Aguas Frescas (fresh waters) – The flavours of Mexico

Aguas Frescas

The wide variety of fruits, seeds and flowers such as the existing Jamaica flower in Mexico, have led to an extraordinary wealth of recipes, delicious flavors and very decorative “Fresh Waters” which are an emblematic part of the Latin American culture. If you have ever visited the most authentic restaurants, you may notice that these drinks are served with a scoop from a large glass jar (vitrolero) poured over ice. The “Fresh Water” is popular both with meals and as a refreshing drink during the day.

Aguas Frescas Aguas Frescas

Among the variety of the “Fresh Waters” there are very particular kinds that are not found in regular ice cream parlors as they are offered by street vendors such as:

La Tuba: Is an exotic drink, typical of tropical regions. It comes from the coconut palm tree by completely cutting the bunch of coconuts just before the flowers blossom. The liquid emanating from the cut of the branch drains into containers collected every morning and left for days for it to age to get its distinctive flavor, handed down from generation to generation this drink comes from the Philippines and was brought to Mexico during the XVI century on the many travels of the Manila Galleon.

TejuinoEl Tejuino: Refreshing drink derived from fermented corn and sweet sugar cane, commonly found in western Mexico thanks to the Huichol heritage. It’s served alone or with lemon, salt and cayenne pepper, it has a bittersweet flavor with a low degree of alcohol.

In spite of its popularity and its promotion through photographs done by people & tourists; nowadays these typical drinks “Fresh Water” are being severely threatened by the spread of bottled drinks.

Mexican Lottery: a traditional game that remains popular

Lotería Mexicana

The lottery is a very popular game of the Mexican people, its mechanics is based on chance, is a game that originated from the lottery of Italy in the Middle Ages called Lo Gioco del Lotto d’Italia “The Lottery Game of Italy”, after been propagated through France, Germany and Spain arrived in Mexico by the year 1770.

Jugando Lotería MexicanaExcept for the other lotteries, in the Mexican lottery game numbers are not used but symbols or characters which embody aspects of the Mexican culture and traditions. This game consists of a deck of 54 cards with numbered figures and a package of playing cards where there are 16 reduced copies of the same figures on each card.

Today there are many versions but Clemente Jacques was who in the mid nineteenth century issued a lottery game that retains the most traditional of the 54 images from the deck of the Lottery.

Despite the rapid technological development in the electronic games that increasingly replace traditional games, the lottery has survived as a hobby in the atmosphere of the fairs, festivals and family reunions to be one of the most beautiful iconographic traditions that still survive in Mexico.

Lotería Mexicana

Los Voladores de Papantla

The history of ceremonial flight of the “Voladores” is shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Information about the original ritual was partially lost when the invading conquerors from Spain destroyed many documents and codices of the indigenous cultures. Fortunately, enough survived through oral history and materials written by early visitors to New Spain, thanks to that anthropologists and historians have documented at least part of the history of this ancient religious practice and how it has developed with time.

Voladores de PapantlaIf you witness the ceremony will see “El Caporal” rises in the heights on a 30 meters pole to face the four cardinal directions, tilts and opens his arms, keeping the balance on one foot, and performs and energetic dance while playing the flute and drum, while his four companions descent head down restrained by a rope tied around their waist.

The “Voladores” are a source of great pride for the Totonac people as they are a living testimony of their ancestors who founded Papantla in 1200, this is a tradition that takes place in Mexico but has spread throughout the world. The “Voladores” have been filed in the United States, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo and Moscow. And now you can see them permanently on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta.

“Xiutla” Folk Ballet

One of the most representative ways to exhibit our culture, its customs and traditions of our country is through folk dance, each state has its own distinctive identity that differentiates each region of Mexico.

Here in Puerto Vallarta folk ballet “Xiutla” takes this purpose to its maximum expression, with more than 17 years performing, 1,500 representations, national and international tours.

It’s a truly delightful artistic experience to see these young artist unfold on stage, its founder and director Professor Carlos Enrique Barrios y Limon continues with performances each Friday at 7:30 from now until April 27th, 2012 at the Lazaro Cardenas Park in the Romantic Zone, where they have had unprecedented success with locals and tourists.

It is worth mentioning that the clothing used is made and assembled in each region of origin, therefore they are highly handcrafted items.