Mexico

Mexico: Behind the Headlines

Go behind the headlines to understand a country recapturing its rich, complicated heritage – and standing up to tyranny on both sides of the border.


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Starts At
$1,700

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Length
9 days




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Your Itinerary


Tour Difficulty:

Tour Highlights

  • See Mexico City through the eyes of prominent national activists, from the pyramids of Teotihuacan to the home of Frida Kahlo and the lives of today’s journalists battling corruption
  • Experience the world-famous 'Día de los Muertos' (Day of the Dead), where across the country people come together to remember loved ones who have passed away.
  • Visit with indigenous communities in Oaxaca, seeing first hand the power and history of their struggles for freedom
  • Have your breath taken away by the natural beauty of Mexico, from Hierva el Agua and the valleys of Oaxaca to the stunning Popocatépetl volcano
  • Taste an authentic version of Mexico: the rich, powerful flavors of mole, the rediscovered secrets of pre-hispanic Zapotec cuisine, and a mix of the ancient and the modern in the distillation of traditional spirit mezcal.
Day Briefing

Arrival to Benito Juarez International Airport and transport to hotel. Introductory dinner in the evening to meet the other travelers and the Justice Travel team, discussing the current situation in the country and the goals of the trip, with a special guest.

Hotel: Hotel Geneve


Day Briefing

In the morning, visit the Anthropology Museum, History Museum, and Victims Memorial all accompanied by Centro Vitoria, leading civil society organization in Mexico City, to look at the past and present of human rights abuses in the country.

Lunch downtown, and visit to the Zocalo and Santo Domingo square to see the ofrendas (offerings) and activities related with the Day of the Dead.

Hotel: Hotel Geneve


Day Briefing

In the morning, visit the awe-inspiring pyramids of Teotihuacán outside Mexico City. In the afternoon, visit the Coyoacan district, one of the most traditional neighborhoods of the city and visit the Frida Kahlo Museum. Dinner with feminist activists to talk about women’s rights, progress made, and the continuing issue of violence against women.

Hotel: Hotel Geneve


Day Briefing

On the way to Puebla, visit the magic town of Cholula. Afterwards, travel to the city of Puebla, UNESCO World Heritage. Spend the night in Puebla and have a conversation about cultural rights in Mexico.

Hotel: Hotel Quinta Real Puebla


Day Briefing

Travel to Oaxaca in the morning. City tour during the afternoon to attend different activities related with the Day of the Dead.

Hotel: Real de Oaxaca, blocks from the zócalo (plaza)


Day Briefing

In the morning, visit the spectacular ancient site of Monte Alban. In the afternoon, visit Calpulalpam, an indigenous town and home to a famous mezcal factory. Traditional lunch known as caldo de piedra and a tour (and tasting, of course!) at the mezcal factory.

Hotel: Real de Oaxaca


Day Briefing

Spend the entire day with Consorcio Oaxaca, indigenous feminist leaders in Oaxaca. In the morning, we’ll visit Hierve el Agua, a sacred place for the Zapotec people, and in the afternoon to Ocotlán, a traditional town where the local church has been restored by women from the Zegachi community.

Hotel: Hotel Majestic, overlooking the famous zócalo and cathedral of Mexico City


Day Briefing

Travel to Tlaxcala, on the road back towards Mexico City. Visit the archeological site of Cacaxtla to discover the mythical mural of the fight between the jaguar men and bird men. In the evening, a meeting with the Director of the Sexuality Program of the National Human Rights Commission to learn about the issue of sex trafficking in Mexico.

Hotel: Hotel Señorial


Day Briefing

Travel to Mexico City, and departure from the international airport.


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Country Representative
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Our expert Country Representative will accompany you throughout the tour

Accomodation
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All 3- and 4-star hotels

Guide
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Certified, bilingual local guide

Meals
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All breakfasts and some lunches and dinners are included

Transportation
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All ground transportation (including airport pickup and dropoff) is included, as well as flights within the country

International flights
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You must purchase international flights separately

Travel Insurance
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You must purchase travel insurance separately

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Departure dates

Prices displayed below are based on per person, double occupancy.

Start End Price Action
Tuesday
October 30, 2018
Mexico City
Wednesday
November 7, 2018
Mexico City
$1700
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Understand Before You Go

Mexico is a country with a rich culture and a powerful history. From the Aztec and Toltec empires, Spanish conquest, independence, and revolutions through to the modern day, its history has been defined by a continuous struggle of the Mexican people against tyranny. Recent decades have been defined by two starkly different faces: one of newfound prosperity, of soap opera stars and white sand beaches; the other of desperation, of drug cartels and disappearances. Which is the true face - the true Mexico? Justice Travel will take you behind the headlines to understand this battle for the soul of the country. Meet the inspiring activists fighting for justice, from indigenous hamlets defending their land to journalists taking on government corruption. Meet a civil society recapturing its rich, complicated heritage and standing up to tyranny on both sides of the border.

Country

Mexico is the 5th largest country in the Americas at 5.1 million square kilometers. It has 32 States, with the capital in Mexico City, and it is currently the 15th largest economy in the world. It is a country with a fascinating history, full of traditions and marked by the mixture of many ethnicities and languages. The fight for freedom has been constant, from the War for Independence in 1810 through the Mexican Revolution in 1910 and the end of the PRI one-party rule in the late 20th century. Over the centuries, this country's history has been driven by people working to obtain more fair and humane living conditions. A perfect mixture between ancient traditions and emerging modernity, with amazing natural resources all around the country, every visit to Mexico is an exciting experience to live. 

 

History

Before the Spanish conquerors arrived, Mexico was populated by a multitude of indigenous cultures - Aztec, Mayan and Purépecha, among many others. It achieved its independence on September 27, 1821, after a war against the Spanish Empire that started on September 15, 1810. After the Mexican Revolution, Mexico was ruled by the PRI political party for more than 70 years. In 1968 and 1971 the Mexican army suppressed student uprising in Tlatelolco and Santo Tomás, and many leaders disappeared in the following years. Although PRI rule has ended, the situation for human rights activists and journalists in the country has in many ways returned to those dark days.

Read: “Balún Canán” (by Rosario Castellanos)

Watch: “Cinco de Mayo La Batalla” (Mexico, 2013)

 

People

127 million people live in Mexico. More than 25 million come from one of the 68 indigenous communities in the country, with the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz having the largest indigenous populations. Even through Mexico is a diverse country, racism is still a serious problem in Mexican society. 

Read: “The Bronze Race” (by Amado Nervo)

Watch: “La Delgada Línea Amarilla” (México, 2016)



Culture

Mexican culture is very diverse. Perhaps the best-known example of Mexican culture is the celebration known as “Días de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead), a national holiday consisting of gatherings of family and friends in the cemeteries to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

Mexican culture is very conscious of death, and maybe that’s one of the reasons that the society is so resilient. Even when Mexico is suffering through one of the biggest human rights crisis in its history, people are still joyful and happy, celebrating in the face of tragedy. 

 

Read: “The Labyrinth of Solitude” (by Octavio Paz)

Watch: “Coco” (USA, 2017)



Land

One of the most impressive experiences in Mexico is visiting the diverse natural resources that the country has to offer. 

In the south, tons of water from the Lagoons in Montebello keep the Lancandon jungle green and alive, and protecting the endangered black jaguar. Unfortunately, this natural richness has been threatened by the irresponsible activities of several corporations around the country, where activists groups are fighting for their lands and preserve their natural resources.

Read: “Canasta de Cuentos Mexicanos” (By Bruno Traven)

Watch:The Mexican” (Mexico, 2001)

 

Food

The Mexican cuisine it is a perfect mixture of Spanish and Indigenous dishes. Mexican food is world famous, and not only because of its spiciness. It is famous because of the diversity of traditional dishes that you can find all around the Mexican Republic. That is why the UNESCO, in 2010, designated Mexican traditional cuisine as an intangible cultural heritage. The beverages are also world famous, with 5 alcoholic beverages currently protected, the most famous being tequila from Jalisco, but also other great drinks like mezcal (from Oaxaca), Bacanora (from Sonora), Sotol (from Chihuahua) and Charanda (from Michoacán).

The basic Mexican diet is based on corn, beans and chilli - although we also have the capital of the avocado, in Periban, Michoacán. Around the 70% of the Mexican territory is ideal for agriculture.

Read: “El Chile: Protagonista de la Independencia y la Revolución” (by Fundación Herdez)

Watch: “Como Agua para Chocolate” (México, 1992)

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Tour Operator
Viajes de Gala

One of the best known travel companies in Mexico, Viajes de Gala has 41 years of experience and a sterling safety record. Their partnership with ADO, the top bus company in Mexico, means we will get everywhere quickly and comfortably.
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Our Partners

Centro Vitoria

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Consorcio Oaxaca

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Fondo Semillas

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Tour Operator
Viajes de Gala

One of the best known travel companies in Mexico, Viajes de Gala has 41 years of experience and a sterling safety record. Their partnership with ADO, the top bus company in Mexico, means we will get everywhere quickly and comfortably.

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Country Representative
Adalberto Mendez
Country Representative

Adalberto is a Mexican human rights lawyer, having joined Justice Travel from his position as Director of the Disability Division at the National Commission of Human Rights of Mexico. He has participated in different human rights projects in Mexico and abroad, including electoral observation in the United States and Honduras, as Human Rights Observer in the Western Sahara, and as a human rights trainer for the judiciary in the Dominican Republic. He obtained his law degree from Universidad La Salle, a pre-master degree at the İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi in Turkey, an LLM degree from American University, and is currently completing his PhD at the Institute of Critical Studies.

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