building, which is the clubhouse and athletic
center of El Cid. Continue east along the road
and view the beautiful homes and well kept
lawns that butt up against the golf course.
We've spent hours walking in this neighbor-
hood. Be warned that there are no service sta-
tions there, so the only bathroom facilities are
on the golf course--and you have to look hard to find them.
--Please note that bullfights were suspended in January
2004 and it is not known if or when they will resume.
Whether or not we agree with the bullfight, you should understand that it
is an important part of Mexican culture. It was brought from Spain to Mexico
City in 1529, and has grown in popularity. The bullring is located on Rafael
Buelna, about a mile from the Golden Zone, and close to Office Depot. The
bullfighting season is usually from Christmas to Easter, on Sundays, and does
not start promptly at 4:00 p.m.
There are a couple things you should know before reading the background
and process of the bullfight. If you have a problem with the sight of blood, or
you are an animal lover, you may want to reconsider whether or not you want
to experience this part of Mexican culture. Secondly, in Mazatlán there are two
prices for tickets: one for Gringos and a less expensive one for Mexicans. Price
ranges from $7 to $25 U.S. Tickets are on sale at a booth near Valentino's. If
you object to paying the higher price, bring a Mexican friend. He can not only
purchase the tickets at a lower price, but also explain the nuances of the bull-
fight as the spectacle unfolds.
There is very little shade in the stadium, but you can pay a higher price for
the shaded area. Something soft to sit on, such as a blanket or cushion, is rec-
ommended. They have cushions for rent at the stadium. Sunscreen, sunglass-
es and a camera are also recommended.
Many Americans view the bullfight as an unfair contest, in which the bull
invariably dies. Mexicans see it much differently. They don't see bullfighting as
a sport, so much as a form of art. They recognize that the bull is bred and
trained to fight, and just as importantly, the people who become matadors can
move from obscurity to international fame.
The pageantry and ceremony is as colorful as a World Cup soccer game. It
has been said that the bullfight or corrida is like a play in three acts. It starts
with a very colorful parade of participants in the ring. When the first bull is
released, he charges out into the ring at top speed, kicking up dirt. Cape men
wave capes in front of the bull and jump behind a wall, while the matador
studies the bull's moves. A trumpet sounds and two Picadores carrying long
Char les A. Hall