10 Most Popular Last & First Names

 



In Mexico both the father’s and mother’s last name are used as a person’s last name. So a person might be named  Pedro Ramírez López.    Pedro (first name) Ramírez (Father’s last name) López (mother’s last name) . All of their official documents such as birth certificate, passport, school certificates, show both last names.

Interestingly, now the parent’s of a child can choose if the father’s or the mother’s last name will be the first last name of their children.

Here are the ten most popular Mexican last names:

Hernández  3,430,027 people’s last name is Hernández    Hernández means son of Hernan.  Hernan Cortez was the conquistador of what is now Mexico.

García   is a Vasque last name meaning young or young warrior.

Lòpez means son of Lope

Martìnez means son of Martín

Rodrìguez  means son of Rodrigo.

González means son of Gonzalo


Pérez means son of Pedro

Sánchez means son of Sancho

Gómez son of Gome

Flores  Means flowers.

 

The 10 most popular first names are:

Girls’ Names:

María  Mary, very popular used in a composed name such as Maria Fernanda, Maria Guadalupe, Maria Sofia, Dulce María.

Ximena (Jimena)

Sofia  Sophy

Guadalupe   Guadalupe is a very popular name that can be feminine or masculine.

Valentina 

Fernanda 

Juana  Joan

Camila 

Valeria  Valery

 

Jose Joseph

Jesus  Jesus

Alejandro  Alexander

Miguel Ángel Michael Angel

Eduardo Edward

José Luis Joseph Louis

Juan Carlos John Charles

Fernando Ferdinand

Diego Diego

David David

Jorge George

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Popocatepetl & Iztaccíhuatl A Love Story

The view that adorns the world’s largest city – Mexico City – is enhanced by the majesty of two of the highest volcanoes in the hemisphere: Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl. The presence of these enormous millenary volcanoes has been of great significance for the different societies that have admired and revered them, being a source of inspiration for the many legends about their origin and creation.  

 

Among these, the best known are two below. Thousands of years ago, when the Aztec Empire dominated the Valley of Mexico, it was common practice to subject neighboring towns and to require a mandatory tax. It was then that the chief of the Tlaxcaltecas, bitter enemies of the Aztecs, weary of this terrible oppression, decided to fight for his people’s freedom.

The chief had a daughter named Iztaccihuatl: the most beautiful of all the princesses, who had professed her love for young Popocatepetl, one of her father’s people and the most handsome warrior. Both professed a deep love for each other, so before leaving for war, Popocatepetl asked the chief for the hand of Princess Iztaccihuatl.

The father gladly agreed and promised to welcome him back with a big celebration to give him his daughter’s hand if he returned victorious from the battle. The brave warrior accepted, prepared everything and departed keeping in his heart the promise that the princess would be waiting for him to consummate their love. Soon afterward a love rival of Popocatepetl, jealous of the love they professed to each other, told Princess Iztaccihuatl that her beloved had died in combat.

Crushed and overwhelmed by sadness, the princess died without even knowing that it was a lie. Popocatepetl returned victorious to his people, hoping to find his beloved princess. Upon arrival, he received the terrible news of the death of Iztaccihuatl.

El Español: The History of the Spanish Language

 


Spanish is one of the most important languages in the world. But what exactly is language?

 

Language emerged due to man’s need to communicate with others. In prehistoric times, men communicated through very simple oral, and sometimes written, language, and made drawings that highlighted their adventures and experiences. 

 

The Greeks developed the first alphabet, giving a specific sound to each sign. This alphabet was the precursor of the Roman alphabet, which is very similar to the one we use today. 

A language is the mirror of its culture. Through it, through the words of each language, we can observe the peculiarities or characteristics of the people that speak it.      

Language brings with it the flavors, colors, and smells of each country.  For example, when we hear the word, fiesta our mind brings forth images of Mexican joyfulness, and what can we say about a resounding Ole What do we imagine? ….. of course!….. the Spanish traditions.

 

And through language, we express not only our opinions and thoughts but our history, our cultural roots, our origins.

Today there are about 5000 different languages spoken in the world. The most frequently spoken languages are English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Arabic.

 

The world is increasingly interdependent; this means that we constantly have to deal with people or companies from other countries. Individuals who have the skill to master another language will be more able to be successful in this new world. There are many work opportunities for people who know how to speak another language.

 

In particular, learning Spanish gives us the possibility to communicate with an entire continent! Around 400 million people speak Spanish as their native language. From Spain to Argentina!

Alebrijes: Oaxacan Wood Carvings

The artistic process and techniques used in the creation of these captivating  wooden Alebrijes.

Alebrijes are carved wooden figures created by Oaxacan artisans. They have become so popular that even the world’s most respected Spanish language authority, the La Real Academia de la Lengua Española, Spanish Royal Academy, has included the term “Alebrijes” in its official Spanish language dictionary.  The term “Alebrijes” originated from the name that Mr. Pedro Linares, of Mexico City, gave to his fantastic creations of paper maché; which are internationally recognized.

Most Oaxacan artisans simply call them figuras “wooden figures”, naming them after the animal which they carved, such as the deer, raccoon, leopard, etc., but when a fantastic figure is elaborated, the artisan is compelled to say he has created an “alebrije.”

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The creative process in making a wooden figure begins with the artisan imagining a form. On occasion, ideas arise spontaneously but sometimes artisans take days or even months imagining a very special figure. The wooden piece is then chosen. It will be used to create the figure that is in his mind.  Most artisans use “copalillo” wood to carve their figures. A few others use the “tzomplantle” and cedar.

The “copalillo” is a tree that grows in warm regions of Oaxaca.  There are several species and scientifically it is classified as belonging to the “Burseras” family.  Artisans classify “copalillo” trees as being either male or female. This differentiation is quickly made by simply looking at the tree and smelling it.

The ideal “copal or copalillo” is the female, which doesn’t have “knots” in its bark and smells somewhat like a lime (citric fruit). The female is used because it is softer and easier to carve. The male copal  is not used because of imperfections in its bark and its hardness; which makes it extremely difficult to carve.

Once the branch or the wooden piece has been selected, it is cut from the tree.

Some artisans prefer to carve the wood immediately to take advantage of the softness of the wood, while others leave it to dry in the sun for two or three days.

Once in the shop, its shell is removed. Initial cuts are made with the machete to form a rough idea of what the artisan has imagined. This gives it an initial proportion and size. Eventually during the process they start using finer and sharper blades that are more precise and make  finer cuts. Some artisans use other tools apart from knives and blades; for example, chisels, mallets, blades of different shapes and sizes, etc.

Once the figure has been carved, it is exposed to the sun. The amount of time the figure spends under the sun depends on the size of the figure: the small ones only a day, the big ones up to a month. Some artisans prefer drying the figures in the shade so that the drying is more natural and not so abrupt and exposed to the sun’s rays.

Semana Santa in Mexico


 

The passion play of Iztapalapa is one of the most popular and one of the biggest, most important religious celebrations in Mexico and in the world.

In just one day, more than a million visitors come to a small district to watch a 150-year-old tradition. What is behind this event? What motivates the inhabitants to go through this representation with so much dedication? What does it mean?

Semana Santa in Mexico Nazareno

Iztapalapa is a small district south of Mexico City, an ordinary neighborhood like any other, with its main plaza and its church. It has perhaps, the same problems as other districts (or colonias, as they are called) but something sets it apart from the others: a very special fiesta in which everyone takes part, where no one, no matter how small, is left out.

During Easter Week, each inhabitant abandons his normal life as a laborer, student or housewife, and forgets his daily tensions and conflicts. All the townspeople come together with a common goal, and become actors representing Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Nazarenes, the guards, the apostles, and the people of a town that existed thousands of years before. The entire community becomes the cast and the streets, the stage!


The Carnivals of Mexico

Life is a carnival and we must keep singing…

by Oscar Guzmán

One of the most important times of the Catholic calendar is almost upon us: Lent. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Catholics begin to prepare for the Easter celebration with prayers, small sacrifices of our favorite things , and personal reflection. This is also the time of year when Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays, which is why many people organize a symbolic goodbye party for the meat…”Carne Vai”, the carnival.

Ancient Venice was where this tradition began, in which the people who attended the carnival mingled in a party where all the things that generate memorable moments were present: music, dancing, costumes, and all the things that are set aside during the Lenten season.

The festive tradition arrived to our country toward the end of the 19th century; hence, the beginning of the carnivals. And it was precisely in the port of Veracruz, a land known for crazy parties, where the Veracruzanos celebrated the first mask dance in 1866, during the empire of Maximilian. And although the parties were supposed to be held in the principle social salons, the theater, and the “Aduana Quemada”, the celebrations began expanding until they reached the streets. This expansion led to parades, and finally, in 1925, the first committee was formed to organized the Carnival of the Port of Veracruz.

Today, people celebrate the passing of the “comparsas” — groups of people at the carnival who are dressed in the same costume and mask. These celebrations precede the “Martes de Carnaval” (Fat Tuesday), which is the biggest day of the carnival. Lighted-up, decorated cars roam the streets of the city, and the happy king (it used to be the “ugly” king) and queen of the carnival are crowned. Musicians ride on the top of carriages and dance to the music. Meanwhile, students from dance schools, in a very Brazilian-style, dance to African rhythms, mainly samba, merengue and salsa.