Naked Mexicans

Frida Kahlo

They did it again. Naked Mexicans!

Today hundreds of bicyclists rode naked on the Paseo de la Reforma all the way to the Zócalo, the main plaza of Mexico City. They rode naked so that drivers would see them. The government is encouraging more people to go green and ride bicycles, but there aren’t many bike lanes and the drivers don’t respect the cyclists. Most people think of Mexicans as being very conservative, but once again they took off their clothes for a cause. No word on whether or not they wore helmets. Amazingly, I didn’t find any pictures of the bike ride on the Internet.

I remember last year when a photographer wanted to break the Guinness record for the most nude people in a photograph. He succeeded in breaking the record by putting ads in the Mexican newspapers and asking volunteers to come to the Zócalo to pose nude. He easily broke the record!

I forgot to put on my helmet!

Olivia Maciel

Sombra en plata por Olivia Maciel

Olivia Maciel is a poet who was born in Mexico City, but has lived in Chicago a long time. She has written several collections of poetry over the years. She writes poetry in Spanish, but her books include an English translation on the facing page. I recently read two of her collections: Sombra en plata [Shadow in Silver], Chicago, Swan Isle Press, 2005, and  Luna de cal [Limestone Moon], Chicago, Black Swan Press, 2000. All her books are available for purchase on

I first met Olivia in one of my graduate classes at UIC. We took several classes together while earning our masters degrees. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. When Octavio Paz died, she wrote an article about her reactions to his death that appeared in the Chicago Tribune. We occasionally bump into each other at UIC because we are both Spanish lecturers there. I really enjoy talking to her because she’s so creative. Sometimes, she begins writing poems as we speak. She says that I inspire her when we talk. I asked her if she would hire me as her muse.

Viene vestida de viento y perlas.