Culture

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

Spices In My DNA / Grupo Modelo

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.

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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?

Credit: Uber.com

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.

Credit: STC.mx

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.

Credit: techradar.com

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.

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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.

Amelio Robles Ávila Was Mexico’s First Trans Soldier And A Revolutionary Hero, More Than 100 Years Ago

Culture

Amelio Robles Ávila Was Mexico’s First Trans Soldier And A Revolutionary Hero, More Than 100 Years Ago

Today is Mexico’s Independence Day! After a war that lasted over 11 years, Mexico achieved independence from Spanish rule and would begin a path toward self-determination. On September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, launched the Mexican War of Independence. Yes, decolonize! 

To celebrate Mexican history, we’ll be focusing on one hero today, not of the Mexican War of Independence but of the Mexican Revolution. Colonel Amelio Robles Ávila is recognized as the first trans soldier in the Mexican military’s history. A decorated colonel, Ávila lived as a man from the age of roughly 22 or 24 until the day he died at 95 years old. 

While some believe it was Ávila’s wealthy family that allowed him to live life as his truest self, it certainly may have helped, but his courage in battle and in life must be honored and celebrated. Ávila’s identity was not always met with kindness, but the soldier was well-equipped to deal with challenges to his gender. The pistol-whipping colonel was a ladies man, skilled marksmen, and hero. This is the story of Colonel Amelio Robles Ávila. 

Amelio Robles Ávila

Amelio Robles Ávila was born to a wealthy family on November 3, 1889, in Xochipala, Guerrero. In his youth, Ávila attended a Catholic school for little girls where he was taught to cook, clean, and sew. However, at a young age, he began to express his gender identity. He showed an aptitude for things that were, at the time perceived to be, masculine like handling weapons, taming horses, and marksmanship. 

Perhaps, it was a natural response, if not the only response, to being pressured to conform to a gender identity that isn’t yours —  Ávila was perceived as stubborn, rebellious, and too much to handle for the school nuns. But it would be his tenacity and obstinance that served him in the long run. 

In 1911, when Ávila was arranged to be married to a man, he enlisted as a revolutionary instead. 

Not a woman dressed as a man, just a man.

To force the resignation of President Porfirio Dîaz and later, to ensure a social justice-centered government, Mexico needed to engage much of its population in warfare. This meant that eventually women were welcomed with many limitations. Soldaderas were able to tend to wounded soldiers or provide food for the militia but were prohibited from combat and could not have official titles. 

Ávila legally changed his first name from Amelia to Amelio, cut his hair, and became one of Mexico’s most valuable and regarded revolutionaries. 

“To appear physically male, Robles Ávila deliberately chose shirts with large chest pockets, common in rural areas, and assumed the mannerisms common among men at the time,” according to History.com

While he was not the only person assigned female to adopt a male persona to join the war, unlike many others Ávila kept his name and lived as a man until the day he died. 

“After the war was over, their part in it was dissolved along with whatever rank they held during the fight, and they were expected to return to subservient roles. Some did,” writes Alex Velasquez of Into. “Others, like Amelio Robles Ávila, lived the rest of their lives under the male identities they had adopted during the war.”

You come at the king, you best not miss.

Ávila fought courageously in the war until its end. Becoming a Colonel with his own command, he was decorated with three stars by revolutionary general Emiliano Zapata. He led and won multiple pivotal battles where his identity and contributions were respected. 

However, that respect was sometimes earned through empathy other times through the whip of his pistol. Ávila was a man and anyone who chose to ignore this fact would be taught by force. On one occasion, when a group of men tried to “expose” him by tearing off his clothes, Ávila shot and killed two of the men in self-defense. 

Colonel Amelio Robles Ávila

Unsurprisingly, Ávila was a bit of a ladies man, though he finally settled down with Angela Torres and together they adopted their daughter Regula Robles Torres. In 1970, he was recognized by the Mexican Secretary of National Defense as a veterano as opposed to a veterana of the Mexican Revolution, thus Colonel Amelio Robles Ávila is considered the first trans soldier documented in Mexican military history. The swag is infinite! 

After the war, Ávila was able to live comfortably as a man where he devoted his life to agriculture. He lived a life, that still for so many trans people around the world seems unfathomable. Colonel Ávila lived to be 95 years old and the rest  — no all of it — is history. 

Emiliano Zapata Was A Champion Of Indigenous Rights And He Knew How To Work A Look

Culture

Emiliano Zapata Was A Champion Of Indigenous Rights And He Knew How To Work A Look

As Mexico celebrates its independence from colonial Spain, many are reminded of the nation’s tumultuous yet rich history. From Mexico’s independence from Spain, to war with France and the US, to America’s only monarchy, Mexico has a long and varied history. 

Perhaps no other period in Mexican history was as consequential as la revolución — or the Mexican Civil War. It transformed Mexican society and culture and, in the process, created many of Mexico’s greatest and most well-known icons and political figures. 

Few are more well known and respected in Mexico than the revolutionary leader, Emilano Zapato. This mustachioed handsome general fought the revolution on behalf of Mexico’s farmers and working class as well as the Indigenous communities of the south, all of whom were all too often forgotten by leaders in the capital. 

Zapata is an iconic Mexican figure who championed the struggles of both the peasant class and Mexico’s Indigenous communities.

Zapata, who was 39 when he died, arguably ranks just behind Che Guevara on the list of iconic Latin American revolutionaries.

As a young man, he worked on a ranch that belonged to the son-in-law of Mexico’s then-dictator, Porfirio Diaz, where he got an up-close look at the extreme inequality dividing the country.

Politically active from an early age, Zapata emerged as a key leader of Mexico’s farmers when the anti-Diaz revolution broke out.

Along with Pancho Villa, he was among the most radical of the revolutionaries, calling for the large-scale redistribution of land to the country’s poor and indigenous farmers.

His name was invoked in El Grito de Dolores, the country’s major celebration on Dia de la Independencia.

Early in the morning on September 16, 1810, it’s said that Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bell of his church and made the call to arms to rise up against colonial Spain, which started Mexico’s War of Independence. 

Since 1812, nearly every Mexican leader has commemorated the historical moment by delivering their own version of “El Grito.” And this year, delivered by AMLO, Zapatista received his own chants of viva

He also had one hell of a mustache and fashion sense...

Credit: Klimbim / Instagram

Images of Zapata with a broad sombrero, thick mustache and bandoleer rival Che Guevara as icons of both romantic rebellion and capitalist entrepreneurialism. Zapata’s descendants recently applied to trademark his name and envisage earning royalties on merchandise ranging from T-shirts to tequila.

Although Zapata fought many battles in life, many say his legacy was cemented with his death.

They say Zapata never died that April 10th. That he lived and fled to the Arabian Peninsula and would return when most needed. They said something about his dead body wasn’t right. That a scar was different, that a mole was missing, that the body had all ten fingers, when the real Zapata was missing a finger.

“We all laughed when we saw the cadaver,” one of Zapata’s soldiers said decades later. “We elbowed each other because the jefe was smarter than the government.” They say Zapata knew about Guajardo’s impending trick and that Jesús Delgado — a spitting image of Zapata, who traveled with the general as a body double —was the man killed. Others say it was another man, Agustín Cortés, or Joaquín Cortés, or Jesús Capistrán, or, as Zapata’s son put it, “some pendejo…from Tepoztlán.” Whoever it was, the name didn’t even matter. The important thing was that, according to these stories, Zapata lived and would eventually return.

But in today’s Mexico, the country is divided on the revolutionary’s legacy. 

Credit: DazzlingCoins.com

Protests erupted Wednesday at commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, underlining how divisive the mustachioed peasant leader remains a century later.

He’s a figure that AMLO has tried to embrace, with varying degrees of success. 

Credit: @lopezobrador_ / Twitter

Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has expressed admiration for Zapata, pledged to revive Mexico’s rural economy, and declared 2019 the year of Emiliano Zapata.

But in the revolutionary leader’s home region of Morelos, a battle has broken out over his legacy, as López Obrador pushes for the completion of a power plant and pipeline that have faced strong opposition from the local community.

“It’s a mockery – declaring 2019 the year of Gen Emiliano Zapata and then commemorating it by handing over the water from farmers in his birthplace to multinationals,” Zapata González said.

Zapata, whether you see his picture as a young man or were among those who claimed to have seen him in old age, has come to symbolize whatever noble cause the Mexican Revolution stood for.

Today, a century after Zapata’s death, across Mexico and other parts of the world, the living—and perhaps even the dead—continue their fight inspired by Emiliano Zapata.