Mi Amor

Media reports about Mexico are often negative: criminality, drug cartels, Trump's plan for a wall. Yet Mexico is a modern, multifaceted country that ranges from the desert sands of the north to the dense jungles of the south. Here, people live their cultural differences, which are stamped by the influence of pre-Columbian high cultures as well as Spanish and US-American elements, constructing their own identities in new ways from the material of tradition. Through spectacular aerial views and footage of the natural world, Méxiko Mi Amor showcases a thoroughly modern Mexico.

The three-part series begins in the north of the country, which might be termed the “Unknown Mexico”: characterizing this desert region are spectacular natural landscapes, terrain that is studded with cactuses, green oases, and mountainous national parks. We travel from Chihuahua via Monterrey and Saltillo to La Paz in Baja California, and all the way to the oasis of Mulegé. In the process, we get to know a variety of individuals in prosperous large cities and small locales, as well as in desert oases and mountain regions: singers, glass artists, bartenders, and beer brewers, as well as whale researchers, the residents of oases, and cactus researchers.

At the country’s center, which stretches from the Sierra Madre in the south to the northern border of the plateau of La Huasteca, lies the central arena of pre-Hispanic Mexico: the navel of the Aztec world, splendid colonial towns, gigantic, smoking volcanoes. Here in the heart of the region was the headquarters of the empire, and the scenes of key battles between conquistadors and the indigenous peoples. Occurring during the 16th century were major waves of evangelization, which sought not just to alter belief, but also built on the remains of previous towns and villages, which were now integrated into a new geography. The development of agriculture and mine construction promoted urban growth, making this region one of the wealthiest in cultural and artistic terms in colonial Mexico. In central Mexico, we get to know, among others, modern chefs and their Mexican fusion cuisine, composers of modern mariachi rhythms, opal prospectors who have become businesspeople, tequila distillers, and cliff divers.

Clever people, these tourism developers, who coined the term “The Riviera Maya” for the dreamy, sunny white beaches of the Yucatán and the Caribbean coastline of Mexico. But hidden in the federal states beyond the popular bathing destinations around Cancún are green, semi-dark regions referred to collectively as the “Mundo Maya” – the world of the Maya: mysterious pyramids, temples nestled amidst the rampant vegetation of Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and und Calakmul. Southern Mexico is characterized by the natural paradises of the states of Chiapas and Tabasco, along with the cenotes, natural pits or limestone-line sinkholes filled with warm freshwater, where visitors bathe and dive. Here, great rivers are lined with dense tropical forest, and the highlands of Chiapas shelters a living Mayan culture in the tropical rain forests. Here, in this breathtaking natural setting, we portray – among others – the descendents of the Maya, who revitalize their traditions, making them new and modern: with dragon fruit jam, products of the Melipona bee, and of course, naturally manufactured chewing gum.

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