Culture

‘Travel & Leisure’ Readers Voted These Three Mexican Cities As The 15 Best Cities To Explore In The World

Every year for Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Awards survey, the magazine asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.

And this year, Mexico seriously stole the show. It’s the country with the highest number of cities on the list and aside from the US, Thailand, and Italy it’s the only country with multiple entries.

Mexico snagged three of the world’s top 15 cities on this year’s list.

Credit; @TravelLeisure / Twitter

When it comes to urban charms, Travel + Leisure readers just can’t get enough of Mexico. 

Mexico has more cities on the list than any other country.

Credit; @JourneyMexico / Twitter

From colonial San Miguel de Allende (full of architecture and fancy hotels) and cultural Oaxaca (home to a large Indigenous population) to the bustling capital of Mexico City (which has it all), people are flocking to Mexico.

And despite all the bas press about the record-breaking numbers of homicides in the country, people can’t stop falling in love with Mexico.

The #1 spot in Mexico, coming in at number two worldwide, is the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende.

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San Miguel de Allende is a colonial jewel, a UNESCO World Heritage city and one of a select few cities worldwide to be so honored for multiple years.

“Its central location and rich history, as well as its culture, gastronomy, art and people, are a part of what contributes to its nickname as ‘The Heart of Mexico,’” said Laura Torres, President of the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board.

In addition to the city’s art, culture, gastronomy, heritage and architecture, the fabric of San Miguel de Allende is so colorful primarily thanks to its people, who give of themselves daily to preserve the city’s unique culture.

The recent “Faces of Our People” campaign was a tribute to the San Miguelenses who help shape what makes the city so unique.For example, Guadalupe Ramirez, also known as “Bola,” has been a prime advocate and promoter of regional cuisine for decades. And then there’s Humildad Galvan, who acts as guardian of the tradition of ceremonial tortillas of the Otomi communities of the Laja River Basin.

It really is a beautiful ciudad with stunning churches, plazas, cobblestone streets, great hotels, and excellent comida.

Credit; la_rosahouse / Instagram

The best way to see San Miguel de Allende is to wander its streets and cobblestone alleys, where visitors will discover a storybook world of colorful homes and mansions, elegant balconies and historic doorways — and the beautiful people inhabiting them.

Just outside the city, travelers can get in touch with nature by bathing in hot springs, strolling vineyards, riding in hot air balloons or getting the heart racing atop an ATV.

Next on the list, the nation’s bustling capital – Mexico City – coming in at number four worldwide.

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The most populous city in North America, Mexico’s capital city of Mexico City is home to Templo Mayor, the baroque Catedral Metropolitana de México of the Spanish conquistadors, and the Palacio Nacional.

It’s food scene is always rated one of the best in the world – from corner taquerias to upscale award-winning restaurants.

Mexico City is often called the museum capital of the world, with more than 150 amazing museums to choose from. Check out Frida Kahlo’s house to Diego Rivera murals in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, or check out the city’s thriving modern art scene at Museo Jumex.

And just behind Mexico City, is Mexico’s cultural and food capital – Oaxaca – which placed 5th out of 15.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Oaxaca, Mexico, is known for its colonial buildings and lively, bustling atmosphere. It’s also known as the cultural capital of Mexico with more than a third of city residents speaking an Indigenous language – the hightest percentage for a large city.

The city is also nearby to incredible attractions. From the other wordly Hierve de Agua to the ancient ruin complex at Monte Alban, there is so much to enjoy about Oaxaca.

READ: Mexico City Is One Of The Must-See Cities In The World And Here’s Why

Photographer Diego Huerta Took An Update Photo Of The Most Beautiful Girl In Mexico

Culture

Photographer Diego Huerta Took An Update Photo Of The Most Beautiful Girl In Mexico

diegohuertaphoto / Instagram

Diego Huerta is a photographer who has used his talents and time to document indigenous communities to preserve the culture and history. One of Huerta’s most famous photos was one of a young girl that he called the most beautiful girl in Mexico. He recently shared a new photo of the girl as a woman.

Diego Huerta shared an updated photo of the most beautiful girl woman in Mexico.

Huerta first met the girl when he was traveling through Mexico years ago. The first photo, posted in 2016 but taken in 2011, highlighted the young woman that he dubbed the most beautiful girl in Mexico. The latest photo shows the girl grown up and still living in her same pueblo in 2017. She is still a stunning reminder of the beauty that exists in southern Mexico.

The woman lives in Chiapas, the last Mexican state before entering Central America by way of Guatemala. There are multiple indigenous communities in Chiapas. While Huerta does not mention the indigenous community the woman belongs to, the clothing appears to represent the Zoque people.

The woman is still creating wander and interest among Huerta’s fans.

Credit: diegohuertaphoto / Instagram

Her quiet and still composure makes her seem like a Mexican Mona Lisa, tbh. Her stoic face in the photographs has captivated Huerta fans for years. The first photo of the young woman was seen around the world and her beauty was celebrated by everyone who saw the photo.

The young girl’s eyes are what drew in the love and praise from people around the world.

Huerta made it a point to call out the young girl’s eyes in the photo. It isn’t because of the color of her eyes. He was intrigued by her eyes because she is deaf and her eyes are one of the ways she is able to communicate with the world around her.

“In my journey through South Mexico, in a town located in the middle of the Chiapas’ mountains I found the most brilliant eyes that I have ever seen,” Huerta wrote in the original post. “The beauty of this girl was similar to the panoramic views I was able to appreciate every time I turned around. She´s deaf, the way to communicate with her was by signs. It is no mystery that the beauty of the true Mexican woman is way above all beauty contests.”

People are obsessing over her beauty that seems to improve with age.

Credit: diegohuertaphoto / Instagram

Nine years makes a big difference in a young person’s development. It can be the difference between 11 and 20, which is a huge difference. Her silent beauty is proof that indigenous communities hold some of the most beautiful people in the world. There is no reason to praise and adhere to Euro-centric beauty standards.

The Instagram posted is filled with messages of appreciation celebrating the photo and the young woman we saw grow up.

Credit: diegohuertaphoto / Instagram

Huerta currently has a documentary about the Tehuana people in Oaxaca. His photographs and film collection highlighting and exalting the indigenous community of Mexico is beautiful and necessary. He is collecting an important and vibrant part of human history by giving the first people to inhabit the land a chance to shine and show who Mexico truly is.

READ: Photographer Diego Huerta Is Giving Everyone A Look Into The Tehuana Culture In Oaxaca, Mexico

Amid Rising Domestic Violence, Mexico’s AMLO Says That 90% Of Women’s Calls For Help Are Fake

Things That Matter

Amid Rising Domestic Violence, Mexico’s AMLO Says That 90% Of Women’s Calls For Help Are Fake

Hector Vivas / Getty

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, AMLO, has faced serious criticism from around the world for his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. His government has been accused of fumbling its response and not having a real, concrete plan to help the country of nearly 130 million people weather the storm.

However, before the pandemic arrived, AMLO was also in hot water for his handling of increased gender-based violence across the country – with femicides reaching record levels. So far, his response has been to brush the issue away as ‘fake news concocted by his opposition.

Now the two issues of femicide and the pandemic have collided as there’s also been an increase in domestic violence, as victims are forced to stay at home. But yet again, AMLO is denying these reports as fake news.

The Mexican President said that Coronavirus lockdowns won’t contribute to violence as much as in other countries because ‘Mexicans are different.’

At one of his daily press conferences meant to address the Coronavirus and a variety of other issues affecting the country, President AMLO made sure to preface his statement with a fairly long disclaimer of sorts. He urged the media not to misquote him or misreport what he said – but it was quite clear:

“I’m going to give you a piece of information that doesn’t mean that violence against women doesn’t exist,” AMLO said. “I don’t want you to misinterpret me because a lot of what I say is taken out of context: 90% of those calls … are false, it’s proven.”

Instead, the president maintained a more romantic view of life under quarantine in Mexico, where he said “there has always been harmonious cohabitation.”

“The Mexican family is different from families in Europe and the United States; Mexicans are used to living together, being together. … In the homes of Mexicans, the children are there, the daughters-in-law, the grandchildren, and there has always been harmonious cohabitation. In other places, where this tradition, this culture, doesn’t exist it might be that isolation causes aggravation, confrontation and violence,” he said.

President AMLO is literally denying several reports that contradict his hopeful narrative.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty

According to the Spotlight Initiative, a partnership between the United Nations and the European Union that is aiming to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030, Mexican women made more than 115,000 calls to the 911 emergency number in March to report violence, a 22% increase compared to February. The figure equates to an average of 155 calls per hour during the month.

But according to the president, 90% of these are fake.

After his own Interior Secretary estimated that violence against women had increased 60% during the coronavirus isolation period, the president said it wasn’t necessarily true.

Such violence “cannot be measured using the same parameters as the rest of the world. In Mexico we have a culture of solidarity within the family. The family in Mexico is exceptional, it’s the most fraternal human nucleus…”

For his part, AMLO did say that the Interior Ministry and the National Women’s Institute are taking action against the problem but sought to downplay its severity.

Denying violence against women has been a cornerstone of AMLO’s presidency.

Almost 1,000 women have been murdered in Mexico in the first three months of the year, in comparison to 890 murders last year. Nearly 250 of these murders are attributed to femicide, or the act of killing a woman because of her gender. Across the region, domestic abuse rates have drastically increased since countries began nationwide lockdowns. Nearly 20 million women and girls experience sexual and physical abuse each year in Latin America.

Endless stories on horrific murders – and daily indignities such as harassment, catcalls and being groped on public transit – have prompted a burgeoning women’s movement, whose members have protested online and in the streets and organized a national women’s strike on March 9th.

However, the president has cast himself as the victim of feminist activists and an opposition that is creating the issue solely to undermine his presidency.

Feminists continue denouncing femicides committed during the pandemic and demanding justice. Despite campus closures, students maintained a five-month-long occupation of the School of Philosophy and Letters at Mexico’s top public university, UNAM, and its affiliate high schools over authorities’ inaction in the face of widespread sexual harassment, assault, and even the deaths and disappearances of students.

Despite the López Obrador’s remarks, his supporters are still hopeful that his government can implement a feminist agenda.