Things That Matter

Mexico Uses the US as an Example in Trying to Legalize Weed

Marijuana
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Across the United States, the use of marijuana has been legalized in 24 states — mostly for medicinal purposes — but there are some states that have approved it for recreational use. From those states, there are two key factors that many are taking note of, including Mexican legislator Fernando Belaunzarán.

Belaunzarán wants Mexico, which outlawed the cultivation of marijuana in the 1940s, to do the same. That’s right, he’s been trying to convince them for years and now it’s finally getting a legitimate review in the courts. Despite the small progress, Belaunzarán has a few harsh words for the Mexican system.

READ: John Oliver Stands Up for the People of Mexico

“In Mexico the politicians are cowards, and, even now, they accepted the debate only … because they had no other choice with the legalizations in the United States,” said Belaunzarán to Fox News Latino. “We should have taken up [legalization] a while ago.”

Despite all the shortcomings, the fight for marijuana legalization in Mexico isn’t over. Looks like all they have to do is convince President Peña Nieto, the Secretary of Health, Mercedes Juan and reverse a few international treaties. No biggy, right?

To learn more on the legalization of marijuana in Mexico, click here.

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Live Out Your Boozy Fantasies And Spend The Night In This Giant Tequila Barrel Hotel

Culture

Live Out Your Boozy Fantasies And Spend The Night In This Giant Tequila Barrel Hotel

Marnbannon / Instagram

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

The World Is Not Ready For This Man’s Talent And Looks But Thank You Anyway

Entertainment

The World Is Not Ready For This Man’s Talent And Looks But Thank You Anyway

@luisgerardom / Instagram

It has been more than a decade since Mexican actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna established themselves as power players in the Hollywood game. Other Mexican actors like Kuno Becker have also broken into the United States mainstream, but they are few and far apart. The new kid on the block is actor Luis Gerardo Mendez, an actor that has done it all in a few years: he has made indie films, a highly successful Netflix show, one of the most successful Mexican movies of all time and now films with Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and the new Charlie’s Angels team of kickass queens. 

He was born in the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

Contrary to what some might believe, not every Mexican actor comes from the capital Mexico City! Luis Gerardo was born in the city of Aguascalientes on March 8, 1982. 

Remember how Jude Law seemed to be on every single movie released in the early 2000s? Well, that is what the very prolific Luis Gerardo is for the Mexican film industry today.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

From the beginning of his career, he has been willing to work with anyone who wants to tell a story. He has collaborated with first-time directors such as Ivan Morales, whose film Sincronia is available on YouTube (it is a delightful film about love and loss). He has taken on peculiar projects such as Camino a Marte, where he plays an alien trapped in a human body. He doesn’t shy away from challenges, ever. 

BTW, you just can’t miss his Netflix film Time Share (Tiempo compartido).

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

Time Share (2018) is a dark comedy that explores the sect-like practices of the tourism industry and how it lures clients to get lifelong commitments to spend holidays in particular all-inclusive resorts. Filmed in Acapulco, it starts as a comedy of errors and soon becomes a much darker film: a true indictment of capitalism and its deathly methods for controlling people through impossible dreams and promises of achieving a higher social status.

Fame and fortune no se la ha subido a la cabeza and he remains humble and con los pies bien puestos sobre la Tierra.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

We love his Instagram account, where you can follow his daily life (how cool is this shot from a nightclub toilet in grungy Berlin?), from his trips to life behind the sets of his movies and TV shows. 

He is a true supporter of Mexican cinema.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

Luis Gerardo had one of the leading roles in the super successful film Nosotros los Nobles (The Noble Family), which tells the story of an upper-class family that suddenly sees its fortune evaporate. Luis Gerardo often collaborates with new and emerging directors and often takes an active role in the production. He believes in and loves the industry which saw him become one of the most recognizable of Latino filmmaking. 

We will always remember his character in Club de Cuervos, Salvador Iglesias Jr, Chava pa los cuates.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

Some actors are always linked to certain characters, and that is the case of Luis Gerardo, who played the extravagant and frankly kinda dumb Chava Iglesias in the Netflix show Club de Cuervos, which explored the world of Mexican professional soccer. Mendez revealed himself as a comedic genius, navigating the thin line that separates slapstick and high-quality comedy. He gave an apparently shallow character multiple layers of both dramatic and comedic depth. 

We mean, no one has worn a vest better.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

Chava Iglesias was so ridiculously full of himself that it was uncomfortably fun to watch! He left us plenty of memorable moments, such as successfully hiring the best soccer player in the world out of pure necedad!

He is an animal lover.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

The actor collaborates with PETA Latino, particularly in a campaign to treat domestic pets as they deserve: with care and respect. He particularly cares about dogs that are left alone in rooftops all day, a common practice in Mexico. 

He has his own collectible figurine!

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

Once you have a Funko POP! toy made a tu imagen y semejanza you know you have made it! 

You can’t miss Bayoneta either (it’s on Netflix).

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

The outstanding boxing drama Bayoneta is also available on Netflix. It tells the sad story of a has-been fighter from Tijuana that makes a living in Finland by training young boxers. He gives a deep, challenging performance that was physically tough.  

His movie Murder Mystery has been one of the most watched Netflix originals.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

Yes, of course, it is mainly because of his costars Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, but Mendez’ film was watched by more than 30 million people in the first three days after its release. That is much more than what many theatrical releases get. Streaming services are truly revolutionizing how movies are produced, distributed and watched, and are giving actors like Mendez a platform in which they can explore different genres. Netflix is very fond of Luis Gerardo, and we are sure we will see more of him in the years to come. 

Next up, a crazy scientist in the girl-power action film Charlie’s Angels.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

He will play a minor role, but he will give comedic relief to the highly anticipated remake directed by Elizabeth Banks. We just can’t wait to see him in this! 

His next project deals with US-Mexico relationships: Half Brother sounds truly amazing.

Credit: luisgerardom / Instagram

In an exclusive interview for Mitú, the film’s producer and writer, Eduardo Cisneros (one of the leading Latino voices in the industry), said about the actor: “When Jason Shuman and I started fleshing out this story, I immediately thought of Luis Gerardo, because there aren’t many people out there with all the qualities the role required. First of all, he’s a gifted actor, capable of giving a layered dramatic performance, but at the same time, he’s immensely adroit at comedy. We needed a redoubtable leading performer, the kind people come to expect from a Focus movie, but also someone who had a great appeal within the Mexican and Latinx moviegoers. We approached him at the early stages of the project, and little did we know he had a personal, almost autobiographical, connection to the story. So it was almost kismet. He came on board not only as a star but as an executive producer, so we are lucky to have his input and artistry in this movie”. 

Cisneros explains what this movie is all about: “Luis Gerardo Méndez stars as Renato, a successful Mexican private aviation entrepreneur based in San Miguel De Allende, who is shocked to discover he has an American half-brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher, played by Connor Del Rio. The two very different half-brothers are forced on a road journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path their father took as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico to the US.  The central idea of the movie is the need for learning how to see things from your neighbor’s perspective, which is kind of an allegory for what we’re going today in our global society.”

READ: 8 Times Netflix’s ‘Club De Cuervos’ Reminded Us How Intense Sibling Rivalry Is

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