Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve

The Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve covers 1400 km² (roughly 350,000 acres) and is located in Southwest Jalisco on the border of Colima. In this mountainous complex over 2000 vegetable species have been registered of which some 20 are endemic. The fauna includes 330 bird species like woodpecker, raven, hummingbird, royal eagle among others. Some 200 mammal species like tlacuache (opossum), deer and large threatened felines like jaguar, puma, and ocelots along with more than 50 reptile, fish and amphibian species. 

But when the Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve was created in 1987, it was not because of the wildlife or even the exotic flowers. Instead, the centerpiece of this ruggedly beautiful reserve is a scruffy, weedy plant, named teosinte, that if noticed at all would seem more like a blight than a natural treasure. Teosinte (pronounced tee-oh-SIN-tay) is a wild relative of corn, and this particular variety grows on 15 acres on Sierra de Manantlan and no where else in the world. It has genetic traits found in no other plants - traits that could prove vital to corn fields across the world. It has resistance to diseases that commonly afflict other varieties, and it is a perennial plant that - unlike most domesticated varieties - does not have to be replanted year in and year out.


Las Joyas research station that was established to protect the habitat around the discovery

Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve Map

Teosinte – maize’s wild ancestor

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sauza Museum - Tequila

The Sauza Museum is less than a block off the plaza and across from Cuervo World which is basically an upscale, mall-like store.   I much preferred this museum which used to be the Sauza family home.  You can only take photos in the courtyard and the store so there is much more history to see.

The Sauza Museum is basically a collection of memorabilia, including paintings, old photos and ancient tools. The Sauzas sold their operation in 1988, although Guillermo Erickson Sauza, a fifth-generation family member, recently began producing his own brand, Los Abuelos, using traditional techniques.

Sauza courtyard

Those were the days

Sauza store

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jalisco or Xalisco or both

I was reading an article on the Primavera Forest just out side of Guadalajara and it mentioned that the major rock formation is of volcanic ash hardened into pumice, also known as Jal.   This pumice formation is one of the largest in the world and gave rise to the state name of Jalisco.

With only that one reference I wasn't convinced that Jal was even a word let alone the origin of the name.   Looking further I did find a few well respected authors making the same claim.   Jal is also used in advertisements when sold for industrial purposes.

So what can you do at this point but search Jalisco and up pops Wikipedia with it's version which is:
The name is derived from the Nahuatl Xalisco, which means over a sandy surface. Until about 1836, the name was spelled “Xalisco,” with the “x” used to indicate the “sh” sound from Nahuatl.
Could the sandy soil and pumice be one and the same

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Jalisco Tourism

Jalisco is in west-central Mexico and its capital is Guadalajara. The Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range traverses the state, separating the Pacific coast from a high plateau region. The Sierra Madre region is largely volcanic, and earthquakes are frequent. The state's many lakes include Chapala, Mexico's largest.

Jalisco Tourism - Spanish
Artisans of Tonala
Sparks Mexico Web