Comparing Crime Rates: Acapulco vs Points North

In mid-February, prompted by a spate of news reports on crime for 2012–including a list of the top 10 most violent cities in the world, discussions of violence in Chicago and Detroit, and school closings in Acapulco due to security problems–I posted this...

About the time I went to Fiji

Arriving in Fiji alone at 1:00 am after a 12-hour flight was unnerving but that’s the way the flights went so there I was, in the middle of the Pacific, with a heavy suitcase, an even heavier bag of scuba gear, and reservations for a hotel that was 20 miles away. I’d...

Matching Books with Museums in Mexico City

There you are, strolling through amazing exhibits and you know something’s missing. Like the backstory. Wish you’d known more before going? But there wasn’t time. Besides,  researching before going to a museum sounds too much like work. So prep with a...

The Case of the Mysterious Immigration Debate

I’m a mystery and thriller author, not a political pundit or a news commentator. My books so far have been set in Mexico, however, and if you think/talk/enjoy things Mexico the US immigration debate is never far behind. From my optic, here’s how the debate is shaping...

Lost in Mexico has nothing to do with translation

In CLIFF DIVER, the first full-length book in my new mystery series, Acapulco police detective Emilia Cruz keeps a log of women who have gone missing. For her they are las perdidas, the lost ones, and sometimes it seems as if she’s the only who still cares. I’d like...

Walking the Mouth of Hell

I ended up with the yellow hard hat but what I really needed were safety goggles. My eyes watered from the cinders in the air. Heat rose from the black porous rocks that lined the uphill path and within minutes my jeans were damp with sweat. The smells of sulphur,...

A Nicaragua Christmas: The Treasures of Alter Eco

Advertising in Managua, Nicaragua, can be hit-or-miss so I wasn’t quite sure what I’d find when I walked into Alter Eco, which bills itself as an alianza hecho a mano. This “alliance” is actually a cluster of artist shops and studios near the...

A Nicaragua Christmas: Nativities at Mama Delfina’s

For me, Christmas is still Christmas.  It is a celebration of the birth of Christ and my home would not be ready for the holiday without a nativity scene. Luckily, Mama Delfina, the wonderful art and antiques store in Managua, had many on offer, all carved and painted...

A Nicaragua Christmas: Shopping at Mama Delfina’s

Managua, Nicaragua, is full of surprises including the beautiful art and antique store, Mama Delfina’s.  Housed in a large white Spanish colonial building with an open courtyard and beautiful old brickwork, the place is a treasure trove of handmade holiday gifts...

The Mary/Mujer Paradox

December is a big month for Mary, the mother of Jesus. On 8 December Catholics celebrate the Immaculate Conception, the day She became pregnant with the son of God without benefit of sex. On 12 December there is the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe to commemorate...

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