Popocatépetl – Central Mexico’s reminder of who’s really in charge.

This past sunday, while enjoying the long weekend in the state of Morelos, we spotted what looked like a mushroom cloud way off in the distance. In my ignorance I exclaimed “there must have been an accident over there” (cue chuckles from those who know better); I was quickly informed that it indeed was an eruption from Popocatépetl,  a volcano some 70 km south-east of Mexico City.

I’ve always been fascinated by this volcano with the (until recently for me) unpronounceable name. The name Popocatépetl comes from a word compound in Nahuatl, Popoca = It smokes and Tepetl = Mountain, literally “Smoking Mountain”.

I can’t see Popocatépetl from my home in DF, nor was it visible from where I was in Morelos last Sunday. Distance and air contamination make it difficult to make out. When in the state of Puebla it would be much easier to see as its proximity and size makes Popocatépetl dominate the skyline there.

Once I arrived back to Mexico City; I investigated a little on what the situation is with this volcano and if there was any real danger. What I found was that Popocatépetl regularly ‘exhales’ as they say and that scientists do not expect an eruption in the immediate future. However it was clearly pointed out that there is never any way to tell for sure and as Popocatépetl is an active volcano there is always a chance that there could be an explosion at anytime.

The last eruption of Popocatépetl was in December of 2000. 30,000 residents within the immediate vicinity of the volcano had to be evacuated because of the gases and ash that were thrown up into the air. My partner told me that the ash reached as far as the north of Mexico City covering everything in layers of ash and soot.

Popocatépetl, an awesome and constant reminder that humanity is forever just guests on this earth.

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Coyoacán in pictures


This gallery contains 17 photos.

Here’s a few of pictures I’ve taken during my many visits to Coyoacán. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Cielito Querido Café

My search is over!

Coming from Vancouver I naturally have a great love for Cafés and Café culture. It’s very much a part of who I am as a person that I would meet a friend for coffee after work or prehaps go on a date to the newest cafe. In Vancouver, cafés are community centres where people start, end and celebrate the day.

Here in Mexico….not so much. It’s been changing, slowly but surely, with the market domination of Starbucks. As with many cities in the States and Canada there is a Starbucks on nearly every corner here in Mexico City. That being said, Mexicans are still more likely to meet over a beer or at a restaurant than to go for a coffee to mark a social event.

Maybe that’s about to change.

Today I made my first visit to the proudly Mexican coffee chain, Cielito Querido Café. A 100% Mexican concept, according to their website the mission statement is  to create a “unique retreat inspired by our history and latin warmth, to reinterpret popular culture and to reinvent the experience of drinking a cup of coffee”.

I certainly haven’t felt as happy to be in any other café in a long time. I visited the store at Reforma 234, right beside the shopping centre Reforma 222. As soon as I walked in I was struck by the pleasing esthetic. Dark wood, turquoise accents, signage in a neo-retro stript, sofas and plenty of windows with lots natural daylight.

When I arrived, at about 4:30pm, the store had a steady flow of clientele. The service was quick, knowledgable and friendly. I ordered my Café con leche and a muffin and sat down to surf the web and people watch.

I overwhelmingly give Cielito Querido Café two big thumbs up. I’ll definitely be going back, happy that I can lay claim to a café that I can call my own.

Check out their website to find a café that’s closest to you and let me know what you thought!