John Todd Jr. has lived in Veracruz, and enjoys exploring out of the way places in Mexico that most tourists don't get to visit.
Here are some of his stories:
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April 2018
The Mystery of Vanilla:. Why Coke and Pepsi are Different, Found in Papantla, Veracruz.

La China Poblana: The Slave Girl from India Who Brought Color to Mexico.

Lake Catemaco, Eyipantla Falls, and Nanciyaga: Los Tuxtlas, and the Olmecs. Sean Connerys "Medicine Man" wasn´t filmed in Brazil. Not far from Veracruz.

Cotaxtla, Veracruz: Looking for the Final Resting Place of the Ensign Nun. Born in Spain around 1590, Catalina de Erauzu died near Veracruz in 1650. A trip to Cuautinchán, Puebla to explore an abandoned Spanish convent.

San Judas Tadeo: Prayers for Miracles, and to Find a Job: Mexico is a Land of Miracles. Tools for Times when you need Special Help. Also, Letters and Testimonials from Others about their own personal Miracles.
Quiahuiztlán and Villa Rica:
Where Hernán Cortes Landed in 1519
And Founded the Second Veracruz
Chucho el Roto
Popular Books About Veracruz
Chucho el Roto: A Mexican Robin Hood: The 19th Century Legend is still Alive today at the old fort of San Juan de Ulua in Veracruz. (The Second Edition is Now on Sale at San Juan de Ulua!)

The Story of Chucho el Roto
At lot of people go to the Fort of San Juan de Ulua to hear the legend of Chucho El Roto. It's a story of adventure, love, danger, dungeons, and mystery from the 19th century.

Jesús Arriaga, also called "Chucho" was born of a humble family near Puebla, and fell in love with Matilde, the beautiful niece of don Diego de Frizac, a wealthy businessman in Mexico City who owned several haciendas. When Don Diego found out about the affair, he was furious, and had Chucho jailed in the infamous Cárcel de Belén.

After escaping from jail, Chucho became a highway bandit. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, he became a legendary Mexican Robin Hood. more here...
La Bamba
Another Book About Veracruz
The Origin of the Song La Bamba: It´s the story someone told me in Veracruz. (First Edition is Now on Sale at San Juan de Ulua!)

La Bamba: A Song that Started in 1683
When I first heard Ritchie Valens version of "La Bamba", I didn´t know Spanish and had no idea of the meaning of the words. When I found what the words meant, I still didn´t know what they were talking about!

..."Yo no soy marinero,
Yo no soy marinero,
Soy Capitán,
Soy Capitán"...

What could that mean? "I am not a sailor, I am a Captain." ...

Maybe it had something to do with shrimp boats. I didn´t know.I went along with it anyway, because I liked the music. more here...
Silent Spanish Cannons
History and Legends from Old Veracruz
Founded by Hernán Cortés in 1519, walking the streets of old Veracruz is like taking a stroll through a vast outdoor museum, except there aren't many labels or signs to tell you what you are seeing.

Veracruz still has a lot left to be uncovered, and many legends to be tracked down.

Now that I had the time, I decided to set out to discover the truth behind some of the legends I´d heard.
Exploring the Back Roads
Unexpected Adventures in Mexico
Exploring out of the way places in Mexico makes the blood flow faster.

These are Adventures that can only happen in Mexico!

El 16 de Septiembre!
Traditions: An Important Part of Life in Mexico
Mexico is about Fiestas, Food, Fun, Friends, Events, and Faith.

Besides Work, Daily Life in Mexico is about Celebrations, Friends, and Fun.

It´s the Best Part of Life!
Tampico's Oil Boom
Stories from the Old Days in Tampico
Tampico is probably the best place to work and live in all of Mexico. The people are easygoing, courteous and nice, and they drive friendly.

Tampico got going with the oil boom of the early 1900´s. You can still see glimpses of the Golden Age in the older buildings downtown.

Here are some stories written when I lived and worked in Tampico. Also some stories from a gracious lady who lived in Tampico during the Golden Age of the Oil Boom.
Photographs and Short Stories
Photographs are like Postcards to send to friends back home.

Each photo has a unique story to tell. Here are some of my own postcards to family and friends back home.
Music Lifts the Soul
The Sounds of Mexico: Little Vitamins for the Soul
The sights and sounds of Mexico are wonderful. Especially the music! You don´t have to know the meaning of the words. Sometimes it makes you want to shout, to cry, to laugh, or to dance. To be with friends hearing live music is beyond words. If you´ve been there you´ll know what I mean.

These .mpg video clips are like taking little Vitamins for the Soul which will lift your heart and change your day!
A Cruise Ship Arrives!
Organizing Your Own Trip to Veracruz
Veracruz is a lot like old New Orleans. It is a beautiful area and it´s still "undiscovered" by American tourists. It´s safe and fun.

If you are planning a trip to Veracruz, there´s a lot to do and see. Get organized and try to see everything.

There´s a lot more here than just a beach and some palm trees.
Spain: View of Toledo

España: Exploring Spain!

Life is Not measured by the Number of Breaths we take, but by the Places and Moments that take our breath away...and for me, Spain is one of those places.

Backpacking across Spain is the best way to go! From Madrid to Coruña on the Atlantic, to Murcia on the Mediterranean, to Cadiz on the Atlantic, Sevilla, and up to Zaragoza, and finally, the little village of Ágreda.

These are stories of my own trip to Spain, the whole country takes your breath away. (Still under construction)... more here...
Knights Templar
and Other Mysteries
Writing Projects and Other Research
In old Veracruz, there are many stories that are just as interesting as the Da Vinci Code.

Creative writing is a lot of fun. And if you like, it´s where you can fill in the missing pieces yourself.

These are some of the projects I´ve been working on:

The Wreck of the USS Somers near Veracruz and the Knights Templar in Mexico.

Some of the stories may be true. more here...
Waking up in Mexico
About the Author: How it Started.
We Go on Vacation, Señor!
All my life, it seemed like I'd always had a job. When I came back to Veracruz after the last project, I thought it wouldn´t be too long before going back to work.

But, after several months of not finding anything, I asked one of my neighbors, "What do the people of Veracruz do when they can´t find a job?".

"Oh Señor, now you have the Time to enjoy life!," he said with a broad smile. "Vamos a pasear! We go on vacation!"...

After awhile, I realized how fortunate I was. At last, I had Time to enjoy life! more here...

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