Things That Matter

Thanks To Coronavirus, Mexico Is Experiencing A Severe Beer Shortage And It Could Have Serious Consequences

Many were surprised when Mexico’s government declared beer production a ‘non-essential’ service when it implemented measures meant to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. In early April, the federal government mandated the closure of millions of businesses – including breweries.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared a national health emergency at the end of March and called for a halt to non-essential activities that included most manufacturing. 

Now, Mexico is running out of cerveza.

As the country faces another month of quarantine, a new crisis looms on the horizon: Mexico is running out of beer.

Beer is in short supply across Mexico as manufactures were ordered closed because of Coronavirus. Mexico’s beer lovers have had a hard time finding stocked shelves after the government deemed the industry non-essential and ordered it shut down.

Since President AMLO declared a national health emergency, beer production is no longer authorized under current sanitary restrictions. This means that production plants from Tabasco to Baja have had to shutter their doors. As a result, beer is a hot commodity. In fact, last weekend at least 25 states across Mexico reported beer shortages both in large supermarket chains and corner tienditas.

Although Mexico is the world’s largest exporter of the beverage — cornering almost 27% of the global beer market — the federal Health Ministry has made it clear that the product is not essential, even after the Agriculture Ministry invited beer manufacturers to resume production in early April.

As of Friday, the giant Mexican chain of convenience stores, Oxxo, announced they only had inventory for 10 days.

Oxxo is Latin America’s largest chain of convenience stores and they’re quickly running out of beer.

“If and when we run out of beer, which could happen in the next couple of weeks, that would be negative for sales,” Juan Fonseca, Femsa’s head of investor relations, said on a conference call with analysts. “I don’t want people to get off the call and run to the store, but right now we are probably looking at about 10 days of inventory.”

Although beer production doesn’t pose a major health risk, many see it as possibly limiting adherence to strict social distancing measures. When you drink alcohol, you often become less inhibited and it can also act as a social lubricant – meaning beer drinking may lead to more casual get together or parties.

“I think the government might be afraid if they drink beer, there will be more social interaction,” Padilla said in the call with analysts.

Several groups are urging the government to classify beer as an essential product to help mom and pop tiendas as well as to avoid social unrest.

Mom and pop corner shops and tienditas are struggling to make ends meet since beer often makes up more than 40% of their sales.

“There’s no beer because there’s no production. They closed the plants because of the disease,” said Emilio, a Mexico City shop owner with a few lonely cans of less popular brands of beer left in his refrigerators. Shops carrying ‘No Hay Cerveza’ signs are littered across the city.

“It’s hitting us real hard because beer is what we sell most. Now that we don’t have any, it obviously hurts us. My business supports eight families,” he said among mountains of empty bottles.

Even larger grocery stores are starting to see stocks run low, and the scarcity is being felt at the cash register, as beer prices have risen around 30%. In Tamaulipas, the price of a six-pack has doubled and a case of beer that used to sell for 280 pesos is now going for up to 600 pesos.

Some states are under mandatory ‘dry’ laws while a booming black market is leading many to worry about violence.

Some areas of the country are under government-mandated dry laws either banning outright the sale of alcohol or limiting the hours during which it can be purchased, but the shortage has imposed de facto dry laws on other regions simply because supplies do not exist. 

Even in the capital, Mexico City, certain parts of the city have enacted dry laws banning the sale of alcohol.

Meanwhile, smugglers on the northern border are bringing in clandestine shipments of beer from the U.S. Beer runners are taking to social media to sell their illegal beers, which are being trafficked similarly to cocaine and marijuana. Sellers will bring beer to a customer’s door to lower the risk of being caught by police, but purchasers will often pay a 300% premium for the service.

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Things That Matter

Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

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Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Entertainment

Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s 2021 and the Met Gala is back this year – after being canceled in 2020 thanks to a pandemic – with superstar poet Amanda Gorman being eyed to host the fashion event of the year. Given the 23-year-old’s show-stopping performance at the inauguration, the theme fittingly will be a celebration of America and American designers.

The Met Gala will return in 2021 with a very special guest as host.

Vogue’s “Oscars of Fashion” famously takes place on the first Monday of May. However, this year it’s been pushed back to September 13, in hopes that life will have returned to something closer to normal by then.

Epic poet Amanda Gorman is reportedly in talks to co-host the event alongside Tom Ford, who is the academy’s president. The breakout star of President Biden’s inauguration, Gorman is on the cover of the magazine’s May issue and the subject of a relentlessly glowing profile inside.

The black-tie gala, which raises funds for Met’s Costume Institute, is normally fashion’s biggest night and sees guests from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and even Maluma.

The event was canceled in 2020 thanks to a global pandemic.

The world’s most glamorous party was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19, which was (and still is) raging the planet at the time. There was a virtual event in place of the 2020 event, with celebs like Julia Roberts, Priyanka Chopra and Amanda Seyfried showing off their looks from home and stars like Mindy Kaling and Adam Rippon taking part in the #MetGalaChallenge, recreating looks from past years.

This year’s event will draw inspiration from all things USA.

The theme of this year’s Met Gala has not been announced, but Page Six says the night will be devoted to honoring America and American designers, following the 18-month-long COVID crisis in this country.

Recent past themes for the event have included “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), and “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017). And don’t forget 2016, when Zayn Malik wore robot-arms to Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.

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