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Monarchs Should Indeed be Nearby...

October 24, 2013

Dear Friends,
A couple of times this week, we left searching for Monarchs in Angangueo's surroundings. José Alberto, Rosa Isela, Erika, Javier, and I went on our expedition throughout the town driving the nowadays classic VW.

Our results: Thoroughly wet forests with empty trees. Not a Monarch on them yet but, although we cannot assure 100%, our sixth sense as natives of this Hosting Land for Monarchs tells us that they are silently creeping nearby already. It just feels like, smells like, all around. All people speak about it and feel the same.

Our graph recording Monarchs' arrival this week, filled in inside our VW due to the intense rain: Z E R O

To our luck and big need of relieving thirst and hunger in our wet bodies, we ran into one of the trucks selling our typical, delicious, warm-bread every afternoon in our town and its surroundings. We ran towards it and I offered my four colleagues to choose as many pieces as desired to have at home with their parents.

A piece of white bread is only 2 pesos and a sweet piece is only 3 pesos. Nowhere in big cities you would pay so little. In big cities a piece of bread ranges from 6 to even 12-15 pesos. We have a name for each piece of bread: Conchas (Shells), Moños (Buns), Pelucas (Wigs), Tortugas (Turtles), Besos (Kisses), Corbatas (Ties), Moños (Bows), Nueces (Nuts), Bigotes (Whiskers), Bisquets (Biscuits), Chilindrinas, and many, many more.

However, for this time of the year, nothing is better than our delicious "Pan de Muerto." All over México-- from the smallest stand in small towns to the most luxurious bakeries in México City--you will find several weeks before the Day of  the Dead the big, round piece of Pan de Muerto. Bakeries all over México cut down their production of ordinary bread these days, since all Mexican families consume mostly "Pan de Muerto", whose flavor is unique and exclusive for this time of the year.

The cost will range from 7 pesos (price in Angangueo) to 20-30-50 pesos (in the most luxurious bakery in a big city).  The photo shows the two typical styles for "Pan de Muerto" in Angangueo:

1) The typical crown with human bones, which is found right now everywhere in our country

2) The smaller pieces representing a dead body with its arms crossed in front, is an exclusive design in Angangueo for as many years as far back as my family and I can remember.

Meanwhile, we continue to wait for the monarchs and will report more news to you next week.

Warm greetings,  

José Alberto, Rosa Isela, Erika, Javier and Estela
Official Monitores and Local Reporter for Journey North Angangueo, Michoacán, México.

Angangueo, Michoacan, Mexico Map: Location of monarch butterfly overwintering region in Mexico
Located in the mountains near the two largest monarch sanctuaries.
Monarch Wintering Sites
The region in central México where monarchs overwinter.
Monarch sanctuary region of Mexico
Recording in the VW
Monarch sanctuary region of Mexico
The bread truck
Typical Mexican Breads
Typical Mexican Breads
Monarch sanctuary region of Mexico
Pan de Muerto
Monarch sanctuary region of Mexico
Z E R O Monarchs
Monarch sanctuary region of Mexico
Looking for Monarchs