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Muralist takes brush to new work honoring city’s great benefactor

Celebrated Guadalajara muralist Jorge Monroy is working on a gigantic mural that will grace the new wing of the Hospital Civil Viejo and depict its distinguished history.

Hiking to Danza del Sol ceremonial grounds above Lake Chapala

The other day I received an invitation to hike in the hills above Ajijic. Our guide was to be long-distance walker Cam Honan. “We’re heading for a place everyone calls ‘The Indian Ceremonial Grounds,’” said Honan. “Every so often a large number of indigenous people gather together up there for something called La Danza del Sol. It’s a beautiful, wide open space with good vibrations and a magnificent view of Lake Chapala.”

Stalking the Elusive “Colliflower” Now’s the time to see wildflowers in the woods

August and September mark the “high season” for wildflower watching in this part of Jalisco and one of the best places to see them near Guadalajara is the Cerro de Colli, which lies just west of town, next to the Periférico (Beltway). This is the closest “corner” of the Primavera Forest to the big city.

From Cognac to Tequila: Long-distance cyclist takes a breather

Driving along the Nogales highway one day, my neighbor Jorge Monroy spotted a bicycle rider off in the distance. To his friend in the seat next to him, he remarked, “See that cyclist? I bet you he’s traveled here from far, far, away.”

The Secrets of San Marcos: Petroglyphs, pottery, white-water swimming and more

If you search for San Marcos, Jalisco in Google Earth, you will be transported to a small town near the Sayula Salt Flats. This San Marcos is a bit of a curiosity because all the houses there have naturally hot water pouring out of the faucet, thanks to hot springs located under the town. For some reason, GE completely ignores the “other San Marcos,” located along the western border of Jalisco, near Etzatlán. Too bad, because “San Marcos of the West,” if I might call it that, has more than one surprise to offer visitors.

Foreign students enjoy ‘English Outdoors’ hike in Primavera Forest

Fifteen foreign students at the Tec de Monterrey university were joined by 38 well-wishers and volunteer drivers for an ‘English Outdoors’ hike in the Primavera Forest

Long-distance walker to traverse Mexico’s Copper Canyon

Cam Honan, originally from Australia and now living in Jalisco, may have done more walking than anyone else on earth. Honan has hiked over 80,467 kilometers in 55 countries and his next goal is to stroll through Chihuahua’s Barrancas del Cobre, where he expects to cover from 300 to 500 kilometers, all on foot. Perhaps “stroll” is not exactly the right word to describe Honan’s upcoming adventure. “It will be a combination of canyoneering, bushwhacks, scrambling, wading, hiking and hopefully avoiding drug fields,” he explains with a wide smile. “Nevertheless, I consider Copper Canyon one of the world’s best hiking sites. In fact, I would put it among the top ten on the planet.”

Hiking up a Cinder Cone: Wikiloc reveals secrets of Volcano with Six Names

Two weeks ago the Reporter featured an article on Wikiloc, a Google-Earth Program which shows you hiking and cycling trails close to home and all around the globe. I decided to test out Wikiloc by searching for a good hike convenient to people living both in Guadalajara and Ajijic.

Flash Flood: Rising rivers, wondrous waterfalls

One day, along the northern edge of the Primavera Forest, I noticed a narrow opening in a canyon wall. I stepped through and found a long passageway stretching before me. I soon discovered I was in a typical slot canyon, with vertical walls rising straight up some 70 meters, but in some places the walls were a mere two meters apart. It had a flat, unencumbered floor and I sauntered along easily, fascinated by long, shelf-like protuberances on both sides of the gully.

Jalisco’s obsidian: Once worth more than gold, today sells for 1 peso a kilo

A few years ago, I received an email from a very talented craftsman in Germany. He was looking for large pieces of high-grade obsidian which he planned to shape into giant black balls about a meter in diameter. “Can I find what I need in Jalisco?” he asked.

Antiquities from Saudi Arabia displayed at Carnegie Museum just the tip of the archaeological iceberg?

His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania launched an astonishing exhibit of artifacts entitled Roads of Arabia at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on June 21, 2013. The 240 pieces on display tell the story of life and art in the Arabian Peninsula from 7,000 years ago to the early 20th century. Surprising though it may seem, The Guadalajara Reporter was on hand for this event, thanks to a kind invitation extended by the Prince himself, but before describing what can only be called a landmark exhibition, I must say a word about an aspect of the evening that will probably not be recorded by other reporters.

Finding hiking and biking trails near you: An introduction to Wikiloc

Before submitting this excellent article, the author suggested I investigate Wikiloc myself and try uploading, downloading and following trails from their website. I discovered that Wikiloc has over 800,000 members all over the world who have uploaded a staggering 1,571,000 trails with nearly two and a half million photos to boot. The wonderful thing is that the trails include everything from easy walks around town for the whole family to technical climbs up snowy mountain peaks. This means Wikiloc literally has something for everyone: kids, hikers, cyclists, dune-buggy drivers, whatever. I’ve taken KireMex’s advice and in the following weeks, I hope to report on new and interesting sites in this part of Mexico, discovered thanks to Wikiloc …and “the hiker known as KireMex.” - John Pint

The most popular museum in Aguascalientes

La Catrina, the grinning skeleton with the elegant, floppy chapeau, is, without a doubt, the most famous creation of Mexican cartoonist, illustrator, artist and satirist José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), whose work was so prolific that even today no one knows exactly how many obras he produced. But if you’d like an overview of his work – and at the same time an insight into life in Mexico during the tumultuous days of the Revolution – the place to visit is the Posada Museum in Aguascalientes.

Indefatigable botanist collects 10,500 plants in 40-plus years

On September 26, 150 people gathered at the Universidad de Guadalajara’s Alberto Navarro Auditorium to pay tribute to Dr. Miguel Cházaro, a legend among Mexico’s botanists. After 25 years as a UdG professor, Jalisco’s best-known botanist was “retiring” to his native Veracruz, where, attested one of his colleagues, “he’ll probably keep right on collecting for another 25 years.”

Melanin battery runs for years, Aguascalientes researcher claims

For some time I’ve heard rumors about the amazing Bat-Gen of Dr. Arturo Solís of Aguascalientes – a new and different source of electricity that he says may someday power our homes and vehicles. Finally, I found myself heading for Aguascalientes on business and I decided it was time to stop in at the Human Photosynthesis Study Center, hoping I might have a chance to examine the Bat-Gen and interview Dr. Solís.

Exploring the Ahuisculco wilderness, legacy of Selva Negra and rock group Maná

I usually consider Facebook a great waste of time, but every once in a while it brings something worthwhile into my life. In this case, it was an album of photos taken by my friend Franky Alvarez in a place I’d never seen: el Bosque de Ahuisculco, located 30 kilometers southwest of Guadalajara, near Tala.

Exploring the Jalisco Public Library: Guadalajara’s best-kept secret

Jalisco’s Juan José Arreola Public Library is located on the northern Periférico (Ring Road) very near the Telmex Auditorium. This library literally has “something for everyone” and most of it is free of charge.

A visit to an underground obsidian mine Black, red, yellow… and now: white obsidian?

One day at the Casa de Cultura in Teuchitlán, I spent a while chatting with Chava Villalobos, one of the most knowledgeable guides at the Guachimontones archaeological site. Chava was born in Teuchitlán and for a long time his teacher was the late Phil Weigand. When I mentioned that I was interested in obsidian, he told me about a deep mine he knew of where the Indians had been extracting the biggest pieces of obsidian he had ever seen. Not even Rodrigo Esparza, “The Obsidian Detective,” knew about this place, he said, and offered to take us there whenever we’d like.

The hiking life: Australian walker clocks up the miles & refuses to hang up his boots

While soaking in a pool of hot mineralized water at the Primavera Forest’s famous Caliente River, I was introduced to a remarkable man.  “I’d like you to meet Cam Honan,” said my friend Diarmuid Milligan. “Like you, he enjoys hiking.”

Walking the Primavera nature trail: Forest rangers offer free guided tours

One of the lesser-known attractions of Jalisco’s Primavera Forest is a two-kilometer-long Sendero Interpretativo (Interpretive Trail) that takes you through a variety of forest environments with occasional signs describing where you are and what you are seeing.

Top Jalisco archaeologist dies too soon, leaves important legacy

Archaeologist Carlos Lopez Cruz, 47, died in El Amarillo, a tiny community in the municipality of Amatitan, Jalisco, around 2 a.m. on May 4, during a local religious festival.  

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