip coffee at sidewalk cafes. Music and dancing bring light to the city once the sun goes down, and the bustle of everyday activity springs back to life in the morning. Coffeehouses are a social center, the most famous being the Gran Café del Portal and the Café de la Parroquia.
Every year since 1866, the Veracruz Carnaval is celebrated. Veracruz’s Carnaval is the largest in Mexico. It is based in the historic center of the city, and focuses on the Carnaval Parade of Veracruz. The event begins with the “Burning of Bad Humor” and ends with the “Burial of Juan Carnaval.”
http://mexicotoday.org The 11th edition of the International Balloon Festival was held in Leon, Guanajuato. With approximately 200 hot air balloons from 14 countries, this spectacular event was a must-see. Considered to be Latin America's largest event of its kind, over 350,000 visitors from the Americas and Europe… came out to see the extraordinary hot air balloons.
On November 7-9, meetings industry and incentives leaders gathered in Mexico to share their latest industry insights and offerings at Icomex 2012. At the World Trade Center Mexico City, hundreds of executives from different countries of the Americas – and MexicoToday spotted also some attendees from Italy among many other Europeans… – enjoyed the three-day event. Click here to watch our exclusive video and click here to watch photos on our MexicoToday Flickr album.
Named the leading trade show in Latin America for meeting and incentive planners, Icomex organizers scheduled more than 600 meetings in advance among exhibitors and attendees. Adalberto Rodriguez Fallas from the Costa Rica Tourism Board stated, “We are here with a group of fine entrepreneurs that are here to offer products, and to see what we can offer to the world.” He also added, “Here is where we are going to show what Costa Rica has to offer in the segment of conventions and incentives as well.”
Icomex’s 2012 guest country was Costa Rica which showcased an impressive stand on the exhibition floor. Other countries and cities that participated at this year’s Icomex include: Argentina, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Peru, Las Vegas, and several other Mexican states, including Chiapas, Mazatlan, among many others.
Sergio “Checo” Perez finished in 11th place at the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. However, he was clearly number one in the hearts of the many fans who turned out to cheer him on.
The automotive blog Jalopnik summed it up this way: “You hear a lot of Mexican fans talking about Perez the way that Brazilians used to talk about Ayrton Senna. Mexico has been going through some rough times economically and socially over the last decade, but a lot of Mexicans are tired of their country only being in the news for cartel-related violence. The Mexican tourism industry has fought hard against that image.”
Among the fans who travelled to watch Checo compete was Miguel Candia, a 52-year-old engineer from Guadalajara, Jalisco. When asked by the Austin American-Statesman if Checo gave Mexico hope, Candida said “Of course. But so do the Mexicans who won the mathematics Olympics, the champions of the robotics competition and the winners of many cultural competitions out there. There are many brilliant Mexicans who make us proud, but today Checo is our ambassador.”
This year, the 11th edition of the International Balloon Festival was held on November 16-19 in Leon, Guanajuato. With approximately 200 hot air balloons from 14 countries, this spectacular event was a must-see. Click here to check out our MexicoToday Flickr photo albumConsidered to be Latin America’s largest event of its kind, over 350,000 visitors from the Americas… and Europe came out to see the extraordinary hot air balloons. From colorful, standard shaped balloons with their sponsors name on it to balloons in the shapes of cartoon characters including Mickey Mouse, Pepé Le Pew, and many others, this year’s festival offered something for everyone.
The festivities began at 7am everyday with the inflating of the balloons. As everyone gathered around them, trying to guess what they would turn into as they inflated, the guests were eager to see the take-off. Following the exhibition of the colorful, fun-shaped balloons, everyone was ready to eat, watch the concerts, shop, and enjoy the rest of their day.
At around 7pm, it was time for the much anticipated part of the day, Magical Nights (or in Spanish “Noches Magicas”). Considered to be one of the main highlights of the festival, Magical Nights offered a unique orchestration between the balloons being lit and fire shooters with great music. The festival ended officially at the stroke of midnight every night, allowing everyone to go home with a smile on their face, having witnessed such a unique and special event.
Following the dialogue between business and policy makers, the G20 Trade and Investment Promotion Summit 2012 concluded a successful two-day event on November 6 with a promising agenda and determined next steps.
Under an environment of close cooperation and discussion between agencies, the following five strategic challenges were identified:
1. Strong emphasis on policy coherence and sustainable development are more than ever needed due to: a) the emergence of the new global economic landscape characterized by the relevant link between trade and investment, b) the rapid evolution of global value chains in scope, scale and depth, and; c) the shift of trade and investment promotion paradigm.
2. Existing constrains of public funding for trade and investment promotion, and strong desire for working on customized trade promotion optimization (TPO) and investment promotion agency (IPA) country solutions while fostering international peer cooperation and learning.
3. Need for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access and benefit from global value chains (GVCs).
4. Include private business in the economic development strategy-making process.
5. Missing fast-moving networks for best practice exchange integrating trade and investment.
At the inauguration ceremony and plenary session, executives from the organizing committee provided an overview and positioning of the Summit, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s executive director of policy and business practices Stefano Bertasi and welcoming remarks by ProMexico’s CEO Carlos Guzman Bonfill. The World Trade Organization (WTO)’s chief of staff Arancha Gonzalez Laya spoke about the changing landscape of trade, where she highlighted the need to focus on global value chains to further trade and investment around the world, and later on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s director for investment and enterprise division James Zhan discussed the key trends and strategic challenges global investment is facing nowadays.
Following a series of closed-door roundtables, key representatives offered a wrap up press conference where they presented the key strategic challenges listed above as conclusions for the summit. Key representatives speaking to members of the press included ProMexico’s CEO Carlos Guzman Bonfill, UNCTAD’s James Zhan, and OCDE’s chief of staff and sherpa to the G20 Gabriela Ramos.
Alejandro Ramirez, CEO of Cinepolis and B20 chair, also attended the event, where he provided closing remarks and conclusions on a closed door session. In an exclusive interview with MexicoToday, Ramirez stated, “The G20 Trade and Investment Promotion Summit was one of the recommendations we presented at the B20 Summit in Los Cabos which recommended all trade and investment promotion agencies to get together to share best practices and analyze ways how business and government can work closer to advance free trade and investment, and put pressure on G20 countries at a time of growing protectionist threats.” Ramirez also added, “This event allowed trade and investment promotion agencies to understand the importance of global value chains, and to analyze ways they can help, especially to small and medium enterprises, in having access to those global value chains which will make them more competitive, resulting on their countries to become more competitive.”
Diamante Cabo San Lucas (Diamante) in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico will build a new 18-hole, 7,300 yard championship golf course, designed by Tiger Woods and his company Tiger Woods Design (TWD).
The new golf course named "El Cardonal" will be Diamante's second and will join the resort's championship golf course, Diamante Dunes, a natural links course that opened in 2009. The $12 million course is scheduled for a 2014 opening and will join a Davis Love III course already built at Diamante in 2009.
El Cardonal golf course’s design will be reminiscent of the old-style California courses. The design firm plans to integrate Diamante's rolling hills and panoramic views into the design. Bunkers will be placed at various places to create definite strategic choices and carrying off the tees. The bunkers will have a traditional look while natural, irregular contours will be preserved in wide fairways. Various holes and strategic options will be featured that promote shot-making while still creating a playable experience for golfers of all skill levels.
Influenced by the old-style courses of Southern California that he grew up playing, Tiger’s vision is to create a course that brings back the need for strategy – with several options to navigate each hole. As you can imagine, the course will challenge expert players, but it will also provide options for those with higher handicaps as well. It will truly be accessible and fun for golfers of all skill levels.
Tiger explains, “I set up the golf strategy to make golfers think and make choices. Regardless of your handicap, there are going to be different ways to play every hole. Angles of approach are going to be very important and will dictate the type of shots you should consider. I love this kind of golf.”
Among Hidden Moon’s filming locations was the beautiful city of Guanajuato, Mexico. With narrow, winding roads and alleys too small for cars, this historic city provided a visually appealing background for the international film.
Unlike other cities, Guanajuato’s streets follow the extremely irregular terrain, with small alleyways and even some steep staircases up hillsides in replacement of normal paths. Juarez Street is one of the few streets a car can pass through – and the only one not underground! It is decorated with stores, restaurants ad a constant flow of people. The other streets of town are all either partially or fully underground! They follow old drainage ditches and tunnels dug during colonial times.
Among these narrow streets is the Callejón del Beso, which is a setting for a pivotal scene in Hidden Moon. According to legend, Doña Carmen, the only daughter of a prominent family, was forbidden to see her true love. Fortunately, the boyfriend purchased a home directly across the street. The callejón (alley) was so narrow that he could reach over from his balcony and kiss his true love in the opposite window.
Many buildings were constructed of sandstone, adobe or other stone. Pink, green, ochre and red buildings paint across the city into a glorious, colorful view.
The city’s most recognized tourist attraction is the Mummies of Guanajuato. The mummies museum, located on the side of the municipal cemetery in the Tepetapa neighborhood, contains a collection of specimens that mummified naturally in the cemetery.
The city’s main event is the Festival Cervantino, which annually showcases the art and culture of Mexico. It hosts events such as opera, theater production, film showings, art exhibitions, academic conferences, concerts and dance recitals. Occurring in over 70 different venues, it stretches over the majority of October.
A city of mystery and beauty, Guanajuato was the ideal location for Hidden Moon. A story about love, complications and secrets, the windings streets and bright buildings constructed the perfect scenes.
Hidden Moon premieres November 23 in Mexico. Director Pepe Bojorquez manages to capture the true beauty and complications of life. It intertwines… the intricate feelings of love with the depth nature of truth. A talented filmmaker, Bojorquez says this story is not just his – it’s everyone’s reality.
“The story is easy to empathize,” Bojorquez said. “It’s about chasing your dreams, falling in love. Sometimes our goals and what we want to accomplish mask everything, such as love that’s right in front of us.”
Hidden Moon tells the story of a beautiful woman, whose dramatic appearance at the funeral of a man in California shocks his prosperous family. The man’s son then travels to Mexico to discover the truth about the woman’s relationship with his father. Upon finding her, he discovers that she is living with another man, and refuses to admit knowing his father. What happens when true love appears twice, at the same moment? This web of emotions is difficult to unravel. Is it possible for everyone to have a happy ending?
Filmed in Guanajuato and Veracruz, Hidden Moon showcases the unparalleled magnificence of Mexico. Its accomplished cast includes Wes Bentley from “American Beauty” and “The Hunger Games,” Mexican actress Ana Serradilla, actor and writer Jonathan Schaech and Linda Gray, the star of “Dallas.”
After its premiere in Mexico, it will come to European theaters, and then to the United States. A depiction of modern reality, Hidden Moon paints the exquisiteness and rarity of love against the background of gorgeous Mexico.
On November 4-6, 2012, North American meetings industry leaders who are also members of the PCMA North American Advisory Board gathered for the 5th Annual PCMA North American Advisory Summit 2012 held at the Mazatlan International Center in Mazatlan, Mexico. To watch our MexicoToday exclusive coverage, go to our Flickr channel, and watch our video wrap up on our YouTube channel. …
During the closing ceremony and joined by local government representatives, PCMA’s president and CEO Deborah Sexton announced that the 2013 conference will take place in Puebla, Mexico.
At the nearly 100,000 square feet venue, Mexican meetings industry representatives heard from the Advisory Board members, such as Barry Smith of Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Robert Lander of Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, a series of successful business practices in the meetings industry.
During a panel discussion on the opening day, key representatives discussed the importance of educating the world on Mexico’s continued development in recent years and highlighting advantages of selecting Mexico as meetings and travel destination. They suggested that delegates focus on features such as Mexico’s proximity to the United States, the government zero-tax incentive, all-inclusive resorts, diversity among various states, a rich culture and welcoming people, among the key advantages in selecting Mexico.
Experts gathered also with delegates in small groups to address current issues within the industry and possible solutions. Through strategic collaboration and consulting sessions, the participants searched for ways to further enhance the sector in Mexico and promote it as a top attraction for business travel in a competitive market.
At the final panel discussion, members of the Advisory Board provided overall tips and ideas on ways to combat current challenges in the tourism sector, and ways to advertise Mexico’s strengths to the global community.
For a number of years, Acapulco was the primary spot for business travel in Mexico. This year, however, the PCMA North American Advisory Summit was held at the Pacific Coast beach resort in Mazatlan, Mexico to showcase other attractions within the country. Mazatlan was selected for its rich culture and history as an international commercial seaport, as well as its established resort destinations.
Ana Serradilla is one of Mexico’s most recognized actresses. One of her most recent ventures was Hidden Moon, her first Hollywood film. It is set to premiere in Mexico at the end of November and worldwide after that.
Since launching her career in 1998, Ana has stared in a variety of television shows and movies. She has played a wide range of roles across romances, comedies, dramas, thrillers, plays and telenovelas.
Hidden Moon marks the first time Ana has had to perform in English, which she said was one of the biggest challenges of her career – a challenge she graciously conquered.
In Hidden Moon, Ana plays the young, stunning Miranda Rios. She attends the funeral of a man in California, whose widow is unaware of the late husband’s secret relationship with Miranda. After the funeral, the widow sends her son – played by Wes Bentley – to Mexico in search of Miranda. While trying to uncover the truth, he learns that Miranda is full of life, love, beauty… and secrets.
Of the film, Ana says that sometimes people believe that it is dreams that will make them the happiest, and they do not realize that the root of the dream was perhaps not so real.
In this story emphasizing the complications between life and love, as well as dreams and reality, Ana dominates the stage. Ana’s spectacular performance brings vivacity to Hidden Moon.