|As I recall, reading for my first trip was limited to a paperback Spanish/English dictionary and a very battered secondhand copy of Mexico on $5 A Day. In fact, it wasnt until Id actually experienced Mexico that a serious curiosity to know more about the country and its people infected me. Excellent books such as Incidents of Travel in Yucatán and Chiapas really came alive for me after Id been over the ground and personally acquainted myself with the Maya.
The books and periodicals included here represent just a portion of the growing number of excellent publications on Mexico and Central America. We don't claim that this list is complete or even objective -- in fact, it tends to represent favorite titles from our personal libraries, including many older, out-of-print books that are well worth searching for.
I also have a definite soft spot for self-published books, "desktop" newsletters and small press publications that rarely get mentioned by most reviewers. Ive even included a few books that I havent yet read; they either sounded especially noteworthy or a trusted traveler gave me an enthusiastic, Carl-youve-got-to-read-this! recommendation.
Books will always be my favorite source for background reading on Mexico and inspiring armchair adventures. There's little doubt in my mind, however, that the internet is now the worlds best resource for up-to-the-minute travel reports and firsthand communication with people living in Mexico and Central America.
When Im planning a trip to Mexico, I can view current satellite weather photographs, query people who actually live in Mexico about hotels and restaurants, book discount air tickets, gather background on everything from local history to bird watching, read Mexican newspapers in Spanish and English, and last but not least, discuss my plans in minute detail with travelers who have just returned from Mexico. This is such a far cry from the days when the only information that leaked out of Mexico were reports of killer earthquakes or Cancun beauty pageants, that Im still in a daze.
In order to include as many entries as possible, I've kept these reviews quite brief. Don't be surprised if you can't connect with one of the websites described here. Cyberspace is vast and websites tend to come and go according to their creator's whims. Others move, leaving you stranded with no forwarding address. If this happens, let us know at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. We are constantly updating and expanding our extensive list of recommended sites, with links to the best web pages on Latin America.
The following book reviews and websites follow the order of the chapters in The People's Guide to Mexico, with a few additional sections at the end in Armchair Travel.
A special "¡Gracias!" for suggesting and reviewing some of the books and websites discussed here to David Eidell, Dr. Linda Nyquist, Ron Mader, Kay Rafool, Stan Gotlieb and "Mexico" Mike Nelson. Their names are in parenthesis after their recommendations.
Live & Retire in Mexico
Women in Mexico
The People's Guide to Mexico