> Letters to The Peoples Guide to Mexico:


Letters from Our Readers

•A Cackling Good Book

Dear Carl & Lorena:

I cackle and cackle over your book. It is hilarious. I have been traveling in Mexico since I was 4 years old, first with my parents in Baja California Nte., then 6 months in Mexico in a motor home in 69-70, then numerous trips as a young adult-1980-81 @ la Universidad de las Americas, Cholula, Puebla, then as a coordinator for a law student exchange UT Austin U de Guanajuato. Now I am leading a group of attys, translator, 1 teacher, & a forensic psychologist to Guanajuato for a week's Spanish immersion & 2 weekends of sightseeing.

I bought your book to get into the mood again and your book brings back my childhood. Hilarious, wonderful! Last night our group met at a restaurant to review out plans, and the judge in our group had read your book and told me to check out your web site.

Muchisimas gracias Sr. Franz y Sra. Havens y Sr. Rogers.

¡Que viva Mexico!

Atentamente, Lisa Marino

•Language Schools?

Dear Lorena,

Several months ago, we wrote asking for your recommendation on a language school and you suggested Encuentros. We are now in our third week at this wonderful school. Thanks for the excellent advice.

Roger & Janet Dexter

• Paved Road: Palenque to Bonampak?

First let me say, I started reading your book several years ago and have given away numerous copies to friends.  It's wonderful and re-reading it always makes me feel as if I'm back again.  We're returning to mexico for the fourth or fifth time and have been hearing about a new, paved road between Palenque and Bonampak, possibly hwy 186.  However haven't found anyone who know anything about it.  New maps are showing it, but I can't find any info on it.  Do you know anyone that has been through there recently?  We would certainly appreciate any help you can offer. 

Thanks a million.

a big fan,


Lorena Asks: Does anyone know about the road between Bonampak & Palenque?

•"Oaxaca, I've Changed my Mind"

Dear Carl and Lorena,

A mandatory note here to say that I am surprised and truly shocked that you wonderful folks would "host and post" such a distastefully written article as "OAXACA: I'VE CHANGED MY MIND" by Bill Masterson. What a pompous and unsoulful perspective this man presents -- Sort of an unfocused, confused and rather pointless exercise in self-engrandizing 'target practice'. Quite out of sink with the caliber of both of your normally warm and insightful styles.

I not only think that Mr. Masterson should be absolutely ashamed of himself, but that he also does you both a grave injustice by even being on your site. IMHO

Como Siempre, Vallan Con Dios

Ken Richards

I'm glad to hear that Bill Masterson will "probably not" be returning to Oaxaca. It seems to me that Bill is carrying a lot of physic baggage with him that makes it impossible for him to fully enjoy the pleasures of Oaxaca. Oaxaca was unable to cater to Bill's whims? Fine. Bill should probably confine his visits to only those places that conform to his narrow vision of what Mexico should be.

Yours, Felipe

I sure appreciate reading those opinionated letters (such as the one about Oaxaca. The results inevitably depict a slice of reality that is rarely found in "objective" articles. A little limon to balance out the azucar! Mexico is like Venus de Milo with warts.

David '"El Codo" Eidell

•New Mayan City Found

Hi kids! This is pretty cool, huh? xo Nancy

May 14 Ancient Mayan City Discovered GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Guatemalan archaeologists have unearthed the initial remains of what they believe to be a Mayan city as large as the sprawling, majestic ruins of the country's famous Tikal site. A team of national scientists uncovered the "El Pajaral'' ruins in the northern Guatemalan state of Peten late last week. The city is from the post-classic period, and is between 670 to 800 years old, said Salvador Lopez, who headed up the effort.

•Women Traveling Alone

I have just finished reading your account of the trip to Lake Chapala last fall, which I got to following a thread from Tina's Stories. Anyway, just wanted to let you both know how much I enjoy your website and the People's Guide!! I am about Tina's age when she made the drive alone and I intend to do the same thing this coming September. Both your accounts are wonderful and I intend to print them out and take them with me.

One moment I am agog with excitement and the next I'm quaking in fear! Well, none-the-less, I've gathered many books, tapes, papers, bla bla bla and am looking forward to this, perhaps, last great adventure. Maybe I'll see you somewhere along the way.

Take care - motor on!
Cheryl Fontaine
Seattle, Wa

•Flan Recipe

Greetings Carl & Lorena,

I'll look forward to trying your new flán recipe, Lorena. New and improved flán is high on my gotta-try list, as I was about to declare a hostile palate towards it. Long ago I served as Executive Pastry Chef for a group of restaurants in Taos, NM, and had to make TONS 'o that stuff every week, complete with the boiling of sugar, splash of water, and the inevitable explosion of caramel the temperature of molten glass.......*grin*

By the way, have you ever tried a dessert chile relleño? MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!! The recipe is in the book "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquiviel (the movie, if you've not seen it, is tremendous). It's essentially a Poblano Chile stuffed with pineapple, coconut, pinon nuts, and ricotta
baked, then slavered with a light pinon creme sauce.......*drooling now* That hot/sweet combo is a gift of the gods.....

(you've not lived until you've wrapped your lips around a pineapple/green chile pizza!)

Anyway, I'll let you know how the trip goes when I get back. Preparations have already begun for the trip......Lessee.....rabbits going to the next door
neighbor, Dopie Dog stays with the relatives.....THE BIRD!!?? !@#$!^!#$% What are we gonna do with the silly bird???
Hasta luego,


Carl Franz responded:

Your itinerary sounds like a winner. Also, we would be 'seriously' interested in your report on food and recipes -- or anything else, for that matter.

Which reminds me: as often as I've eaten the stuff, I've never been much of a flan fan. However, even I can't stay away from the flan that Lorena makes using a friend's cook, Gisela's , recipe, mainly because it wasn't traditional -- far better. Lorena fixed it yesterday and it took about ten minutes. We tried it out on friends -- five stars! The Flan recipe is now on the website....

Anxiously awaiting your contributions....

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The People's Guide to Mexico
©1972-2001 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens