Playing Tourist –Huandacareo, Michoacán

We live just a little too far for most people to head to the beach during the annual Semana Santa vacation period. However, we do live close enough to several lakes which have spawned a number of balnearios (pools literally public bathing areas) to console the would-be beach bum. By far, the most visited are in Huandacareo, Michoacán.

Huandacareo is on the northwest side of Lake Cuitzeo. (See Playing Tourist–Cuitzeo) Its name translates roughly as “area of discourse and was given it the area when Cazonci, a Purépecha leader, passed through the area after a victory and was honored by the locales with discourses full of praise.

There is an archaeological site that dates back to 1200 CE. called La Nopalera.  It was a ceremonial site where justice was served and criminals were punished. It was still in use at the time of the Spanish conquest. As you can see from the billboard, it’s also used for Holy Week celebrations, in this case, a concert on Palm Sunday.

But of course, the balnearios are the town’s main revenue-generating attraction. We’ve gone on several occasions. I don’t ever take my camera in, so the best I could do was some pictures from the outside.

There are hotels you can stay at or you can bring or rent a tent and camp out.

The market area has everything you could possibly need to go swimming.

You can get the most amazing gorditas here, not too spicy, not too bland.

Do not enter with dogs, gas tanks, guns, speakers, or intoxicated

I have to say that it is the most expensive and least fun to go during Semana Santa. Prices shoot up from 40 pesos admission to 100 pesos per person. There are so many people crammed in the pools that you are likely to get kicked in the face. And although you aren’t allowed to enter inebriated, there’s nothing in the rules that say you can’t get drunk while you are in the pool. There are just to many people.

But if you can go during the off-season, it is really a nice place to visit.

 

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Natural Healing–Guayaba Leaf Tea

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At the first sign of an upset stomach, my husband is out back plucking leaves off of our guayaba tree to make a tea.  I thought I’d do a little investigation on whether or not there was any validity to these stomach ailment treatment claims and here’s what I found out.

Psidium guajava, known as guayaba or guava, is native to Mexico and its fruit ranges from white or yellow to dark pink.  We have two different varieties growing in our backyard, the yellow and the light pink.  Both the fruit and the leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes, hypertension, cavities, diarrhea, rheumatism, lung disease, fever, and inflammation.

Digging a bit deeper into scientific studies, I found that the fruit (either eaten raw or made into juice) has antitumor and anti-cancer properties, is useful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and effective in lowering blood sugar, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDLc while increasing HDLc levels.  Guava is also a natural antibacterial agent and antioxidant and beneficial in the treatment of cholera.

The guayaba leaf also has medicinal properties. It is cytotoxic, thus effective in the treatment of a variety of cancers. It protects against mercury toxicity, one of the causes of Alzheimer’s. Regular ingestion improves vascular function and regulates blood-glucose levels. It is effective in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery as well as infections caused by the Candida fungi and  Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

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My husband makes his stomachache tea from freshly picked young whole leaves.  He washes then boils them for about 10 minutes and that’s it. He drinks it without any sweetener, but you could add honey if you like.  The tea has an earthy taste to it.

I saw on another site, that you could make tea from dried and crushed leaves.  However, that takes 3-4 weeks and there seems to be no additional benefit to drying them.  Since we have a fresh source right outside our back door, we’ll stick with that.  Have you tried guayaba leaf tea?

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Playing Tourist–Los Amoles, Guanajuato

To start off the 2018 A to Z Challenge, I’d like to tell you about a little town called Los Amoles.  Its full name is Cerro de Los Amoles (Hill of Los Amoles–I haven’t been able to find out what Amoles means though) and it is part of the municipality of Moroleon, just like La Yacata.  However, Los Amoles is 2361 meters above sea level and that makes a world of difference.

Los Amoles is at the center of that snow-topped mountain.

We’ve been to Los Amoles on several occasions.  We’ve hiked up the mountain to pick capulines (chokeberries) which only grow in that area.  We’ve been caught in hail storms and flash floods while driving over the mountain. My husband and son drove the motorcycle through a lagoon on a quest for wild horses said to roam free in the area.  And my American sister-in-law fell and knocked out a tooth while picnicking in these parts. Good times!

More recently, the powers that be decided to create an eco-park in Los Amoles.  I thought it would be something interesting to see, so we went. The actual road to the park isn’t well marked.  There’s only 1 sign pointing the way. You need to drive past the church, the local drinking spot, and the plaza de toros (bull ring) even to get to that sign.  But we found it!

It seems the entrance is yet unfinished.  The gate is a wired stick contraption. One of the workers said it was to keep the free roaming chickens, pigs, horses, cows and other animals from destroying the area.  

As you can see, it was actually very nice!  There are solar lights, individual cookout areas, wooden playsets for the kids and some saplings that one day will grow into trees providing the animals don’t eat them first.

 
According to this article, the eco-park will also have some zip lines, cabins you can rent to stay in, and some biking trails but that hasn’t materialized yet. Maybe there will be more signs up to direct visitors once those attractions are up and running?

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Grow Your Own Food Workshop

let's grow

You know I’m all about free education.  Here’s yet another opportunity you won’t want to miss!

The Grow Your Own Food Workshop hosted by SRS Online Events starts on April 3.  

Over 15 Master Gardeners will be teaching:

  • ​​Seed Saving
  • Companion Planting
  • ​Vertical Gardening
  • ​Composting
  • Growing ​Herbs
  • Raised Bed Gardening
  • ​Vermicomposting
  • Gardening Basics
  • Basics of Organic Gardening
  • Growing ​3 Medicinal Herbs
  • Growing A Year’s Worth Of Food
  • ​Growing Tropical Plants
  • Which Gardening Method Is Best For You
  • Getting Started With Hydroponics
  • Starting Seeds Indoors

…and MORE!!!

If register now you’ll also get a Grow Your Own Food Quick Start Guide and Planning Calculator just for signing up. Since it’s free, what have you got to lose?  Register here.

I think the best part of these online workshops is that you can pick and choose the topics that most interest you.  Don’t worry, I’ll be reviewing my favorites down the line in case you aren’t able to attend. But my favorites might not be what you are interested in.  Sign up for FREE access.  I know I’m looking forward the event! 

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