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Visions of Mexico
Instructor: Lisa Noble
Alison M Ralwins February 22, 2009
(CUL-221294-05-09SP1) Introductory Spanish: Language and Culture
Special points of
Crystal clear beaches
diving are main
In spite of a reputation for crowded adventure opportunities (Ibson 61.) Another
streets and nightlife mayhem, Cancun attractive attribute of Cancun and other
Yucatecan cuisine proves to be a diversely stimulating and Mexican destinations is the high value and
rejuvenating vacation destination. On low cost of accommodations. Ibson states
“You get more for your money in Mexico and
her third voyage to the luxurious
and world class
a more luxurious experience.”
destination, travel agent, Diane Ibson
awards to area
recounts specific activity destinations
hospitality. THE ROYAL in Cancun has achieved a
including invigorating hikes, dives, and
world class hospitality award from the
dining experiences (Ibson 60.) Ancient
American Academy of Hospitality Sciences;
Mayan ruins at Tulum are exciting to
the first in the city to receive this prestigious
explore, and are complimented by
award (Real Resorts.) “‟The International
refreshing beach venues nearby to cool
Star Diamond Award is the most prestigious
off in after a stimulating hike. Pools of
emblem of achievement, an award many
playing dolphins, nearby
Inside this issue: strive for, but few obtain,‟ said Joseph D.
accommodations, and crystal clear
Cinque (2009), President/CEO of the
beaches extend numerous diving
AAHS.” (Real Resorts) With so much to
explore and world class accommodations at
attainable costs, it is no wonder the tourist
1 economy of the area has grown so much in
The hottest destination to cool down in
Mexico, the Riviera Maya, has
Things to Do
experienced a dramatic growth in
hospitality availability and quality in the
serenades at 4:00PM daily, and old-
Where to Eat past five years. Joe Pike reports in
fashioned dinner theater performances (Pike
TravelAgent, 22 Dec. 2008 that the
current tourist trade of 37,000 rooms
THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen in Riviera
has increased by 17,000 since 2003.
Maya, Mexico has achieved a world class
World class luxury accommodations
hospitality award from the American
offer enchanting vistas and experiences
Academy of Hospitality Sciences (Real
to entice all the senses. Modern and
trendy destinations are numerous due Resorts.) The welcoming haciendas of the
to the massive expansion in the regional Yucatan Peninsula, pristine beaches, and
hospitality industry, but the legacy of world class hospitality and cuisine of the
well established destinations offer “old area provides an attractive and affordable
school” charm and traditional luxury with get away.
itineraries like soothing saxophone
Friday – Arrive in Cancun.
Saturday – Shopping Playa del Carmen.
Sunday – Catamaran snorkeling, an underwater tour of coral formations
and aquatic life in the Caribbean, departing from Cozumel.
Monday - Tour Copan ruins, the most thoroughly studied archeological
site in the Maya world.
Tuesday – Tour Chichen-Itza, capital of the ancient Mayan imperial.
Wednesday – Shop and eat authentic Yuatecan cuisine in Merida.
<http://www.cancunreservations.com/images/map Thursday - Dolphin encounter in Cancun.
Friday – Depart from Cancun.
Diving and exploring ruins
Advice cited in John Condon‟s “Good Neighbors”, suggests that
North Americans visiting Mexico must study Mexican history to
fully understand the experience (2.) The Mexican vision of a
cosmic race, la raza, since 1910 has unified a people with
diverse cultural backgrounds that is not precisely mestizo, but a
mystical idealization of Latin culture (Congdon 11.) visiting the
various ruins of the Mayan people delves into the ancient
history of a mysterious mystic civilization, which vanished under
mysterious circumstances prior to European discovery.
The city of Chichen-Itza boasts a 75 foot high pyramid, Kukulkan.
According to Tulum.com, the tourist information hub for Tulum,
Mexico, the City of Chichen-Itza was the capital of the Mayan imperial
culture. The temple of the Warriors, the Ball Court, the Observatory
and Sacred Well are reportedly the site of countless human sacrifices.
Alison M Ralwins Page 3
Other ruins on the Yuatecan are the Copan Ruins and Ek Balam. The most thouroughly studied archeological
site in the Maya world is the Copan Ruins, known as the Athens of the New World. A site more recently dis-
covered, Ek Balam, with its architectonic unique style evident in the beauty of its walled buildings and well
preserved sculptures is home to one of the biggest pyramids in the Yucatan Peninsula < http://
A tropical paradise peninsula with compelling historical ruins and monuments supplies visitors with majestic
natural encounters like snorkeling and dolphin encounters. Tulum.com listed many tours for exploring the
amazing tropical seas and reefs abundant in the region. Departing from Cozumel island daily, an eight hour
tour brings connects divers with 200+ feet of superbly clear visibility, abundant with sea life, corals, and deep
ocean walls. Also in Cancun the opportunity for dolphin-human interaction is ubiquitous – many learning pro-
grams are available and it is highly recommended as a family activity!
Also, on this paradise on earth, there are several welcoming haciendas where guests can dine and/
or lodge. After all, we are going to be hungry and tired after touring the ruins and exploring the sea.
Harry Shattuck shares his opinion on the best places to eat in “MEXICO: The food is worth the trip.”
San lldefonso Teya on the eastern outskirts of Merida, c. 1683, is known for authentic Yucatecan
cuisine served on stone plates (7.) Casa Principal is a Spanish colonial-style estate with stone
staircase and bell tower. Seating for 300 guests can, and have accommodated up to 2,000 people.
The sensuous foods that can be enjoyed include “papadzules (tortillas with egg and pumpkin
sauce), coriander cream soup, cochinita pibil (pork in banana leaves), three-meat stew and breaded
shark(Shattuck.)” This might not be exactly what you imagine when you think of “Mexican food.”
John Condon‟s Introduction to “Good Neighbors” reminds us that “what is believed to have come
from one side of the border was in fact created on the
other side. „Nachos,‟ for example, is a U.S. concoction.”
It‟s true that about as many Mexicans really know who
invented which entre as Americans do, but authentic
cuisine is best enjoyed in its original context.
Condon, John C. “Good Neighbors: Communicating with the Mexicans.” second edition. Intercultural
P.: /Maine. 1997.
Ibson, Diane “Dreams Cancun true.”Travel Trade gazette UK & Ireland. 16 Jan. 2009. 60.
Pike, Joe. quot;The Riviera Maya: Travel Agent helps you choose the right hotel for your client in this
popular destination.” TravelAgent. 22 Dec. 2008. 16-19.
“Real resorts; The American Academy of hospitality Sciences Recognizes Two Real Resorts with its
Prestigious International Star Diamond Award.” NewsRx.com. Atlanta. 17 Feb. 2009. 3987.
Shattuck, Harry. “MEXICO; the food is worth the trip; Yucatecan cuisine is a delicious experience.”
The Huston Chronicle. Houston. 18 Jan. 2009. 7.
Tulum, Mexico activity listings. Tulum Mexico.14 Feb. 2009. <http://www.tulum.com/nActivity/>