To paraphrase one of my father's favorite wisecracks, "I have a degree in travel medicine from the School Of Hard Knocks." As any traveller soon learns, staying healthy is a major topic of concern (and conversation) while on the road. Strange foods and unexpected insects.... This compact book by Dirk G. Schroeder, ScD, MPH., is based on actual traveler's experiences, including considerable input from David Werner, author of Where There Is No Doctor. Chapters on Diagnosis and Treatment Of Illness, Common Health Problems and Infections And Diseases are especially valuable. (Pay close attention to Schroeders advice on malaria and his warnings about Third World antibiotics.)...(more) Order Staying Healthy...
By David Werner, The Hesperian Foundation. A truly great book: readable, practical advice designed to keep you healthy with a minimum of treatment and expense. Used extensively in the Third World and originally written on the basis of the author's extensive experience in Mexico's backcountry. A non-profit publication, also available in Spanish. Take at least one extra copy in Spanish to give away to someone who needs it. Order Where There Is No Doctor...
By "Mexico" Mike Nelson, <http://www.mexicomike.com>. Details and directions for Mexican spas, spiritual retreats and simple mineral water hot springs that help arthritis, psoriasis and depression. "Mexico" Mike says, "I've had personal experience with most of them." (Full Review) Order Spas & Hot Springs of Mexico...
by Steve Rogers and Tina Rosa, John Muir Publications . Our compadres Steve and Tina operated Amerind Arts, a home-grown business featuring unusual crafts and indigenous art from Mexico and Central America. The Shoppers Guide gives invaluable advice on buying a wide range of Mexican crafts: ceramics, leather, silver, metalwork, furniture, pâpier-mâché, toys, jewelry, glassware and pottery. Steve and Tina also share their personal experiences of shopping and exploring Mexico, along with techniques for bartering, judging quality, packing and shipping and dealing with US Customs. Order The Shoppers Guide to Mexico or from Powell's in Portland.
I was very pleased to receive a copy of Oaxaca Crafts and Sightseeing, a compact yet thorough guide to an exceptionally interesting region. Unlike writers-for-hire who crank out serial guidebooks like loaves of white bread, author Barbara Hopkins shares an intimate, expert knowledge of Oaxaca City and its environs. Treating the reader like an intelligent and favored out-of-town guest, the author offers us everything from detailed shopping suggestions for crafts and folk art to fascinating historical tidbits, fiesta dates (and backgrounds), local foods and delicacies, costumes and nearby side trips. Her suggested walking tour takes in the citys most interesting streets and byways, markets, museums and colonial monuments .... (Full Review) Order Oaxaca Crafts and Sightseeing
I recently met a young Danish traveler in northern Mexico who wished to learn Spanish in "three or four days." He was in a hurry to get to South America, but felt that achieving fluency in the language was worth such a delay. According to people who do not speak it, the Spanish language is as easy to pick up as the common cold. Don't believe it!
By Joseph J. Keenan, 1994, University of Texas Press. A journalist and long-time resident of Mexico, Keenan confesses that he learned Spanish just like the rest of us, by studying, practicing and trial-and-error. In a style that is both instructive and a delight to read, the author shares hundreds of hard-earned tips on correcting grammatical errors, improving fluency and understanding the subtleties of spoken Spanish. If you want to tune your Spanish to Latin American ears, or try for genuine fluency, get this book....(Full Review) Order Breaking Out of Beginners Spanish
By Bob Burleson and David H. Riskind; 1986; While definitely not confined to Copper Canyon, this book is the best phrasebook/dictionary for ranchers or mechanics, or anyone who wants to know some esoteric Spanish;
Taking a cue from the last edition of "The People's Guide To Mexico," I ordered the book, "Mexican Slang Plus Graffiti". The book is quite entertaining for the aficionado of the slangier side of Latin American (heavy emphasis on Mexican) Spanish. It delves deep into the cruder aspects of cabronería, y el pendejismo. Readers of a delicate sensibility might find portions distasteful. It gives a more in-depth account of "la verga", notorious parrot phrase from The People's Guide to Mexico . (A word to be avoided.) by Mike Warshauer.... (Full Review) Order Mexican Slang Plus Graffiti (2003)
This plump, pocket-sized Spanish/English dictionary has been my personal favorite for many years. Unlike cheaper paperback dictionaries that self-destruct.... the crisp typeface is readable even in dim, back-of-the-bus conditions....(Full Review) Order Langenscheidt's Pocket Spanish Dictionary
Cassells Colloquial Spanish: A Handbook of Idiomatic Usage, Including Latin-American Spanish
By A. Bryson Gerrard, 1980, Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Co., New York. Subtitled "A Handbook Of Idiomatic Usage," Cassells is more dictionary than language instruction book. The author explains "the pitfalls and difficulties inherent in colloquial, colorful, or idiomatic usage.... a valuable source of reference but also an entertaining and absorbing portrait of the current state of the language." Particular attention is given to the vocabularies of cars, courtesy, food, household items, lectures and conferences, office matters, telephones and other practical situations. Beyond that, Cassells wry humor is great fun, especially on long bus rides across northern Mexico.... (Full Review) Order Cassells Colloquial Spanish
By Garcia-Pelayo, 1983, Larousse. Buy this one in Mexico.
To the best of my knowledge, learning Spanish still requires pressing one's nose to the proverbial grindstones of study, memorization and constant repetition. On the other hand, materials for learning Spanish are definitely improving.... (Full Reviews) by Carl Franz
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