Night of the Radishes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Noche de rábanos
The Night of the Radishes (Spanish: Noche de rábanos) is celebrated every year on December 23 and it began in 1897 in the “zócalo” (main plaza) of Oaxaca city. Although it lasts only a few hours, it attracts thousands of people to this plaza each year.

The event consists of an exhibition of sculptures made from a type of large red radish which can weigh up to 3.00 kilograms (6.6 lb) and attain lengths up to 50 centimetres (20 in).[1] These radishes are especially grown for this event, left in the ground for months after the normal harvests to let them attain their giant size and unusual shapes.

The sculptures are made by professional craftsmen and aficionados, who are mostly radish growers. Themes include complete nativity scenes, party scenes with dozens of figures, Baile Folklorico, models of real buildings built with much detail, and saints.[1] The sculpted scenes include other materials such as dried flowers and corn husks but what makes a sculpture stand out is the creative cutting of the radish itself for effect, such as carefully peeling the red skin back and perforating it to create a lace skirt. A contest is held with the first-prize winner getting their picture in the newspaper.[1]


Hi Garden Club members. Happy new year and I hope you can make it to the first garden club meeting for 2013, which will take place, Wednesday, January. 2nd, 11am to 1pm

We will be visiting two 2 gardens sites in Teotitlan de Valle. The two locations also have dogs — and it would be best for those who might like to bring their dog companions to these visits –plan to have them stay in a vehicle during our visits to the gardens.

Our first visit will be to the organic garden of Minerva Gonzalez and her husband Ismauel Martinez. Minerva and Ismauel grow organically and she sells the produce at the mercado in Teotitlan. They grow a large variety of produce and we will learn how they tend their plants, fertilize the land with different strategies including using compost, some of which is provided by their worms. She also raises chickens which produce eggs that she also sells at the mercado.

We will meet at their garden at Matamoros #11. The street side of the building is a family grocery store and you can enter into the garden area further back from the street through the store.

When you open the link to see the map of Teotitlan there is a marker at Ave. Juarez, which is one of the main intersections for the center of town–2 blocks (towards the hills) heading north of this marker turn left (east) onto Matamoros and Matamoros #11 is located on the left (south) side & in the middle of the street.

The second garden is located at the home of Ani Burns, a long time resident of Teotitlan. Her small (truck) garden is located next to her small casista. Ani lives very simply yet her home is very warm and inviting –and some of the features of the home include an outside solar heated shower which also has a backup of an on-demand heating system, and a composting toilet. Her home site has a wonderful view of the pueblo and she will explain how she deals with insects and issues related to living on the edge of the campo.

The directions of where she lives will be given out during the visit to the 1st garden. It is strongly advised that people car pool to her location, take a moto taxi, or walk the 4 or 5 blocks. She lives on the east side of town at the base of the mountain. Parking is limited on her property and also on the street. Preference parking on her property will be given to those of us who might have limited walking ability. If parking on the street in front of her home, there is a slight grade to walk up the driveway to her home. Comfortable walking shoes are advised.
You are welcome to contact me with any questions– or 951.148.3215.

This email is being sent through the website service at which I hope will provide an easy way for people to unsubscribe if they which to not receive messages of the Oaxaca garden club activities. This is my first attempt at using this service so please give me feedback on how it works for you.

Aome St. Laurence

Pres. of the Garden Club of Oaxaca

Certified Permaculture Consultant, Designer, Educator–currently living in Oaxaca, Mexico

Join the “greenoaxaca yahoo group” a communication tool for those who are interested in gardening/ permaculture/green/sustainable and healthy living in and around the city of Oaxaca, MX.



James “Jim” Wyly (15 Nov 37) was born in Kansas City, Missouri. As a child, even at the ages of 2 and 3 he could draw recognizable people and buildings. He was encouraged by his great uncle, a professional painter, but his parents’ priority was music, especially the keyboard, as they had a piano in their home. By the age of 5 Jim was able to play classical music. He always had teachers for music theory and composition.

At the age of 17 Jim enrolled in Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he received his BA in English literature. He attended graduate school at the Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri where he received his Doctorate in Music. His dissertation, on 18th century Spanish organ construction, was written in Madrid, Spain with the aid of a Fulbright grant, and was finished in 1964. Jim worked for 4 years at Elmhurst College, in Illinois, and 8 years at Grinnell College, in Iowa, as a Professor of Music.

In the 1970’s Jim became interested in the psychology of Carl Jung. Life in rural Iowa was beginning to feel rather limiting so in 1976 Jim and his wife, Mary moved to Chicago where he went back to school and received a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1981, after which he got a certificate in Jungian Psycho-Analysis. In Chicago he set up a private practice which he maintained until 2003 when he and Mary retired and moved to Oaxaca.

In Chicago Jim’s wife, also a musician, worked as the Associate Librarian at the Newberry Library of Chicago. Mary has been very supportive of Jim’s art.

When they first moved to Oaxaca they rented a 300-year old home owned by the Rodolfo Morales Foundation. They loved the house but found that it didn’t suit all their needs so, with the help of Oaxacan friends, they were lucky enough to find property in the Centro Histórico; and with their architect friend, Guillermo de la Cajiga, uMG_1691they designed and over the next two years built and finished (2008) their dream home, where they currently live. Here, Jim has all the space he needs to play his music and paint as well as does Mary, with her great kitchen and well stocked library. In Jim and Mary’s spacious and modern front room they have Jim’s clavichord and harpsichord and Mary’s piano.

With the move to Oaxaca Jim was at last able to return to his childhood passion and paint full time. Jim studied painting in Chicago with the artist and restorer Helen Oh, who taught him historical techniques from the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition to her, among artists whose styles influenced Jim’s are 17th century masters such as Rembrandt, Velázquez, Caravaggio, and Vermeer, as well as twentieth century painters, such as Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Balthus, Paul Delvaux and many others. Jim describes his art as “somewhere on the line between surrealism and realism.”

Jim has had four art exhibitions in Oaxaca, the most recent (2010) at Casa Oaxaca by Galería Quetzalli.

For more information on James Wyly as well as viewing his gallery site, visit Jim’s website at You may contact Jim at

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Since 2009, archeological work has been taking place in an area just south of the town center. A number of significant constructions have been excavated including structures called the Casa de Oriental (East House) and Casa de Altares (House of the Altars) and the Central Shrine of Atzompa which is larger than its counterpart in Monte Alban proper. Next to these is a complex of domestic units, sunken patios and a pyramidal platform.
However, the main find has been a 45-meter-long Mesoamerican ball court with two smaller courts next to it. These courts are surrounded pyramidal structures. The 45-meter court is the largest ever found in the Monte Alban area and investigations indicate that this was the principal ball court for the city, rather than any of the ball courts that are in the Monte Alban site itself. This ball court is situated such that players would have full view of the city located above them. The two smaller courts are secondary and probably used for training ball players.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The site was initially explored in the 1930s by Jorge Acosta. He was only able to examine the ends of the large ball court. He speculated that the constructions at this site were ceremonial and defensive in nature, constructed in the 7th to 9th centuries to protect a growing Monte Alban.[ Formal excavation was not considered for the site until recently due to its distance from the main Monte Alban site. The site is still being excavated with plans to open it to the public in 2012. Starting in 2010, work has intensified in building the infrastructure needed for the Santa Maria Atzompa archeological site, to be opened to the public in 2012 as an adjunct to the Monte Alban site. A laboratory and security booths have been built, paid for by the INAH. The laboratory is for the testing and dating of ceramic pieces and other artifacts. Walking paths are being constructed by the state government. The archeological work displaced about 100 people from their homes, but the promise of tourism in the future has satisfied the community. As of November 2012 this site is open to the public.
For more information Google “Atzompa” or see:
Except as noted, all photos by Alan Goodin


Dear Vagabundos,

The second trip is a go… Vagabundos on the waiting list for the first
trip with a paid deposit have already gotten in and we have plenty of
space left. So…

Let’s go to Chiapas!  We’ll experience the magical Palenque ruins,
visit the thundering cascades of Agua Azul, enjoy the magnificent
views around San Cristobal de las Casas, and boat up the Sumidero
Canyon.  We’ll shop for the most incredible crafts made by the
indigenous artisans from the different villages and learn about the
age-old customs of the people from this wonderful region.

Attached you will find,

— The itinerary with specific dates, times, and schedules for side trips.
— The links file that you might find useful in your research for the
places we will be visiting.
— The bus layout that will help you decide what seat to choose.
Please be wise with your selection as you will keep the same seat for
the entire trip. Please give me alternative seat selections in case
the seats you have chosen have been taken by the time you reply. I
— The payment options file which informs you of the ways you can get
the payment to me. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.

I’m also pasting the information below in case you have any problem
downloading the files.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for questions or reservations.

I look forward to seeing you on our bus (and plane)!


David Rico Olalde
Los Vagabundos
Centella No. 28
Fracc. La Lejona, 2a Seccion
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
(415) 152-3013

Los Vagabundos Explore Chiapas!

March 12-20, 2013

Double Occupancy USD $875 *
Single Occupancy USD $1070

Your payment includes transportation to and from airports, airfare,
transportation in Chiapas on a first class bus, hotel for 8 nights,
side trips to Palenque, Cascadas de Agua Azul, San Juan Chamula, San
Lorenzo Zinacantan, and the Sumidero Canyon, a city tour of San
Cristobal de las Casas, and tips to bus driver, hotel maids, and
baggage handlers. The entrance fees to museums and ruins are not
included. You are responsible for your own food and your own

Tuesday, March 12 – Leave from Central de Autobuses at 10:30 a.m. for
the Mexico City airport where we should arrive around 3:00 p.m. Our
flight departs from Mexico City at 5:00 p.m. and arrives in
Villahermosa at 6:30 p.m. Our hotel, Hilton (993) 313-6800, is
conveniently located close to the airport.

Wednesday, March 13 – Leave our hotel at 8:00 a.m. for Palenque where
we should arrive around 10:30 a.m. Our hotel, Maya Tulipanes (916)
345-0201, is located in the ecological and touristic area of La

Leave the hotel at 12:00 p.m. for the Palenque ruins (entrance fee not
included). We’ll spend about four hours exploring this archaeological
site and its museum. There is easy transport to the hotel for those
who would like to get back earlier (or later).

Thursday, March 14 – Leave our hotel at 9:00 a.m. for San Cristobal de
las Casas. We will stop at the Misol-Ha waterfall for about 30 minutes
and then on to Cascadas de Agua Azul where we should arrive around
noon. We will stay for about two hours so you will have time to eat
and swim. Bring your bathing suit! We’ll leave for San Cristobal at
2:00 p.m. and should get there around 7:00 p.m. Our hotel, Best
Western La Noria (967) 678-6878, is centrally located.

Friday, March 15 – Meet in the lobby at 9:30 a.m. for a 2-hour guided
walking city tour. The rest of the day is yours! Start touring the
city and its surroundings. Visit Casa Na-Bolom, Museo del Ambar, Museo
de la Medicina Maya, Café Museo Café, Templo de Santo Domingo, Mercado

Saturday, March 16 – Free in San Cristobal.  Explore the places where
you might have a special interest like the pottery village of
Amatenango del Valle, Reserva Ecologica Huitepec, and Grutas de San
Cristobal, or go shopping for some of those wonderful crafts being
sold all around town, or take a trip to the caves and lakes nearby…

Sunday, March 17 – Leave the hotel at 9:30 for a guided visit of the
San Juan Chamula and the San Lorenzo Zinacantan villages. We should be
back to the hotel around 3:00 p.m. The rest of the day is yours!

Monday, March 18 – Free in San Cristobal. Enjoy your last day in this
picturesque town! Take a trip to another village (I will help you make
arrangements) or just go wild on last minute shopping.

Tuesday, March 19 – Leave the hotel at 10:00 a.m. for Chiapa de Corzo.
Bring an overnighter. Our hotel, La Ceiba (961) 616-0389, is centrally
located and has a swimming pool. Meet in the lobby at 11:30 a.m. for
our trip up the Sumidero Canyon. We will get on boats and enjoy its
magnificent view for a couple of hours before a lunch stop. We should
be back to the hotel around 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 20 – Leave the hotel at 10:30 a.m. for the airport.
Our plane departs from Tuxtla Gutierrez at 12:45 p.m. and arrives in
Mexico City at 2:30 p.m. We’ll then head on home, stopping at Parador
San Pedro for dinner and getting to San Miguel around 8:30 p.m.

* Prices are per person.

IMPORTANT: Departure and arrival times may change due to flight schedules.

Los Vagabundos

Payment options
Pay at least half of the total amount when you make your reservation
and the remainder by the end of January. If you reserve six weeks or
less before the trip, you need to pay in full at the moment of

There are three easy ways to get the payment to me:

1)     Come to Centella No. 28 in La Lejona (behind Mega) and give us
your check (USD). If we’re not home, please place it in the mail box
located on our door. You cannot miss it. It has a sign that reads,
“Los Vagabundos Mail”. If you don’t see it, you are at the wrong
place.  Please don’t leave cash in our mail box. If you need to pay in
cash, please call me to make an appointment.

2)     Put your check in an envelope and take it to the post office
(corner of Correo and Corregidora streets).  The envelope should be

David Rico Olalde
A.P. 611
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

The post office opens Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  They will charge you 7
pesos because it counts as a local delivery. Please let me know when

3)     Call me to make arrangements for check or cash pick up,

David Rico Olalde
(415) 152-3013

Please make checks payable to “David Rico Olalde”

It is important that you write on the memo of the check, “Los
Vagabundos/Chiapas trip”

Please date USD checks in US format MM/DD/YYYY. (It can also be any
other format but spelling out the month)

If you are outside of San Miguel de Allende, ask for a fourth option.

If you decide to pay in pesos, please go to the link below to make the
conversion (the very day you pay)…

Cancellations and Refunds

Ø     Cancel 20 days in advance to get a full refund if our entire
trip is by land.
Ø     Cancel six weeks in advance to get a full refund if our trip
includes one or more flights.
Ø     If you cancel after these dates, we will be able to refund only
whatever we can get back from hotels and airlines. It is usually from
50% down, depending on your timing.

Please let me know if I can be of any help in making the payment process easier.


David Rico Olalde
Los Vagabundos

Links Chiapas trip

From The New York Times

Frugal Traveler: Old Time, and New, Amid Maya Ruins of Palenque
Frugal Traveler: Eco-Farmers in Soggy Las Guacamayas


Cascadas de Agua Azul

San Cristóbal de las Casas

San Juan Chamula


Chiapa de Corzo and Sumidero Canyon,_Chiapas

CODICES-A LECTURE BY LINDA MARTIN – All photos by Alan L. Goodin



Wednesday, January 16th at 5 pm. Cost: $100 pesosOaxaca Lending Library and Monday, February 25 – 5 pm – $100 pesos. Oaxaca Lending Library, Pino Suárez 519.

Photo by Alan Goodin

Photo by Alan Goodin

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND—a fun, informative and illustrated talk to learn about Oaxaca before Cortez. Lord 8 Deer and Lady 6 Monkey. Sacred hallucinogenic plants: the Zapotec’s express route to the gods. Codex images in Oaxaca graffiti, Frida, Tamayo, Toledo and Disney. Antiquity, with a zany modern touch.
All Photos by Alan L. Goodin