The "Real Mexico"

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The "Real Mexico"

Post by FritzN » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:51 pm

Some persons in the threads under the category "Off the Beaten Path" refer to small towns that they've passed through as being the "real Mexico."

There is no "real Mexico," just as there is no "real U.S.A." Is New York City the real U.S.A.? Is Los Angeles the real U.S.A.? Is Grand Junction, Colorado the real U.S.A.? Hopefully those of you who refer to the "real Mexico" will realize that Mexico is a highly diverse and complicated culture. It's civilizations are much older and were more dispersed than any others on the North America continent, which contributes greatly to Mexico's complexity and diversity.

With more than 70% of the population of Mexico living in urban areas, the small, more-primitive pueblos that are described as the "real Mexico" can't even be called typical. To refer to these places as the real Mexico is to suggest a complete lack of understanding of the country -- and to be somewhat insulting to most modern Mexicans, who are typically better educated and more sophisticated than their North American neighbors in the USA & Canada.

If you want to see how a more typical Mexican lives, go to a city like Puerto Vallarta, or, even better, to Manzanillo.

The small beach towns of Nayarit are all more tourist dependent than Puerto Vallarta. When there were few tourists visiting Bahia de Banderas, there was still a Puerto Vallarta. (The Spanish built ships here.) However, there were virtually no communities on the beaches of Nayarit when I was a young man and drove to Punta Mita. So, if you want to see a more typical Mexico while you're here, visit the Zona Romantica in Puerto Vallarta. Begin your walk 4-5 blocks in from the beach. This area represents a more typical Mexico.

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Post by canucker » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:59 pm

We had a "Real Mexico" experience a few years back down in Mismaloya.

My wife and I traveled to PV with another couple. This was their 1st time in Puerto Vallarta. We took the bus down to Mismaloya for the day so we could show them Los Arcos and the set for Night of the Iguana etc. We found ourselves sitting in one of the beach bars, tasting many different margaritas, bartering for a Panga trip to the arches for snorkeling, haggling with vendors for sunglasses and t-shirts etc. We booked the Panga for a couple of days later and headed up the Hill through the movie set and walkway. As we approached the top of the hill we heard loud Mariachi music. As we got closer, it was a true Mexican Cantina, an open Thatched Roof, set off of the hiway in the trees. There was a juke box pumping music and 6-8 locals drinking Pacifico and looking at us. My buddy and I looked at each other and nodded, let's check it out. We walked over, ordered some Pacificos (10 Pesos each) and sat down. There was only one person there who spoke English. So he welcomed and introduced us gringos to the Owner and everyone else there. They started up the Music again and started dancing. we stayed for a couple of hours then waited for the bus to go back to PV.

We were told that when the saw the 4 of us that they doubted we'd come over. My buddy is a large retired RCMP officer and I am no shrimp. The margaritas may have added courage too. We didn't go back after snorkeling a couple of days later, didn't want to push our luck. Turns out that was the most memorable event of our trip and still brings a smile to our faces when we bring it up.

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Post by kcowan » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:12 pm

A trip on the bus to Pitallal will give you a better feeling for how Mexicans live. Everything on the water is geared towards tourists. Zona Romantica has too many gringos living there to be typical. It gets more authentic as you go east of Insurgentes.