Category Archives: Travel

Oaxaca promotes Holy Week with offensive tourism promo for Americans

semana santa 2017 cd de oaxaca Holy Week in Oaxaca City would have gone on without a hitch I assume.  After all, the new governor of the state, Alejandro Murat, has largely contained the radical faction of the leftist teacher’s union CNTE 22 by granting them their teaching posts, albeit with some conditions.

Holy week is a special week for Catholics around the world and every year, Oaxaca shines in its devotion to Catholic traditions.  Few would know, least of all American tourists, that one of those traditions includes attire that has only been seen in the infamous hate group, Ku Klux Klan.  At least in the United States, the group and the attire, are a symbol of hate, racism and discrimination.

“The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous — and oldest — of American hate groups. Although black Americans have typically been the Klan’s primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics.” – U.S. Southern Poverty Law Center

And yet, few Americans would know that the pointed hat and habit are old Catholic traditions that were originally brought over from Spain.

“The capirote and habit or Sambenito (literally, “Saint Benedict”) of the penitents was instituted by the Inquisition in the fifteenth century. In the eighteenth century this costume was taken over by the cofradias and gremios (guilds) for Holy Week processions. People from the United States seeing this costume for the first time are shocked, because the Ku Klux Klan has taken it as its own.”  – Mozarabs, Hispanics and The Cross by Raul Gomez-Ruiz

semana santa 2017 cd de oaxaca-2 And that was exactly my reaction when I saw an advertisement promoting Holy Week in Oaxaca. One of shock and utter disbelief.  One would think that if the government of Oaxaca was promoting tourism geared towards foreigners, that it would be more sensitive to their culture.  Although, Americans are not the only tourists targeted in this promo, the majority do come from the United States with a whopping 55% share of total international passengers visiting the country.  (DATATUR/SECTUR, Mexico)

It is great that such archaic traditions are still held in Mexico, especially in Oaxaca, but it is also in the country’s best interest to be mindful of the advertisement it uses to promote its festivities.  This is not the first time that Oaxaca has “goofed” in its promos.  In 2014, there was public outcry for the minute long promo spot for Oaxaca’s Guelaguetza that was deemed racist, forcing the government to edit the promo into a 30 second spot instead.

Let Americans get a culture shock once we’re in Mexico but don’t alienate us before we have a chance to buy our flight tickets.

 

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French bakery in Chiapas Mexico accused of discrimination never apologized

On November 12th, in the city San Cristobal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas,an indigenous student was discriminated against and barred from entering the premises of theFrench bakery, Oh la la! Her name is Rosa Liberta Xiap Riscajche, known as Ali Roxox, and her classmate Monserrat was a witness to this heinous act.

Monserrat immediately posted what happened to her friend on Twitter, which sent a wave of criticism towards the French bakery.

Far from apologizing, the management of Oh La La! Pasteleria Francesa sent out a “press release” via their Facebook page stating that there was a misunderstanding and that they wanted to clear things up. Yet, a public apology never came.

The French bakery blamed the incident on one employee instead of taking full responsibility for the incident which only made things worse. Employees are the “face” of a company and do not act alone. Apparently this company had no code of conduct in place and now the owners wanted no part in the incident that discriminated against an indigenous student.

After weeks of negative publicity, Oh La La Pasteleria Francesa recently deleted the press release from their Facebook page and have closed the public comments section as well. A swift apology would have helped to clear things up much smoother for everyone involved, to say the least.

Yet as critics wait, still no apology in sight.

This has not deterred critics though. They have taken to continue their criticism of the business by posting comments under existing pictures on the company’s facebook page.

The bakery’s Trip Advisor rating had also suffered temporarily because of this. However, Trip Advisor has deleted all the negative comments that had been posted since the incident occurred. Google has not deleted the negative comments and ratings of this bakery.

The management claims that they are not racists because they feed their left over bread to indigenous street children daily. Sure, they give them handouts, but what about respect? A real public apology is still necessary.

Ali Roxox sent out her own press release in which she expressed regret for the incident and condemned the discriminatory actions of those who marginalize the indigenous poor. She hopes that what happened to her stops and expects a public apology from Oh La La! Pasteleria Francesa in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas where she suffered the aggression.

It is said that the french are very proud people and frequently hold their nose and scoff at critics. If this holds true, Mexico’s resentment towards the french and foreigners will only grow.

Mexican citizens are already furious by last year’s release of french national Florence Cassez, a woman accused and convicted of kidnapping and torturing her victims while living in Mexico. The backlash against the french increased and the incident with the french bakery in Chiapas, isn’t helping matters either.

With no public apology in sight from Oh La La! Pasteleria Francesa, towards an indigenous woman who only wanted to consume and buy some french pastries, who knows how long this business will remain open.

Public sentiment seems to be: No public apology, No business.

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