Hey everyone! Thanks so much again for joining us in our festivities on our Cinco de Mayo meetup today! As usual, here is the summary of our discussions as well as the recipe for that delicious mole sauce! So glad to see everyone! Also, feel free to post your own ideas, stories, questions, pictures or comments right here on this forum! The more the merrier! 😀
This Week’s Announcements:
1. Next virtual meetup: Monday, May 11th. See info and sign up here!
2. Physical group trip destinations and dates posted and updated! All of it, of course, continue to be contingent on Covid-19 and the whole travel situation, but sign up as interested in one (or more) trips here and I will keep you in the loop and in the know about the trip as we know! The sooner you show interest, the better I can get an accurate head count to determine if the trip would be doable! 🙂
3. ALL VIRTUAL MEETUP ATTENDANTS receive 50% off EVERYTHING on my virtual fun Travel in the Home events page and also events and services on my Covid-19 Escape Page! If you need the promo code again, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll remind you! 🙂
3. If you’re looking for ANY tour in the world or ANYTHING travel-related, I’m here! Contact me! Check out some of our destinations we are currently adding and let me know where you want to go and I will add the next page! 🙂
Cinco de Mayo Meetup Summary:
History of Cinco de Mayo: Celebrates May 5th, 1862 the victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war. This also happened on a Tuesday like this year! It is NOT Mexican Independence day from Spain (that is September 16th).
A little bit about the Battle of Puebla- Mexico was in financial debt with Spain, France and England. Negotiations were made with Spain and England but France, being controlled by Napoleon III at the time, wanted to seize Mexican territory. Mexico was at an extreme disadvantage and the soldiers were poorly equipped, however, despite odds, Mexico won the battle against France and lost fewer than 100 soldiers while France lost around 500. This occurred in the Mexican state of Puebla and it is celebrated most in this region of the country. Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico but it is widely recognized by Americans just to celebrate and honor Mexican history, heritage and culture. So Why not, right?! 🙂
Mexican Travel Ideas and Inspiration:
-Playa del Amor
-Playa del Carmen
Less common/more hidden gems: Costa Alegre, Jalisco, Bahia Balandra
Top Mayan ruins to visit:
– Chichen Itza (on the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun- the famous pyramid-like structure)-one of the most famous and well-known ruins
-Coba- an ancient Mayan city on the Yucatan Peninsula-largest network of stone causeways in the Mayan world
-Calakmul- not as many crowds here, near border of Guatemala in Jungles of Greater Peten Basin area, you can climb the 45 meter pyramid!
-Uximal- more crowded and popular but for a good reason…there are night shows and even a chocolate museum inside!
-Tulum- walled city overlooking the ocean on the coast, used to be an old trading and religious center, very unique murals pained inside
-Palenque- home to King Pakal’s tomb and also home to Temple of the Inscriptions and burial chambers
-Other honorable mentions: Monte Alban, Teotihuacan, Ek Balam
Some other cool unique things to do all around Mexico: Other then visiting the white sands, blue oceans and Mayan civilization ruins, here are some other cool ideas!!
-Copper Canyon: much larger than the Grand Canyon and you can explore the “Chihuahua al Pacifico” Railway system as well!
-El Arco- unique arch rock formations where the Pacific Ocean becomes Gulf of Mexico-it’s an icon of Cabo San Lucas
-Cancun underwater museum- 500 sculptures underwater! This is a nonprofit organization in the interest of saving coral reefs.
-Cenote Dos Ojos: one of the country’s largest underwater cave systems. The name means “cavern of 2 eyes” referring to 2 sinkholes connected by a long passageway.
-Isla de Mujeres: 8 miles from Cancun, “known as “Island of Woman” referring to the Mayan goddess of child birth. It has a lot of historical and cultural significance and heritage. You can also dive and snorkel there!
-Iztaccíhuatl: 5,230 meter dormant volcano in Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park
-Museo Nacional de Antropologia (Anthropology Museum): largest and most visited in the world and has numerous artifacts and exhibits relating to precolumbian heritage. There are many Mayan and Aztec pieces like stone of sand and the original Aztec calendar stone!
-Hierve el Agua: natural rock formations in Oaxaca, Mexico and the formations resemble cascades of water. Look it up! My mind was blown!
Top Historic Cities to Visit (mostly for culture and history)
1.Guanajuato: This is in the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains and it is a colonial city founded in 1554. It’s one of the richest silver mining areas in Mexico. The citiy is filled with colorful alleyways and underground tunnels.
2. Puebla: This one has a very European feel because it actually was established by Spain. It connects 2 port cities which are Acapulco and Vera Cruz. There are numerous cathedrals, bell towers and Zocalo (the popular town square). It is known for a rich culinary history, architecture and pottery.
3. San Miguel de Allende: This one is in central Mexico in the Bajio mountains and it also has some historical significance. It was founded by a San Franciscan monk whom played a huge role in Mexico’s independence from Spain. The city is also a hot spot for Mexican silver.
4. Merida: OK this one I’ve been to myself when I was younger and loved it! It is on the Yucatan Peninsula again and it was also once colonized by the Spanish. It has a lot of Colonial homes, Mayan ruins and architecture. It has more of a smaller town feel and it is known for it’s good food. It was named by Lonely Planet to be one of the top places to visit in the world!
5. Taxco: This is also a mining town known for…you guessed it…SILVER! It is a city filled with cobblestone streets and interesting architecture. It is nestled in the mountains and hills. The main square is Plaza Borda where you can see Parraquia de Santa Prisca-built in the 18th century and filled with preserved paintings from Mexican Baroque period).
Other cool things discussed in meetup:
-Check out the Artscape (art festival) in Baltimore every summer!
-Cool travel collection and photo opp ideas: collecting magnets, hats and paintings and taking pictures of artistic graffiti all over the world (a nice alternative to buying more stuff to clutter your house!) Also, cool photo ideas are taking pictures of the tops of trees or Cathedrals on your travels if you’re into photography!
–Olive Harvest in Italy in October…does anyone know about the progress with Italy and travel? If so, please comment on here and let us know as we’re eagerly waiting to be able to travel to there again! 🙂
OK now about that mole sauce recipe!! This is a simpler quicker one and very delicious! You can put it on tacos or enchiladas or just coat meat with it! There are a lot of different recipes for this but this is a good one to make in a shorter amount of time. You can also tweak it depending on how spicy you like it! Happy cooking!
Mole Sauce Ingredients:
-2 TBS olive oil
-1 white onion diced
-4 garlic cloves minced
-1-2 jalapenos diced (or also you can use chili peppers…or cut back on this or leave it out and replace it with green chilis if you want less heat)
-1/4 cup of mix of chili powder and cayenne pepper (OK so Mexican chili powder is more “cayenne-y” than the US version so you can mix the 2 up to 1/4 of a cup. Note that cayenne pepper is very hot so use less of this to scale back on heat or MORE to make it spicy!
-2 TBS flour
-1 TSP ground cinnamon
-1 TSP ground cumin
-1/2 TSP dried oregano
-2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or stock
-2 TBS of almond butter (or any nut butter)
-1 TBS tomato paste
-1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 TSP salt
1. Heat oil and onions on medium high heat for about 5 minutes until onions are soft and then add jalapenos (or whatever peppers you decided on) and garlic and mix with onions. Let all get softened in pan about 1-2 more minutes.
2.Add the chili powder/cayenne pepper mix, flour, cinnamon, cumin and oregano and cook together another minute or so.
3.Remove from heat and add vegetable broth.
4. Optional but recommended: blend together in a blender or processor for more better consistency. You don’t HAVE to do this but it’s best!
5. Return to heat on stove at medium and add almond/nut butter, tomato paste, cocoa powder and salt.
6. Cook until simmering and the mix begins to thicken on medium low heat.
Serve warm or reheated. I just poured mine on a taco with black beans and shredded chicken and sour cream! 🙂
Comments? Thoughts? Stories? Post them here!! HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO PURPLE HOOD ADVENTURES COMMUNITY! 🙂
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