Monthly Archives: March 2012

Alcides Arguedas

I am reading on Alcides Arguedas, about whom I knew relatively little. I learned the most amazing thing I have learned all semester: he thought that through education, the Indians of Bolivia could be transformed into Swedes!

This is something like Macunaíma, bathing in the magic pool and turning into a beautiful, white prince.


Another thing about A. Arguedas: he was mixed but insisted on being seen as biracial, not mestizo. Why: because mestizaje is the degeneration of races over time, whereas biraciality is the synthesis of two pure races. Those are not his words but this is essentially what it comes down to.

I am fascinated just in general, but also because I wonder how many current people like the term “biracial” for that reason.


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Filed under Bibliography, Resources, Theories

Veracruz, Ver.

Has anyone been to Veracruz lately? My original plan was to arrive at 11:23 AM, go through customs and then go directly to the bus station, where I would have coffee with milk before catching a bus south to Alvarado. Then there would be a local bus or truck to Tlacotalpan, where Mexico is said to be perfect; I would arrive toward the end of the Mexican lunch hour and before sunset.

According to the Mexican and Central American Handbook bus tickets in Veracruz should ideally be bought ahead of time, however, and according to Ticketbus, the website that sells them, there are only two buses a day to Alvarado – one at noon that I would miss, and one at 8 PM which is too late to be ideal. I am having trouble believing there are only two buses, and might telephone Tlacotalpan to ask about this. If it is true, I will have to spend the night in Veracruz, not a bad idea except that Mexico is too expensive a country for me if I plan to stay in actual hotels (I rent rooms from people, it’s a whole different economy) or eat at restaurants with printed menus (menus on a blackboard, once again, are a whole different economy).

However I do not know where to rent rooms in Veracruz that I trust, and I do not have the patience for a bad hotel, so I am checking them out. I feel I ought to want to stay at the Mar y Tierra, a sensible option for 450 pesos or about $38, but I would rather stay at the Baluarte, which has a promotional rate of 500 pesos or about $42. There is a historic hotel called the Mesón del Mar which would look better without its very irritating website, its 700 peso price, and its terrible reviews. People who stayed there fled in the end to the Balajú, which is in the same price range and much better, they say. I am charmed by it as well because it is named for a song, its website plays son jarocho and its restaurant is called the Tilingo. 700 pesos is about $58, high for me but not necessarily for all.

In Tlacotalpan I am thinking of staying at the Casa Blanca, which costs about $29. I am proud to know its address: Venustiano Carranza 8, Centro, 95460 Tlacotalpan, Veracruz-Llave, and its telephone number: +52 288 884 3192. When I looked up the location on Google Maps, another site started singing the bamba.

Veracruz has excellent music; Veracruz sones are practically as amazing as Cuban ones and they are more interesting, as they have harps and are less known. I can hardly believe I will soon see Veracruz music played in person.


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Filed under Noticias, Songs

Fotos de Cd. Juárez

By a brilliant photographer.


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Filed under Arts, News


The character in this novel my class is reading is a composer of narcocorridos, which is one reason why I have so many corridos on this blog lately — I find them as I am looking for examples for the students.

Now I have found this, on the Battle of Zacatecas, Zacatecas being one of my very favorite towns in Mexico. When I first liked Zacatecas I had not yet read Los de abajo and did not realize what an important role it had had in the Mexican Revolution.

In the video we have an interesting song and amazing footage of Zacatecas as it was then.


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Filed under Arts, Bibliography, Movement, News, Songs

Adrienne Rich

…with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore

in the last red light of the year

that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither

ice nor mud nor winter light

but wood, with a gift for burning


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Filed under News, Poetry

Recordando a C. C.

…en el día de su cumpleaños, así nomasito.


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Filed under Movement, Songs

El corrido de Tejas

Immigration is not new.


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Filed under Songs