Photos courtesy of the Guadalajara Tourism Board
Travel has happily returned in full swing following the pandemic, and I for one am fully on board! Recently I was invited to visit the city of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco Mexico. With limited expectations of a city I had never visited and was not particularly familiar with, I went in with a very curious and open mind and left with a sense of excitement and great anticipation for my next visit.
The state of Jalisco has emerged as one of the most progressive states in Mexico when it comes to LGBTQ rights making it an attractive travel destination for LGBTQ visitors. Here are few impressive examples of what makes the city of Guadalajara and the state of Jalisco leaders in the LGBTQ communities.
In December 2018, Jalisco appointed Andrés Treviño to be its Sexual Diversity Director, making Jalisco the only state in Mexico to have this appointed position within the government.
Jalisco is the first and, at the moment, the only state to recognize trans kids and youth rights to their legal identity as a result of Andrés Treviño efforts.
It is one of the few states that has legislation over hate crimes.
Conversion therapy is illegal
Same-sex marriage is legal
Guadalajara has one of the largest Pride celebrations in Latin America.
Guadalajara – Co-Host of the 2023 Gay Games with the City of Hong Kong
Should you decide to venture to the pleasant November climate of Guadalajara to experience the excitement of the 2023 Gay Games, here is a bit more information about the games. The Gay Games will take place November 3rd through November 11th in the city of Guadalajara. The Gay Games are held every four years and draw approximately 10,000 athletes from around the world. Athletes will compete in 20 sporting events including diving, swimming, water polo, 5k-10k, marathon and half marathon, track and field, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, bowling, cheerleading, dance, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, rugby skateboarding and powerlifting.
To make transportation for visiting guests more convenient, the city of Guadalajara is developing a transportation card that will include access to the subway, the city bus system and Guadalajara’s bike share program. The city of Guadalajara is also working with a telecom company to create a prepaid SIM card for mobile phone usage during the games. Rounding out the sporting events taking place, the Gay Games will also include a cultural component with exhibitions taking place in many of the museums through-out the city.
For more information on the 2023 Gay Games visit https://gggdl2023.org/en/faqs
Guadalajara … a Culinary Treasure
One of the many highlights I unveiled during my visit to Guadalajara was discovering what a hidden gem the city is in the Latin America culinary world. Considered by many as a “foodie city to watch”, I had been told by my food writing journalist colleagues to be prepared for a delightful dining experience. Well, they certainly weren’t wrong. I found just about all of my noshing moments, from fine dining to late night street food, to be splendid and enjoyable. Here are a few of the highlights of my table-hopping food frenzy in Guadalajara.
Pronounced “Unitas”, this spot opened January 2021 in Mercado Centenario by one of Guadalajara’s leading chefs, Fabian Delgado. Yunaites is dedicated to traditional Mexican dishes from the region. I ordered the quesadilla with squash blossoms that included the ingredient huitlacoche, which is a type of corn fungus. The presentation was beautiful as the bright yellow squash blossoms jetted out of the quesadilla, making for a floral fresh appearance. Very reasonably priced, this casual dining spot is worth visiting for breakfast or lunch.
La Postreria has been a local favorite since 2013, known for the beautiful esthetic of its dishes, particularly its desserts. The eatery offers visitors the chance to participate in cooking classes that highlight La Postreria’s signature dishes. I had a cup of their tomato basil soup, along with a delicious grilled cheese sandwich saving room for dessert, which was exquisite. I ordered the “Caramella” – and an assortment sampling of their “Macaroons”…every bite was a treasure to remember.
A true “Tapatio” (Guadalajara native) will tell you that Tacos Providencia serves the best street style tacos in town. I had 4 tacos…steak, al pastor, ribs and the tongue taco…yep, a tongue taco. I washed them all down with a bottle of Modelo Beer. Very inexpensive and a popular busy spot.
Asa Luna is located in the heart of Tlaquepaque. The stunning décor can only be trumped by the outstanding service and the amazing selection of elevated Mexican dishes. I ordered the Cazuela cocktail, one of Guadalajara’s signature drinks that is a cross between a sangria and a margarita. The ingredients of the Cazuela includes a mixture of fresh squeezed orange, lemon and grapefruit juices mixed with grenadine and tequila, and topped off with Fresca poured over ice with a salted rim and lime, served in a terra cotta pot. Moderate to Expensive / Great Atmosphere.
Day Tours to Consider When Visiting Guadalajara
Tlaquepaque, designated a “Magical Town” as deemed by the Mexico Secretariat of Tourism. “Magical Towns” are noted for their natural beauty, cultural richness, traditions, folklore, historical relevance, and great hospitality. The town is best known for its high-quality craftsmanship and the art scene that fills up the showrooms and the marketplace throughout the town. Well-known artists and sculptors like Sergio Bustamante have galleries in the area. Take time to stroll the marketplace admiring the vibrant colors of the promenade while popping in and out of the galleries, gift shops, bakeries, candy stores and small restaurants, perhaps relaxing while doing a little people watching sipping a topo chico or an adult beverage.
GUADALAJARA HISTORIC CITY CENTER TOUR
Enjoy a walking historic city center tour to explore the architecturally impressive landmarks dominating the skyline, including that of UNESCO World Heritage Site Museo Cabañas and the golden-hued Palacio de Gobierno, both with stunning murals by Jose Clemente Orozco. Orozco is one of the most famous painters in Mexico, known for his elaborate murals that he completed with the use of only one hand and with sight in only one eye.
HEAD TO THE TOWN OF TEQUILA
On the drive to Tequila, you will see greenish blue fields of agave that stretch over rugged, hilly terrain. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of Mexico’s identity. Jalisco is the birthplace of tequila where the world’s tequila is produced. A smaller percentage of tequila is also produced in parts of the neighboring states of Guanajuato, Nayarit, Michoacan, and Tamaulipas. Once you arrive in the town of Tequilla, take a moment to learn about how agave is harvested to make tequila, a craft that is still done entirely by hand and has remained unchanged since the 1600’s. A master jimador – agave farmer – is often available to provide a harvesting demonstration while showing you the tools of the trade.