Xoloitzcuintli

We are departing for Mexico City in 4 days, leaving snow and slush behind – nothing these little Mexican hairless dogs would likely experience. Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo for short, has been popular in Mexico for centuries. The dog was named by the Aztecs after Xolotl, the God of lightning and death.

These small effigies can be seen at street markets as freshly baked clay folk arts, and also nearly identical Xolos at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The dog statues were buried alongside their masters to protect and guide them in the afterlife.

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A love affair with Mexico

Our love affair with Mexico began long ago as we grew up in the Southern California high desert. Finally we both had the opportunity to travel for the first time to Mexico in 1992. Looking back on that now it doesn’t seem so long ago, but much has changed in the 23 years of traveling to the same places.

The wild first trip had us landing in Mexico City, taking the train to Guanajuato, then to Morelia, Patzquaro, and spending some time in Mexico City again before we headed south on the train to Oaxaca.  The craziest thing about this was it was done over a two-week period and we were traveling with our two youngest sons, who were 5 and 9 years old.

Jerus and Caleb in Oaxaca
Caleb & Jerus Oaxaca, 1992

So many trips later, it feels like coming home when we arrive back in Mexico. Although we now travel alone since our children have long left home, we decided to change things around a bit for our upcoming trip to Mexico City.

Whenever we have been through Mexico City we have stayed at Hotel Sevilla, a small no-frills hotel next to Sullivan Park. The good thing about this consistent choice was that we knew how to give directions to our taxi driver from any point we returned from, and knew when we were going in the right direction “towards home.” This time when we made hotel accommodations, Hotel Sevilla had no vacancies. We considered booking another place in the immediate area since we were familiar with the local espresso shop and the great breakfast place that made homemade tortillas, but then we thought about Airbnb and the idea of staying within a local neighborhood instead of a tourist hotel. The more we considered this idea, the more enthusiastic we became and booked a single room with private bath in a home in the Coyoacan district. Although the inexpensive hotel we had planned to stay in would have been $433 for one week, the Airbnb place was $156. Saving over $270 was great since we rarely hang out in the hotel and were excited about staying in a neighborhood.