Suitcase and World: June 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Palenque was a Mayan city that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date back to 100 BC to its fall around 800 AD. After its decline it was consumed by the jungle around it and since it's discovery in the late 18th century, archaeologists have been working to excavate the site.  By 2005, the excavated area totaled up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.

In fact, just today, through the miracles of modern technology, archaeologists discovered a  1500 year old tomb at Palenque.  What an amazing find!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Situated in a highland valley at an elevation of 2,200 meters and surrounded by pine forest, the colonial city of San Cristóbal de las Casas has been a popular travelers’ destination for decades.

San Cristóbal de las Casas was founded on March 31, 1528 by Capitan Diego de Mazariegos but owes part of its name to the 16th-century cleric Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, who was the town's first bishop and spent the rest of his life waging a political campaign to protect the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

As with so many names that get shortened, San Cristóbal de las Casas is often just referred to as San Cristóbal.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


El Ángel de la Independencia (the Angel of Independence)
is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City
Distrito Federal or D.F. is how Mexicans refer to their capital city. We know it simply as Mexico City.

Located in the Valley of Mexico,  at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft), the city consists of sixteen boroughs.  The city is the third largest metropolitan area in the world with a population of about 21 million people.

Modern day Mexico City was built atop the ruined ancient capital of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlán.

Although the Spaniards pretty much razed Tenochtitlán to build their own new city, they did preserve its basic layout,  building Catholic churches over the old Aztec temples and claiming the imperial palaces for themselves. Tenochtitlán was renamed "Mexico", its alternative form name, as the Spanish found this easier to pronounce.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dance. can always make time for a bit of culture. I hope my brother agrees cause I'm planning on getting us tickets to see a performance of the Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández, Mexico’s oldest, finest, and most celebrated dance company. Dancer and choreographer Hernández founded the company in 1952 to preserve Mexico’s dance traditions, dating all the way back to pre-Columbian civilizations.  Today, the troupe, which is based in Mexico City, features a cast of 75 dancers and musicians who continue to perform the colorful, historic dances of Mexico.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So, the plus side of going to Mexico during the low season is cheaper hotel rates, fewer tourists, turtle nesting season and whale shark season. The downside is that it's also rainy season and from June 1 to November 30, it's hurricane season in the Yucatán.