Culture

We’ve All Done A Bit Of PDA But Couples In Mexico City Take PDA To A Whole Other Level

Mexico City is dotted with beautiful parks, squares, and plazas, and more often than not, these green respites from the concrete jungle, are filled with couples getting it on.

Whether they’re sharing an innocent peck on the cheek, full-on making out, or often times, even more, Mexico City has long been called the PDA Capital of the World.

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South of the border, the combined forces of crowded housing, conservative fathers, and high school politics have produced extreme PDA.

So basically, if public displays of affection make you uncomfortable, don’t come to Mexico City. Unlike the United States, there’s no room for pearl clutching here. From Mexico City’s Condesa and Roma neighborhoods to colonial Coyoacan and bougie Polanco, making out in public is a virtual rite of passage for high schoolers and young adults.

But why is it that so many intimate moments play out in the open across the avenues and parks of this megalopolis?

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In a teeming metropolis of 21 million people, where rents are high and family is central, it’s common for children to live well into adulthood with their parents and other relatives. So for a romantic moment away from nosy and sometimes culturally conservative relatives, many couples leave the house – and find a little privacy in public.

“There isn’t any space in my house. There’s much more room in the park.”

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In Mexico City’s Parque Mexico, I speak with a number of young Mexicans about why making out on park benches is so popular. I might as well ask them why they are wearing clothes. “Everyone does it. It’s not a bad thing,” one 14-year-old boy says, though he insists he doesn’t participate. “Being seen in public isn’t a concern.”

Alexis Mendoza, 22, puts on a mischievous grin when I ask him about his experience with public fajar – a term commonly used in Mexico for making out, but is literally translated as “to swaddle.” His explanation is one I hear over and over again: “There isn’t any space in my house. There’s much more room in the park.”

Housing statistics back up Mendoza’s point. According to national census data, there are two people for every one-bedroom in an average Mexican household. It’s even more cramped in Mexico City, where there are an average of 2.8 people for every bedroom. In other words, not much privacy. With little personal space for young lovers in a typical Mexican home, parks have become an escape from cramped and inhospitable living quarters.

But is it just the size of Mexican households that’s forcing young couples into the open?

For Jorge, 35, and Eduardo, 26, who recently started dating, downtown Mexico City offers an escape from prying, more traditionalist family members.

On a recent warm afternoon, they sat, lips locked, near a fountain in the Alameda Central, one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful parks. On practically every bench around them, other couples did the same.

The lovefest here is remarkably equal opportunity. Gay, straight, old, young. On weekends, graying couples gather in plazas to sway together to live music. At skate parks, teenagers with face piercings hold one another close.

In the Alameda Central on the recent sunny afternoon, two young men dressed in skinny jeans embraced, before one picked the other up off the ground and into his arms.

Some pointed out that they couldn’t bring anybody back to their home because of one person…

I ask two sisters, Alma and Herminia Martinez, both in their mid-20s, if it would be acceptable for them to bring a boyfriend home. The horror that ripples through their faces suggests this is unquestionably prohibited. “Why not?” I ask. Alma is blunt: “Los papás. They set the rules of the house, and they’re old-fashioned, especially with daughters,” she says. “No bringing boys home.”

It’s still a machismo society, after all. And even if an individual family might not object, the power of gossip when a neighbor sees a young man accompanying a young woman home is not to be underestimated.

Another factor interviewees point to is the simple fact that it doesn’t cost anything to hook up in public. Going to the movies costs money. Cafés cost money. Dinner costs money. Few young people have cars. A park bench, on the other hand, is free.

PDA is so common across Mexico that some cities have started passing laws to regulate it.

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In 2009, the city of Guanajuato passed a law that outlawed some forms of PDA. The law was rejected by so many people that just a few days later the government suspended the new regulations.

The city of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, took a different approach. The city decriminalized all forms of PDA, even public sex, in a bid to protect couples from extortion from local police. Now, police can only cite people if someone makes a complaint.

All this PDA is part of a concept that many people cite as a common Mexican characteristic: doblevida.

a double life. There’s one life you have with your family, and another you have with your friends. Sparkling clean sons at home are rarely as upstanding in the park.

Still, each person I speak with tells me that society is changing. “Everything is more open now. It’s changed muchisimo in the last generation,” Ríos Contreras says. “It’s definitely more acceptable nowadays to bring someone home than before,” though many parents will still employ anti-make-out tactics, like a rule of chiflando y aplaudiendo – mandatory continuous whistling and clapping – when a young couple is in a bedroom.

I ask why things are changing. “The world is opening up,” she says. “The Internet gives kids access to answers to questions they had but didn’t want to ask their parents.”

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Carlos Villagrán Is Running To Be Governor Of Querétaro

Entertainment

Carlos Villagrán Is Running To Be Governor Of Querétaro

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We all remember Carlos Villagrán as Quico from “El Chavo del Ocho.” The actor and Mexican icon is now entering the world of politics. Villagrán is entering the race for governor of Querétaro.

Actor and comedian Carlos Villagrán wants to be governor of Querétaro.

Affectionately known as Quico from “El Chavo del Ocho,” Villagrán is someone we grew up with. Now, decades after his famous role ended, Villagrán is hoping to open a brand new chapter in his life: politics.

“After 50 years of making people laugh, I find myself on another platform, which does me a tremendous honor,” Villagrán said during a press conference after filing paperwork.

Villagrán has been thinking about entering Mexican politics for a while.

It is never easy to decide if you want to become a politician. Your private life is no longer private and everything you do is suddenly under intense scrutiny. Villagrán did take time mulling over the idea before filing his paperwork to be a candidate for governor of Querétaro. He registered under the local Querétaro Independiente Party.

“I can’t say anything, because I still don’t know anyone and I have to talk to people to find out what it is about. So, I could not say anything at this moment,” Villagrán told El Universal when still debating the idea.

Villagrán created a Twitter account after announcing his candidacy and is hitting the talking points hard.

Villagrán’s official Twitter account has only pushed tweets highlighting QiBook. The social media platform is specific to Querétaro and is hoping to foster some economic and commercial success in the state.

Fans around the world are wishing him so much success.

Villagrán character Quico is one of the most celebrated characters in Latin America. The wild success of “El Chavo del Ocho” has made Villagrán a face that people throughout Latin America know and love.

However, some people are not excited to see another entertainer enter politics.

We have seen entertainers become politicians and it isn’t always a good thing. The current governor of Morales is Cuauhtémoc Blanco, a former soccer player, and people are not loving him and his leadership. We will no better about his chances of running on Feb. 8 when things are finalized.

READ: FIFA21 Releasing ‘El Chavo Del Ocho’ Uniforms To Honor The Icon For Limited Time

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One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

Things That Matter

One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

QUETZALLI BLANCO/AFP via Getty Images

Residents of a village in Chiapas, Mexico have become so fed up with their mayor that they decided to do something about it. Eschewing long, bureaucratic legal processes to hold him accountable, residents of a southern Chiapas town decided to hold their mayor accountable for what they said was a public works project so poorly done that it was useless.

A mayor in Chiapas was tied to a tree by his own residents for a job done badly.

Residents from eleven neighborhoods of the Chiapas town Comalapa held their mayor accountable for his inaction on a public works project. According to reports, the residents arrested Mayor Óscar Ramírez Aguilar to a tree in a public area to expose him to the rest of the town. They told the newspaper Diario de Chiapas, that they wanted to expose him for the “bad public servant” that he is and that he shouldn’t be reelected.

The townspeople say the municipal water storage cistern — whose installation they say was a campaign promise — is in such poor condition that it does not comply with water safety requirements. It currently has no water, they said, due to leaks, and the residents accuse the government of merely patching the tank — badly — to stop them.

In a video on social media, residents showed how the concrete patch job is already chipping away and easily crumbles.

“He promised us that this would be a public works project worthy of Comalapa residents, but [this tank is] a farce; the water system doesn’t work well. It’s an old problem that he should have attended to properly and should have been a priority during his administration because he came to see us in our homes with this promise, and now he doesn’t want to live up to it,” a resident told the newspaper.

But the mayor is denying what happened in a social media post.

The mayor though has a totally different version of events. After he was released, Ramírez posted a video on his official social media account to counter the residents’ version of the story.

“They did not tie me up,” he claimed. “The meeting was with 11 representatives of Comalapa neighborhoods in order to agree upon details regarding a major public project, the introduction of potable water.”

However, photographs clearly showed the mayor standing before a tree with his hands behind his back.

Three years ago, another local official suffered a similar fate after allegedly failing to deliver promised funds. He was bound to a post in the the central plaza of Comalapa.

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