Thursday, November 20, 2008

Griselda Alvarez Metropolitan Regional Park

This is a great little park not far from downtown with a mini-zoo, lakes, picnic areas, lots of lawn and an elderly activity center. Just head off the north-west corner of the main plaza toward the Theatro Hidalgo and the Mercado and a few blocks beyond you'll cross the river. The bridge is Degollado street and just 3-4 blocks further is the park just past the Jorge Chávez Carrillo Contemporary Art Museum.

Park entrance

Bird and monkey cages

It's a family place

The lion exibit

Part of the senior center buildings

Metropolitan Regional Park in downtown Colima

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Filipino roots of mezcal

The Filipino roots of mezcal
Published by Luigi on June 11, 2008

“Clash of civilizations” is a common rhetorical trope these days. But it is as well to remember that good things can — and often do — happen when cultures come together. A paper just out in GRACE gives an example involving agrobiodiversity. In it, Daniel Zizumbo Villareal — the doyen of Mexican coconut studies, among other things — and his co-author set out the evidence for the origin of mezcal, the generic name for agave spirits in Mexico.

It turns out that this most Mexican of drinks is unknown from pre-Columbian times, although of course the cooked stems and floral peduncles of various species of Agave were used as a carbohydrate source by the ancient populations of what is now western Mexico, and drinks were made from both these and their sap. But, apparently, distillation had to wait until a Filipino community became established in the Colima hills in the 16th century. They were brought over to establish coconut plantations, and started producing coconut spirits, as they had done back home. The practice was eventually outlawed in the early 17th century, and this prohibition, plus increased demand for hard liquor by miners, led to its application to agaves instead, and its rapid spread. The first record of mezcal is from 1619. Mexicans (not to mention other tequila afincionados the world over) have a lot to thank Filipinos for.

link to - The Filipino roots of mezcal - article

Early coconut distillation and the origins of mezcal and tequila spirits in west-central Mexico

Abstract: No evidence exists of distillation in Mexico before European contact. The Philippine people in Colima established the practice in the 16th Century to produce coconut spirits. Botanical, toponymic, archaeological, and ethnohistoric data are presented indicating that agave distillation began in Colima, in the lower Armería-Ayuquila and Coahuayana-Tuxpan river basins, using Agave angustifolia Haw. and through adaptation of the Philippine coconut spirits distillation technique. Subsequent selection and cultivation of agaves led to their domestication and diversification. This did not take place in the lower river basins, where agave populations tended to disappear.
The distillation technique spread to the foothills of Colima volcanoes and from there to all of western Mexico, leading to creation of tequila and other agave spirits. Two factors aided producers in avoiding strict Colonial prohibitions and were therefore key to the diffusion and persistence of agave spirits production: (1) clandestine fermentation in sealed, underground pits carved from bedrock, a native, pre-European contact technique; and (2) small, easy-to-use Philippine-type stills that could be hidden from authorities and allowed use of a broad range of agave species.

Second section from a book study - requires purchase to read further

And if you have any doubts about the above article I suggest going to Ian Chadwick's authoritative site on Mezcal and Tequila - great site

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Colima Regional Museum of History

1 Portal Morelos and Reforma St., Downtown, Colima, Col., 28000. Phone (312) 312 9228

Admittance and Services

Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 18:00. Admission fee $34 MXP. Children under 13, students, teachers and senior citizens presenting a valid ID do not pay. Free admission on Sunday. There is a $30 MXP fee if you are willing to shoot with a videocamera. Temporary exhibitions, guided tours, educational workshops, summer courses, student advisory, checkroom.


The Colima Regional Museum of History opened in 1988. The 19th century building that houses it is located at the Main Square, at Portal Morelos, near the former Cathedral, called Basílica Menor, and the Government Palace. The collection guides through the history of Colima, from the Prehispanic West Mexico culture to the first half of 20th Century. The ceramic animal and human sculptures from the region are remarkable.

Juan José Arias Orozco

Museum is on the corner

Central Patio

These fotos are only of the first floor - my camera battery went dead. Downstairs is pre-Hispanic and upstairs is more recent up to the 1920's.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Museo Universitario de Artes Populares

This museum is located in a neighborhood known as “La Atrevida,” on the corner of Gabino Barreda and Manuel Gallardo Zamora streets. To get to here from downtown Colima, coming from Torres Quintero Square specifically, you need to walk 7 blocks up Gabino Barreda street. Then you will find the University complex known as “IUBA.” In this complex you will find the Pablo Silva García Theater and the craftsman’s terrace next to the Ma. Teresa Pomar University Museum of Folk Art.

The University Museum of Folk Art houses an important collection of Mexican folk art, unique of its kind in the country. All the branches of craftsmanship from Colima are on display in this University facility. Woodwork, textiles, vegetable fibers, saddlery, paperwork, ceramics, metalwork, traditional toys, and lapidary.

Guillermo Río Alcalá has a small studio within the Museum making artifact reproductions. His things are for sale - but I didn't ask how much. Parts of this complex are also the schools of dance and music. Very interesting place.

Web page with lot's more pictures

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Laguna la María 2008

Laguna la María, Colima
Centro de ecoturismo en Colima, Mexico

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Paragliding La Cumbre Colima

Mexican Pacific Magazine Article

The view of the world is different from the top and in Colima there is no exception. That’s why a new breed of adventure-seeker is taking to the nearby hills to experience the adrenaline rush of jumping into open space.

In Colima the conditions are favorable to practice paragliding any day of the week and most seasons of the year. La Cumbre, a grass covered mountain 20 minutes from the capital is the preferred point for most gliding enthusiasts as it’s very accessible by ground. It has a sharp drop off of 400 meters from a little clearing where it’s easy to catch the thermal currents and coast on the air that comes sweeping up the side of the mountain.

Gliders begin to assemble in the late morning to lay out the colorful chutes on the grassy knoll, organize the various strings so that they’re not untangled and wait for the winds to pick up. Then at the right moment, helmets on and strapped into harnesses with hanging seats, they each toss their parachutes in the air, tug on the wind to see if it is right and take three running steps off the edge into the open air.

La Cumbre is not steep but drops dramatically down to a little town at the base, which grows tiny as the glider mounts on the thermal winds that come rushing up the canyon wall. Tomato fields, crops and farmland weave neat geometric patterns and textures below. Grassy areas and low forest are all visible in a stunning topographical map come to life. The sound of the silence is beautiful and awe inspiring.

Eagles and other birds coast nearby as if they too are enjoying the warm summer day. The church spires, snaking dirt roadways and colonial buildings of Colima present themselves below in an orderly, colorful fashion like a children’s miniature village. The rolling hills of Colima’s fertile fruit valley are visible until Manzanillo and in the opposite direction, the two volcanoes loom.

Paragliding off La Cumbre article from Mexican Pacific Magazine

Monday, April 14, 2008

Colima's Quiet Charm

Colima's Quiet Charm
Published: February 8, 2004

The city's situation near two volcanoes and in an earthquake zone means that it has little architecture worthy of the name, old or new, and the standard building is a ground-hugging, one-story structure. Perched on the edge of disaster, fading, peeling, dignified Colima continues its precarious life without pinning its hopes on grand monuments or dressing up for visitors. Last year an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 caused at least nine deaths in Colima and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Each room in the Ceballos has a ceramic sign in the archway between bedroom and bathroom that says, ''En caso de sismo, párese aquí'' (''In case of earthquake, stand here''). This year, I eyed the decorative plaque with new respect.

As a result of the earthquake, Colima now has an estimated 500 construction sites. Every so often, there's a rubble-strewn lot between two standing houses, like a missing tooth in a smiling mouth. One of the city's few remaining colonial buildings, the church of San Felipe de Jesús, at Constitución and Vicente Guerrero, has an elaborately carved 18th-century facade and a plaque noting that the revolutionary hero Miguel Hidalgo served here as a parish priest. Ominous cracks run like veins behind the altar, and the congregation has decamped to the chapel, leaving the main church bare except for a few lonely statues.

New York Times article

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Historic Fotos of Colima in the early 1900's

From a travel book now part of Project Gutenberg

Title: Mexico
Its Ancient and Modern Civilisation, History, Political
Conditions, Topography, Natural Resources, Industries and
General Development

Colima is a small state, bordering on the Pacific next below Jalisco, with an area of 4,250 square miles, and population of 66,000 inhabitants. Flat near the coast, the land is mountainous in the interior. There are several rivers, the waters of which, after furnishing the means of irrigation, and water-power for various textile factories, flow to the sea. The climate, good in the north, is hot and subject to malaria upon the coast. The principal products of the state are agricultural; rice, corn, sugar-cane, and coffee being foremost among these. The soil is generally fertile; and in the northern parts the woods and canyons favour cattle-raising, in which industry various large haciendas are engaged. There are also great palm plantations, which produce cocoanut oil, whilst timber of valuable kinds exists. Some trade is carried on in the hides and skins of animals and reptiles—cattle, deer, "tigers," crocodiles, &c. Minerals exist—copper, gold, silver, but have been little prospected as yet.

The means of communication, like those of the other littoral states, are principally by sea, and the port and harbour of Manzanillo is one of the best upon the coast. But a line of railway connects this seaport with the picturesque capital of the state, Colima, surrounded by tropical vegetation and backed by its volcanoes. This line of railway is being continued to join the main system of the Republic, beyond the mountains, and but a short portion remains to be completed, as described above.

Plaza Principal

City park

View of City and parks

Small town in Colima

Small town in Colima

Link to Project Gutenberg book

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ex-Hacienda Nogueras

Tour of the old sugar mill - Comala, Colima - Mexico

We got a tour behind the walls of the Ex-Hacienda and parts of the old sugar mill that are being restored with the help of the University of Colima. In a rent exchange program along with funding for the restoration, the University will use the large building for conferences and classes. When ready the new area will be part of the larger museum complex.

Most of the work is being done to the large building below that was converted from sugar in the '50's to a plant producing essence of lemons. Before that the history it's not known. Emilia, who is part of the original family that owned the Hacienda and current manager, gave us this tour and she has hopes this new section will be open in about a year.

More fotos of the Ex-Hacienda Nogueras Tour

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fiestas Charro-Taurinas

The Fiestas Charro-Taurinas has been celebrated in Villa de Alvarez every year since 1857, a charro and bullfight festival with cockfights, concerts and more in honor of the patron saint of Colima, San Felipe de Jesus, who protects against earthquakes and hurricanes.

The petatera is a structure that is created with wood and petates which are woven mats. Perhaps the most fascinating fact about the stadium is that it is reconstructed each year and then torn down and saved for the next fair or event.

We missed the fair grounds on the way in from Minatitlan but returned to Villa Alvarez the next day and found the bull ring was still under construction. It's huge, the total grounds are huge and it must be quite an event but did not start 'till about the 9th, a few days after we were to leave. Actually very funky construction with many of the boards for walking and sitting not well secured. Some families were there fixing up their own areas - evidently reserved year after year.

One of the intertainment posters

Still building on the inside

Outside the ring

Working on the seats

Fiestas Charro-Taurinas in Villa Alvarez - Colima

Friday, February 08, 2008

Comala Suchitlan Coffee

It's CAFE in the mountains behind Colima
Cofradia de Suchitlan, Colima - Mexico

The area above Comala is not only a beautifully scenic area with views of the Colima Volcano but it's also coffee country. Suchitlan is the town with the coffee processing plant (Colimotl Cafe) but the coffee grows from there up to Lago Maria and on to La Yerba Buena. Because Yerba Buena is so close to the volcano the government ordered relocation of the town 3-4 years ago but many have resisted and still maintain their residences and farming. Yerba Buena used to process it's own coffee but now only sells to the larger processors like Colimotl and Comalteco.

We stopped at the Colimotl processing plant in Cofradia de Suchitlan (across from the bull ring) to see what's up - and got a nice tour. Sadly they only roast for cafe Americana which is medium and you can't request a dark roast

Colimotl Coffee

Coffee drying

Good coffee sinks - bad floats

Explaining further separation

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Colima is a state in western Mexico. It shares its name with its capital and main city, Colima, Colima. Colima is a small state, sharing a border with the Mexican states of Jalisco to the north and east, and Michoacán to the south. To the west Colima borders the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the capital city of Colima, the state's main cities include Manzanillo and Tecomán.

Planeta Colima
Volcan de Colima Cam
Admire Mexico Tours
Meshico Magical Tours
Hostal Casa Blanca
Birding Comala
Comala Info
Hacienda San Antonio
Secretaria de Cultura
Colima the Arts
Project Amigo