Culture

The Coronavirus Is Getting Its Own Beer And Concha At This Mexico City Panadería And We Can’t Help But Laugh A Little

No one can accuse Mexicans of having no sense of humor. Whether it be reactions to cartel violence, an ineffective government plagued by corruption, or a global pandemic – many Mexicans turn to memes and humor to confront real issues. Enter the CoronaBeer and ConchaVirus.

Yes, the Coronavirus has ravaged communities around the world. And Mexico itself hasn’t escaped the crisis – more than 2,000 cases have been reported so far and it’s expected to get much worse.

Entrepreneurs are trying to find some common ground and an opportunity with a very scary reality.

Martha Rivas is part of the team who created the now viral “Conchavirus.” She says, in an interview with UnoTV, that the creation came from “a genuine concern about how to face this crisis due to the coronavirus.”

The creators of this peculiar product found in the “Conchavirus” how to cope with the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. They’re bringing in the pesos like never before.

Yes, the ConchaVirus is real.

Credit: @lacornetanegra / Twitter

The “Conchavirus” was created in Mexico City’s bustling Iztapalapa district by a team of creative panaderos/as. The interesting looking confection is made with red icing, concha dough, and a lot of creativity. The team behind the now viral pan dulce, hand decorate each and every concha to make sure that it is best representative of the illustrations of the virus, provided by doctors and scientists.

For anybody wondering – a large Conchavirus is going for $6.50 pesos (or about 25¢ USD). There’s also apparently the “Manta-ConchaVirus,” but that’s…a whole other story.

It’s so real, it even got its own segment on a local news channel.

After the publication of a photo that went viral on social media, chilangos – or residents of Mexico City – began a crazed search search for the conchas. This viral moment has already been reflected in the huge growth of sales.

Meanwhile, Corona has suffered a major decline in sales because of the namesake virus.

Credit: @GabrielFrancoJr / Twitter

I mean, remember when rumors started flying around that some people actually thought the virus and iconic Mexican beer brand were somehow linked? Yea, it was a thing.

And yea, Corona beer already existed long before the pandemic but this CoronaBeer is totally different.

Obviously there isn’t much too celebrate right now given the on-going health crisis, but one beer makers hopes what when all is said and done – people will toast to good health with his new brew.

A brewery in Mexico’s state of Hidalgo has appropriated the name of the deadly virus and used it for a product he hopes will bring people together – Coronavirus Beer.

Isaac Palafox, the entrepreneur, owns a chain of cafés and was already serving the beer but it didn’t yet have a name. He describes the beer as an English-style brew with hints of chocolate, molasses and coffee extract.

“This drink is already being produced and sold in my cafes, but it didn’t have a name, until now,” he said, adding that the coffee he uses to make the beer is toasted by artisanal roasters whose methods date back to the year 1900 and incorporate practices brought to Hidalgo by German immigrants to the region.

But Mexican businesspeople aren’t the only ones looking to capitalize on the coronavirus. The newspaper El País reported that six brands in Spain have made trademark requests for names related to Covid-19, including T-shirts that read, “I survived the coronavirus.”

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A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Culture

A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Jon G. Fuller / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It is important to be a responsible tourist. This means following rules, acting responsibly, and not violating sacred places. That is something one tourist learned the hard way when she climbed the Pyramid of Kukulkán in Chichén Itzá.

Here’s the video of a tourist running down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulkán.

The Pyramid of Kukulkán is one of the most iconic examples of Pre-Hispanic architecture and culture in Mesoamerica. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. In 2017, more than 2 million visitors descended on the site.

Of course, #LadyKukulkan started to trend on Twitter.

You know that Twitter was ready to start calling out this woman for her actions. According to Yucatán Expat Life Magazine, the woman was there to honor her husband’s dying wish. The woman, identified as a tourist from Tijuana, wanted to spread her husband’s ashes on the top of the pyramid, which it seems that she did.

The video was a moment for Mexican Twitter.

Not only was she arrested by security when she descended, but the crowd was also clearly against her. Like, what was she even thinking? It isn’t like the pyramid is crawling with tourists all over it. She was the only person climbing the pyramid, which is federally owned and cared for.

The story is already sparking ideas for other people when they die.

“Me: (to my parents) Have you read about #ladykukulkan?
My Dad: Yes! (to my mom) When I die, I want you to scatter my ashes in the National Palace so they call you “Lady Palace,” sounds better, no?” wrote @hania_jh on Twitter.

READ: Mexico’s Version Of Burning Man Became A COVID-19 Super-Spreader Event Thanks To U.S. Tourists

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These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

Things That Matter

These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

FRANCISCO ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images

Despite a slight change in strategy in combatting the country’s endemic violence, Mexico continues to see a staggering degree of violence plaguing communities. Although the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, promised sweeping changes that would help pacify the country – violence has continues to spiral out of control, reaching record levels in 2020.

No where is this more evident than in the communities that have lost dozens or even hundreds of loved ones. Many of these communities have formed search brigades to help try and find their loved ones (or their remains) but they’re also getting creative with the ways in which they work to remember those they’ve lost.

A search brigade publishes a recipe book containing their loved ones’ favorite foods.

A group of women who came together to help locate the remains of their loved ones, have worked together on a new project to help remember their loved ones. Together, they have created Recipes to Remember, a book of favourite dishes of some of the missing. Each dish has the name of the person it was made for and the date they disappeared. It was the idea of Zahara Gómez Lucini, a Spanish-Argentine photographer who has documented the group since 2016.

The women are known as the Rasteadoras, and they’ve literally been digging to uncover graves of Mexico’s missing. Now, they’re finding ways to help remember those who have gone missing. The book is a way to strengthen the community and as one of the mothers told The Financial Times, “the book is a tool for building ties.”

“This recipe book is very important because it’s an exercise in collective memory and that’s very necessary,” says Enrique Olvera, the chef and restaurateur behind Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in New York and a sponsor of the book. “It enables the Rastreadoras to connect with the memory of their loved ones through food and brings us, the readers, closer … It weaves empathy,” he told the Financial Times.

Many of these women came to know each other as they searched for their missing loved ones.

The women – who are mostly housewives in their 40s and 50s – literally scour the nearby grasslands, deserts, and jungles with shovels in hands hoping to make a discovery.

Their “treasures” are among the more than 82,000 people recorded as having disappeared and not been located in Mexico since 2006, when the government declared a war on drug cartels, unleashing terrible, seemingly unstoppable violence. Notwithstanding Covid-19, 2020 may prove to have been the deadliest year on record. As of November there had been 31,871 murders, compared with a record 34,648 in 2019.

Their stories of loss are heartbreaking.

One of the mothers, Jessica Higuera Torres, speaks of her son Jesús Javier López Higuera, who disappeared in 2018, in the present tense. For the book, she prepared a soup with pork rind because “he loves it — when I was cooking, I felt as though he was by my side.”

On the other hand, Esther Preciado no longer cooks chile ribs, her recipe for her daughter’s father, Vladimir Castro Flores, who has been missing since 2013. “That one’s just for the memories now,” she says.

“You get addicted to searching,” she adds. The 120 or so Rastreadoras have found 68 people, but only about a quarter of those are their missing loved ones. She acknowledges many victims may have got into trouble because they sold or used drugs; others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mexico’s missing person problem continues to plague the country.

Since taking office in 2018, the government of President López Obrador has stepped up efforts to locate missing people and identify bodies. It says the number of reported disappearances for 2020 was trending down. But the government acknowledged in November that in 2019, a record 8,804 people had been reported missing and not been found.

According to official data, Mexico has counted 4,092 clandestine graves and exhumed 6,900 bodies since 2006. Sinaloa is notorious as the home of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, once Mexico’s most powerful drug baron, now locked up in a maximum-security jail in the U.S. The city of Los Mochis, where the Rastreadoras are based, is currently in the grip of Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, known as El Chapo Isidro.

The Rastreadoras acknowledge that they’re on their own, turning to the authorities for help is not an option. As shown in the mass disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014, which rocked the country, municipal police have a terrible reputation for being infiltrated by cartels. “They won’t help us — they’re the same ones who are involved,” scoffs Reyna Rodríguez Peñuelas, whose son, Eduardo González Rodríguez, disappeared in 2016.

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