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Club 502: Gay Nightlife in Oaxaca

Apparently there are a handful of gay bars in Oaxaca but I only found one.

It was an unmarked black door at 502 Díaz. That’s what they call it, Club 502 but there is no name outside (it’s right across from La Resistencia).

I celebrated my 31st birthday there and I had a blast (I was drunk and so happy to be around gay people that nothing else really mattered at the moment). The club is your standard gay dance club with 90′s decor, lights and smoke, cheesy dance music, lots of drunk dancing, sketchy bathrooms, and strong drinks. The cocktails are cheap and mojito’s are delicious.

The downsides to the club are two major ones….1.it’s about 90% men (we were really missing the machas!) and 2. apparently no “transvestism” is allowed (we saw this on a sign in the bar).

Note from Macha Mexico: Shame on club 502 for its apparently transphobic policy! We would love to hear from readers about other bars in the city of Oaxaca, especially those that are inclusive of all members of our community. Please email if you want to write reviews of other clubs!

Oaxaca- Responsible Tourism

My girlfriend and I rented a house in a small barrio called San Luis Beltran in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. We lived there for two glorious months. One of the most rewarding things I did during our time there was participate in Fundacion En Via (formerly called Investours).

preciosa sangre de cristo church in teotitlán del valle

Fundacion En Via is a non profit microfinance organization helping women in Teotitlán further their small business dreams.The money you pay for the tour (50USD) goes directly into an interest free loan for the women participating in Fundacion En Via.

The tour leaves Oaxaca at 1pm and returns around 7pm and lunch is included (delicious vegetarian tortas!). On the tour you visit six women that have chosen to apply for the interest free loan. It’s a great experience visiting them in their home or workplace and hearing all about what they do and what the loan money would be used for. We met some amazing women on my tour that were weavers, tortilla makers, organic product sellers and fruit/vegetable stand vendors.

I would highly recommend this eye opening tour!

For more details and contact information, check out their website.

hola from chicago! call me feminista!

hello machas everywhere! i am excited to contribute some of my recent travel experiences in mexico city and beyond. i just moved to chicago, illinois, usa 2 days ago but…my grrrlfriend and i saved money for 3 years in minneapolis, minnesota. then in march of 2009 we quit our jobs and took off for a year long backpacking adventure around england, netherlands, romania, hungary, serbia, bosnia, croatia, germany, poland, czech republic, austria, turkey and mexico. it was amazing and we especially loved our four months spent in mexico. we could not have asked for a better end to our trip than to spend it in the beautiful country of mexico. you can check out our travelblog and see pics and read stories of us on the road at http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/feministraveler/

if you are thinking of taking a trip and wondering what its like to travel being brown or white and lesbian and fat/chubbalicious and vegan and vegetarian and butch and femme and umm…sometimes socially awkward? contact me through our travelblog and I have tons of advice!

thanks for reading!!! feminista

Note from Macha Mexico: We are excited to have feminista as our first guest blogger! We hope that she will be the first of many machas who have something to say about dyke life in Mexico. If you are interested in writing for Macha Mexico, leave a comment or email us at machamexico@yahoo.com.

“Mexico, te quiero de a madre” say the Kumbia Queers at Vive Latino

Sorry for the long hiatus here at Macha Mexico, but what better to lure us out of hibernation than the Kumbia Queers‘ new Mexican tour!

That’s right, Macha Mexico’s favorite queer-core Mexican/Argentine cumbia/punk band is back in Mexico for a month long tour. The majority of the shows are in Mexico City (with a few She Devils shows mixed in), but they’ll also heading north to Querétaro and Guanajuato, south to Oaxaca, east to Cuernavaca, and west to Veracruz.  Check out the Kumbia Queers’ website for complete dates and details of the Mexico: Te Quiero de a Madre tour.

The tour kicks off this weekend when the Kumbia Queers perform at Vive Latino, the tenth incarnation of Mexico City’s annual international festival of rock en español at the Foro Sol. This is a huge festival drawing big names in Spanish-language music. The names that most caught my attention were rocker/accordionist Julieta Venegas, gay-friend Puerto Rican reggeaton duo Calle 13, and chilango klezmer geniuses Klezmerson. (Find times and stages at the complete schedule for Vive Latino.)

The Kumbia Queers will be opening Sunday afternoon’s shows on the escenario azul at 1:00 pm, so go and show them some macha love!

Macha Mexico: events for this Saturday

This Saturday will be very busy for machas in Mexico City.  A march in the evening, a party for “chicks” and a punky-rockabilly-rocker concert to celebrate Ali Gua Gua’s birthday at night guarantee a full day and night. Here is the info for each event:



Lesbian March*

For about four years (as I can recall)  this march has been celebrated as an alternative to the larger Gay Pride march in June that some consider more a carnival than a political protest. The motos of this march organized entirely by women are “Say no to the marketing of sexual diversity”; “Stop violent acts of the church, schools, medical science, family and political parties against women’s bodies”; “Stop feminicide all over the country”; “Against obligatory heterosexuality”, and “Stop total subordination of women in the world”.

In the past years, this march has been criticized because of the organizers’ reluctance to allow men’s participation–notwithstanding their political affiliation or good intentions. Apparently, this year things will change since men will be allowed to walk, although behind the main group.

Lesbian March,  from Zócalo to Monumento a la Revolución, 4 pm. If you want more information click here.


Chick’s Party

Never been there, but it advertises itself as “the best party for girls”. It offers an aerial dance show, go-go dancers, and a comfortable area to smoke and “make friends”. Karaoke from 7 to 9 pm and a couple of DJ’s will be playing the rest of the night. If you think this is not enough they also have valet parking….! My guess is that the scene would be similar to that of Lipstck, but you’ll have to find out.

Chick’s Party, Av. Chapultepec 456, near metro Sevilla. Cover: 80 pesos.



Rock Femenino

If you are looking for a more relaxed experience Foro Alicia is a great option. For more than ten years this legendary venue has been known as one of the few spaces in Mexico City where new groups of all musical genres can reach a quite diverse audience: rock, hip-hop, ska, rockabilly, cumbia, surf… you name it. This time, Los Leopardos (rockabilly), Black Violettes (rock) and famous Ultrasonicas will be playing. The last group features Ali Gua Gua, who also sings with our loved Kumbia Queers. This is definitely a great opportunity to dive within the alternative music scene of DF.

Rock Femenino, Multiforo Alicia, Av. Cuauhtémoc 91-A, Col. Roma, Tel. 55112100, Cover: 70 pesos.


*Thanks Catron for sharing this info with us.

Let’s Celebrate Same-Sex Marriage in Mexico City!

This evening, the LGBT community will celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Mexico City. After members of Mexico City PAN (National Action Party) fought against the bill–politically supported by Mexican president Felipe Calderón–the Supreme Court dismissed six appeals coming from the governors of Baja California, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Sonora and Tlaxcala who argued that same-sex marriage law affected the principle of autonomy of the other states.

In spite of the triumph, some still speculate that the law will rise conservative reactions in other states, as it has happened after Mexico City government legalized abortion in 2007 which inspired 17 states to penalize those women who practice it and making D.F. some kind of island of lefty rights for women, and now for same-sex couples who probably will travel to Mexico City to get married.

However, the law requires that one of the members of the couple has to live in Mexico City for at least six months. Also, beware that today is the official day in which same-sex couple are allowed to petition a date to get married, which means that the actual weddings will start until March 12. If you are interested in getting married to a chilango or chilanga, you have to pay around 70 dollars (if you are marrying at the City Hall); if you are getting married at home you pay around 60 dollars, and if the judge has to go out of his or her jurisdiction you pay around 500 dollars. The good news is that massive marriages are for free, so you can expect a bunch of couples celebrating very soon. I guess that’ll be the case of Lol Kin Castañeda and Judith Vázquez, and Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe, so expect more news on same-sex weddings. So far I haven’t known about any public gay male couples getting married, but promise to share the information if that’s the case.

The appointment today is at 5 pm at the Hemiciclo a Juárez (a.k.a HOmociclo a Juárez), very close to Bellas Artes and Hidalgo subway stations, right in front of Sheraton Hotel in Centro Histórico.

Mexico City from above

In the last few weeks, wind has been blowing in Distrito Federal cleaning the sky, letting us contemplate the volcanoes and the mountains that surround the city. Coming from the airport, you can even see the Paso de Cortés, the saddle that links the Popocatépetl and the Iztaccíhuatl–as a reminder of the romantic legend that explains why these two volcanoes sit one beside the other.

Although it is true that the Torre Latinoamericana and the Torre Mayor are great spots to see the whole city, Macha Mexico recently found another place that is somehow neglected when it is about watching Mexico City’s skyline. The place is a restaurant called Bellini’s, located at the 45th floor of World Trade Center on Avenida Insurgentes.

To be honest, the food is pricey and not good. However, you can certainly order an appetizer, maybe a drink and enjoy the view. The restaurant (or whatever machine makes it spin) takes around an hour and forty-five minutes to get back to the starting point. We mind you that, depending on what time you arrive, you will find businessmen, straight couples or families. If this is not your first time in Mexico City you will certainly find some amusement identifying different ares of the city. Don’t forget a camera, and maybe a map to orient yourself from above…!

Bellini’s, Mexico World Trade Center , Montecito 38, 45th floor, Col. Nápoles. Monday to Saturday from 1pm to 2 am. Sundays from 9am to 11pm. Poliforum Metrobus station.

Macha Mexico in Photos

Coyoacán is one of the most visited spots by postmodern hippies and artsy youngsters in Mexico City. Maybe that’s why you can find graffiti and stencils invading the facades belonged to the well-off. I found this one particularly great….

Lectures on same-sex marriage in Mexico City

Opposition against same-sex marriage in Mexico City has prompted several reactions among GLBT groups concerned about defending what it should be considered a matter of rights–and not a matter of opinion or referendums, as the PAN (National Action Party) has put it.

The same group that organized the march in defense of same-sex marriage last Saturday will host a series of lectures and debates next Tuesday and Wednesday regarding a series of matters:  human and gay rights, the separation between the Church and the State, the concept of family, and sexual diversity.

Activists and politicians closely involved in GLBT rights will speak during this event (including Rep. David Razú, who proposed the same-sex marriage bill). If you want to see the whole program you can click here.

Foro Derechos, ciudadanía y diversidad sexual, February 9th and 10th, 10 hrs., Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Distrito Federal, Av. Universidad No. 1449, Col. Florida, Phone number: 5229 5600.

Xochimilco Revisited*

You may think that Macha Mexico is obsessed with Xochimilco—but only until you are there you could understand why we go back again and again. Every time I have been there, I have enjoyed the company of great machas and savored great food made right in front of me by an expert woman who can prepare delicious quesadillas of flor de calabaza (squash blosson), delicious Oaxaca cheese, and my favorite, hutilacoche. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Xochimilco again, but I have to say, this time was the best, and probably will stay in my memory as one of the best trips I’ve ever made.

The reasons: we decided to go to the famous Isla de las Muñecas, a legendary place where many years ago an old man–Julián Santana Barrera–was scared by the spirit of a drowned woman who used to visit his chinampa. In order to fight the spirit Julián started collecting dolls that he found sunk in the canals or in the garbage and hung them around his house. Over the years, the collection grew bigger in size and fame, up to a point that locals and visitors would bring dolls too, until long lines of dolls completely surrounded the whole land.

In order to get there, you have to cross the Reserva Ecológica, which compels you to sail far away from the touristy parts of Xochimilco usually full of families and groups of friends who are sometimes singing to the tune of a mariachi or a marimba. Once you leave behind that area, Xochimilco becomes water and sky, herons landing here and there, milpas, and some cows that stare at you as you pass by. As you drift on the water you can actually see everyday life in Xochimilco: a house guarded by a dog here, little shops there, a bridge used by locals, little kids waving with their hands, carps (yes, carps) jumping from the water…

When you arrive to the Isla de las Muñecas you pay 10 pesos and you get to visit a little “museum” which is a little room where you can see Agustinita, the favorite doll of the old man who collected the dolls, seating on her own shrine. Julián’s nephew will tell you the legend of the place while you probably take pictures and peruse the place until you find a fish tank with two ajolotes, the legendary aquatic salamander that undergoes metamorphosis remaining in the water and gilled. No doubt that the whole place has a weird vibe (as expected), but you can ask your guide to take you to see the rest of the land—and his garden. He grows chard, chamomile, and chilacayotes (a type of big squash)—everything organic.

This time we didn’t go early in the morning as many people recommend to “enjoy” the trip. In fact, we arrived to Xochimilco around five which turned out to be a great timing since going back to downtown Xochimilco from Isla de las Muñecas allowed us to see the sunset and enjoy the night during the last part of the trip.

The cost of the trip was 1200 pesos (around a hundred dollars) and believe me, it worth it (thank you Islandia!).

As we were on our way back to Distrito Federal I really missed the water surrounding us. Being in Xochimilco makes you think about an ancient Mexico City that used to have canals instead of streets and trajineras as its main way of transportation. What if we’d started all over again and bring water to this dry lake that makes Mexico City sink more and more every year? Below, a photo montage inspired on this idea.

Taken last Summer at the exhibition Citámbulos, at the Museo Nacional de Antropología.

*Pictures via Macha Mexico’s friends on Facebook