September 16th, Mexican Independence Day, has come and gone, but the celebration of Mexico isn’t really over just yet.
Tomorrow, November 20th, Mexico will celebrate the centennial of its Revolution. This year has been filled with special events all over the world honoring these two important anniversaries in Mexican history.
But there are many everyday reasons to celebrate Mexico, too: the diverse flora and fauna; beautiful ecosystems spanning every kind of terrain from jungles and deserts; the incredible food with worldly influences ranging from pre-Hispanic cultures to European, Asian and beyond; the kind and generous people; the abundance of historical and World Heritage sites… I could probably go on listing the things I love about Mexico for days. I can’t wait to one day have children to teach them all the things we love so much about the country where their papá was born and raised.
In the news in the U.S., Mexico is often painted as a violent, turbulent place and seldom are the positive things about the country and the culture shared in the mainstream media. But to me, Mexico is so much more than what they show on the news. Here on The Other Side of The Tortilla, I choose to focus on the positive aspects of Mexico and Mexican culture because it is what I feel in my heart. It is a mission here to both connect Mexicans at home and abroad to their culture via stories about family and food – two of the most important aspects of the culture – as well as educate those who are not Mexican about traveling the country, absorbing the rich culture and experiencing the incomparable cuisine.
This week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded Mexican cuisine the status as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity at a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya. This is big news in Tortillalandia and you can definitely expect to read more about it here soon. In the meantime, check out the Conservatorio de la Cultura Gastronómica Mexicana to learn more about the organization that submitted the proposal that was approved by UNESCO. I’m excited to see that the world is finally acknowledging the importance of Mexican cuisine and it’s even more special that the status is being awarded during the bicentennial year.
From November 29-December 10, Mexico will also be hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (also know as COP16/CMP6) in Cancun. I was delighted to hear that the conference will be planting around 10,000 trees and bushes in Cancun as part of their way of giving back to the city for hosting. I’m very excited to see all the sustainability efforts being implemented during the conference, as environmental sustainability and caring for the natural resources of the area are very important to the local habitat. The Riviera Maya has much to offer in terms of natural beauty, historic landmarks and world-class culture and food. In fact, the ruins at Tulum are one of my favorite gems in that area because they incorporate both the lush vegetation and the incredible building skills of a civilization that is not physically present, but still lives on in the heart of Mexican history.
I encourage you to follow along with the conference and check out the resources on their website as Mexico steps into the limelight to become part of the solution, bridging the gap between the developed and developing worlds and educating others on how to preserve our beautiful natural spaces and reduce our carbon footprints for generations to come.
I plan to continue celebrating the magic of the Bicentenario through the rest of 2010 and well into the future. I’ll be visiting Mexico for most of the month of December and into early January so you can count on a daily serving of whatever I’m up to, all laid out here in stories, photos and video every day while I’m there. Ven conmigo and subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss out on the fun!
Without Mexico, my life would be a lot less picante, verdad? And to me, life without a little spice is boring so I’m proud to say that Mexico is my home away from home.
If you missed the espectáculo, check out this video below for a glimpse of how the bicentenario was celebrated in Mexico City’s zócalo. To learn more about Mexico’s rich history and the events still to come in 2010, check out the Bicentennial websites in Spanish and English.
200 AÑOS DE SER ORGULLOSAMENTE MEXICANOS
- HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE MEXICO EVERY DAY?