You’ve probably never heard the term “acequia,” but it describes one of the oldest methods of irrigation on the planet. Too bad American ranchers have largely ignored it.
When a Disney film, “Coco,” spotlighted a small Mexican town where almost every shop makes guitars, it suddenly made ornate, white guitars famous. Underneath the new pop icon, however, lies a variety of much finer instruments—and a rich craft going back generations.
Story by LAURA FRASER
Photography and videography by ANDREW SULLIVAN
The now iconic white guitar made famous by the Disney film “Coco” was created in Paracho, a small Mexican town where almost every shop makes guitars. Underneath the new icon lay centuries of craftsmanship.
There are many ways to learn more about Paracho guitars, and to visit the town’s master luthiers. In fact, every August Paracho holds its annual guitar festival. (This year’s festival runs from August 5th-10th.) So if you want to visit this community, here are a few tips to help you enjoy a productive, and safe,…
Initially, Paracho guitars were poor relations to their Spanish cousins, largely because the town’s guitarreros used old techniques and geometry that differed greatly from the approach taken by the Europeans. Ron Fernandez, a Yale anthropologist who imports guitars from Spain, says the main difference was–and still is–in the tools. “The European way to make a…
Step inside a family-owned workshop in Paracho, Mexico — birthplace of the ornate, white guitar made famous by the Disney movie, “Coco,” and home to some of the world’s most accomplished luthiers. Don’t miss the full story, “Mexico’s Master Guitar Makers”, written by Laura Fraser.
In a small, indigenous Mexican community in the mountains of Michoacán, a band of determined women led the overthrow of a criminal cartel. Their victory gave the town a new sense of purpose by reviving its traditional livelihood, its capacity for self-government, and its communal spirit.
Story and photography by ANDREW SULLIVAN
You have probably never heard of the term “acequia,” but it describes one of oldest, most common-sense systems of irrigation on the planet. The basic idea is to use, and share, a river’s natural patterns instead of the predominant American system—namely, trap it, pipe it, and race to be the first to use it. Our writer tours the globe to track down its history, and its leading practitioners.
Story and photography by ROBERTO LOVATO
“La Esquina” Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano, a terracotta-colored colonial house on a corner of San Miguel de Allende, is the only museum in Mexico dedicated to the country’s folk art toys. Angélica Tijerina started the collection 50 years ago, when her parents began bringing home dolls and toys from their travels all over Mexico.…