Culture

This Mexican Hotel Will Give You Unlimited Tequila And Let You Sleep Inside A Tequila Barrel

Listen up tequila lovers – we’ve found your new HQ. And it’s time we spread the word. 

Forget fancy vineyard buggy tours, or brewery visits. Mexico has really upped the game on boozy vacations. 

Because, guys. GUYS. We’ve found a boutique hotel in Mexico that lets you sleep inside a massive tequila barrel. 

No, but really. 

How’s a weekend surrounded by an unlimited supply of tequila, sound?

Welcome to the Matices Hotel de Barricas, Mexico, where guests can eat, sleep, drink and dream tequila. 

It’s the only hotel in the world that’s set on a tequila farm and distillery, and that offers bungalows shaped like barrels amongst agave (I mean… that is pretty niche). 

And we’re obsessed.

I repeat: they’re set among vast fields of agave plants.

Not only will you be able to sleep in a barrel that mimics the ones they use to brew tequila, you’ll be able to IMMERSE yourself in the tequila-universe for however long you’re there for (how’s a lifetime sound?).

Here are all the things you never knew you needed to know about how to sleep in tequila barrels.

It’s set in the pueblo magico of… Tequila, Mexico.

It only seems good ‘n fair that this hotel is based smack bang in the heart of Tequila, Jalisco. 

Spoiler alert – Tequila is the tequila capital of the world. It’s become something of a tourist hotspot for tequila fans hoping to learn more about this golden elixir. After all, agave plantations in the area have been churning out the good stuff since the 16th century! 

And we can’t get over how beautiful the grounds are. 

Credit: marnbannon / Instagram

Open the large front-door of your personal barrel, and you’ll be greeted with rows upon rows of blue agave – the stuff tequila is brewed from.

Ok, so maybe it’s not a traditional ‘detox’ vacation, the hotel is located far from the bustle of the city.

The whole place is owned by a world-renowned distillery called Hacienda Tequilera La Cofradía. The hotel itself only opened in 2017, but word is spreading like wildfire!

And it’s easy to see why. 

 Four walls? Boring. Corners? Yawn. 

Credit: maticeshoteldebarricas / Instagram

The hotel offers 22 wooden barrel rooms with a range of suites – from the ‘Aged King’ and ‘Silver King’, to the ‘Extra-Aged King’. 

Each barrel room can fit up to two guests and comes with a king-sized bed, rainshower air-conditioning, fridge and more. There are curved glass windows on the ceiling and some cute, kitsch wall paintings that give off some very Wild West vibes. 

Sure, it’s no Ritz but hey – we’d pick unlimited tequila and rustic charm over fancy bar soap, most days. 

The hotel also offers ordinary rooms for those travellers who, for some unfathomable reason, might not want to spend the night pretending to be your favorite liquor. 

I mean, do you really love tequila if you don’t want to…  be tequila? 

I mean, it’s basically a boozy hobbit hole for adults.

Credit: haciendasycason / Instagram

Tequila is aged in a barrel and comes out better. Be the tequila. 

Rest in here, come out e l e v a t e d. 

The grounds are also pretty freaking cool.

Credit: Tequilacofradia.com

That picture above is their La Taberna del Cofrade – a restaurant and bar that’s 4.5 meters (15 feet) deep underground! 

Other cool spots around the hotel grounds include their The La Cofradía Tequila Site Museum that lays out their impressive achievements and history across 5 exhibition halls. There’s also an ‘Art in Fire Ceramic Factory’ where the ceramic structures and containers for tequila are made. 

There’s also a very cool aging room where the tequila is stored in protective oak barrels until it’s ready for glugging. 

And naturally, there’s a tequila shop where you can pick out some bottles to bring home to those who so foolishly didn’t join you on the best vacation ever. 

You’ll also be able to get up-close and intimate with how the tequila is made.

After all, the hotel is connected to the La Cofradia tequila factory and is just a quick stroll away. 

You’ll be able to stoke the fires of your tequila obsession with a fascinating guided tequila tour of the factory where you’ll learn all about tequila farming and distillation. 

The distillery is said to use some pretty impressive modern distillation techniques. However, they use some of their same old recipes in order to make some of the world’s best tequila. 

Wanna get hands-on? You can help out the farmers working in the field, design ceramic containers and tequila bottles, or even distil your own tequila from scratch! 

Okay sure, but when’s the drinking start?

Credit: zori.ramos1173 / Instagram

We thought you’d never ask. According to reviews, you’ll be greeted with a welcome drink on arrival – tequila shots, naturally. 

You’ll also get the chance to do some free taste testing. We’d definitely recommend jumping every chance to drink from the source – Casa Cofradia is responsible for some pretty awesome tequilas. 

They include the spicy Agave Loco, and Astral, a tequila repped by the former ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’, Jonathan Goldsmith. 

Best of all – you can drink and go straight to bed. If emerging, slightly hungover from a barrel, doesn’t sound like fun we don’t know what does. 

And minus the regrets. No regrets here. 

Lastly – you’ll also be a stone’s throw from the lovely Tequila township.

There’s a handy free shuttle that goes between the hotel and Tequila town itself – conveniently rich in waterfalls, volcanoes and pre-hispanic ruins.

If you find some sober moments and are in the mood for adventure, feel free to jump on a horse, explore the area on a bike or dirt bike, or simply hike the rolling hills of this gorgeously old-school region of Mexico. 

So go on – live your best life. And by that we mean, spend a night in an oversized barrel. You owe it to yourself. 

I mean, just leaving this here… 

Credit: tequilacofradia.com

Because if you haven’t slept in a Tequila barrel in a field of majestic agave plants, have you ever truly lived? 

READ: Here Are Some Of The Tequila Brands Keeping The Beloved Art Of Creating The Liquor Alive And Well

Tourists Are Flocking To This Tiny Mountain Village For A Trip On Mexico’s Magic Mushrooms

Culture

Tourists Are Flocking To This Tiny Mountain Village For A Trip On Mexico’s Magic Mushrooms

For almost 70 years, since Maria Sabina, also known as Santa Sabina, spread the culture around the ritualistic consumption of magic mushrooms in the Oaxaca highlands, the world has been fascinated by these special fungi. The region near Huautla de Jimenez, particularly places like San Jose del Pacifico, has since been swarmed with tourists in the months between July and October, both from inner Mexico and from overseas, who want to experienced the altered states of consciousness brought by one of nature’s most powerful secrets. 

So any story about Oaxacan magic mushrooms has to start with the legendary Maria Sabina, the godmother of all things trippy.

Credit: Giphy. @Hamiltons

Maria Sabina was a Mazatec curandera, or witchdoctor. She was well versed in the ancient arts of magic mushrooms and introduced the Western world to their consumption. She soon became a magnet for the rich and powerful who wanted to taste her psilocybin mushrooms. She was born in 1894 and died in 1985, so she saw the world change dramatically during her lifetime. 

She allowed foreigners into her healing evenings, known as veladas.

Credit: YouTube / Vice

She became legendary, as City A.M. reported in 2018: “It was here that, in 1955, R Gordon Wasson, a vice-president of JP Morgan and amateur ethnomycologist, consumed psilocybin mushrooms in a ceremony presided over by the healer Maria Sabina. The article Wasson subsequently wrote up for Life magazine – ‘Seeking the Magic Mushroom’ – transformed Sabina into a reluctant icon and caught the attention of scientists including Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary”. What followed is an enduring cult following of the plant. 

Mushroom tourism got a boost in the 1960s due to the high profile of some of Sabina’s visitors, who included The Beatles.

As EFE News Service reported back in 2007: “In the 1960s, the ‘high priestess of the mushrooms’ popularized this corner of Mexico located between the capital and Oaxaca city, a place visited by the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan at the height of the psychedelic era”. We mean, the place has basically been a Hall of Fame! 

Consuming magic mushrooms is an ancient, ritualistic indigenous tradition that remains officially illegal.

Credit: High Times

Spanish friars first reported the use of psychedelic mushrooms in the region. Though magic mushrooms are illegal today, the authorities tend to turn a blind eye. This is due to the centrality to the customs and traditions of the Zapotecs, the area’s dominant indigenous group. Children as young as six participate in the ritualistic ingestion of shrooms.

However, tourism disrupts this long lasting understanding and ritual has turned into business.

Credit: YouTube. Vice

If you decide to try them for yourself, beware as the region is now swarmed with fake magic mushrooms offered by scammers. Anyway, San Jose del Pacifico is a natural joyita in itself, and you might get high just by taking in the landscape!

The state induced by the mushrooms is supposed to get you in touch with nature: with the soil below your feet and the celestial bodies above your head.

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous. 

According to man named Andres Garcia, he was introduced to the ritual ingestion of mushrooms by his grandfather. Just outside of Huautla, the man experienced mushrooms several times. He told High Times: “The first time I tried mushrooms I was 7 years old. And each time after that was different; each time there were messages and messages. Communication with the earth, the universe, the moon, especially the energy of the moon. The mushroom shows you everything—about your errors, your problems, all the good you’ve done, all the bad you’ve done. It’s something personal.”

Even though mushrooms are widely available in Oaxaca they are not for everyone, specially not for those who disrespect the ritual and want to do mushrooms just for some mindless fun.

Credit: Musrooms-in-Oaxaca. Digital image. Own Mexico

The magic mushroom tourism industry has brought an steady income to Huautla de Jimenez, the original stomping grounds of Maria Sabina. As reported by Juan Ramon Peña in EFE News Services, “visitors are greeted when they get off the bus by boys who offer to help them found the hallucinogenic fungi”. The wide availability of mushrooms is un secreto a voces. However, each person’s brain chemistry is different and you need to have an experienced guide to help you on a mushroom-induced trip. 

And tourism has put the sustainability of the species at stake.

Credit: User comment on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_XnzIYmUYw

The lack of regulation translates into indiscriminate picking. Of course, traditional owners of the land are affected and that is just not fair. 

Magic mushrooms have a good rep, but they are also unpredictable.

Credit: 2037. Digital image. The Guardian.

Several recent studies indicate that magic mushrooms could have medical benefits in people suffering from mental health issues. As reported by The Guardian earlier this year in relation to a study conducted at Imperial College London: “Magic mushrooms may effectively ‘reset’ the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression, the latest study to highlight the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics suggests”. However, this study was done in a controlled environment. Doing mushrooms can have unpredictable effects that some people have described as a “bad trip”

Note: the consumptions of magic mushrooms is illegal throughout Mexico and only specific Indigenous groups can consume them for spiritual purposes. We do not condone the consumption of illegal substances. This article is for informational purposes only.

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.