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Mexico Today- Keep track of all the news!

I am excited to have the opportunity to continue working with the Mexico Today program in 2012!  (You may recall my post on this from last year.)  We have even more great contributors involved this time around, and there are a whole host of ways for you to keep track of what’s new and exciting in Mexico these days.

In other news, my first post for Mexico Today this summer is up on the site here: http://mexicotoday.org/article/exploring-mexico-city-foodie-tour-coyoac%C3%A0n!  If you’ll be in Mexico City anytime in the future, I outlined a great self-led food tour in Coyoacan that we did with almost all visitors that we had in town.  You start at Tostadas Coyoacan with some amazing fresh seafood tostadas, get a dessert coffee (café de olla) at Cafe El Jarocho, dip a sugary churro in it, and then wash it all down with some mezcal! You’ll find all the details + directions in my post above. Even if your Spanish isn’t great, you should be fine as long as you’re able to translate the types of tostadas on the menu! (But even that is pretty easy, since you order with a sheet of paper, kind of like a sushi restaurant.)

Here are a few more of the great articles that my fellow contributors & the Mexico Today PR team have shared lately that may be of interest to y’all!

Thanks for staying with me & you’ll hear more updates soon!

Mexico Today!

My friends & family can confirm that I rarely pass up the chance to promote all-things-Mexico. Whether it be travel, food, drink, people, glassware, professional wrestling– you name it and I can probably spend an hour of your time raving about it. (Well, maybe everything except the chapulines. While I have sampled the crispy critters, I will admit to being lukewarm regarding grasshoppers from a culinary perspective…) :)

I had considerable success with my personal “Come visit us in Mexico City! Now!” campaign during our two years living there (I think we had ~25 visitors from the US?).  I may have toned down the constant peer pressure *slightly* since I am no longer there to be visited, but I still leap at the chance to “talk Mexico” when given the slightest opportunity! One of my new coworkers mentioned that her family originally hailed from Guadalajara, and I think I broke into a brief hymn of praise for Karne Garibaldi & its carne en su jugo.

I was beginning to fear that my Mexico fangirl tendencies might not have a proper outlet back here in the US… But then I received an email out of the blue from the PR firm who’s working with Marca Pais – Imagen de México to help them promote business & tourism in Mexico:
“I’m writing today on behalf of the Mexico Tourism Board’s Marca País – Imagen de México initiative, to invite you to join the Mexico Today program. The program will empower writers like you to share Mexico’s true stories with the people who need to hear them the most.  We thought that your love for travel and Mexico made you a perfect fit for the topics that we’d like to discuss on Mexico Today.”

Needless to say, this seemed like a good fit & well in-line with what I’ve been writing about on this blog for the last nearly 3 years! The México Today program will be kicking off this weekend in Oaxaca, so I am thrilled to be flying down to meet all the other folks who will also be a part of it. Several of them include longtime blog friends that I’m excited to finally meet in person- Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide, Canuck in Cancun, Countdown to Mexico, Mexico Cooks, Stay Adventurous– plus many more Mexi-fans that have a variety of interesting backgrounds.

Check out the México Today page at http://www.facebook.com/MexicoToday & let me know what you think. There will be hot action streaming from Twitter as well, and the official website is still a work in progress but can be found at http://mexicotoday.org.

In interest of full disclosure, I will be paid for the content I produce, but it will still be my opinions/thoughts/witty repartee that you’ve come to know & love (or at least tolerate)! I’m pretty excited about the program, because I think they are coming at it from the right angle: we all know that Mexico has its challenges these days, and the goal is not to hide or trivialize those issues. Instead, we hope to offer another perspective– one from folks who have actually lived, worked, and traveled on the ground in Mexico. Then you can be the judge!

Who better to promote Mexico than a girl who goes all the way to China to get her photo taken with an accented e that's as tall as she is?

I’m sure I’ll have more details after this weekend, so look forward to tales from Oaxaca plus me raving about being in the epicenter of mezcal, mole, and my favorite Mexican cheese. :)

Two different approaches to Mexican tourism: Queretaro vs. Hidalgo

I constantly rave about Queretaro State’s Secretaria de Turismo (tourism board). They really have their stuff together, with amazing maps, good websites, great brochures, all of which serve to seduce people to a Mexican state that (to be honest) I initially thought didn’t really have that much going for it. (I have since reconsidered this stance– marketing helps me decide.)

Just a smattering of Queretaro's trendy tourism brochures taken off their Flicker site! (look at you, Queretaro, hip to the photo sharing services; bien hecho)

To be fair, I think they might still be over-hyping a few things. For example, check out page 7 of this brochure (courtesy Burro Hall), which outlines a 5 day, action-packed itinerary around Queretaro… except most of the days’ schedules seem to end after lunch. But their main travel website http://queretaro.travel/english (available also in Spanish & French!) is solid, highlighting Queretaro’s wineries and cheeseries (a.k.a. “dairies” to you lesser fans of cheese) and the illustrious Ruta de Vino y Queso near Tequisquiapan. They’re also quite proud of their Franciscan Missions located in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful Sierra Gorda.

The well-executed map of Queretaro's Wine & Cheese Route (note to self: stick with the sparkling wines & cheese...other wines=a bit iffy)

Anyway, my point being: Queretaro’s tourism board is on it, promoting Queretaran tourism in a classy, effective manner.

Now, contrast this with Hidalgo. We drove through a large portion of Hidalgo on our way back from Las Pozas, and stopped randomly in Ixmiquilpan because we were starving. (This town is also known as Iximikkimikkipan…because that’s easier to remember.) We were excited when we spotted the tourism office, and quickly crossed the main plaza to see what wondrous information lay in store for us.

What we discovered was that Hidalgo is going for more of a “Sex Sells” tourism campaign. They had several small brochures, at least half of which were adorned with this chicky:

Come to Hidalgo and find me prancing through the woods!

Or frolicking among waterfalls!

Or using my chameleon skin to blend in with mosaic floors!

Hidalgo has a website too, but it seems a bit more heavy on downloadable photos than insightful tourism suggestions. Also, their tourism slogan “Hidalgo en la piel” seems to best translate as “Hidalgo on the skin”. And while I can understand some kind of figurative translation about feeling Hidalgo on your skin, I don’t know if that’s really what I want in a Mexican state.   That said, it’s not all bad– the one thing that might get me back to Hidalgo is this huge map of all the spas across the state:

Holy crap! That's a lot of spas!!

Outside of that, though, Hidalgo may want to take some tips from their Queretaran neighbors on how to truly sex up an oft-forgotten state. Because I just don’t know if this woman’s blue air-brushed breast is going to do it for me:

Just because hot girls in body paint like Hidalgo, doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to.

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