Opera: Tijuana style

Ciudad Juárez, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa… what do these cities have in common? They are border cities, where the violence in Mexico exploded due to the War on Drugs that devastated the northern part of the country.

Tijuana is precisely one of those cities that felt it heavily, but today teaches us a very nice lesson. Since years (even before the War on Drugs) Tijuana was world-known for its careless way of life. Alcohol, drugs, women, nasty streets and tough night life were part of the imagination when someone imagined the city.

The inhabitants, however, never lost their faith and found new ways to fight that feeling. As true Mexicans, they knew that violence cannot be stopped with more violence, and thus fought it the way they knew: sing and smile.

The Tijuana Cultural Centre and their young talents decided to give hope and draw smiles in its inhabitants with their own version of street Opera, a movement that has been seen previously in Europe, but a movement that Tijuana needed to gain energy and encourage their people to not give up and live peacefully. Did it work? Too soon to say, but oh boy! truly inspires.

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VICE explores the hidden Mexico

I started to discover the most interesting stuff about Mexico when I left. I’m not gonna lie, I never realized what Mexico actually stands for until I saw the country as an outsider. In the same way, I got a closer perspective of the foreigner’s point of view.

It kinda surprises me and never found the words to express what Mexico is (within its thousands of faces). I think is better to show it, not just talk about it, but really put the culture, society and voices of the Mexicans in a visual way.

I have tried a couple of times (and will doing it as much as I can), but if a professional view of the culture is what people are looking for, then my biggest suggestion would be the VICE documentaries.

The first time I saw a VICE documentary about Mexico was the one about the “Mexican Pointy Boots“. I discovered that mexican fashion through VICE. I had never heard about it before. This is the kind of documentary that I like to see, closer to the people. It describes the real ‘feeling’ of the society, the thoughts of the Mexican people and in their own words.

Then I started to look more documentaries of the same style. What else could I discover from my country in this original journalistic enterprise? Well, there were more than expected, here a short list with some of my favorites, including the ones produced with the mexican beer brand “Indio”: Continue reading

Día de Muertos: Tips to enjoy the tradition

Probably you know a bit about this tradition due to the curiosity about the “celebration of Death”. Well, Death is a topic with different points of view in the world.

As a Mexican there are many things that still surprise about this festivity, mainly because it is celebrated in different ways all along Mexico. Oh yeah, last year I made a video with the historical background and main topics of it. I recommend you to watch it before proceeding with the lines below.

I assume that you now understood that Mexicans are not celebrating Death, in the same sense that we are not having parties to say good-bye to our beloved dead. Continue reading

Song of the day: Gimme tha Power – Molotov

Molotov is one of my favorite bands. My favorite Spanish-speaking band for sure.

Oddly, the only times that I’ve been to a Molotov concert were in Germany, during their European tour. But I don’t complain, the concerts were vibrant and full of energy, like their songs. Damn! I was even able to jump with them on the stage and had some words before and after the show.

But anyways. Mexico has been involved in many political disturbances and its social movements are a clear way to observe these several demands from all over Mexico.

What I like from Molotov is that they are totally apolitical, so have more energy to talk crap about everyone in politics.

This is one of their most famous songs, and almost an hymn that has trascended through all Latin America. I truly believe, that many inhabitants from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego feel very identified with the lyrics.

This is a powerful invitation of Molotov to take the streets and demonstrate against the dirt in Politics: Gimme tha Power.

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The unforgettable October the 2nd

October the 2nd is a day making history in Mexico. Mexicans look at it with disgust and sadness, adding one painful memory to the national feeling.Logo Mexico 68

1968 was the year of worldwide awakening and cultural revolutions led by students and social activists, and Mexico was not the exception. It was also the year in which the Olympics were held in Mexico, where the eyes of the world were pointing to the country. Continue reading

Humiliation of a Mexican child

Not new, still outrageous. A mexican inspector of the government did one of the most humiliating acts. But well, let’s start from the origin of all.

In Mexico are forbidden (among other things):

  1. Child labour.
  2. Selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors.

humkid01Clear so far? ok. However, there is a problem. It is not possible to achieve it. Why? Well, in Mexico there is a high level of poverty and many people have to find some source of income, rather than going even to schools, including children. True, some children are exploited and some others just don’t have any further goals in their lives. But, although the law is supposed to guarantee the same opportunities for everyone, in reality it is not possible due to the high inequality in the country. Continue reading

Cinco de Mayo: The battle

Without being a stereotype per se, the famous “May 5th” is loud and internationally linked to a Mexican celebration, but… what is supposed to be celebrated?

I’ll be short: the battle where Mexico defeated France. That’s all. In the second french intervention in Mexico (yes, they were two major french interventions in Mexico) in the middle of the XIX century, France invaded Mexico to annex it as a satellite state of France. The invasion started in Veracruz and headed to Mexico City, but in the middle of the way (in Puebla) the french army was slammed on the brakes and defeated by a totally underrated Mexican army.

Batalla de Puebla Continue reading