Culture

There Is A 9-Day Tour You Can Take Of Mexico To Celebrate Día De Los Muertos

We’re beyond thrilled that our favorite holiday is right around the corner, and we’re not talking about Halloween, but Día de los Muertos. We’re starting to plan our altars and decorate the house with papel picado. Aside from decorating and watching “Coco” for the billionth time, we wish there was more we could do to commemorate this Mexican tradition. Now there is, but before you get excited about the possibility of honoring the dead in a very new way, check out the details first and you may be too scared (or too broke) to participate.

A travel company is offering a 9-day trip to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Mexico.

Credit: Unsplash

Flashback, a “Boutique group adventures for solo travelers in their 30s and 40s,” just launched a vacation package that has various stops throughout Mexico and is specially themed to honor Día de los Muertos.

The package offers, “a unique take on ancient traditions, the Día de los Muertos (as it’s called in Spanish) sees Mexicans gather to pay respects to the deceased. But there’s nothing somber about this occasion. What follows is a vibrant chaos of color, calaveras, and marigolds; beautifully-decorated altars and intricately-painted faces; music, dancing and a celebration of life. With only one departure running a year, this is your chance to experience Mexico on a truly special occasion, alongside all the classic cultural experiences.”

The trip entails a stop in Mexico City and partaking in La Catrina parade.

Credit: Unsplash

Thousands of people gather in Mexico City dressed in the best Día de los Muertos costumes including many who go as La Catrina. On Day 2, the group (you and your new travel buddies) will go to the Zocalo Square in Mexico City to view the many ofrendas (altars). 

“Your guide will talk you through the traditions surrounding this sacred practice, with the chance to taste pan de muerto – a sweet bread recipe made especially for this occasion – and traditional Mexican chocolate,” Flashback states. “You’ll have the option to channel La Catrina and have your face painted in the traditional calavera style.”

On Day 3, the tour will include a boat ride to la Isla de las Muñecas, the Island of the Dolls. 

Credit: aztecavision / Instagram

Hold up. Now, we do love Día de los Muertos, but la Isla de las Muñecas is scary AF. “Shrouded in local folklore, the island is widely believed to be haunted by the ghost of a drowned girl. True to its name, you’ll find a plethora of creepy dolls hanging from the trees of this deserted island, some without heads or limbs. Your guide will talk you through the sad backstory of the island, before taking you back to the city center for an afternoon at leisure.” We’re not sure how much leisure we’ll be feeling after this spooky boat ride. 

The rest of the trip includes stops in Puebla, Oaxaca, hiking the Sierra Norte mountains and swimming in la Hierve el Agua. 

Credit: itzo / Instagram

The tour includes visiting la  Calle de los Dulces (the Street of Sweets) in Oaxaca, “where you’ll find rows of stores selling traditional Mexican treats. Dinner tonight will be enjoyed at a traditional restaurant, with dishes served in Poblano pottery,” and also experience how Oaxacans celebrate this historic holiday. One of the coolest parts of the Oxacacan stop is that the tour includes a visit to San Miguel Pantheon cemetery. 

This whole trip will cost you $3309, and that does not include airfare.

Credit: Unsplash

That hefty price tag includes accommodation, equipment gear, a local guide, transportation, food that is on the tour, and airport pickup. There’s also limited space for 14 travelers, which does give way to an intimate experience. 

Is this something that sounds interesting to you? If so, you should probably book ASAP because we’re sure people (with money to burn) will want to explore an authentic experience to Día de los Muertos in Mexico. The trip begins on Oct. 26 and ends on Nov. 3. 

If you can’t afford this trip, we have a better suggestion. Book a cheap flight to Mexico City, and stay an inexpensive AirBnB. You can also take very reasonable bus rides to Oaxaca and Puebla because honestly, it shouldn’t be that pricey to visit Mexico. But, as we said, if you have money to burn and want to take in Day of the Dead in an Instagramable way with other likeminded travels, then this trip is definitely for you. Either way, enjoy Día de los Muertos!

Read: Mattel Is Releasing A Day Of The Dead Barbie Doll And You Better Believe Latinas Are Divided About It As Heck

This Kid Is Going Viral In Mexico For Using His $70 Peso Winning Lottery To Buy Tacos For A Man In Need

Things That Matter

This Kid Is Going Viral In Mexico For Using His $70 Peso Winning Lottery To Buy Tacos For A Man In Need

Mexico News Daily

As 2019 comes to a close there are few things to be optimistic about when it comes to the path that humanity as a whole has taken. It seems that all the wars and cruel processes of colonization and dispossession taught us very little about how awful we can be to each other. At the same time, we are damaging our planet at a fast pace and we are rendering it practically inhabitable for future generations. And no, we are not being dramatic, these are cold facts. 

Let’s be absolutely honest, shall we? The world is a pretty nasty place to live in right now.

Just look at this little blue planet, hard to imagine that so much goes on in it. And for all the good that many people in the world do on an everyday basis, as a species we seem to be in red numbers when it comes to basic human compassion. Just look at Mexico and the US there, sitting side by side, from space no one could imagine that so much suffering is happening at the border when the two countries meet. 

Extremism and discrimination is running rampant.

There is an ideological battle being held between those who believe that some humans deserve more than others based in the color of their skin, and those who advocate for inclusion. It is hard to believe that hate symbols such as the Nazi flag are making an appearance in Global North countries. 

Climate change is rendering even the nicest places in the world unbearable… and cheap labor is still a thing.

This is a picture of Sydney, allegedly one of the best cities in the world to live. But is is now being covered in smoke as a result of bushfires that are likely related to climate change, even if politicians and the coal lobby say the opposite. This year we saw other terrible fires ravage the Amazon while the Brazilian president blamed Leonardo Di Caprio of all people! 

Forced migration has left millions of people without a home.

So people from all sorts of places including war-torn Central America are being forced to flight or die as gangs and cartels take over their country. And they start a perilous trip through Mexico and then towards the United States. They are treated as third class citizens and as criminals, and have to face further suffering even if their journey is, in most cases, nothing short of heroic. So we would think that compassion and generosity is gone forever, right? Well, think again! 🙂 

But you won’t believe what this 8-year-old boy did even if the world kinda sucks at the moment: this is human nature at its best.

This scene might seem as something not totally out of the ordinary. But the story behind it melts our hearts: this Mexican little hero from Uruapan, Michoacán. His proud mom posted on Facebook that Adalid, this tiny champ, won $70 pesos at a lottery. Instead of spending it on candy and toys, he approached an old man who sells candy to survive. The old man looked tired, sad and hungry.

So what did Adalid do? He bought him a nice round of tacos! He told newspaper El Universal: “I saw the viejito arrive to sell [lollipops] but nobody bought from him. He looked very sad and hungry. When I gave him the money, I saw that he only bought one taco so I asked my mom if we could buy him more so that he could eat well”. Are you crying already? Mom couldn’t be prouder and she wrote on her Facebook post: “sometimes as a mom I ask myself if I’m doing my job well . . . but actions like this provide answers to all my doubts.”

This boy’s generosity warms our hearts.

And Adalid, overcome with emotion, started to cry. The chiquito hermoso told El Universal: “I cried because I saw him cry, I saw him wiping away his tears. When he finished [eating] he thanked me and gave me a hug”. Now imagine if we all acted with the same type of compassion towards each other, ourselves and our little blue dot in space. 

This Nude Painting Of Mexican Icon Emiliano Zapata Has Gone Viral But It’s Actually Not Even New

Culture

This Nude Painting Of Mexican Icon Emiliano Zapata Has Gone Viral But It’s Actually Not Even New

Secretaria de Cultura / Fabian Chairez

La Revolución by Chiapas artist Fabian Cháirez depicts Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata riding a white horse. Zapata has his eyes closed as if he was lost in reverie, he’s totally nude, wearing high heels, and a shimmering pink hat — and the horse has a massive erection. 

The painting isn’t new, it is one of 141 works included in the exhibit Zapata Después de Zapata to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the revolutionary’s death. When the Mexican Secretariat of Culture shared the image on Facebook, many users had a polarizing response. Cháirez believes the negative responses are rooted in sexist and homophobic attitudes. 

Zapata’s grandson says he is taking legal action against the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature. 

“We are not going to allow that. That’s why they’re going to take legal action”. Zapata´s grandson said in a statement. “We came here to exhibit the nonsense they did… to exhibit a photograph of our general (Emiliano Zapata) in Bellas Artes”

One would think the issue a critic would have with the image is that there might be an implication of bestiality. No, according to Zapata’s grandson, Jorge Zapata who held a press conference in Cuernavaca  says the problem is that Cháirez painted him as “gay.” 

“What could we call him? An unknown painter, who I think wants fame… he portrays general Zapata as, gay. So I believe that as a family, as a people, where we are clearly Zapatistas, we are not going to allow that,” Jorge said according to the Yucatan Times

Does Jorge think being gay means two men love each other or that a man and a horse love each other? Jorge appears to be more repulsed by the thought of his grandfather possibly liking another man, more so than him being attracted to a horse. 

“Now we’ve done what’s right, we are going to sue them, and we´ll have demonstrations and hold press conferences. We are going to sue both the painter and the person in charge of Bellas Artes.” Jorge said at the conference. 

Art is subjective and isn’t always meant to be literally interpreted, Cháirez appears to be trying to evoke a feeling and a response from the viewer about what the image might mean rather than creating something intended to be taken at face value. 

Many people on social media were also offended by the painting.

“I truly think that the image is offensive for the Mexican leader and hero. I’m not at all against homosexuality . . . but Zapata deserves respect. He was a leader who fought for land rights and freedom. I will never accept the denigration of his image in this way,” Jonathan Gómez Rios wrote on Facebook.

However, others defended Cháirez’s painting, commending the artist for being able to stir controversy as it was clearly intended. 

“I love that a simple painting causes so much controversy. People argue and seethe because of a painting, A PAINTING! Well done to the Secretariat of Culture and whoever’s behind this post. Congratulations!” said another user on Facebook.

Cháirez speaks out in defense of his work of art. 

“The feminine [form of Zapata] is what causes contempt . . . We’re in a super sexist society. There are some people who are bothered by bodies that don’t obey the norms. [But] in this case, where’s the offense? Are they offended because he’s feminized?” he told El Universal.

Cháirez says portraits of Zapata usually glorify his masculinity, while his own works intend to do just the opposite. According to the Yucatan Times, the Chiapas painter is part of the Neomexicanism movement and his works typically portray bodies in ways that challenge traditional stereotypes about masculinity and social mores about sexual orientation. 

“His piece, ‘The Revolution’ questions the macho stereotypes that make up the national identity and makes visible the movements of sexual diversity,” the Yucatan Times writes. “The image has caused great offense among those who defend the memory of General Emiliano Zapata the ‘Caudillo del Sur’ and reject the idea of portraying him as a homosexual.”