Monthly Archives: April 2007

My Neighbor Manuel & Oaxaca Fair & Madam Mayo

First the fair – last night a traveling troupe from the Mexican state of Oaxaca arrived in Todos Santos and setup shop in the main plaza (zocalo) offering crafts, food, clothing and ice cream. I don’t know how long they will be here but they do have some interesting stuff, e.g. notice the “leche quemada” flavor of ice cream in the photo below…that means “burnt milk” flavor. Hmmm.

Oaxaca Ice Cream Stand

Oaxaca Fair in Todos Santos

My friend Catherine M. Mayo (C.M. Mayo) is multi-talented as well as kind. She is the author of Miraculous Air and Skies Over El Nido as well as founding editor of Tameme and translater/editor of Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. She graciously allowed El Calendario de Todos Santos to print the Todos Santos chapter from Miraculous Air and has been supporting us with kind words and advertising ever since. She is a class act. Milkweed Editions has just released the paperback version of Miraculous Air and I strongly suggest you get a copy before they all disappear (the hard cover has sold out.) Check out her website www.cmmayo.com and her blog madammayo.blogspot.com

Miraculous Air book cover Sky Over El Nido Cover Tameme cover

Finally, here’s a great story about my neighbor, Manuel Salazar Pascual. He is a poor farmer from Las Limas, Veracruz, Mexico. He lives one lot over and behind me in Las Tunas on land that belongs to Juanita Salgado. Manuel has been farming this land and living with his wife and two daughters in two tarp structures. Their life is not easy but they have huge kind hearts and seldom complain. I try to help whenever I can with materials and food for the girls. Before the story, here’s a photo of Manuel in his field of calabasa (zuchinni) – sadly he cannot find a buyer for these vegetables so he is giving the stuff away to those less fortunate than him, i.e. old folks, orphans and other poor people.

Manuel In Zuchinni Field

When Manuel was a young boy living in Las Limas, he discovered a statue buried in the ground in September 1965. The statue was a rock sculpture of the Olmeca picturing a virgin-like female in a Buddha pose holding a small child. This discovery was a very big deal in his small pueblo. Government officials came and took the sculpture and for a moment Manuel was famous. Manuel says the piece is now somewhere in Japan, having been illegally removed from Mexico. The following photos were supplied by Manuel. I scanned them and they carry my copyright notice although they are not my photos. At least this way, internet photo thieves know that someone cares and is watching.Olmeca statue
The statue itself.

Manuel and Sister Rosa
Manuel and his sister Rosa with the statue.

Salazar Pascual family
The entire familia Salazar Pascual with the statue.

Site of the discovery
Manuel shows the town mayor where he found the statue.

The entire pueblo
Everyone gets into the act…the entire pueblo and the statue, well except for the photographer<g>.

Six Million Dollar House & Easter Camping

Rumors abound in small town Todos Santos. One of the latest circulating is the impending offer for sale of the home in the photo below. Another house for sale in Todos Santos is not a big deal but this one is reputed to have an asking price of $6,000,000 US dollars. That’s a LOT of money, especially here. I personally am not aware of any homes having sold  for more than $900K US or so although two  homes and one vacation rental in the historic district are also up for sale for over $1 million US each. Granted this very large house and multiple out-buildings are on a huge lot located right on the bocana (opening) to the ocean in Las Tunas. It will most likely be offered as a bed & breakfast inn.

Todos Santos 1st $6 Million US House

The bocana also offers easy access to the ocean, by foot or by car. So it follows that Easter campers setup shop for the holiday weekend. This group seemed more organized than most. They even bagged their garbage and had it mostly collected by their cars. I had high hopes they would even pack it out.

Easter Camping Las Tunas
Easter Camping at Las Tunas bocana.

I was also surprised that this group was the only group on the Las Tunas beach. Sadly when I returned on Monday morning for my walk, they had departed and left all their garbage bags on the side of the dune. The birds had attacked all the bags, breaking them open and allowing the wind to spread the trash all over the beach. At least it’s over until next year.

Incredible Photo Links to Baja, 1949 – 1967

It’s Easter weekend (“drive on the beach and leave lots of trash weekend”) in Todos Santos. Things are slow. There are a lot of Mexican tourists in town, mostly camping on the beach. Most will leave on Sunday evening, Monday morning at the latest and the beach cleanups will begin. This is a yearly occurence. It comes with the territory.

I have known about Howard Gulick’s and Marquis McDonald’s photo archives for a while now but never managed to post the links. You absolutely must check these out. Both men made trips down the peninsula when it was a very difficult journey. Gulick made many such trips.

Howard E. Gulick photos of Baja, 1950-1967

Marquis McDonald photos of Baja, 1949-1950

Have a happy and safe Easter holiday!

April 2007 El Calendario de Todos Santos is OnLine!

Just a quick note to let you know that I have just posted the latest edition of El Calendario de Todos Santos (April 2007) online at our web site,  www.elcalendariodetodossantos.com