In the 1970s I took advantage of days off from classes at the Universidad de las Americas in Cholula to travel around Mexico with family and friends. We were graduate students in art history and archaeology, and that required a stop at nearly every Colonial church and archaeological site. The trips, along with my photos, were pretty much unplanned.
I was seldom without my camera because, for me, the Cholula-Puebla region is one of the most photogenic in Mexico. To the west are the snow capped volcanoes of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl; and scattered throughout the region are small farming villages and, some say, 365 Colonial churches. True or not, the churches are architectural jewels, and a photographic challenge.
Of course, Mexico has many landscapes -- the dry and open spaces of Oaxaca that are reminiscent of Northern California, the damp-steep mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla, the rugged western mountains near Tepic, volcanoes both dormant and ready to erupt, deserts in Northern Mexico and Baja California, the flat limestone plain of Yucatán surrounded by the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and the thick humid tropical rainforest along the Gulf Coast that penetrates inland for hundreds of miles.
Most everywhere you travel in Mexico you are likely to see the remains of an ancient civilization. One of the most spectacular, near Mexico City, is Teotihuacan (popularly known as “The Pyramids”), but equally spectacular are the great cities of the Maya in Yucatán, and those of the Zapotecs and Mixtecs in Oaxaca.
The photos in this book were selected from my Kodachrome transparencies and black-and-white negatives that are now archived by the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. With a few exceptions, they date from the early 1970s, and were taken with a 35mm Leicaflex SL camera using 35mm, 50mm, and 90mm lenses.