The Pueblos Magicos (Magical Villages) Program works to identify and promote a series of Mexican villages that offer tourists a “magical” experience through architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. The program started by identifying two villages in 2001 but recently reached 50 with the addition of three more villages in 2012. 

Villages earn this moniker for having preserved important factions of Mexico’s natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance.  Once identified as a Pueblo Magico, the program invests into their restoration, which includes renovating museums, convents and churches. The ultimate goals being to preserve Mexico’s culture, give each town its own identity, and provide tourists with unique destination alternatives that are “different and complementary” to top destinations like Cancun, Acapulco and Los Cabos. 

The list includes villages like Izamal on the Yucatan Peninsula with its magnificent Franciscan convent, the silver mines and silversmiths of Taxco in Guerrero state, Cuetzalan in Puebla with its artisanal coffee growers and the beauty of its glorious natural surroundings, Creel in the mountains of Chihuahua state where the Tarahumara Indians live, and Jalpan de Serra in San Luis Potosi where tourists can explore the route of old colonial missions. This year three more have been added: Sombrerete in Zacatecas, Mineral de Pozos in Guanajuato, and Angangueo in Michoacán. Each adding a unique attribute to the list. 

Most importantly, the program makes sure that local inhabitants are part of the rejuvination and are benefited by the tourism. It’s essential that “they’re not left watching other people make money but rather join the different projects.” 

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Radiohead is set to inspire and move thousands of people in Mexico City, Mexico on April 17th & 18th, 2012 at the Foro Sol venue. Radiohead’s Mexican dates were recently added to their 2012 tour, along with four shows in Italy and one show in Germany. 

The English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985 consists of Thom Yorke (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (guitars, keyboards, other instruments), Ed OBrien (guitars, backing vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass) and Phil Selway (drums, percussion).

Radiohead blends electronic synthesizers with beautifully poetic lyrics in way that’s captivated individuals ever since their emergence in 1985. Not only are they a rock band, but a movement containing the ability to revolutionize the whole conceptual realization of rock music.

These shows will surely turn out to be two magical nights to remember for the people of Mexico. Bands, Caribou and Other Lives are set to open for Radiohead both nights in Mexico City.

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Mexico City

Mexico’s auto production and exports leaped 24.1 percent in February as carmakers got off to a record start in 2012. The Mexican Auto Industry Association (AMIA) said on Tuesday production in February rose to 242,317 light vehicles. Exports increased to 194,640 vehicles, up 24.9 percent from a year earlier. Local car sales totaled 74,703 units last month, up 12 percent. According to the AMIA, Mexico’s car industry could have a record year this year, as production levels in February were the highest ever for any February.

For the first two months of this year, the auto industry production is up a total of 13 percent compared to 2011, and exports increased 10 percent; local sales were up 11 percent. Even though the exports to South America are rapidly increasing, the US is receiving the bulk of Mexican auto exports.

The three biggest car exporters from Mexico last year were U.S. carmakers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co, followed by Germany’s Volkswagen.

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DuPont, the American chemical manufacturer, is looking to further strengthen Mexico’s growing business and investment sectors. By leveraging the power of their global network, DuPont plans to establish a Mexico based “innovation center” that allow rapidly expanding countries to ‘collaborate with their customers, partners, governments and academia to meet Mexico’s growing needs in areas of food, protection and energy.’

 “We are looking forward to helping our customers grow their business right here in Mexico,” said Jorge Cossío, president, DuPont México. “These centers are a new way of looking at innovation and collaboration to help our customers find solutions to their unmet needs so that new products can be developed and go to market faster.”

 DuPont has more than 9,500 scientists and engineers located in 150 technical centers around the world, so expanding this operation into Mexico was an easy choice.

 “The DuPont Mexico Innovation Center will provide a critical missing link in our ability to collaborate with direct and indirect customers and other innovators in Mexico,” said Eduardo Wanick, president, DuPont Latin America. “It will enhance our ability to put science to work to address the specific needs of society in Mexico and Central America.”

 The Innovation Center in Mexico is part of the company’s global plan to create a worldwide network of innovation centers to develop new solutions together with their partners to address global needs.  In addition to Mexico, the company has Innovation Centers in Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, India and Japan.

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Fernando Alonso might have won the Malaysian Grand Prix, but the day belonged to Sergio "Checo" Perez who finished in second place. The Malaysian race was exciting to watch, as the 22-year-old Mexican gave his fans a nail biting performance. Brad Spurgeon of the New York Times wrote, “It had so many different levels of interest, that game of cat and mouse as Perez tried, successfully, to catch up to Alonso before slipping off the track in an error just moments after his team engineer told him to be careful because they really needed the position.”

Aside from the outstanding finish, rumors swirled around Perez and his possible move to the Ferrari team. Sergio Perez says he will remain with Sauber this year despite speculation linking him with a move to Ferrari. Perez, a member of Ferrari's driver academy, said: "Obviously it's only rumors but no, I will stay with Sauber for the whole season."

Many in the F1 community are saying this finish could be a defining moment in the Formula One career of Sergio Perez. "He was a revelation." McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said of Perez, who became the first Mexican on the F1 podium for 41 years. 

While speculation will continue to build concerning Checo’s future team, this performance has definitely announced his arrival as a real talent in the sport. Perez has not been on the podium since 2010, but with the win in Malaysia, expect to the young Mexican to carry momentum into his next competition.  Fans can get another chance to see Perez race, as the third grand prix of the 20-race season takes place in China on April 15.

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Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is one of the most well known Mexican artists in the world. Now, for the first time in the U.S., a selection of Kahlo’s personal photographs will be on display, drawing new insight into the artist’s tumultuous personal and professional life. “Frida Kahlo: Her Photos”, inaugurated on February 23, will go through March 25, 2012 at Artisphere – the first and only venue in the United States to present this exhibition.

The story behind the photos is perhaps the most enthralling piece of the exhibit: The Frida Kahlo Museum trust respected Diego Rivera’s wish that certain spaces in their home, the Casa Azul, be kept closed until 15 years after his death, and these spaces were in fact kept untouched until 2004. However, in 2007, on the heels of the centennial of Frida Kahlo’s birth, the Coyoacan museum decided to unseal a large collection of over 6,500 personal photographs, which had been kept in a bathroom of the ‘Casa Azul’ or Blue House, where she had lived with her husband, Mexican muralist Diego Riviera. The museum chose renowned Mexican photographer, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, as the curator who would select the photographs for public display. These were then exhibited in The Frida Kahlo Museum in six separate rooms, each of which reflected a different subject matter. On February 23, 2012 the same selection of photos that comprise the “Frida Kahlo: Her Photos” exhibit was unveiled for the very first time in the U.S. at Artisphere, a contemporary visual arts center in Arlington, Virginia.

Though only a few of the photos in the exhibit are credited to Kahlo herself, it's clear that she sustained an interest in the medium — something many link to the fact that her German father, Guillermo Kahlo, was a professional portrait photographer. The fact that Frida safeguarded the photos that were dear to her and Frida often used photos as the reference point for her paintings are the reasons behind the title, “Frida Kahlo: Her Photos.”

While previously it was her self-portraits that allowed art critics to draw conclusions of her often-painful life, the photographs on display are a new snapshot into Kahlo’s artistic technique, inspiration, as well as an intimate look into the remarkable people and moments in Frida Kahlo’s life. 

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38.895264
-77.069960
Arlington

Rally Guanajuato Mexico, the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship, remains one of the most exciting events on the calendar and challenges competitors more than any track in the series. Mexico has a huge fan base for the sport, as 50,000 spectators were expected for Rally Guanajuato ceremonial start and opening stage. 

Professional drivers, Chris Atkinson and Ken Block, who have both raced Rally Guanajuato in the past, were excited about the opportunity to not only race, but also show off their newly designed car. 

“This is by far the coolest looking car I've ever driven,” said Atkinson. “When it comes to making things look the business Ken [Block] is the guy that gets in done and both cars will be turning plenty of heads at the DC Shoes Guanajuato Street Stage.”

Block and the Monster World Rally Team were the talk of the town in Mexico with Monster WRT gear spotted all over the cities of Leon and Guanajuato.

“I'm really excited about the fact that we were able to bring ATKO on for Mexico,” said Block. “We've been friends for a few years, and he's an amazingly talented driver, so we're stoked to be able to have him join on as part of the team for this race.

Atkinson is ready to get to the racetrack and do what he does best against the world's rallying elite.

“It's been a while since I've competed in a WRC event [Rally Ireland, 2009] and I'm pumped to jump behind the wheel and show these boys we've still got it,” added Atkinson.

“I've finished second here before [2008] and I've laid down some miles in the car testing in the UK a few weeks back so for me I'm really excited to rally back in the most competitive environment.”

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Guanajuato

Thanks to a recent major gift from Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, presenting a complex synthesis of art and politics, “Photography in Mexico” explores Mexico’s diverse and distinctively rich photography tradition from the 1920s until today. Photographies being exhibited include Edward Weston’s “Pirámide del Sol”, Teotihuacán, 1923; Lola Álvarez Bravo’s “Los gorrones”, 1955; Graciela Iturbide’s  “Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas”, Juchitan, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1979; and Alejandro Cartagena’s “Fragmented Cities, Juarez #2” from the Suburbia Mexicana series, 2007.

The exhibit covers the period following the Mexican Revolution, when international artists such as Tina Modotti and Edward Weston found creative inspiration in Mexico and, in turn, helped to inspire Mexican photographers like Lola Álvarez Bravo and Manuel Álvarez Bravo. 

“Photography in Mexico”, on display at the SFMOMA until July 8, 2012, includes photographs that were made for the illustrated press starting in the 1950s and documentary investigations from the 1970s and 1980s. The exhibition concludes with contemporary examinations of social, environmental, and economic concerns both within Mexico and along its northern border. The selection of more than 150 photographs draws from SFMOMA's own photography collection and a recent major gift from Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, and showcases works by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, most recently known for the curation of the “Frida Kahlo: Her Photos” exhibit, the U.S. premiere of which is being held at Artisphere, Manuel Carrillo, Graciela Iturbide, Elsa Medina, Mariana Yampolsky, among many other well-known photographers.

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-122.401196
San Francisco

On Saturday, April 14, celebrities from all corners of entertainment will come together to participate in the 36th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race (TPCR), and will race against professionals from various types of motor racing. The race will take place along the historic 10-lap street circuit through the streets of Long Beach, California.

For the race, drivers are put in Scion tC’s to participate, and will go through extensive safety and training sessions before the competition takes place. Previous celebrity winners include notable names such as Keanu Reeves, Brian Austin Green and Frankie Muniz.

From television personalities to entrepreneurs to Oscar winning film stars, the range of celebrities to participate this year is nothing if not diverse. Notable names include acclaimed Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, former UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, soap opera star Eileen Davidson, Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni, and entrepreneur Bill Rancic.

At the heart of the annual event is a heartwarmingly worthy cause – raising money for chronically ill children. Each year, Toyota donates $5,000 to the winning racer’s charity of choice. Additionally, a national nonprofit program called Racing For Kids was created as a way to connect these children with their favorite celebrities and racecar drivers. Since 1991, Toyota has donated more than $2 million to Racing for Kids on behalf of this race and its participants.

"It's been astonishing to see how many entertainers and sports personalities have been transformed by the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race-not just by the event itself, but by the fact that it benefits chronically ill children,” commented Les Unger, Toyota’s national motorsports manager.

The event this year promises to be no different than years past in its unique ability to draw celebrity participants and create tremendous fan buzz, all while supporting a worthy cause. “It's one of the reasons that this race remains such an immense draw for celebrities and athletes-and for the fans who get to see their favorite stars really having a ball,” continued Unger. “Honestly, I don't know who has more fun-the drivers or the spectators."

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Long Beach

Mexico is changing the way the world sees garbage, as Mexico City is set to turn millions of tons of waste into energy. The project, which officially began in December 2011, calls for capturing biogas from the solid waste at the city landfill to produce fuel or to generate electricity.

In this last decade, Mexico City has become a leader in sustainability and has been rapidly adopting green technology. For instance, a composting program reduced the amount of trash handled at dumps by 2,800 tons daily and produced mulch for streets and parks. Now, Mexico City officials have been working for the past three years to cut the amount of waste that ends up at municipal dumps. That goal was accomplished when Mexico City’s landfill, considered one of the largest in the world, was closed after being in operation for 26 years after its energy potential was discovered.   

Waste-to-energy facilities have been popping up all over the world, as countries are discovering the energy potential in garbage. Not to mention, many waste-to-energy facilities improve recycling rates and greatly reduce carbon emissions.  This facility will help reduce about 1.4 million tons of CO2, the gas blamed for global warming

Mexico City is expecting to start producing electricity from this facility within the year.   

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-99.133208
Mexico City

On a global scale, over three billion people still cook on open fires or unsafe stoves, resulting in 2 million premature deaths - women and children being the most affected. Moreover, it is estimated, that a quarter of Mexico's population, 25 million people, cooks on open fires or dangerous unimproved cookstoves. And sadly, according to the Mexican government, each year these cooking practices cause 18,000 premature deaths. 

Aside from the physical harm these stoves can cause, the environmental impact is a concern too. For instance, over 20 million tons of wood is burnt to power these old stoves and contribute to large amounts of CO2 emissions. Yet, one program is taking a big step toward eradicating open fire cooking in Mexico and improving the lives of everyday people. 

EcoZoom, a company dedicated to making cooking safe for people all over the world, produces state-of-the-art and affordable cookstoves. These EcoZoom cookstoves are designed to remove harmful smoke from homes, combust more efficiently to create less harmful emissions and reduce fuel use by up to 70 percent, while cooking traditional foods using traditional fuel.

EcoZoom supplied professional chefs and locals with these new and improved cookstoves to gauge their reactions. After several months of trials, cooks in these pilot states in Mexico are enjoying their new cookstoves. "When I used to cook tortillas all the smoke would hit me in the face and it was hurting me, but not with this stove. I feel protected now," said Gis, the first stove recipient

EcoZoom is already getting follow-on orders from pilot states, as well as from states outside of the test areas. EcoZoom forecasts installing more than 100,000 new stoves in Mexico this year, which will benefit more than 400,000 Mexican citizens.

"Manufacturing and scale are no longer pinch points for a project's capacity goals and with the right distribution, training and monitoring program millions of cookstoves can be delivered to countries throughout the region [Latin America]," says Ben West, CEO of EcoZoom.

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Tijuana has always been a target destination for Southern Californians who are lured across the world’s busiest international border crossing by beaches, golf courses, bull fights, Jai-Alai, shopping and a fantastic nightlife thanks to its numerous restaurants and bars. But just 10 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border is the newest hot spot making Southern Californians flock across the border into Tijuana. Estadio Caliente, home of the Club Tijuana Xoloitxcuintles soccer team.

After being promoted to Mexico’s first division last year, the Xolos developed quite a following north of the border and have sold out every home game in their 20,000-seat-stadium. Ignacio Palou, Tijuana’s sporting director, estimates that at least 10 percent of attendees come from the U.S., a large percentage of which are season ticket holders. “We don’t have the exact numbers, but it’s becoming evident,” said Roberto Cornejo, Xolos assistant general Manager. “You can see more and more people waiting to cross the boarder wearing the team jersey.”

Why are Californians crossing the border to watch soccer when they have two MLS teams in LA – the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA – and another one in San Jose? For one, they are pretty good. They are currently in 6th place, which is pretty impressive considering that just last year they were playing in the second division. Secondly, Club Tijuana is committed to scouting talent in Southern California and currently has five American players on their roster. Most notably Joe Corona, a 21-year-old midfielder from San Diego County. 

After playing for one year at San Diego State University, Joe opted out of participating in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft in order to join Tijuana’s youth program. Ever since, Joe’s star had been on the rise. He’s a regular starter for the Xolos and is member of the U.S. Under-23 Team, which will compete in the Olympic qualifiers this spring. 

However Corona isn’t the only American player who’s chosen to apply his craft in the Mexican league. Several other notable Americans with national team experience are currently playing in Mexico:

Edgar Castillo, one of Corona’s teammates in Tijuana, formerly played for Mexican powerhouse Club America and has three appearances for the U.S. National Team.

DaMarcus Beasley currently plays for Puebla, he’s had 96 appearances for the U.S. National Team scoring 17 goals, and had a successful 7-year-career in Europe playing for Hannover 96 (Germany), Glasgow Rangers (Scotland), Manchester City (England) and PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands). 

José Francisco Torres currently plays for Pachuca and was part of their 2007 championship team, and he’s had 13 appearances for the U.S. National Team.

Hercules Gomez currently plays for Santos Laguna, he’s had 8 appearances for the U.S. National Team, and was the league’s lead scorer in 2010 while playing for Puebla. This was the first time any American player led a foreign league in goals.

Michael Orozco Fiscal currently plays for Tigres UANL and he’s had 4 appearances for the U.S. National Team.  

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32.533489
-117.018204
Tijuana

Let’s face it, most people start thinking of retirement a week or two into their first job. So it stands to reason that a lot of thought goes into people’s retirement plans. Those exploring foreign destinations have always had plenty of options, and a recent poll by Barclays Wealth International found that retirement is the top reason (27.27 percent) among people moving to Mexico. To find out why Mexico has emerged as a prominent retirement destination among expats, you can simply look at the other top reasons in the survey. 

Cost of living (24.24 percent)

In the mid 90s inflation and cost of living were significant issues for many Latin American countries. However, the Mexican economy has stabilized and thanks to better economic planning by the authorities, the cost of living and inflation have become more controlled and acceptable. This stability has lead to significant investment from local authorities and international companies. 

Travel the world (12.12 percent)

Mexico is like few countries in that it has one of the most complex landscapes in the world. Whether it’s snorkeling the world’s second largest coral reef in Yucatan, visiting the monarch butterflies in the forests of Michoacán, bird watching in the rainforests of Oaxaca, or cruising the sand dunes of Baja California there a countless travel opportunities with Mexico. 

Standard of living (9.09 percent)

The fact that this was one of the top reasons given speaks to the economic progress Mexico has made over the last decade. While Mexico’s economy was hit by the global economic downturn in 2008, it is quickly rebounding thanks to foreign investment – up 30% since 2010 – which has lead to the creation of new jobs across the country.

Weather (6.06 percent)

This one should come to no surprise especially after just having talked about Mexico’s wide array of climates and wildlife. It’s no secret tourists have always been attracted by Mexico’s wonderful weather and laid-back culture, so it stands to reason that people retiring in Mexico would be looking for the same experience. 

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Tequila is a business on the rise and thanks to this new “gold rush,” Mexico is now promoting the town of Tequila as the tourist destination for tequila enthusiasts around the globe.

 The town of Tequila is home to major brands like Jose Cuervo, Sauza, and a number of smaller producers distilling the highest quality product in the world. Naturally, as the interest in tequila rises, so does Mexico’s production of these golden spirits. For instance, according to figures from Mexico's Secretary of Economy, tequila production has more than doubled since 1995. In 2011, Mexico exported more than 163 million liters of the agave-based alcohol, up from 64 million in 1995.

 One of the more widely know distilleries, Sangre de Azteca, produces about 9,000 liters of pure tequila a day, selling it under different brand names in Mexico, France, and the United States.

The global demand has been a driving force, but it is the growing demand for high-end spirits in the U.S. is why tequila producers have been expanding their businesses and focusing on increasing exports to their northern neighbor. Overall, tequila exports from Mexico increased more than 11 percent in 2010 and seven percent in 2011.

 With the market soaking up tequila exports at a furious pace, Mexico is posed to a leader in the tequila industry for years to come. Moreover, with Mexico ranking just third in global beer exports, this country could become the biggest beverage exporter in the world. So when summer rolls around and you are enjoying an ice-cold Corona or a carefully crafted margarita, thank your friends to the south. 

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-103.979827
Magdalena

This March 12-16, London is the host of ‘Mexico Week in the UK’ 2012, a multi-sector Business & Academic mission intended to promote trade & investment. The mission has been established with the objective of furthering cooperation between Mexican & British companies and institutions. 

Organized by the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in the UK (MCCUK), the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (BRITCHAM), and the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE), Mexico Week in the UK intends to improve the image of Mexico in the UK by providing relevant and accurate information on business opportunities in Mexico. As a forum for networking with representatives of leading institutions and companies in targeted business sectors, attendants have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and connections within their field of interest. Figures of importance invited to attend include important British executives and academics currently operating in Mexico, who openly share experiences and information on “Doing Business in Mexico.” Additionally, ‘Mexico Week in the UK’ has the goal of connecting Mexican chamber members, general participants and their UK counterparts. 

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London