Entertainment

Yalitza Aparicio’s First Instagram Posts Shows She Had No Idea She Was Headed Toward The Hollywood Dream

yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Yalitiza Aparicio had quite a year in 2018. This amazing woman born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, went from living a private and quiet life to being in the spotlight after starring in the Oscar-winning film “Roma.” Soon after, Aparicio was being dressed by designers and walking the red carpet in Venice, Cannes and, of course, the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. All throughout her brush with fame, Yalitiza kept being her old self: a loving, selfless, sensitive woman — and that can be seen as far back as her first Instagram post.

Her first ever post on October 2, 2016, shows that she’s always been grateful for the little things.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

…And that she likes chocolate and wine as much as the rest of us. She is thanking someone for these delicious Argentinian alfajores, a sweet treat filled with dulce the leche. As sweet as her. 

Also in 2016, Aparicio is seen channeling her inner Selena in this crop top and killer smile.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Aparicio has redefined what Mexican beauty is perceived as in popular culture. You see, in Mexico most famous people are blond and basically gringo looking, but Aparicio has broken barriers being cast as a lead in an Oscar-winning film and gracing the covers of magazines like Vogue Mexico and People en Español’s 50 Más Bellos.

Through her Instagram feed, it’s easy to see that Aparicio is the amiga incondicional we all wish we had.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Life doesn’t get any better than this: some ancient ruins (we are guessing that is Montealban in the capital city of Oaxaca) and two friends to share this unforgettable moment with, or momento inolvidable, as Aparicio calls it.

Here is Aparico doing touristy things with her friends in the world-famous canals of Xochimilco.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Just south of Mexico City, this canal is a great touristy spot where you can rent a colorful, flower-covered boat and promenade in the placid and ancient waters. We love this shot with Aparicio and her friends. Do you recognize the one in the middle? (hint, she also appears in “Roma”)

Like most of us, she loves capturing all of her new experiences.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

This selfie was shot in the Teatro Metropolitan, which used to be one of Mexico City’s old cinema palaces, huge theaters that could host hundreds of moviegoers. This is obviously the shooting of “Roma”and the now infamous scene in which Cleo is abandoned by the father of her unborn child. Aparicio has no clue of the fame that is about to take her life by storm. She just looks so innocent and pretty. 

Also flooding Aparicio’s feed is a ton of adorable nature posts.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

As an indigenous woman, Aparicio has a close relationship with the natural world. Here she is in the Hacienda Panoaya, in Amemeca near the Mexico City volcanoes. She seems so at peace we just want to share a cup of esquites with her and chat about life. 

Unlike many A-list celebrities, Aparicio doesn’t seem to care to be in front of the spotlight.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Aparicio is a generous human being who looks even a bit uncomfortable getting all this attention. This photograph is so different from her hyper-produced recent posts. It is cute and innocent and amazing. We can barely see her under that aqueduct. 

Watch out, cuteness alert!

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One of the reasons why Aparicio’s acting in “Roma”stood out is the natural rapport she establishes with the children. Here, we can see that this rapport existed behind the cameras as well. These two seem totally at ease, like lifelong friends sharing a moment of complicity. 

Navidad, blanca Navidad.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Need we say more? She has that childlike joy that is impossible to fake. 

Like a kamikaze.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

In the caption to this photo, Aparicio says: “Like a kamikaze, sometimes the only thing left to do is renounce the life you know and pursue a more noble objective…”. Thanks for that! 

Her family will always come first and they look like a fun bunch.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

On January 1, 2017, Aparicio published this picture with her family after New Year’s Eve. She says that they lost a family member, but a new one arrived (see the baby pictured here). Ah, the circle of life. 

Mexico lindo y querido was always her focus.

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Yalitza loves her homeland. Here, she captures the natural beauty of her beloved Oaxaca. Road trip, anyone? 

We really can’t get enough of the gorgeous Oaxaca.

And neither can she. Here, she writes: “The beautiful land where I was born”. People who become famous but have their feet on the ground are likely to grab on to their roots to not get all mareados with the attention. That is exactly what the Mexican actress has done. 

She shares the moments she spends reading a Latin American classic.

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Here she shares a fragment from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Memorias de mis putas tristes, one of the great Colombian novelist’s late novels in which he comes to terms with old age. Beautiful, sensitive and cultured: nuestra Yalitza has it all! And she had it well before fame struck.

Who doesn’t like a good post with their BBFs.

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Seriously, who wouldn’t want to have a cool, down to Earth superamiga who knows that good things are more enjoyable when shared? 

Remember that surreal crab sculpture in “Roma”?

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

It is actually located in Puerto De Dos Bocas, in the Mexican state of Tabasco. Aparicio shared this image in February 2017, when the last scenes of the movie were being shot (actually, the movie was shot chronologically, trivia fact!)

Proud of Mexico’s Precolumbian past, as we all should be.

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Like most Mexicans, Aparicio is proud of her country’s ancient civilizations. Here, she is in the archeological site of Comalcalco, in Tabasco. The site was built by the Mayans in their Late Period. 

She is clearly the queen of road trips.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

She writes: “Traveling is such a pleasure”. Well, Yali, enjoying your life vicariously is a pleasure as well, we love your sense of wonder and discovery. 

A full rainbow should be expected from her at this point.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

No words needed. She simply says: “🌈😍”

Look at this tender evocation of childhood.

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

What a great everyday moment of joy. Can she be everyone’s cool aunt already?

What an eye for photography!

Credit: yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

This image is seriously good: great composition and balance. Will we see Aparicio behind the camera one day? We would not be surprised.

READ: Yalitza Aparicio Admits Her Greatest Fear Is Speaking In Public And Not Being Able To Express Herself Correctly

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.