Tag Archive for: Mexican tradition


It has been a long time since I have written anything on this blog. Thanks to my subscribers who have stuck with me. I appreciate all of you.

So where to begin? As you know from my last post, we decided to stay most of the time in San Luis Potosi. We agreed because SLP (San Luis Potosi) fit most of our wish list. It has excellent medical facilities, an airport, and lots of things to do in and around SLP, few “gringos” and mild weather. The only downside is the size of the city, over a million people. Of course, to check off all our wishes, we knew we had to go to a larger city—a small price to pay.

Once we got back to Canada the real work began. We started downsizing. I would highly recommend that you downsize whether you are moving or not. We are not collectors, but after 30 years of living in the same place, one tends to gather things. Once we had downsized enough, we put our house on the market. We got an offer on the second day, which we accepted. The closing date was in six weeks! No problem. We started selling and giving away our possessions. I underestimated the amount of time and effort it would take. We were fortunate that the people who bought our SUV allowed us to use it until our last day. That also went for the people who bought our bed and our recliners. They picked them up the day we were leaving, which allowed us to stay in the house until the last moment.

So off we went on our new adventure. We flew into Puerto Vallarta and stayed a couple of nights to allow my husband to renew his passport. The only other Canadian consulate was Mexico City which would be difficult to get to.

Once we got settled in Melaque, we decided to apply for my husband’s RFC number (tax number), which is required by anyone who is a resident of Mexico. I received mine last year. So, with the help of our facilitator, Pedro, we got an appointment at the SAT office in Manzanillo, an hour away from Melaque. We had all the paperwork ready, or so we thought. My husband and Pedro went into the office only to be told we needed to copy the back of the CFE (electrical bill). They gave us an extra 10 minutes to get this done before we lost our appointment. Thankfully Pedro knew where to go, and we got it done and back in time for the appointment.

We decided to get our Mexican drivers’ licenses. We haven’t done it yet as we have company arriving in the next few days. But this is the procedure. First, you need to go to a lab, get your blood type done, and get a card showing that. Apparently, we may need it for other things. We have done that. Then you go to Cihuatlan, the county seat, and City Hall to verify your address. This is for people who rent. The next step is to go to the office where they issue the licenses to show them your blood type card and address verification and, I think, answer a few questions. You then need to go a block away to another office where you will pay and take a written test. If you don’t want to take the test, you can give some money to the personnel there. Once done, you return to the first office, show that you have paid and have taken the test, and they will issue you a license. This should be interesting.

We can’t apply for our three-year temporary residency until July 27th.  It should be straightforward. We will hire a facilitator again, just in case.

The rainy season is here. We got a bit of Hurricane Beatriz, but she didn’t come inland, so all we got was a lot of rain. We know this is not the end of storms. We only hope that we get some nice weather for our friends that are arriving.

I will leave this post here. We have plans for our friends and will bring you along. Until next time.

Colima, Mexico Horse Parade

“Travel makes you realize that no matter how much you know, there’s always more to learn.”

Every year Mex-Eco Tours organizes a trip to Colima to see the annual Fiestas Charrotaurinas, held in honour of San Felipe de Jesus. This tour is so popular that it must be booked one year, in advance.

I have always loved horses. Even as a child I collected ceramic ones. Later in life, I owned 2 horses. One I had never ridden and the other I rode many times until she threw me and I broke my wrist. Still, I have maintained my love and awe for them. This trip was like a dream for me.

Our group started with a tour of La Petatera, a handmade wooden bullring, which is constructed and then taken down every year for fiestas, horse shows and bullfighting. We were greeted by Mayor Felipe Cruz Calvario and a delegation, including Eulalia Villalvazo and Oscar Gaitan Cabrera from the Colima tourism. We felt honoured. They are very passionate about their city and, as I was to discover, rightfully so.

To contact Oscar Gaitlan Cabrera, Promoción Divulgación: buras52@hotmail.com

To contact Eulalia Villalvazo, Tourism Colima: tourismovilladealvarez1821@gmail.com

The bullring was first built in 1857. At one time it was two stories high, but in 1942 there was an earthquake, and after that, it was decided to make it a one-story building. The same 63 families have been building the bullring for the past 175 years, passing down the knowledge of how it is constructed to the next generation. If the family cannot do part of the construction, they are allowed to hire someone to do it. The builders use no nails or any “modern” methods. The wooden structure is covered with mats made with palm leaves. Forty people take 30 – 45 days to complete construction. It is all measured and laid out, without the use of a measuring tape, but by one man using a special stick. Two years ago this 84-year-old was supposed to hand over this stick to his son, but apparently, he was not ready yet to relinquish control. There are no blueprints for this building. It is all in the head. Each person that is involved knows exactly what they are doing. That includes the bullring and all the corrals outside. It takes one week to take down. The wood, mats and other material are kept year after year only to be replaced if damaged. It is the responsibility of each family to store their wood and materials. The bullring is divided into 70 parts, and there is one share per family. The remaining part is owned by the government and is decided by vote as to which family will get that share. 120 families are vying for that part. Each share brings in money from the sale of tickets. Whatever tickets are sold for each section goes to the family who owns it. The bullring holds 7000 people.

The bullfight lasts for a few days and one morning is set aside for inexperienced riders to mount the less spirited bulls. Don’t think I will be doing that.
The tour of the bullring and learning of its history, as well as the story behind the patron Saint San Felipe de Jesus, was fascinating and informative. There is so much history.

We spent the rest of the day exploring some of Colima.

The tour company had reserved rooms at the Best Western Plus Hotel. The accommodations were very nice and the staff friendly and helpful. The hotel had set up tables for our group directly in front of the parade route. We could literally reach out and touch some of the horses.

Best Western Plus: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotels-in-colima/best-western-plus-hotel-ceballos/propertyCode.70146.html

There were between 2500 and 2900 horses. The number is actually irrelevant as there were so many horses that it took three to four hours for the parade to finish. The parade started a few blocks from where we were and continued for several kilometres until it reached the bullring. Not only were there horses but several floats carrying live bands playing. The bands were very loud but entertaining. I felt sorry for the horses that were directly behind those floats. There were also large puppet-like figures and of course the shrine to Saint San Felipe de Jesus. Many of the horses did fancy footwork. Most of the riders gave their horses a break from the intense footwork, but a few did not. When they passed by us, those horses were already frothing, and they still had a few kilometres to go.
All in all, it was a fascinating event to see.

photo credit Lucia McCann

photo credit Lucia McCann

Photo credit Lucia McCann

Two short videos to give you an idea of what it was like.


and https://youtu.be/pKsoZFtv7yg

As part of the tour, we drove to Comala, a small town close to Colima.

We visited the Ex-Hacienda de Nogueras. In the 18th century, it was a renowned sugar company founded by the Spaniard Juan de Noguera. Today, it is part of the University of Colima. Its facilities were remodelled to become a Study Center, Eco Park and the Alejandro Rangel University Museum which exhibits works of the famous artist, Alejandro Rangel Hidalgo. The Eco Park is used for the preservation of flora and fauna research in the region. You will find medicinal plants, fruit trees and composting. There is also an area where the use of alternative energy is shown and where they have workshops on recycling and environmental training. In 2003, Comala won the best magic town in Mexico award.

Horsetail that we consider is a weed

We also went to the University of Arts where we were fortunate enough to see some very talented artists at work.

In a small village, Suchitlan, near Comala we went to the home and workshop of Gorgonio Candelario Castro, son of the renowned carver Herminio Candelario Dolores who passed away a few years ago. I had visited them several years ago when his father was still alive. I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered me. Gorgonio maintains the traditions of his people, the land and the spirits which inhabit it. As his father did, he specializes in the masks used in the traditional dances. I feel fortunate to have one of his masks.


Next on our tour was to a coffee plantation where we learned about the process of making coffee. The coffee beans are grown organically, and the claim is that the mild ash falling from the active volcano provides nutrients to the soil which in turn, makes a better coffee bean. We finished with a wonderful latte and the opportunity to purchase their coffee.

Our last stop was to “Ron Clasica,” a rum distillery. The distillery was conceived by the owners who were looking to start something unique. They felt that they could make a good rum because of the sugar cane in the area. They hired a consultant from Cuba to see if the sugar cane was of good enough quality to make a superior rum. The consultant did not think that it would be good enough. He was pleasantly surprised to find that it was. He eventually ended up working for the family. After a tour of the facility and the sugar cane fields, we were given the ingredients to make mojitos. After that, were served martinis made with tamarind, lime and rum. Some good!


The only disappointment with this trip was the fact that we could not stay longer. We explored only a small part of this wonderful city. I keep wanting to go back and see more. It has that special feel. I would highly recommend a visit to Colima.

We had an excellent tour guide, Florencio Amexcua Quiroz. He was very knowledgeable about Colima and the surrounding area. I would definitely use him again for a guide. Email: corazondecolima@gmail.com Phone: (312) 314-08-96