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Mexico Notebook

Photo: Venus

Many books have been written about Mexico under the guise of ‘guidebooks’ that, in reality, are nothing more than compilations of hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, along with a few tips about where to buy authentic handicrafts that almost look as if they came from Mexico and not Taiwan … These books don’t guide you to Mexico — they guide you away from it.
– Carl Franz, People’s Guide to Mexico

Un area de conflictos es un area de oportunidades para cambiar. (An area of conflict is an opportunity for change).
– Hugo Antonio Santiago, Oaxaca

La armonía reside en proteger la vida de la tierra. (Harmony lies in the protection of life on earth).
– Inscription on the Otafuku statue, Viveros Park

¡Como no te voy a querer!
UNAM

Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection?
– Virgin de Guadalupe

In México nothing ever happens until it happens.
– Porfirio Díaz

Thank God they’re only after the gold and silver. They don’t know about the jade.
– Moctezuma

Observe all signs. (Obedezca las señales)
– Roadside signage

Nuestra literatura no sólo recrea, sino que transmite una enseñanza que busca frenar los males colectivos y las conductas negativas. Tiene todo un fondo de enseñanza. Con la expansión del colonialismo y más tarde con la política de incorporación del siglo XX, que promovió la escuela rural mexicana, la literatura indígena no ha hecho más que asumir un papel de resistencia cultural.
Mario Molino

Para mí sólo recorrer los caminos que tienen corazón, cualquier camino que tenga corazón. (I only trek the paths that have heart, whatever path that has heart.)
– Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan

For those seeking a taste of the real Mexico, go to Oaxaca City.
– Rick Bayless

When you hang out with Mexicans and you speak Spanish, you are in a different México.
– Conversation

Oh, Mexico. I never really been but I’d sure like to go.
– James Taylor

There is no ‘Mexican time.’ There are people who are punctual and those who are not.
– Conversation

How long is one hour photo developing in Mexico?
– Conversation

Manana in Oaxaca has the same meaning it does in the rest of Mexico but without the same sense of urgency.
– Popular saying

The key lies in the past, a deep subconcious past that stays alive in Mexicans today. It is a continuous past, but not a consistent past. In it, Mexicans must conciliate being conquered and conqueror, retaining many of the racial characteristics and personality traits of the Indians and even glorifying their pre-Hispanic heritage, while speaking Spanish, practicing Catholocism and thinking of Spain as the mother country.
– Alan Riding, Distant Neighbors

Cada vez que muere un ave, cade vez que arde un bosque, y sobre todo, cada vez que una especie animal o vegetal desaparece, las posibilidades de superviencia se reducen para la humanidad.
– Miguel Alvarez del Toro, Voces por la Naturaleza

If life is difficult, why not celebrate?
– Conversation, 2004

The guides who have been trained couldn’t find work in tourism so they left. One is working in the United States. Another guide works at the water plant.
– Tourism official, Mexico

Aqui es Oaxaca, tierra del legitamo mezcal (This is Oaxaca, land of legitimate mezcal)
– Photo

What has value is what is repeated.
– Conversation, Oaxaca 2007

The old gods and the new gods are virtually indistinguishable.
– Conversation, Oaxaca 2007

Oaxacans are so complicated, they tie their cheese into a knot. (Los Oaxaqueños son tan complicados que hasta el quesillo enrollan. Or Los Oaxaqueños son tan complicados que aun el queso lo hacen bola)
– Conversation, 2001

Para el ultimo etapa necesitamos el apoyo del público.
– Pedro Martínez, Noticias 2 de Noviembre 1986

Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!
– Traven, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

If you’re not confused by what’s going on in Mexico today, then you probably are misinformed.
Sergio Sarmiento

¿Quieren que les cuente un cuento? (Would you like me to tell you a story?)
– Brozo, Mexico newscaster/clown, aka Victor Trujillo

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