Here you have a brief list of links that we think may be of interest to you. If you can read Spanish, please take a look at the Spanish-language version of this page. There, we have included a much broader variety of topics and organizations.
The links below are about Mexico, and are divided in 3 categories:
Laura Bronner is the Eternal Expat and for two years she lived in Mexico City and travelled around Mexico. Her travels have taken her to Eastern Europe, but her blog continues to have very useful sections on life in the city and exploring throughout Mexico!
MXCity Guia Insider – A very good source of information about cultural and other current events and entertainment in Mexico City.
News – The Guardian is a good source of news about Mexico
An Opinionated Guide for the Curious Traveler – this blog by long-time Mexico City resident and artist Jim Johnston is a great way to get a feel for our beloved chaotic home.
Museum tickets: The only place you need advance ticket purchase is for the Frida Kahlo museum and Casa Barragán:
Frida tickets online Prices listed are in Mexican pesos, which use the same $ sign as the dollar. The Kahlo online purchase system is very imperfect and often rejects credit cards. Just try again in a few hours or another day, or from another computer or using a different card, and you should have better luck. Please note that the Kahlo home does not have much of her artwork: it is more a way to see into her private life. The most artwork by Kahlo is in the Dolores Olmedo museum in Xochimilco (often on international loan).
Kahlo Museum closes on these days:
January 1 March 21 May 1 September 16 November 21 December 25
Casa Barragán You must make an appointment to visit this museum, at this link. Tours are only with their own guides and last 1 hour. Tickets cost USD$20 per person, and they often sell out way in advance. There are 3 other Barragan sites that are available for tours. One, Casa Jardines Ortega, is relatively near the Barragan museum, and the other, Casa Pedregal, is relatively near San Angel, in the south. These also require advance appointments (and cost approx. the same) but don’t sell out as quickly. Capilla del ex-convento Capuchinas is also in the south but they don’t always allow visitors. One newer Barragán site recently opened to the public as a space with restaurants/stores is Tetetlán, it is located beside the Casa Pedregal site and does not require any reservation to visit.
To make an appointment, please open this page to find contact information for the 3 Mexico City options.
Language classes in Mexico City
CEPE is the language institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and they offer excellent short-term intensive Spanish classes. You do not have to be a UNAM student to take their classes!
For those of you who already know a little Spanish, one great way to improve is to spend time with non-English speakers, especially collaborating on some sort of concrete activity like helping with people’s everyday activities. We can set up such encounters for you, whether for a few hours or a few weeks, and can include homestay with a low-income family near the UNAM campus.
Books and Movies about Mexico
Rojo Amanecer – A movie that took decades to be released to the public, and covers a hugely important event in Mexico (especially Mexico City)’s social history.
Made in Mexico – Although this movie was not made by a Mexican, it is an excellent, deep and varied look at Mexico’s cultures, art and music.
Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion, edited by C.M. Mayo A collection of Mexican short stories, translated into English.
For Latin America in general, The Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano – Heartbreaking chronicle of the colonization of Latin America, as told by the story of each of its treasures as they were mined and sold by the colonizers.
México Profundo, by Guillermo Bonfil Batalla. Relevant for those interested in understanding the complexities of the relationship between Mexico’s elite/mainstream culture, and its rural self.
Here is a very small selection of foreigners who came to Mexico and adopted this land as their own. Some came as part of a big group, like the Lebanese or the Italians, others came as individuals. There are so many others who I did not include! If you are interested in a particular group or person, let me know and I will include them.
The Irish Brigade – Or Saint Patrick’s Battalion, are dearly beloved members of Mexico ever since the 1848 war with the US.
Chipilo – Is a village in Mexico, near Puebla. It was founded and is inhabited by Italian immigrants who came in 1882 from a single town, Veneto! They became known for their excellent dairy products and wood furniture. Now after 5 generations in Mexico, children of Chipilo have left the village and mixed with the rest of Mexico.
Lebanese diaspora into Mexico started at the end of the 19th century. Mexico’s Lebanese population is primarily made up of Christian immigrants who brought with them Saint Charbel, now a popular part of the Mexican pantheon of saints. Some classic Mexican dishes such as tacos al pastor were also created with Arabic influence and heritage.
Chavela Vargas – I always marvel that despite traditionally strong prejudices against gayness, two of Mexico’s most widely beloved singer-composers were openly gay: Juan Gabriel and Costa Rica-born Chavela Vargas. She defined herself as Mexican and when questioned about her Costa Rican origin, famously exclaimed “we Mexicans are born wherever we damn well please”.
Remedios Varo – Originally Spanish, she came to Mexico City later in her life and died relatively young. She is of the Mexican Surrealist tradition of the 1940s and 50s and left much artwork despite her short life.
Leonora Carrington – Also of the Surrealist tradition, she lived a long and productive life in Mexico. Her children have transformed her home into a museum and opened it to the public briefly in 2019, but then had to close again due to the pandemic. We look forward to its return!
Elizabeth Catlett – I am grateful to the friend who introduced me to this African-American and Mexican artist. In addition to being a prolific sculptor and printmaker, she was an active member of Mexico’s artist and teaching world and continued to produce works of beauty and social relevance until the end of her long life.
Ivan Ilich – One of the great critical thinkers and writers of the 20th century, he developed deep criticisms of the medical and education institutions, as well as many other aspects of contemporary life. He was and still is a huge influence in his home in Mexico as well as all over the world.
Mathias Goeritz – Born in Poland in 1912 when it was part of Germany, this architect has left his mark on Mexico City in many places. His striking sculptures grace churches, public spaces and the UNAM campus.
John Ross – An activist, journalist and writer and draft resister from the US. Born and raised in pre-Civil Rights New York City, he lived his most of his life in Mexico.
Walter Reuter – A German photographer who created a true bond of the heart with many indigenous communities throughout Mexico, and documented their lives with vision, talent, love and respect.