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Tijuana Baja California Mexico

Ruth asks…

What are the major tourist attractions and landmarks in Mexico?

Tijuana answers:

There is a little bit for everybody in Mexico:

There are many resort beach areas, around the three seas that touch Mexico, such as Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and the Mayan Riviera on the Caribbean coast; Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo or Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast and even some nice but undeveloped beaches near the port cities of Veracruz or Tampico in the Gulf of Mexico. All of them include water sports and outdoor activities: fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving or kayaking are some of them.

There are many ancient Mayan ruins and pyramids, such as Chichen Itza, Tulum or Uxmal on the Yucatan Peninsula. There are also many other ruins in or around central and southern Mexico, such as Teotihuacan, Monte Alban or The Tajin, belonging to other ancient civilizations such as the Teotihuacans, Zapotecs or Olmecs.

There is a vibrant night life in and around major cities, including discos, casinos, bars and restaurants on Cancun, Cozumel, Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara or Tijuana.

There are many beautiful natural landmarks in Mexico, including the Copper Canyon or Barranca del Cobre in the state of Chihuahua, the Cañon del Sumidero in Chiapas or La Bufadora in Baja California, as well as many national parks and biologic reserves such as El Chico, La Malinche, El Vizcaino or El Cielo biosphere and natural reserves. You can go for outdoor biking, hiking or mountain climbing in many of these places.

All throughout Mexico you can look for their culture and traditions, including gastronomy – which has nothing to do, and is much tastier, than the ‘Mexican food’ you are accustomed to. There are also many handcrafts you can find and take home such as the ponchos or zarapes, fashionable huipil clothing, the all-too-famous Mexican sombreros, Oaxacan black pottery, Taxco silver jewelry, Chiapas amber jewelry or Zacatecan gold trinkets.

If you want to find out about the history of Mexico, you should go to Mexico City, where you can find some of the largest repositories of Mexican memory, including the Castillo de Chapultepec Museum, the National Museum of Anthropology, the Templo Mayor Aztec ruins and many other museums throughout Mexico City, such as Frida Kahlo’s Museum, Museo de Bellas Artes or Modern Arts Museum, which are devoted to the arts.

There are of course, thousands of natural and man-made landmarks throughout Mexico that you can visit, such as:
The Monumento de la Independencia (Independence Monumenr) and Monumento a la Revolucion (Revolution Monument) in Mexico City.
Forts of Loreto and Guadalupe, where the legendary Cinco de Mayo or Battle of Puebla took place.
Many colonial downtowns in cities such as Guadalajara, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato or Queretaro.
Former prison of San Juan de Ulua on the city and port of Veracruz.
Cenote Dzitnup – underground water spring – on Valladolid.
Sotano de las Golondrinas (Cave of the swallows) in San Luis Potosi.
Velo de Novia waterfall in Chiapas, where the famous Predator (1987) movie was filmed.
Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of the Chrystals) where out-of-this world giant selenite chrystals are found.
Agua Azul Falls – Chain of powerful beautiful waterfalls located in the Chiapas rainforest. Water of the falls has bright blue color and is rich with lime. Lime is sedimented along the way of the falls, creating unusual natural sculptures and encasings for trees and other objects.
Arbol del Tule. Located in the southern state of Oaxaca, this Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) is one of the oldest trees in the world (1,400 – 1,600 years).
Monarch butterfly wintering parks. Located in the western and central states of Michoacan and State of Mexico, there are twelve wintering habitats of the monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) with some trees covered with a thick layer of millions of butterflies.
Coyuca Lagoon. Located on the northern outskirts of the resort city of Acapulco, it is a fresh water lagoon where people can enjoy a wide variety of aquatic activities such as snorkeling, yachting or fishing.
The Land’s End Arch, unique landmark of Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California Peninsula.

Sharon asks…

What is the Chipilo Venetian dialect and other Italian derived languages of Mexico?

Tijuana answers:

Chipilo Venetian is a diaspora language currently spoken by the descendants of some five hundred Venetian 19th century immigrants to Mexico. The Venetians settled in the State of Puebla, founding the city of Chipilo. This Venetian variety is also spoken in other communities in Veracruz and Querétaro, places where the chipileños settled as well.

Although the city of Puebla has grown so far as to almost absorb it, the town of Chipilo remained isolated for much of the 20th century. Thus, the Cipi?àn/chipileños, unlike other European immigrants that came to Mexico, did not blend into the Mexican culture and retained most of their traditions and their language. To this day, most of the people in Chipilo speak the venet or Venetian of their great-grandparents. The variant of the Venet language spoken by the Cipi?àn/chipileños is the northern Traixàn-Fheltrìn-Be?umàt. Surprisingly, it has been barely altered by Spanish, as compared to how the dialect of the northern Venetland-Veneto has been altered by Italian. Given the number of speakers of Venet, and even though the state government has not done so, the Venet language has to be considered a minority language in the State of Puebla.

There have been several attempts to establish a writing system for the Venetian form spoken in Chipilo. One such system was created by Carolyn McKay, an American linguist who conducted postgraduate research at the Universidad de las Américas. Her proposed system, entirely based on the Italian alphabet, was published in a book entitled Il dialetto veneto di Segusino e Chipilo. This system has been used in some publications made by Cipi?àn/chipileños, but it has not received wide acceptance, because of the striking differences between Venet and Italian phonemes. Most of the speakers use the Spanish system they learn at school, even though it does not have letters for specific sounds such as the voiced-S (written [x] in modern Venet), or the [?] (written [th] in modern Venet), and [ð] (written [dh] in modern Venet). Nevertheless, Eduardo Montagner has suggested the standardization of a writing system based on the Spanish alphabet.

Since most Italian immigration occurred by way of the establishment of colonies, derivatives of Italian languages exist in Mexico. Besides the best known Chipilo Venetian dialect, derivatives of the Venetian language may also exist in Huatusco and Colonia Gonzalez, Veracruz.

To this we can also add other Italian immigrant languages and dialects:

* Lower Bellunese, dialect of the Venetian language from the Province of Belluno (in Colonia Diez Gutierrez in San Luis Potosí),
* Lombard (in Sinaloa and Colonia Manuel González too, but mainly in Nueva Italia and Colonia Lombardia in the state of Michoacán)
* Trentino dialects of the Lombard and Venetian languages (like in Colonia Manuel González, Veracruz and Tijuana, Baja California),
* Piedmontese language (in Gutierrez Zamora, Veracruz which remains the oldest Italian colony in Mexico as such which was called the Model Colony, and in La Estanzuela, Jalisco another Italian colony),
* Sicilian language (mainly in Mexico City).

Charles asks…

Scottish guy visiting San Diego, and hoping to visit Tijuana for a couple of days.?

I’ll be in San Diego for a week for university work, and thought a visit into Tijuana for a couple of nights would be great. I know there’s SD shuttles that take you to the border.

Does anyone know if I need particular documents/visa etc for entering and leaving Mexico, or would a passport do the trick?

Tijuana answers:

You won’t need any documents to enter Mexico/Tijuana, but you will need your passport and U.S. Visa to re-enter the U.S. I recommend that you take the San Diego Trolley to the Tijuana/San Ysidro station and then walk across to Tijuana. You can also take a bus that will drop you off into the tourist trap called Revolution Ave., the company is called Mexicoach. Mexicoach is in San Ysidro so you will have to make your way down there by bus, trolley, or a friend. Most of the businesses on Ave. Revolucion are closed and it offers visitors an idealized Tijuana that fits American stereoptypes of what Mexico should look like. Sites and activities that I’ve found that entertain people from Europe and the locals are the Mexican Wrestling matches on Friday nights, a Xoloitzcuintles soccer match on Sunday, and the bullfights on Sundays also. There is also the cultural center CECUT which has an excellent museum and a permanent exhibit called the Museum of the Americas which takes the visitor through the history of Tijuana and the state of Baja California, since pre-history to about the late 20th century, they have English translations of the articles accompanying the displays. If you want to drink there are many places to go also like Bar Dandy del Sur, Las Pulgas, The Red Lion, El Pub(very boring), and many more bars loosely arranged in a somewhat colonial style plaza which locals call “La Plaza.” Have fun.

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