Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Telenovelas and the Magical Towns of Mexico

Mexico! I absolutely love the place. Recently my husband and I started watching a telenovela -- a Mexican soap opera -- on one of the Spanish-language TV channels we get. The network is Univision.

So you are wondering: what the heck are Magical Towns and what do they have to do with a silly soap?

Let me explain. The program we watch is called "En Nombre del Amor." That's "In the Name of Love," for those who may be romance-language challenged. It's your typical soap...heroes, villains, everybody fighting over the opposite sex and half the characters clueless as to who their biological fathers are.

But that's what makes a soap, right? What's neat about this soap is its setting -- the city of Real del Monte in the state of Hidalgo.

In recent years, Mexico has started a program where they designate different communities as Magical Towns -- places whose culture and architecture make the community special.

Real del Monte is such a place. Thanks to an influx of Cornish miners in its past, the town boasts some architecture that is a tad more English than it is Spanish colonial -- Although Spanish colonial style reigns supreme.

At an elevation over 8,000 feet, Real del Monte enjoys a climate Mexicans like to call "perpetual spring." Warm days and cool evenings year-round.

And with only a population of around 11,000, it's not an overwhelming community to get a handle on.

So next time you're planning a trip to Mexico, consider Real del Monte in your plans.

Happy travels, Joyce

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