Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Few more links on Villacuato

We were able to find a link to a picture of the church in Villachuato, in case someone was really eager to see it. Actually it was the only picture of Villachuato we could find online, so we opted to put it up. We will look through old files on all our computers to see if we have any digital pictures (but that is harder than surfing the web while watching 'The Wire'--so it may take some time--yeah we are that lazy.....what!?!?) . click here

In case you are really interested (or bored), we also found a rather interesting article detailing the semi-symbiotic relationship between Marshalltown, IA and Villachuato. The article is nice in that it discusses issues surrounding, assimilation, circular and transnational migration within in the context of Villachauto--also you gotta love that they talk about how everyone quits their job to go back to Mexico for the Fiesta--a sign of a good party. click here

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A bit of background ino Michoacan and neighboring states

Below are some links to various web sites with information about Michoacan and cites/state close to Villachuato--just to provide you with a bit more general information about the area. I initially wanted to provide you with a few links to overview sites and then a bunch of interesting demographic, econimc, occupational, and social indicators. However, my (Nick's) 'technical' reading skills in Spanish suck, so I was not able to find much interesting structural data. Sorry.

FYI, the website for INEGI (roughly = to Mexican Census Bureau) is here

The links below could be interesting.
wiki post on Michoacan if its on wiki is has to be true...right?
wiki post on Guanajuato, city of Leon, and Guanajuato (city of)

For Spanish speakers/readers here is the offical municipal website for Puruandiro. According to the 2000 Mexican census Puruandiro and hinterlands is the 182 largest city + vicinty in Mexico--thats big time! The potential for governmental bias aside, its pretty informative. Sadly, Villachuato is still waiting for a governmental website.

Interesting article on the history of the Purhépecha Indians (aka Tarascos) in Michoacan. They are one of the indigenous groups in Mexico. wiki post on indigenous populations in Mexico

Weather'...this was tough...historically for that time of year it appears that the average high is ~85 and the low is ~55 degrees. msnweather for Zacapu--closest city with weather info

High quality maps are hard to find online. here is a decent pdf map of Michoacan.
Here is an okay map of Guanjuato--one nice thing about this map is that it has active links to descriptions of some of the cities/sites by a journalist in GTO on a Fullbright.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Additional Stuff to See in Mexico

Some people have expressed interest in extending their trips and doing some additional traveling in central Mexico. What we plan to do (over the next few weeks) is not only list cities that one can visit, but, also, note the attractions in each place. We hope that this information will serve as a jumping off point in helping you decide where you want to go/what you want to do.

However, below is a 'back of the envelop' list of cool cities/places that you may want to consider (we will provide some information about these places in the coming weeks):

Cities: Close by
--These two cities contain a fair share stuff to see/do. I would recommend them due to their proximity and attractions.

Cities/Beaches: Less Close by
San Miguel Allende
Playa Azul--nice beach
Zihuatanejo--more developed/touristy beach town

Cities: Not So Close by
Mexico City
Aguas Calientes
San Luis Potosi

Cities: If you have nothing better to do than roam around Mexico for months on end to see cool stuff:
San Cristobal de Las Casas

Rollin' with the homies

We have been asked by numerous friends about bringing more than one guest. The answer to that question is YES. We only ask that you let us know, if it is a large number of folks (5+), so we can plan accordingly for transport, etc. So yeah bring your entourage, your fan club, or that person you met sitting in 23D on the flight down.

In small towns in this part of Mexico weddings are a communal event--which means that everyone in the town is invited to the wedding (this goes unstated--if you live in a town you are more than welcome to attend any wedding). Also given that it is a small town, weddings take place in the main plaza or some other public space, so everyone has to be able to attend
. Thus we are planning on having not only our guests from the US attend but also the entire town (~500 people), so the way we see it is that a few extra people will just add to the fun.

What are we going to do?

The latest day anyone should arrive to Leon is Thursday, March 27, 2008 and at the earliest depart Monday, March 31st 2008.

We will arrive on Friday, March 21st, 2008. Anyone and everyone is welcome to arrive on that same date or any time in between March 23 and March 27. (With the festivities on the 22nd we will not be able to make it to the airport.)

On Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 the town of Villachuato begins their festival. This is what happens

3/22/08—Cock fights, horse races, “mojigangas” big parade (mardi gras style), big dance in the soccer field. A lot of food, drinking, dancing and more drinking.

Note: This festival is the “big festival” in the town for the year—and we mean big! Imagine all celebrations (b-days and holidays) you partake in for an entire year rolled into one fat week of partying…that’s exactly what this is....that’s how they role in Villachuato, Mich….its fun.

3/23/08—Dancing in the Plaza, drinking, eating, carnival rides and games.

3/24/08—Bull riding, eating, dancing and drinking (and some wedding preparation).

3/25/08—More bull riding, more eating, more dancing and more drinking (and some wedding preparation).

3/26/08—More bull riding, more eating, more dancing and more drinking (and some wedding preparation).

Sometimes they will let a spectator ride a bull. Usually its some young guy who had too much to drink and made a bet with some friends--thats really fun to watch. Nothing like getting drunk and making bad decisions. If your lucky you could be that guy (just remember quality medical care is far away).

3/27/08—A day to recover and assess what bad decisions you may have made while on a 5 day bender (and some major wedding preparation).

--The end of the "Fiesta" Celebrations & beginning of the Wedding Celebrations---

3/28/08—The Groom’s Dinner. We will all get together for some good food/drinks and great company.

3/29/08—The BIG day. The WEDDING! The festivities will begin some time around 2:00 p.m. and we have no way of telling when they will end.

3/30/07—The “Cutting of the Cake” celebration. On this day we will present, cut, and eat the cake. I think this is just an old excuse to have another party. We will have some great food, amazing company, more dancing and, yup, you guessed it, and more drinking.

This is the end of the wedding celebrations. Some people will be departing on Monday, March 31st, 2008 others will be taking the following week off and traveling around in Mexico. We will soon post some suggested side trips.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Maps of Villachuato on Google maps

Here is a link to view the location of Villachuato on Google maps:
click here

Here is a photo view of the city on google maps—you can zoom in/out around…etc..its kind of cool that you can see the size of the town:
click here

(Thanks to Uncle Jeff for pointing us towards this.)

Where do I sleep...you said this town had no stores..let alone a hotel?

Villachuato is a VERY small town with NO hotels. No worries, we have reserved a block of rooms at hotel nearby in the town of Puruandiro. This “city” is only about 10 minutes from Villachuato and we will have shuttle buses taking you to and from Puruandiro and Villachuato.

Please let us know what type of room you prefer either by email or include the info on the inside of your RSVP card. Please include the type of room, who will be staying in room, check in and check out date. The rates and rooms are as follow at Hotel Loma Linda-

  1. Standard room with king bed ~$27.00 US a night.
  2. Standard room with 2 queen beds ~$32.00 US a night.
  3. Deluxe room with king bed ~$36.00 US a night.
  4. Deluxe room with 2 queen beds ~$41.00 US a night.

All of the rooms in this hotel are very comfortable. The deluxe rooms were all renovated this year and have TVs and some come with a little sitting area and kitchenette. This hotel was visited by Elizabeth’s mom and sister and they commented that the hotel is very comparable to US standards. It is the best hotel in the town and has a rating of 3 stars. We believe you will be VERY comfortable and safe in this hotel.

Here is a link that shows a picture and small description of Puruandiro- click here