This Is What Happened in Mexico in 2017

Palacio de Bellas Artes, México | © Andres Virviescas / Shutterstock
Picture of Charlotte Peet
Commissioning Editor
Updated: 27 December 2017
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For more on the year’s cultural happenings, check out some more of our 2017 In Review round-ups.

Waving the vibrant LGBT and native pride flags high, 2017 was the year when Mexico really put itself out there. From encountering a third-gender in Mexico and celebrating indigenous roots, to joining forces in hard times, this was the year when social, gender and cultural barriers were broken.

Rural Mexico’s third-gender, the muxe

Taking our readers on a trip to Juchitan, the believed birth-place of Mexico’s third-gender, Culture Trip covered the unique identity of the Zapotec people, who consider themselves neither male nor female, but somewhere in between. Born biologically male, but preferring to dress and act in ways typically associated with being female, the world of the muxe is a colourfully non-binary one.

Mexican contemporary performance artist Lukas Avendaño

Pablo Escobar’s former mansion turned art-boutique hotel

If your guilty pleasure this year has been bingeing on the latest series of Narcos, you’ll be glad to know that a once dark Colombian reality has now become any luxe-travelers dream destination. Thanks to the magical touch of an art dealer and collector, the infamous mansion is now open to visitors, who can enjoy a changing selection of art in their suites, with a backdrop of lush tropical beaches. Tempted? The only catch is the £450 price-tag.

Casa Malca
© Design Hotels

A local injects life into Day of the Dead celebrations

Rather than mourning the loss of their dearly departed, the Day of the Dead is a tradition that is all about celebrating inevitable realities and reconnecting with loved ones. Not just a party, the Day of the Dead is also a time to embrace their indigenous roots; people take the time to remember where they come from, where they are going and to whom they will always return.

Myra preparing for Día de los Muertos, Mexico

We told our audience how they could help folks volunteer after the earthquake

With deadly earthquakes that rocked the capital and surrounding Puebla, Morelos and Oaxaca areas, 2017 was a challenging year for Mexico. September witnessed an impressive international relief network and an even stronger community spirit. While a trip to Mexico may not have been the relaxed tropical escape you had planned, Culture Trip helped show how tourists could contribute to the reconstruction effort.

Aid workers signal for complete silencel México
© Sara_Escobar / Shutterstock

We met Mexico’s hottest indigenous hip-hop artists

Continuing the theme of exposing and celebrating native roots, the Tihorapper crew are resurrecting their Mayan language through rhyme, rhythm and the power of social media. On a mission to preserve their dying culture and language, the six-man crew of 20-something-year-olds rap about daily life in the Yucatan. While they might just be getting started, the hip-hop artists from Tihosuco and Quintana Roo already have a viral single under their belts and we have a hunch that 2017 might just have marked the beginning of some beautiful and explosive indigenous-meet-modern encounters. Watch this space.

Estoy Contento

We met the avocado police protecting Mexico’s green gold

Claiming all bragging rights for being one of the birthplaces of 2017’s most beloved treasure, Tancitaro may look and feel like your typical Mexican town but as Mexico’s avocado capital, there’s nothing ordinary about this place. While it’s no secret that Mexico has a negative reputation for organised crime, violence goes a step further when Mexico’s precious green fruit is up for grabs. Extreme measures were taken to protect the avocados, with the local police coming out as the true heroes.

Avocados are under attack in Mexico
© barmalini / Shutterstock

Giant portrait of toddler peers over US-Mexico border wall

They say that Mexico is the new Berlin but the wall didn’t work in Germany then either. Seeking to put a playful spin on a serious topic, a French artist erected a giant cut-out of a toddler peeking over a stretch of the border fence dividing Mexico and the US. The message? Make art, not wars.

US-Mexico border installation by French artist, JR
© PAUL BUCK / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock
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