Recently, I spent some time studying the life of Juan Pablo Duarte of the Dominican Republic. He was born in Santo Domingo in January 1813, where he was raised and educated until he went to Europe in 1828 (at the age of 15), to finish his education. In 1833, he returned to the Dominican Republic a changed man. Having seen the light of the Ilustracion and the liberal freedoms enjoyed by Europeans, he felt a deep sense of duty to free his own countrymen from Haitian (and Spanish) dominance.
Juan Pablo Duarte
La Trinitaria On July 16, 1838, during the festival of La Senora del Carmen, he met with eight other men and formed La Trinitaria–a secret society whose sole purpose was to bring about the independence of the Dominicans and form a free republic. In reading historical accounts of this night, it is amazing to me how one person can inspire and ignite such belief and dedication-to-purpose in others. Duarte “spoke as if from heaven” and each man took the oath to give all he had, even his life, to the cause–sealing the oath with “blood from [his] vein”.
La Bandera Another thing that I find fascinating about this night is the clear and precise vision that Duarte had of the future flag of the Republica Dominicana. He described the flag as blue and red (opposing colors AND the colors of the Haitian flag) with a white cross in the middle which represented peace and redemption.
Dominican Republic Flag
Revolutionary Minds The idea of people who come up with “new” ideas that go against the grain, is a fascinating one for me. The American Revolution is inspiring on many levels, but Latin America and it’s revolutionaries like Juan Pablo Duarte, Simon Bolivar, and Jose San Martin offer views into other revolutionary minds. And it’s not only the men that are “revered” that I find fascinating, but others, especially Che Guevara, whose psyche interests me.
In the end, something that I recognize in all the great revolutionary minds is intelligence (or enlightenment), an intense inner-drive, and an almost-grand-scale self-bravado. Interesting.
I was recently led to thisMahahual trip reportonInTheRoo.comwritten by "Libby" in August 2008. What I really love about this trip report are the details! From the pictures of the drive down to Mahahual to the public bathrooms in-town, Libby's trip report is very informative and especially helpful for those of us planning a trip to Mahahual. Thank you, Libby, for sharing your Mahahual experience.
I want to introduce everyone to Ariana! She is coming to Mahahual with me in May. (YAY!) Ariana is a kindred spirit -- even though we are a couple of generations apart, we are spirit-twins. :) I am so excited to be traveling with her, again. She makes me laugh and keeps me young.
The Baroque architecture in the New World was extravagant, ornamental, and full of contrasts and oppositions. This was a period in time when there was a definite tension exhibited between worldly things and religious things.
Baroque Architecture - the St Francis Xavier Church in Tepotzotlán, Mexico
Personally, I prefer the more serene Renaissance style. However, there is definitely something to be appreciated in the gaudy Baroque, as well.
Susie Q Roo shared her Mahahualtrip report with me on playa.info forum. This is a great read! Her insight into Mahahual is enlightening and I promise by the end you'll be wishing you had some cut-up fruit in a cup, too! I can't wait!
We will be making a stop at Secret Garden Hotel, Tulum, on our way down to Mahahual. I have read many reviews about this boutique hotel, and am excited to try it out. I've already emailed back and forth with one of the owners, Sean, who happens to be a native Dallas, Texan! Es muy amable!
I recently came across this blog post on "Beach Bum in the Yucatan". The story and especially the pictures spoke to my heart. I love backyard dancing!
(Photo from Beach Bum in the Yucatan)
It reminds me of my time spent living in Argentina and the fun, impromptu dancing we shared with locals whom we met along the way.
(Tandil, Argentina - I'm being covered up by someone...back in the left...)
I'm telling you, we Americans are cold and snooty when it comes to backyard dancing. I've NEVER witnessed a backyard dance in the U.S. Why is that? Oh, and I definitely love to dance (American Bandstand in the 80's! There has to be video of me out there somewhere!).
And I guarantee you that somewhere, in some Latin backyard, there is some dancing going on right this very minute!
I am a native Southern-Californian who grew up barefoot and bikini-clad!
Mayan Riviera Gringa combines my three loves:
1) The Ocean
2) Spanish/Latin Language & Culture
I hope to "share the dream" with you!