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The state of Jalisco is Mexico’s most emblematic region, having given birth to so many of the country’s iconic cultural offerings, including the charro, or Mexican cowboy, and, of course, Tequila. This multi-destination state has plenty of space to maintain social distancing and remains a must for any fan of its signature spirit.

The following are Viva Tequila’s Mexico Experience top cities to visit in Jalisco’s agave-producing region, which is rich with the drink’s history and the culture that surrounds it, from mixology and gastronomy to the simple way of life in a hacienda.

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Tlaquepaque was founded by the indigenous Totonac people. They produced everyday utensils and art objects before the Spaniards arrived. Today, the town continues to be an artisan city known for its galleries and handicrafts. It’s a must-stop because of its up-tempo culinary scene. Be sure to have lunch at Casa Luna Restaurant, right in the center of the city. The open courtyard under the shade of a large tree is a magnet for locals and visitors alike thanks to its hipster vibe.

Teuchitlán lies along the Tequila Route and is home to the most important archaeological zone in western Mexico: Los Guachimontones. The zone is the major site of the so-called Teuchitlán tradition, a complex society that existed from as early as 300 BCE until perhaps 900 CE. The dominant features at Los Guachimontones are circular stepped pyramids in the middle of circular building complexes. The 60-foot (18-meter) tall pyramid at Circle 2 has 13 high steps leading to an upper level, which was then topped with another four high steps. A post hole was located at the very highest level, most likely for volador (flying acrobat) ceremonies. The pyramids may also have supported small temples. Check out Hacienda Labor de Rivera. Built in the late 1800s, each of the property’s rooms are individually designed, with their own unique character.

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Tequila has been designated both a “Magical Town” by the Ministry of Tourism of Mexico and a cultural UNESCO World Heritage site. The nearly 90,000-acre area is part of an expansive landscape of blue agave. Tequila’s fortunes have been shaped by cultivation of the plant, used since the 16th century to produce the spirit known as Tequila and for at least two millennia to make fermented drinks, such as pulque, and cloth. Within the landscape lie working distilleries, reflecting the growth in the consumption of Tequila in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, this agave culture is seen as part of Mexican national identity. The Tequila landscape has contributed to many works of art, including film, music, dance and paintings. Don’t miss Fonda Cholula, a wonderful colonial infrastructure — elegant, warm and harmonious with the buildings of the historic center. It’s a magical space to rest and enjoy the experience of Mexican cuisine that surrounds Tequila and its people.

Atotonilco El Alto is a town and municipality that covers an area of 246 square miles (638 square kilometers). The first part of its name means "Place of Hot Waters" in Mexico’s indigenous Náhuatl language. "El Alto,” or “The High One” in Spanish, was later added in honor of those who died in the Cristero War in the early 1920s. Make sure to visit Don Nacho Distillery, one of the most prolific agave-producing companies in the Jalisco Highlands.

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Guadalajara is the gathering point of all Jalisco and the place where all the varied traditions of that vast territory coexist, giving rise to a unique urban identity. The city boasts artistic and cultural credentials long recognized worldwide. Guadalajara is also innovative and avant-garde, constantly undergoing a renewal and reinvention process that promises it an attractive future. It’s also full of rhythm! Guadalajara’s musicality is a source of inspiration. Check out La Tequila Cocina de México Restaurant, offering the best of the region’s gastronomic heritage, following traditional recipes of dishes while innovating with a contemporary intention.

Viva Tequila Festival’s Mexico Experience brings guests on a luxurious tour of these five exciting cities to embrace Jalisco’s Mexican spirit and provide a deeper understanding of the different regions that cultivate agaves, local foods and the local culture.

How to talk about transgender issues

So how do we talk about transgender issues (even if you're not transgender)? There are three main things to remember when discussing transgender issues today, so before getting into the meat and potatoes of it all, let's keep these things in mind:

  1. It is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion.
  2. There is a rich history rooted in transgender rights that must be considered when discussing these issues.
  3. Humanization should always be at the forefront of the conversation.

Before going into any conversation, no matter who it's with, try to keep these things in mind before you say something that may be inappropriate, misguided, or just plain wrong. Even those with the best intentions can mess up; remember that it is always ok to admit when you do not know something or when you are wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

sign with a 'friendly for all genders' image showing a person in a wheelchair, and a person with half a dress and pants on.

Transgender bathroom bills

commons.wikimedia.org

So whether you choose to become a transgender activist or if you just want to be a better ally, this easy talking point will generally keep you in line and on the safe side of conversations while still putting forth the effort to encourage and better represent transgender rights.

Easy, all-around approach: This will work for almost all transgender issues and expand on the previous three rules; firstly, trans issues are not a debate. When discussing with someone, do not indulge in hypotheticals and always remember that transgender people are the exact same as anyone else, with the exact same feelings. Keeping this in mind, let's use the bathroom bill as an example. When discussing this issue, one should humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation. How does one employ this, though? Here is an example of how the conversation may go.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restroom, they will rape my daughters.

So this statement is clearly based on reactionary conversation perpetuated by anti-transgender ideals. This means that the person probably has a misconception of the history and oppression of transgender people. They also show concern for their family, which is a step towards humanization, despite the misconception. Here would be an appropriate response that helps to humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation.

Person 2: I don't want men in the women's restroom, either, which is why we need to make sure people who identify as women are using the women's restroom. There has never been a documented case where a transgender person has raped either a man or woman in a public restroom. And by forcing people to use a restroom that does not match their gender identity, it is promoting violence, as there is a strong history of physical violence against transgender people.

By only saying about three sentences, you are able to do the previous steps while discussing the issue in a civil manner without opening it up to debate. The key to this is to keep it short and sweet, stating both the truth and an ally's stance to support the transgender community. It's critical to make sure that what you say is backed with confidence, though, which is why this second approach is more encouraged as it gives the person speaking more confidence in their opinion.

gif of a man in a suit talking about number 1. Number 1 GIF by PragerU Giphy

The second approach: backed by facts and history, is the exact same as before, but this approach leaves the other person with more questions about their stance and gives them something to consider. Before going into this approach, however, it is important to keep in mind that you are not debating the existence of trans people, nor are you trying to change someone's mind. That is not the goal; the goal is simply to get your opinion across in a way that honors both the trans community and their ideas. Let's take the same example as before but add the new sentiments.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restrooms, they will rape my daughters.

Person 2: There has never been a documented case of a transgender person raping anyone in a public restroom, and the only published cases of such were proven to be false. Further, when people say things like this, they are perpetuating violence against transgender people, which has historically (and still does) oppressed and insight further physical violence against them. And honestly, the most common reason there is this stance is because the person typically does not know a trans person and may not even know a person who does know a trans person. But the truth is, they probably do. The probability is more likely that the transgender people around them are just not comfortable enough in the environment to come out and speak up about their gender identity. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite sad that some people's opinion does not invite civil discussion but instead incites violence.

This approach is more confrontational, which requires more confidence when using it in a conversation, but it still holds true to all of the previous rules and sentiments. It adds truth based on history, which is an important aspect of trans rights as it reminds people of where we were/ where we are currently with human rights. These ideas can be transferred to most all trans issues and will honor the transgender movement and your allyship. The last thing to keep in mind is the person or reason you are standing up for/with trans rights. The passion -the compassion will shine through in conversation if you keep your reasoning close to heart. Whether it is because of a transgender friend, family member, or just because of your moral values, if you put your emotions into your reasoning, it will create more compelling statements, especially if the statement is well versed with the facts.

Tips to Remember When Discussing Transgender Issues

  1. Transgender issues are not political, they are human rights issues
  2. There is a rich history behind transgender issues
  3. Humanize transgender people through our words and ideas and don't forget to include:
    • 3(b). The facts
    • 3(c).The confidence
    • 3(d). The inspiration behind the support for transgender rights

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