Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Drinking, Mexican-Style

                                                                     Ponche Navideño

The time between the Feast of Guadalupe on December 12 and the arrival of the biblical Three Kings on the Feast of Très Reyes (January 6),has evolved into a non-stop alcohol-fueled fiesta known as the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon.  You can read about this "event'  and its origins at:

If you personally, would like to do some Mexican-style imbibing this holiday season, here are a few recipes to brighten your celebrations.



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Will Guadalupe Be Wearing a Mask?

Normally, the week leading up to December 12, the feast day of Guadalupe, is a beehive of activity in Mexico.  Pilgrims are rushing to her shrine in Mexico City or, where that is not possible, to their home churches.  All must arrive before 12 am the morning for December 12 for the special service dedicated to Guadalupe. 

Many people travel great distances, on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle, car or a combination of these. You can read about this unique and vibrant time in Mexico in this article.

Closed for Business:

                                                        Shrine of Guadalupe, Mexico City, MX

Because of Covid, Holy Week and Dia de los Muertos have been different this year.
Guadaupe's Feast is also going virtual.  In fact, the doors to the Mexico City Shrine of Guadalupe will be closed from December 10-13 to prevent the usual crowds from congregating.   

Since Guadalupe's official shrine will be closed for the holiday, some people are celebrating there on a different date or redefining the meaning of a their pilgrimage there.
 It will be interesting to how Mexicans in other parts of Mexico observe the event.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Dia de los Muertos and the Covid 19 Pandemic

                                                        Market selling items for ofrendas, Oaxaca MX
Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican icon.  The official dates are November 1 and 2, although preparations for the holiday begin earlier in October and in some places, there are observances as late as November 4 or 5. Often, influenced by Halloween, on October 31, people costume and parade publicly and children beg for money and candy.  

The holiday is a blend of pre-hispanic and Roman Catholic beliefs and customs.   Dia de los Muertos is a time when the curtain between the worlds of the living and the dead opens and dead relatives can return to spend time with the living loved ones they left behind. This year, Dia de los Muertos will have a special importance, in view Covid-19 pandemic and the huge number of deaths in Mexico,  As of this writing, over 86,000 people have died from the disease in Mexico.                                         

If Mexico ever needed the comfort that Dia de los Muertos can bring to the bereaved, it is now.Yet, there will be many constraints on observance of the holiday and the normal rituals because of the pandemic.

Typically, there are three levels of observance of Dia de los Muertos in Mexico.  In the home, altars (ofrendas) are made for the dead, with the foods enjoyed by the deceased.  There are also more ofrendas in places like businesses, churches and other public venues. 

                                                            Ofrenda, Oaxaca MX

                                                      Decorated Gravesite, Oaxaca MX 

Then, there is the custom of beautifully decorating graves with traditional flowers such as marigolds, foods and candles.  Families gather in cemeteries to decorate the graves and spend time remembering and mourning the deceased. 

Observances in Cemeteries (Pantéons)

 The most beautiful observances of Dia de los Muertos are found in the cemeteries, or pantéons, in Spanish.  Oaxaca is famous for beautiful and moving night-time Dia de los Muertos celebrations.  In these photos, families gathering to grieve together, and spend time with deceased members. These cemeteries have become popular tourist attractions.

Dia de los Muertos, cemetery of Xoxotlan, Oaxaca

Dia de los Muertos, cemetery of Xoxotlan, Oaxaca

                                                         Dia de los Muertos, Oaxaca

Dia de los Muertos, Oaxaca

Oaxaca has officially cancelled all public Dia de los Muertos events. 
This is a tremendous loss to the Oaxaca's tourism as well as its people.  As you can see in the photos, flowers, marigolds in particular, play an important role in decorating for Dia de los Muertos; sales of these flowers are down 50% this year in Mexico.  There is no online information about any virtual activities as there are in other places such as Mexico City.

Will Public Observances of Dia de los Muertos be allowed?

The very thing that makes Dia de los Muertos special, is the gathering of people in cemeteries to spend time with their beloved dead, as in the photos above.  This gathering of people in collective grief, is important to people, but is complicated by the health risks of public gatherings because of the pandemic.

The Mexican government has come up with measures to try and deal with this difficult situation. In many places, cemeteries will simply be locked November 1 and 2 to prevent the traditional gatherings. In Mexico City, the cemeteries will definitely be closed.  By some reports,  authorities have decided is to make decisions about cemeteries closures based on the covid situation from area to area.  Where the pandemic is more under control, cemeteries will be allowed to open with strict health measures in place.  In other places, with a higher active covid case count such as Mexico City cemeteries will remain closed. Since the covid situation in Mexico is fluid, some decisions likely won't be made until closer to the holiday.  If you read Spanish, here is article describing the details:

In some places, time-honored traditions are being adapted to the needs of the pandemic, as in this Dia de los Muertos candy market in Toluca MX.

Mexico City has adapted a number of it's traditional Dia de los Muertos events in inventive ways. One event, its parade, will be purely virtual, but other events will be held but include safety measures like social distancing and reservations.

A contact in Chiapas has told me that most celebrations will be private and that most of the cemeteries will remain closed except in very small towns.

Often, on the holiday,  people being painted  to resemble skeletons (Catarinas).  There is a long tradition of doing this and one Mexican artist who specializes in this activity plans to keep the tradition this year with some modifications.

Virtual Dia de los Muertos:

In view of the pandemic, many areas are creating virtual celebrations, just as they did with Semana Santa events.  

Mexico City plans to do its annual  Dia de los Muertos Procession as a virtual event.

Here is a video of a virtual celebration taking place in the Xochimilco area of Mexico City. tl-dia-de-muertos-de-mexico-se-adapta-a-la-pandemia/

There are two types of altars created for Dia de los Muertos.  There are those that are made within the home for a family and those that are in public spaces.  This year, in Mexico City there will be no public altars around which crowds would be sure to gather, but altars will be virtual. 

I will be adding information about virtual celebrations as it becomes available.

A Look at Traditional Dia de los Muertos:

For a look at traditional Dia de los Muertos celebrations, I invite you to click on this link, which leads to an article showing pre-pandemic celebrations from different areas of Mexico.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Covid19 Update

Covid Case Map as of July 17, 2020 /Mexico News Daily
The Covid-19 epidemic has been difficult to get under control throughout Mexico, although some areas are more hard-hit than others.    Tourist areas such as Quintana Roo's Rivera Maya say they are safe for tourism, with special readiness certification available to businesses. However this area, among others, has just been returned to the highest level of Covid alert (red).

In some locales where tourism is again permitted, authorities are enforcing compliance with safety guidelines. Recently, in San Miguel d'Allende two tourists were arrested and fined for not wearing masks.

There are online resources available to people seriously interested in Mexican travel.
Mexico News Daily is an online daily newspaper that is available for a very low subscription fee and offers detailed information about the covid situation in Mexico.

Another good source is the English language Yucatan Times, which seems to offer a fair perspective on the Covid situation as reflected in the following article-  But, any one periodical does not have the entire story and in contrast to this, is another article about a creative solution to in-person worship.

 Mexico is a wonderful country, but right now travel there is uncertain and definitely at your own risk. The situation there is fluid.  For instance, in the state of Oaxaca, the governor has just asked citizens to undertake a ten day voluntary confinement. In Juchitán in the south of the Oaxaca, there has been a mandatory five day shut-down of businesses which may be extended .   Using online resources to assess the situation on the ground is a good way of watching and waiting until the situation seems improved. It's a good idea to check the US Embassy's website for travel restrictions before booking a flight.


Monday, June 1, 2020

Is It Safe to Go to Mexico? Covid19

Covid-19 Map of Mexico as of 5/27/20

There is so much to see and experience in Mexico, but right now this wonderful country is off-limits for tourism.  Quintana Roo's beautiful Caribbean beaches are empty, markets are shut down, indigenous villages have blocked themselves off from the outside world for self-preservation and many, many other changes.

Akumal, Quintana Roo, MX

Othón P. Blanco, Quintana Roo MX
Crafts from Coba, Quintana Roo

Health-care in Mexico is much more limited than in the US and Western Europe.
In places like Mexico City there are first-rate doctors and medical facilities, but these are limited in number and many hospitals are over-crowded and not able to care for the volume of covid-19 cases they have been seeing. 

The situation is worst in rural areas, where the nearest health-care facility may be many miles away.  Some small communities have taken this situation in hand and, literally, sealed themselves off from the outer world.  This article tells of many small Maya communities in the Mexican states of Campeche have managed the pandemic.

Throughout Mexico, many small communities have sealed themselves off with roadblocks.

Urban centers such as Mexico City have very high rates of the infection and even though first-rate hospitals do exist there, there is not enough quality treatment to go around. 

There are some plans to re-open, at least part of the country.  Here is a brief overview-
There will be a phased re-opening as in the US, with resorts/beach areas among the first to open.  June 8-10 is a target date for the state of Quintana Roo, home to Mexico's Caribbean beaches.  However, this is just a target and it could change with conditions.  The June 8 date is just the beginning of the process of reopening. But on June 8, it will not be business as usual.

When you read Mexico's re-opening plan it is a very cautious one.  Moving from one phase to another will take time.

When you get there, do not expect the free-wheeling Mexico you once knew.  This article lays out opening steps in San Miguel de Allende, a wonderful art-filled colonial city and popular spot for tourists.  San Miguel has done well in the pandemic with low cases and deaths and hopes to keep it that way.  Their timetable for fully opening to tourism show that it will take a while.

The US is not permitting travel for tourism until June 22, so even if some beaches might technically be "open", they are not open for US citizens. This article from Forbes has a clear analysis of the situation-

Even when the country is more fully open, it is best not to rush into a Mexican vacation unless you are the type who can roll with the punches and are not on a strict time table.  The situation is fluid and it's hard to say when there might be a quarantine or something like that imposed.  During the pandemic flights from Mexico to the US have been subject to change and cancellation and you don't want to be delayed if you have important business to return to in the US.  If you have your heart set on visiting Mexico, keep doing your research and you will find guidelines that will make your vacation a great one. 

This blog will publish major milestones in Mexico's re-opening. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Epidemics in Colonial Mexico

Portrayal of Epidemic Colonial Mexico

Although feels like it, Covid19 is not the first pandemic the world has ever known. Everyone has heard of the Black Death and Spanish Flu of 1917-8, but there were also major epidemics in the New World, far before any of us were born.

Epidemics and Population Collapse in Colonial Mexico

When the Spanish arrived in Mexico in 1619, its population is estimated to have been between 15-30 million.  One hundred years later, in 1620, it was less than two million.  The indigenous population had the Spanish to thank for this huge reduction in population.  The Spanish had superior firepower, but it was the smallpox that they had brought with them that facilitated their conquest of the native peoples.  It is estimated that 5-8 million people died in the smallpox epidemic.

Depiction of Smallpox Epidemic in Colonial Mexico

Smallpox was what is know as a Virgin Soil epidemic, referring to an imported pathogen to which a population has no natural immunity.  The indigenous people were devastated by smallpox, a disease to which the Spanish largely had immunity.  

Depiction of Cocoliztli Epidemic

Smallpox was not the only disease decimating the indigenous population in the early 
years.  A completely new disease appeared seemingly from nowhere mid-16th century. From 1545-76, there were a series of epidemics of a hemorrhagic fever that took 7-17 million lives. This disease was characterized by a high fever, headache and bleeding from the nose. Victims turned yellow from jaundice, and blood ran from their ears and noses. They had hallucinations and agonizing convulsions. They died in days. Aztecs called it the cocoliztli, meaning pestilence in the local Nahuatl language.

Colonial writers mention rodents and rodent-borne disease in relation to this epidemic.  But, a recent DNA study of victims' teeth suggest that a bacteria, salmonella enterica, (not the everyday kind of salmonella that causes food poisoning) may possibly have been the culprit.  

There is no certainty about where this pathogen originated. Some scientists judge it must have sprung up on its own in Mexico because the epidemics began in the highlands, away from the coastal areas with the greatest Spanish presence.  Others suggest that this bacteria was brought by the settlers or their livestock.  It is not possible, as with Smallpox, to absolutely implicate the Spanish in cocoliztli, although the possibility cannot be ruled-out. 

The most devastating years of the Cocoliztli epidemic were 1567-8 when more than two million people died.  The Spanish viceroy was forced to write off taxes and duties which were not possible to collect.  I rather doubt that this type of thing will be a part of the covid19 pandemic.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Video of a Very Mexican Holy Saturday Vigil: Merida, Yucatan

Cristo Resucitado (Resurrected Christ),  Merida MX
Cristo Resucitado (Resurrected Christ), Merida MX
The biblical narrative does not have much to say about what went on inside of Jesus' tomb; by the next morning he simply reappears in his resurrected state,.  In Latin America, much is made over the transition of Jesus from death to resurrected life and there is often a service late Holy Saturday night that celebrates this event.  Here is a link to a video of one such service.  It was shot in Merida MX and what happens in the vigil service will surprise you as much as it did me.

Video of Holy Saturday Procession: San Felipe de Jesus, Antigua, Guatemala

Add caption
The Semana Santa processions of Antigua, Guatemala are world-famous and rival those of Seville.  In the progression of Holy Week, by Saturday Jesus has been crucified and his mother and disciples are grieving their loss.  In this Holy Saturday procession, shot on location in Antigua, the focus is on the Virgen de Dolores (Virgin of Sorrows), the grieving Mary, who is clad in the colors of mourning.  Here is a link to the video.

Virtual Semana Santa 2020

Add caption

In this time of the Covid19 pandemic, many, if not most,  Latin American Catholic archdioceses have cancelled the traditional processions and activities.  A glance at the internet reveals a multitude of virtual offerings, showing the capacity of spiritual institutions to adapt to the necessities of the times. 

The Church in Merida, Yucatan MX has assembled a phenomenal website with offerings from the cofradias (religious organizations) that normally have processions during Semana Santa. It is comprehensive and, although it is in Spanish, will give you a sense of this unique week.

I came across another comprehensive website offering virtual tours of the churches of Peru.
It's worth a look.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Good Friday in Latin America: Santo Entierro

Santo Entierro, Leon Nicaragua
Santo Entierro, Mani, Yucatan MX

Santo Entierro borne in procession, Barrio Sutiava, Leon Nicaragua

In Spain and the Latin American world, Good Friday is a different story.  Celebrations in the US and the larger part of Western Europe follow the biblical narrative where Jesus for the time being disappears after his crucifixion and death.  In Latin America, this is far from the case. After his death, a statue of Jesus is put into a glass coffin, (as shown in above images), left there for believers to mourn, and later carried around town in a solemn procession. This image of Jesus in a coffin has a name, Cristo Entierro or Señor Sepultado.  

To many believers, this death and entombment of Jesus is a reality, not just an enactment.   In some churches, where the service includes an actual crucifixion (with the statue being put on a cross), people will afterwards get up and take pictures of Jesus being moved into the coffin.  The line between person and image is blurred.

On Good Friday evening, there is often a procession with floats bearing images of the grieving Mary and the coffin of Jesus.  People in the crowd will weep. Below is an excerpt from a Good Friday procession in Leon, Nicaragua.


The Jesus of Holy Week is much more complexly imagined in Latin America (and Spain).   There are several different images of Jesus that figure in Holy Week observances. Here is a link to a post describing these:

Below is an excerpt from a Good Friday mid-day procession in Leon, Nicaragua, showing the image of Jesus on the way to his crucifixion.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Flagellants of Holy Week: Nandaime, Nicaragua

Medieval Flagellants
In Medieval Spain, as elsewhere, self-flagellation during the period of Lent and Holy Week was a fairly common self-purification practice.  The idea was to drive sin from the body through beating it.  This is still practiced in places, but one of the most interesting variants is found in a little Nicaraguan town called Nandaime on Wednesday of Semana Santa (Holy Week).  Here, the custom is stood on its head with procession participants using their whips and sticks to beat onlookers in a very structured, reasonably safe half-hour event.  

A video I shot on-location in Nandaime a few years ago, shows this unique interpretation of Medieval customs.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Central America: a Collection

Sawdust Carpet,  Antigua Guatemala
Semana Santa (Holy Week) in the Latin American world is a visual spectacle. The processions and customs are magnificent and although they are sacred to Christian believers, belief is not a requirement for participation. 

Because of this year's Covid19 pandemic, Semana Santa observances will be different, cancelled in some places, limited in others, and in others, unchanged.  The motherland, Spain, is on lock-down and so its elaborate processions are cancelled.  In Antigua Guatemala, the famous sawdust carpets will not be built, although some families will be able to make small carpets outside of their homes.  

For a virtual tour of some of Central America's most famous and magnificent Semana Santa events, here are links to pieces and videos I have done in past years.  

Antigua Guatemala's famous sawdust carpets:   

Video of these carpets: 

Videos of several Holy Week Processions in Antigua, Guatemala: videos of several Holy Week processions

Antigua Guatemala processions

Article about a unique Holy Wednesday custom in Nandaime, Nicaragua.

The beautiful "Huertas" of Nicaragua:

The Sawdust Carpets of Sutiava (Leon) NIcaraga:
carpets of Sutiava Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua's one-of-a-kind Via Crucis Aquatic, a procession done in boats on Lake Nicaragua. There is nothing else like it on earth.

An overview of the beautiful Holy Week events in Nicaragua:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Jeweler to the Divine

Calle La Ronda, Quito, Ecuador
When, while walking down Quito's short Calle La Ronda, you hear the clinking of someone hammering metal, you have reached the studio Germán Campos Alarcon.  He is an orfebre, what in English we would call a metalsmith, and a very famous one at that. 

Germán Campos Alarcon, Orfebre
Señor Campos is a famous man in Quito.  Many tourists and locals buy his jewelry, but you will also find his clients in the very oldest, most historic churches of this colonial city.

In the Latin American world, it is customary to adorn statues of Jesus, Mary and the saints with gold or silver accessories to convey their divinity.   The gold crown-like ornament on this Holy Week image in Merida, MX is a physical representation of Jesus' spiritual powers, his holiness.

Jesus Nazareno, Holy Week Merida, MX
Puebla's Señora de los Remedios wears a crown, showing her position as Queen of Heaven and halo.
Figure of Señora de los Remedios, Puebla, MX
These figures are displayed for public adoration during Holy Week in Granada, Nicaragua.

Holy Week Figures, Granada, Nicaragua

Sr. Campos' busy studio is full of examples of his diverse work. 

Studio of Germán Campos Alarcon, Quito Ecuador

Studio of Germán Campos Alarcon, Quito Ecuador
Studio of Germán Campos Alarcon, Quito Ecuador
Studio of Germán Campos Alarcon

He does not only traditional Spanish Colonial-style metalwork, but is also known for his reproductions of pre-Columbian Ecuadoran artifacts.
Germán Campos Alarcon at work in his studio, Quito Ecuador

Making these beautiful objects is a complex process, as you might guess from the array of tools on his work table. Here are some wonderful videos that show Sr. Campos at work. You will see a master's hands transforming metal into objects of dazzling beauty and spiritual depth.

Monday, January 13, 2020

A 20th Century Institution: the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon

Illuminated Guadalupe, Akumal MX
It's a rare opportunity to actually be able to observe the start of a new holiday since most religious holidays have their origins somewhere in the distant, mythic past, But not the case with this one, the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon.

Mexican Promotional Poster for Guadalupe Reyes Marathon

The Guadalupe Reyes Marathon is not a religious holiday per se, but rather ties existing holidays in a new way.   Guadalupe Reyes came into being in the 1990's as a pop-culture event.  Someone saw the fun and profit in turning merging the independent end-of-the-year celebrations into one nonstop alcohol-fueled fiesta.  Something like this was probably already happening and advertisers saw the potential profit in it. The key idea of the marathon is to drink some form of alcohol every day of the event, which runs through December 12, the Feast of Guadalupe to January 6, Dia de Los Reyes and then further onto Candelaria (February 2).   Bars do a brisk business during this time period and the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon is heavily promoted by Mexican tourism.

The Feast of Guadalupe

Novena for Guadalupe, Akumal MX

Altar at the Guadalupe Mass, December 12, Akumal MX

The Marathon begins with the Feast of Guadalupe, technically December 12  but with celebration ongoing for about a week before the actual date. Please refer to this link for a broader discussion of the beautiful ways in which this holiday is celebrated.

Below are photos of pilgrims on their journey for Guadalupe this past December.

Group of pilgrims near Tulum, MX
Solo Pilgrim near Tulum, MX
Pilgrim running near Tulum, MX
These photos above are of the personal pilgrimages people begin to undertake some time before December 11 to reach the actual Shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico City, if possible or to their home churches by that date in time for the 11 pm Mass. These are undertaken to fulfill "promesas" to Guadalupe, offerings made in turn for a something granted by her.  This link offers a closer look at these pilgrimages.

The Feast of Guadalupe does not end with the early morning religious service on December 12.  The partying continues throughout the day and although I did not know it at the time,  the folks in these trucks were among the many Mexicans starting the Guadalupe Reyes Marathon. 

Pilgrims after Guadalupe's Mass, December 12 Akumal,MX
Pilgrims after Guadalupe's Mass, December 12, Akumal,MX

Having a Christmas tree next to your statue of Guadalupe is a typical thing to do in Mexico.

Akumal, MX

The Posadas

Although the "posadas", the big Christmas celebrations, typically happen between December 16 and 24, they can begin sooner.  As I drove down a Quintana Roo highway, this past December 9th, I saw a huge of taxis parked along the side the highway.  

Parking for the Posada at the Sindicato de Taxistas, Playa del Carmen, MX
Parking for the Posada, Sindicato de Taxistas, Playa del Carmen, MX
Curious, I doubled back and went in to see what was going on. It was the annual posada for the Sindicato des Taxistas (taxi union) for drivers, other employees and their families. I couldn't go in, but there was a fiesta going on complete with rides for the kids.

This painting by famed Mexican painter Diego Rivera, shows a posada. Here the revelers are breaking a piñata, which is typically filled with sweets.

Posada by Diego Rivera

Here, two women are in the lengthy process of making a piñata for a posada. Piñatas are a year-round staple for Mexican parties, but the ones for Christmas are made to represent stars.  These women are going through the length process of covering the paper mâché 
base with decorative paper.

Women building a Piñata, Akumal MX
Piñatas and other decorations, Playa del Carmen, MX


Christmas Decorations Center of Playa del Carmen, MX

Christmas is a time for celebration with family and friends.  There is a mass and dinner Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) and some gifts are given at this time. Christmas Day itself tends to be quiet.

Dia de Los Reyes

Manger, Playa del Carmen, MX
The Three Kings arrive at the Manger, Playa del Carmen, MX

With Christmas and New Years Eve over the Marathon heads to  Dia de Los Reyes, which marks the arrival of the Three Kings to visit baby Jesus. This is the time when children receive most of their gifts, in remembrance of the gifts that the kings brought Jesus, and adults exchange gifts with each other. 

Rosca de Reyes in Mexican grocery store
Rosca de Reyes
These unique cakes are made for Dia de los Reyes and are called "rosca de reyes".  Inside of each of this cakes is hidden a small figure representing baby Jesus.  Cakes similar to this are found throughout Catholic Europe and the tradition of these cakes began in France or Spain sometime in the Middle Ages.

These cakes link Dia de los Reyes with the February 2 Feast of Candelaria, which commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple and the Purification of the Virgin Mary.  The tradition is that whoever finds the baby in the Rosca is blessed, brings the figure to the church service on February 2 and is responsible for hosting a party for everyone that day.  Although Candelaria is not an official part of the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon, the celebrating often keeps going until then.

Guadalupe-Reyes Today

Promoting Guadalupe-Reyes
The end of the year is a time of intensive celebration in many countries and Latin America seems to have a special flair for celebration.   Through the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon, this long period of partying, drinking and celebrating has become a cultural institution with an independent identity and life of its own. 

Partly because of the drinking, there is a rise in traffic deaths in Mexico during the Marathon, although not all of it is attributed to the excessive alcohol consumption.  

Nowadays there are two sides to Guadalupe-Reyes. One focuses on the traditional goal of excessive alcohol consumption and partying, as in this humorous ad showing Lucha Libre wrestlers struggling to get to the end of the Marathon.

Getting to the Finish Line of the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon
On the other hand, there is also a trend to awareness of the dangers of excessive alcohol and food consumption that are a part of the Marathon.

The Health Hazards of Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon, Mexico
The dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, Mexico