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Jim Cook
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Xochicalco Part 5: The enigmatic Pirámide de Quetzalcoatl
Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent, named for the Creator God, Quetzalcoatl.   The god gets the first part of his name from the Quetzal , a bird highly valued by the ancients for its colorful plumage and long tail feathers. Coatl means "snake" an animal of great...

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Taxco Part 3- Baile Folklorico's colorful dancers
Dancers in traditional costumes whirl and stomp on a stage in Taxco's Plaza Borda . While visiting Plaza Borda, we stumbled across a free public performance of a baile folklorico (folkloric dance) . Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of similar dance troupes...

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Taxco Part 1: Silver City in the Mountains
Parroquia Santa Prisca  is surrounded by one of Mexico's most charming colonial towns . Santa Prisca was constructed in the 18th century by an eccentric silver baron who nearly went broke building and decorating the spectacular church. After our visit to th...

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Costa Rica Part 6: The Doka Estate Coffee Tour
Coffee cherries growing on the same plant ripen at different rates.  The cherries first turn from green to yellow and then are picked when they become bright red. Dora Estate, owned by the Vargas family, was another stop on our tour of Costa Rica. This coff...

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Costa Rica Part 3: Zoo Ave Wildlife Conservation Park
An iguana strikes a pose. I found this extraordinary creature perched atop a wooden box along one of the trails in the Zoo Ave Wildlife Conservation Park . We stopped at the  Zoo Ave  facility after visiting  Volcán Poás  (see Part 2 of this series). Iguana...

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Zamora Part 6: Cowboy saints and devils on motorcycles
Indigenous mask from the Purépecha pueblo of Ocumicho . During our visit to Zamora, Carole and I scheduled a day trip to investigate several of the small pueblos in the mountains surrounding the city. These pueblos are the home of the native Purépecha peopl...

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Zamora Part 5: The soaring Sanctuary of Guadalupe
Santuario de Guadalupe is located four blocks east of Zamora's  Plaza de Armas . After my break to cover Emiliano Zapata and the Mexican Revolution, we'll now return to my series on Zamora. The church above was built in Gothic Revival style , also referred ...

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Emiliano Zapata, Hero of the Mexican Revolution
Emiliano Zapata takes time out from the Revolution for a portrait.  November 20 is Revolution Day in Mexico, so I thought a posting on one of the most dashing and brilliant of the Revolutionary generals would be appropriate. Zapata was a handsome man and al...

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Zamora Part 4: Tangancicuaro, a tranquil little jewel
Plaza de Tangancicuaro , with the Templo Virgen de la Asunción in the background. Several fountains ring the perimeter of the Plaza. They surround the quiosco (bandstand), which is partially visible in the upper right of the photo. The area is nicely shaded...

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Zamora Part 3: The Old Cathedral
View through the entrance gate of the Old Cathedral . Back in Zamora after our visit to Lago de Camécuaro (see Part 2), Carole and I decided to visit one of the city's two co-cathedrals. The Catedral de la Concepción Inmaculada  is located on the east side ...
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