Dear Marina, almost a month has passed since the conclusion of our trip to Michoacan, and my head is still awash in the sights, sounds and flavors. From the gentle cadence of the Purépecha language, the ringing of the cathedral bells in Morelia, and the dulcet tones of the students at the Conservatorio de las Rosas, to the whirr of looms in Uruapan and the clang of coppersmiths in Santa Clara; from the crisp morning air at Yapalpan and the indescribable beauty of being engulfed by thousands of butterflies at El Rosario, to the austere relics of the convents at Cuitzeo and Tzintzuntzan, and the brilliant murals in libraries in Morelia and Patzcuaro; from the taste of áte, or omelets, with huitlacoche and atapakua sauce, to corundas, sopa tarasca and the most amazing carnitas; every day offered new and unforgettable experiences.
This was the most interesting, well-educated and accomplished group of travelers with whom I have ever traveled….But even more significant was the very evident curiosity and desire to experience new and unexpected things.
None of this would have been possible without your careful and thoughtful planning, and, more importantly, your willingness to…accommodate the needs and interests of the group members. You were always thoughtful and informative, and the breadth and depth of your interests and background preparation were obvious. You are simply a treasure! We cannot wait to explore more of Mexico with you. – Dr. Keith Paulson-Thorp
Note: Keith is shown above with a group of music students with whom he played in Morelia. Another traveler, Ann Robinson, recorded the moment on video.
Thank you for two more excellent weeks exploring the history and cultures of your beautiful country. You are an excellent guide and Nancy and I appreciated all the care and energy you put in to making everything work well and on time. – Ed Schmitt & Nancy Fisher
I can’t imagine a more complete immersion in a cultural experience than our trip to Chiapas with Marina Aguirre. How else would I have had the experience of trekking through the jungle with two Lacandon men leading the way; dancing and drinking pozol with villagers from Tenejapa on their festival day; learning how the dress of the indigenous people we met tell the story of their community and status in it. We have had an experience beyond travel and study. We have experienced the passage of centuries; enjoyed the sensual treats of Chiapas, its sights, smells, sounds, and we met people who seemed so different at first on their own terms and we discovered our commonalities. I couldn’t have had a better trip to Chiapas, Marina. You are an amazing ambassador and guide to Chiapas. I hope to travel with you again. I love México, I love the trip, I love you. – Elizabeth Stone
Marina, not once during this wonderful trip did I feel like a stranger or intruder when visiting indigenous villages or meeting the people. I think this is one of the greatest gifts you gave us on this trip – to feel at home and at ease with other people and cultures so different from my life. This allowed me to better get in touch with my own humanity and opened me up to know and appreciate the Mayan people of México. Our trip was so full of surprises and hospitality that I will always remember and hope to experience again many times in my life. I know that I will continue my curiosity and study of México, now seen from a whole new perspective. Thanks for a great trip. – Marc Berman
Our trip to México City was so inspiring and full of so much information that my head is still spinning. Thank you so much for sharing so much energy and knowledge. I will continue to check your website to see what you are up to. There are still too many places in México to see. – Patricia McMahan
De nuevo, mil gracias Marina por un viaje maravilloso. Fue fantástico! Mágico! Me encantó. De verdad, yo hice memorias para siempre. – Jan Oliver
Tom and I hope you and your family are well. The trip to Pueblo and Veracruz was a wonderful time and we think of you often. Tom and I would like to do your tour to México City next February. – Cathie and Tom Thorsteinson
Take a trip with the sensual experiences of Chiapas with Marina. Experience the light, sounds, smells and tastes of an unbelievable state of México that has struggled for centuries to maintain their traditions. – Paul Magnusson
A wealth of amazing experiences: visual, auditory, tactile and emotional. The people of México and particularly the Yucatán are gracious and accepting. I felt welcomed into their lives and their experiences, even though we live in completely different worlds. I have loved México and the Mexican people since I first visited in 1973. I have grown to understand its diversity since then. Marina: you are an exceptional, warm, knowledgeable and loving woman. What a gift it has been to travel with you and learn from you. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the experiences with you. Mil Gracias! – Jan Larson
The mixture of visual images that will stay with me. I am a very visual person, this is what helps me remember. The churches, just going inside to see the reverence and caring of the people in the villages we have visited. They have very strong ties to the church/religion. It humbles me to know my life in comparison to theirs. Those of us with the most seem to always want more or complain. The people we have seen here are happy with so little! I shared this experience with my two sisters and the three of us loved them! – Mary Follett
No hay palabras ni en inglés ni en Español que tengan el significado adecuado para expresar nuestra gratitud. This week has been over and above all expectations and we look forward to traveling with you again.
With much affection. – Sandy & Nick
Marina Aguirre, it would be hard to tell you all the things that you have opened my heart and mind to these last nine days. If, or I should say when, I reflect to share all that we have done on this trip it will be as follows: The knowledge and information on the ruins was excellent but more importantly you asked us to “feel” the atmosphere and to walk in the footsteps of those people who lived so long ago. You encouraged us to try and imagine their lives and spirits, thank you. The textiles were so exciting to see, to realize they were an expression of each village and city and that they were a part of their culture which we could learn from. Thank you Marina for a wonderful experience which has made me stop and think. – Kathy Lee
Marina Aguirre’s trips are authentic and you will be traveling with an expert on the cultures, locations, foods, etc. Chiapas is a beautiful area and because it is mostly Mayan, many similarities can be found to the people of the highlands of Guatemala. Travel with an open heart for you will have many unique experiences if you do. Marina, we love your knowledge and stories that you tell with all your heart. And thanks for being concerned for our safety. The adventure has been so fun and interesting. Three fiestas in one day- a record. – Pam Vaughan
What’s good: combining archaeology with the study of current cultures. The opportunity to learn about the Lacandon people and the risks they face. The timing of travel to the fiestas and the fact that we were treated so nicely by the indigenous population. – Ken Dyer
Unbelievable cultural experience! I learned so much about the different cultures of Chiapas. I met some wonderful, fun people in our group and Marina was fabulous, she is very knowledgable and the trip was well organized. The indigenous people were so gracious and you really experience how they lived. I was very humbled. I highly recommend this experience. – Barb Christiansen
The Chiapas trip with Marina was amazing. I loved the way that she planned the trip, the order of places to visit, building on the information we learned from the days before. My favorite part was the people of México, the Lacandon in the jungle, the native people in the villages and even the friends I met on the trip. Marina obviously loves what she does. – Theresa Carson
Marina, I’m writing a few lines to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed this trip. I’ve learned so much about the Mayan and indigenous cultures in such a fun, experiental way. Touching the people and in some cases learning their names, shaking hands etc. The jungle was an amazing special experience for me. Also the many types of music, singing, musical instruments, and even the ancient Mayans with their instruments in Bonampak. I will take my images, thoughts and feelings with me as I continue my travels and my life. Thank you also for this opportunity to reflect – we are often so busy moving to the next thing. It is good to stop and reflect – and smell the roses. Muchas gracias. – Lindy Small
One of the nicest parts of the trip was how each experience built on the other. Each day, each place we visited provided a foundation for what came in the days after. To call this trip a tour is not to do it justice. This trip was a journey. It was a journey not only to experience different cultures, and history, but a journey in which the spirits, hearts, and minds of the travelers connected, if only briefly, with the spirits, hearts, and minds of the people into whose lands, villages, and lives we traveled. A trip that must be experienced to completely understand. – Judy Jones.
Thank you Marina. Great trip!. Thank you for all your support and help. Thank you for such a beautiful trip. You gave us more than we can earn. – Joe & Carmen Mahood
You have made us fall in love with México and its wonderful people. Much love and many thanks. – Ann Robinson & Lubby Pospisil
Thank you for a most fastastic week in México City. I appreciate the new knowledge that I now have about México’s history and cultures, and I find that I want to return someday. I also feel that I have a new friend in you. Thank you again for giving us a magnificent tour of your beloved México City. – Karen McGee (right)