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Best of 2001: Upgrades and innovations. (Mexico on the Web).

Each year Mexico on the Web pays tribute to innovative sites. Our five-star rating rewards content-rich sites worth a bookmark. While dot-com enterprises tanked by the dozens, quite a few sites upgraded both content and layout last year. We pay our respects to the best sites of 2001.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ECOLOGY

www.ine.gob.mx

buzonvs@semarnat.gob.mx

*****(out of five *'s)

Part of the Environment Secretariat (Semarnat), the Instituto Nacional de Ecologia (INE) has long been at the vanguard of environmental communication in Mexico. This is perhaps the most reader-friendly secretariat in Mexico. INE publishes its own books--in print and online--www.semarnat.gob.mx/vs/public.shtml. Most of the site is in Spanish, but the more popular references have been translated into English. Examples include Environmental Indicator Concepts, found at www.ine.gob.mx/dggia/indicadores/ingles/index.html. The home page documents a choice few environmental issues in the news, such as the cancelled tourism development project at Xcacel-Xcacelito--www.ine.gob.mx/dgoeia/impacto/sad/mapas2000/qroo/in dex.html--and the environmental criteria behind the selection of the Mexico City airport site--www.ine.gob.mx/aero/index.html. For anyone following environmental business or conservation issues, this site is required reading.

CENTRO HISTORICO

www.centrohistoricodf.com.mx

contacto@centrohistoricodf.com

*****

Mexico's 750-year-old capital receives top billing on this tri-lingual (English, French and Spanish) website. Engaging features provide background and visitor tips to landmarks dating back to the Aztec empire. Stellar attractions such as the Templo Mayor, Bellas Artes and Latin American Tower are not only described, but they are shown in real-time video. This site has been around for several years, but it took a great leap forward in 2001.

Whether you live in Mexico City, have fond memories or future travel plans, this site shows the Centro Historico in all its glory.

MANOS DE OAXACA

www.manos-de-oaxaca.com

mindling@foothill.net

*****

This site pays homage to the artisans and traditional handicrafts in the state of Oaxaca. Focusing on potters-www.manos-de-oaxaca.com/intro.htm--and to a lesser degree on weavers, Manos de Oaxaca is one of those rare businesses that understands the need to educate the consumer before making a sale! The site is hosted by U. S. ex-pat Eric Mindling who has created an adventurous life in Oaxaca by exporting traditional wares.

MEXICAN WAVE

www.mexicanwave.com

mindling@foothill.net

info@mexicanwave.com

*****

This UK portal to Mexico is one of the best overall English-language introductions to Mexico travel, business and culture. The Sunday Times of London calls this one of the "Top 10 Cool Travel Sites," and it is well-deserved praise. Complementing the features and calendar is an interactive reader forum--www.simplymexico.com/forums/custom/mexicanwave. For those interested in Mexican culture in England, be sure to check out details about Mexiclore on the "Partnerships" page--www.mexicanwave.com/corporate/partnerships.asp.

OTHER TOP CONTENDERS:

Narco News

www.narconews.com

This may be one of the ugliest sites on the Web. Its black background and primary school color text is simply gaudy. This site foregoes visual attractiveness in favor of reporting on the backroom deals in the ongoing "War on Drugs." Narco News calls to mind the passion and energy of the underground press of the '60s and '70s. It is also quite aggressive in its reporting, which is why the publisher was taken to court this summer!

The News

www.thenewsmexico.com

Mexico City's daily English-language paper reformatted its website this year. The change was worth the wait! Politically conservative, it's the "Ying" to the Narco News' "Yang." Drawbacks: archives remain limited and many features from the print version don't make it over the digital divide.

Ron Mader is the host of the popular Planeta.com website, www.planeta.com, which features environmental news and travel information. Ron is also the author of the guidebook Mexco: Adventures in Nature.
COPYRIGHT 2001 American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico A.C.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Mader, Ron
Publication:Business Mexico
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:646
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