Culture

We Wanted To Find Out What We Could Buy In Mexico With Just $10, Here’s What We Found Out

So I’ve been living in Mexico for about two years and am totally prepared to answer that question. How far will a dollar get you? Or in this case, what can you buy with $10 when traveling in Mexico?

The exchange rate is currently at about 19 to 1 at the time of this writing, but that doesn’t mean you can buy 19 of whoever we could buy with one dollar. Likewise, just because a beer costs $7 USD in the US, doesn’t mean the equivalent priced beer in Mexico would be any good. Many people don’t quite understand just how exchange rates work and when they come to Mexico just how far their dollar will take them.

With $10 USD, you could eat 13 finger licking good tacos that would make your abuela proud.

Credit: spicesinmydna.com

Yes, you’re reading that right- for one crisp, well, Hamilton ($10 bill) you can buy about 14 tacos. That’s less than a dollar per taco! There are many places in the States that have no shame in charging $5 each! Except for these taco’s are damn good. These aren’t your typical taco-kit taco’s. And Taco Bell is literally dog food next to these. It’s no exaggeration when people say, “Until you’ve tried a taco in Mexico, you’ve never tried a taco.” These things are finger-lickin’ good. I’ll take three, please! And for about $2 USD, we are full and happy.

Then you could wash down all those tacos with 8 bottles of Mexican cerveza.

Credit: GrupoModelo

Obviously, beer is popular with loads of people visiting Mexico and you’ll be happy to hear your $10 could get you a pretty good buzz (obviously we don’t condone drunk driving and please drink responsibly.) At many casual bars you’ll find national brands (think Corona, Indio, Tecate, Pacifico) for about $1.25 USD. If it’s a Thursday, hit up a Chili’s restaurant (yes, that Chilis) and get them 2×1!

If craft brews are more your thing, order a cerveza artesenal. Even with just $10 USD you’ll be able to get about two of them, whereas in the States you’d easily pay $10 just for one.

Are you more of a cocktail kinda type than a chela type? Enjoy at least 2 cocktails with your $10 USD.

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Few places will charge you more than $100 pesos (or about $5 USD) per cocktail. Whether you want a gin & tonic, vodka OJ, vodka cran, whiskey ginger, Long Island ice tea, or a sex on the beach, you’ll be able to drink em all.

Now if you go to a mercado or even a Seven (that’s 7-11), you can buy that bottle of liquor and a mixer for just about your entire $10 USD. And how many cocktails does that get you…?

With Mexico’s heat it’s important to stay hydrated. Thankfully, that’s pretty cheap to do.

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There’s a common misconception that Coca Cola is often cheaper than water. I haven’t seen that yet but it’s often pretty damn close.

With your $10 USD you’d be able to buy 18 regular bottles of water or 17 bottles of Coca Cola. See…pretty damn close.

Not into tacos? Don’t drink? Here are some other things to stuff your belly with on just $10 USD.

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Tortas de chilaquiles? Ever tried one? If not, search for one right now. Stop what you’re doing and run. These things changed my life and are worth every pesito, or in our case, penny.

On the streets of Mexico City, you can find some of the best tortas de chilaquiles for about $2.50 – meaning you could buy a family of four a mouthwatering breakfast with your $10 USD.

Maybe you’re more of an esquites or elote kinda person? Then you’re in luck. Across the country you’d be able to scarf down at least five cups of elotes or chomp on at least six elotes – all for $10 USD.

Ok, so we’ve eaten and drank enough. Let’s talk stuff to do! Take your novio/novia to the movie theatre and splurge on palomitas all for $10 USD.

Credit: @cinepolis / Twitter

Going out to the movies is insanely popular in Mexico and largely because it’s so affordable. You won’t have to spend more than $4 USD per ticket at any of the major movie chains (unless you’re into that bougie VIP-style stuff) and a popcorn – of which there are many many many options – is a whopping $2 bucks. The perfect date night for just $10 USD.

But wait…you gotta get looking all sorts of cute for that hot date. All you need is that $10!

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Nails done? Yup, you can have them done twice for $10 USD. Estéticas are all over the country doing up nails for just $5 a pop.

Hair did? For women, $10 USD might be pushing it but you can definitely have at least a trim. For men, you can visit a totally hipster barber shop and have that beard trimmed or that hair did and still have enough left for a good tip.

Pedicure? Be prepared to say goodbye to that entire $10 bill but come on, $10 for a pedicure, I ain’t mad about it.

OK…now wait. Can I take an Uber to my date at the movies?

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Uber is definitely the most expensive way to move around Mexico but it’s dirt cheap compared to prices in the US. You can easily get both to and from your date at the movies for less than $10 USD.

Prefer to save as many coins as possible? Take the CDMX Metro 40 times with your $10 USD.

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Yea, it’s true. Mexico City is home to one of the world’s cheapest Metro systems. For just $5 pesos (about 25¢ USD) you can take a ride throughout the entire system. And it’s a giant system – second biggest in the Western Hemisphere and one of the world’s busiest.

What about keeping in touch? Don’t worry. A month’s long phone plan can be yours for roughly $10 USD.

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Companies like AT&T and Telcel all offer Pay-As-You-Go plans, so you can spend as little or as much as you need. With just $10 you can get a month’s worth of unlimited calling, texting, and social media plus 2 gigs of high-speed data. Not bad right?

Wanna take a day trip somewhere? Your crisp $10 bill is all you need.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Museums across Mexico – even major tourist attractions like Teotihuacán and Chichén Itzá – aren’t expensive. You and a friend can easily get in on $10 USD and still have a few left over for souvenirs.

From 14 tacos to 40 rides on the Metro or an entire date night at the movies, $10 USD (about $200 pesos) will get you pretty far south of the border in Mexico.

500 Years After The Conquest Of Mexico Began, Descendants Of Both Cortes And Moctezuma Meet

Things That Matter

500 Years After The Conquest Of Mexico Began, Descendants Of Both Cortes And Moctezuma Meet

The scars of the Spanish colonization of what is now known as Mexico are still fresh in the racial, social and political relationships that shape the Latin American country. Current president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has continuously demanded Spain and the Catholic Church to apologize for the many crimes perpetuated against indigenous populations during La Conquista and La Colonia, periods in which the European colonizers imposed their will by brute force, enslaving the original owners of the land.

A recent event brought together two of the direct descendants of the Spanish conqueror, Hernan Cortes, and the conquered Aztec emperor, Moctezuma. The meet up was organized by filmmaker Miguel Gleason, who is making a documentary about the conquest. They met at a church were Cortes is buried. 

Yes, it has been 500 years since Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire, fell, but the episode still resonates with today’s Mexicans.

Contrary to other countries that were born out of European invasions, such as New Zealand, the indigenous population in Mexico has not been fully assimilated into political life, and many decisions are made for them in the higher echelons of power.

The story of the conquest is still seen as an us versus them, and even for Mexicans who are casually racist against indigenous people on an everyday basis there is a tinge of historical resentment against the Spanish.

It is important to point out that the Conquista was brutal: it was not the joyous founding of a new country, but a bloodshed that saw the indigenous population wiped out by guns and diseases such as smallpox for which they had no antibodies. It was cruel. To add insult to injury, they were also conquered ideologically and religiously by envoys from the Catholic Church that were hand in hand with the Spanish Crown. 

Un abrazo that is worth a thousand words… but are they empty words?

With much fanfare, surrounded by cameras and reporters, two men shared an embrace 500 years after their ancestors first met in 1519 and changed the history of the world.

Federico Acosta, a Mexican man whose family is directed down 16 generations to the daughter of Moctezuma, met with Ascanio Pignatelli, an Italian citizen related to Cortés’ daughter. Pignatelli’s family held one of  the conquistador’s noble titles, but sold it over 150 years ago. This was a heartfelt moment, but perhaps is was too naive. The event was covered by the Mexican and international media, but one should wonder the impact it could really have beyond the wow factor. Acosta said: “It’s not that there were good people and bad people. It’s that, that’s the way things were done”. Excuse us? 

This was a tender media moment, and it is an ideal scenario in terms of reconciliation. But how much can an act like this actually mean?

Pignatelli told Acosta: “I want to ask your forgiveness for all the bad things that happened. We need to leave the past behind us. Today is a day for leaving all the bad things in the past”.

This apology sounds all fine and dandy, but what does it mean for today’s world?

Acosta said: “We are the fusion of two cultures, the European and ours. We are the result of that meeting, the vast majority of us have Spanish and Mexican blood”.

And what Acosta said is true. Today’s Mexico is made up of a melange of heritages that extends far beyond Spain and the Aztec Empire. On the indigenous side there is Olmec, Mixtec, Maya, Tarahumara and many, many other ethnic groups that are often forgotten and still live under precarious conditions, akin to colonial times. On the European side, there have been German, French, Portuguese, European Jewish and all sorts of migrations. So Mexican identity is much more than an Aztec/Spanish dichotomy. 

Now AMLO is asking for an apology… again.

Pignatelli’s apology is something that the current Mexican president AMLO would like to hear from the Spanish Crown. His government’s ideology is based on a look into history and the many debts accumulated towards the marginal sectors of Mexican society. Among them, of course, are indigenous Mexicans.

He said: “I still ask the king of Spain and Pope Francis, humbly, that they apologize for the abuses committed during the conquest and the colonial domination”. This would be a merely symbolic act, as economic elites dominate the country regardless, oftentimes, of race.

Also, this view perpetuates the us vs them political imaginary that perhaps ends up not being very productive at all. But then again, AMLO’s ideological postulates are based on a revisionist approach to history. 

She Was Body-Shamed During The 2016 Olympics And Has Now Been Named Mexico’s Best Non-Professional Athlete

Entertainment

She Was Body-Shamed During The 2016 Olympics And Has Now Been Named Mexico’s Best Non-Professional Athlete

alexa.morenomx / Instagram

In 2016, Mexicana Alexa Moreno traveled to Rio de Janeiro to compete for her country in the Olympics. Mexico rooted for her as she impressively competed in the uneven bars, floor exercise, beam, vault and more, earning 31st place. Meanwhile, instead of being deeply impressed by her skills, Mexican Twitter trolls body-shamed her. Not for long. Some people around the world rallied to her defense and pointed out her superior athleticism.

In fact, Mexico just awarded Moreno with the Premio Nacional del Deporte, naming her the best non-professional athlete in the entire country.

In a video shared to Twitter, gymnast Alexa Moreno thanked her supporters.

Credit: @alexa_moreno_mx / Twitter

“Thank you for this recognition and thanks to all who have supported me on the way to get here,” she captioned the video. “Today, I was informed that I was the winner of the Premio Nacional del Deporte. I’m very shocked. The truth is that I didn’t imagine this would happen at all,” she told her fans in the video. “It’s a huge surprise. It’s very gratifying. Yes, I’m very, very happy. There’s nothing else to say but thank you to everyone. I want to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey. There’s been an entire circle of people around me. It’s not just me. It’s not just my job. I want to thank all the people who believed in me, for believing in me. Thank you very much.”

Moreno is the first Mexican woman gymnast to medal at a world championship.

@alexa_moreno_mx / Twitter

Moreno became the first Mexican woman to medal at a world championship just last year, when she earned bronze on vault. Last month, Moreno competed in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Her performance on vault qualified her for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo!

Moreno’s supporters emoji-clapping all over Twitter.

“HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE,” tweeted sports journalist Jocelin Flores in Spanish. “Alexa Moreno, the first Mexican to climb the podium of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, is the winner of the 2019 National Sports Award, Non-Professional category.” One mother tweeted at Moreno to say in Spanish, “Congratulations! You are a great role model for the children of the country.”

“The most deserved,” tweeted Twitter user Sebastián, “I think she’s already established herself as the best Mexican gymnast of all time.”

When the haters were hating, some people were creating beautiful illustrations of Moreno.

Credit: Jose Acosta / Facebook

Moreno signed up for gymnastics when she was just 3-years-old. “Mexico needs people who prove that everything is possible,” Moreno told CCTV America in 2016. “You need to believe in yourself and fight to be able to do things that no one has ever done before.” Moreno is just 4’11” and 99 pounds. As the haters started deleting their tweets, Alexa Moreno went viral for all the fan art her inspirational performance generated.

We hope all the Mexican niñas are watching and being inspired by Moreno.

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“I can’t believe the criticism and bullying of #AlexaMoreno,” one Mexican woman shared to Instagram, along with a video of her routine. “I see this routine and I applaud it, it excites me, it inspires me. This girl is a champion and an example to follow. I was a gymnast and BELIEVE ME it is very difficult to reach that level in this country where the support for gymnastics is almost nil. How can it be that instead of being proud and encouraging we are the first to trash her?!?! What kind of country are we? How do we intend to train valuable athletes if we are the first to throw them down?!?!”

Even though Moreno did nothing to achieve her beauty, we have to say, she’s so beautiful.

Credit: @danpichardo / Twitter

Of course, we should all be talking about how 23 years of regimented, back-breaking athleticism has made her Mexico’s best gymnast. That takes the kind of athletic work that many of us will never know. Moreno is also “drop-dead gorgeous” as my mom would say. Not that it matters.

Felicidades a la favorita de México!

Credit: @publisportmx / Twitter

We are rooting for you, Moreno! The medal that qualified her for the 2020 Olympics scored at a 14.508, less than one point behind the infamous U.S. gymnastics gold champion Simone Biles. Mexico has never taken home a medal in gymnastics. With Moreno competing on behalf of México, we’re high-key rooting she becomes the first Mexican to climb up on an Olympic podium to medal in gymnastics. Let the haters hate. Mexico loves you, Moreno, and so do we.

READ: A Mexican Gymnast Who Was Body-Shamed During The 2016 Olympics Just Qualified For The 2020 Games