Guanajato, Mexico – LGBTQ Travel Wonderland?

by Nick

I had a chance to speak with the amazing Minister of Tourism for Guanajuato Mexico, Teresa Matamoros. We talked about this off the beaten path destination in central Mexico that is trying hard to attract LGBTQ tourism.

Guanajato Mexico Episode

This week I welcome Teresa Matamoros, the Minister of Tourism for Guanajuato, Mexico, to the show to talk turkey on Guanajuato as a safe destination for LGBTQ travelers. We also dig into some deeper cut tourist spots, my husband Joe’s reluctance to leave Mexico, and common conceptions of the country’s crime problem.

Guanajuato: have you heard of it? A city of roughly 170,000 smack dab in the middle of the country, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, yet some travelers shy away from Mexico’s interior because of the American media’s portrayal of the country as being overrun by drug cartels. 

Fortunately, Teresa and I set the record straight by comparing this image to the “shocking” headlines concerning crime right here in Chicago. 

Teresa and I discuss the welcoming nature of Mexican locals, as the country remains the top international destination for American travelers. Guanajuato is similarly LGBTQ friendly, and should be on your radar the next time you’re searching for a place to visit. 

San Miguel de Allende, a smaller city in Guanajuato state, is the most popular inland wedding destination in the country, according to Teresa. That’s more great news for LGBTQ travelers, with destination weddings growing faster than any other part of the demographics’ tourist industry.  

Why travel at all, especially to places you may never have heard of? As I get older and recognize the fragility of life, I feel more and more compelled to see what the world has to offer me beyond my day-to-day life. Hopefully Teresa and I have convinced you to do the same!

Guanajuato, Mexico Transcription

Unknown Speaker  0:00  

Unit 17 This is the most important cultural festival in Latin America, actually, last year in Spain was with it was confirmed by me by some Spaniards that they were jealous of us because we have their most important celebrations of Cervantes, which is the Spanish Shakespeare, right in Mexico, not in Spain. And these festival attracts an amazing contact of cultural spectacles easiest Canada invited country and gateway to as a state. So you have an opportunity to see in these three weeks of the festival, England accardo some of the top artists of the moment so that’s a festival that attracts a lot of people. Another one of our events is the water balloon festival that takes place in November. Oh, that’s fun. Oh, my God is so fun.

Unknown Speaker  0:41  

I did see something about that. You probably

Unknown Speaker  0:42  

found some of the photos. Yes, these happens enough in a park that it’s in the north part of this of the city of Leon. And there’s a there’s a reservoir, there’s a water reservoir. So you have this amazing effect of looking at the balloons on the sky but also the reflection on the mirror on their own. The water so it’s a phenomenal it’s an amorphous event every night that alone. rights are happening in the morning very early when the sun is rising during the day their concerts, music people can eat and hang out and at night there’s a high end concert every night just for you to have an idea last year the last concert that happened on Sunday night, it attracted 110,000 people just wow concert so we’re used to big events and large events and people from all over the world have travel to our destinations to see the center.

Unknown Speaker  1:30  

Well let’s let’s talk a little bit since this is the gaycation travel show and I really want to sort of introduce what I want to walk so that you say a hard g in the beginning

Unknown Speaker  1:41  

not just think about one ago. One I

Unknown Speaker  1:44  

want to go want to go on a walk though.

Unknown Speaker  1:50  

I will get it before the end of the show. I’ll have to walk. So first of all, I read that Mexican’s in general really don’t care about traveler sexuality. It’s not like it’s a it’s like something that is is Hey, are you gay? Are you lesbian? It’s not about that. That everyone is pretty much welcome. So tell me a little bit if if a gay couple is is going to travel to go on a walk to.

Unknown Speaker  2:20  

So

Unknown Speaker  2:22  

how would they feel what they feel

Unknown Speaker  2:24  

welcome? Absolutely when although you might not be familiar with area it’s a it’s a it’s a destination that has welcome international travels for many years ago we pray well connected. So we’ve been having international just to give you an idea we have between to 2500 to 3000 Japanese people living in the state because we’re number one in production of cars. There are 800,000 cars assemble in one hot toy every year. So you can imagine that we are so happy early because they have it for the for the car. So we have my neighbors I have an Italian one. I have a Japanese one. I mean it’s very colorful and I live in in the US The capital city not in the largest city, which is Leon. So we’re really open to open to, to the to internationals and we’re really used to having people visiting for us, as you know, has more of the Mexican culture, we’re very proud of being able to show, you know, our home, our house, our nation, our community, our market, or whatever we have. So that surpasses any other, like, we don’t really see any other. Okay, any other. I gotta

Unknown Speaker  3:25  

ask this question because I know the people that are listening to the show or that will hear this podcast are going to want to know, I’ve never heard of one quite a walk toe. Is it safe? Absolutely. You know, it’s in central Mexico. So you know, unless they go to the coast, I can Koon or Puerto Vallarta, you know, which they feel sort of culturally safe. I can almost hear the questions like why would I go to the interior of Mexico as

Unknown Speaker  3:52  

Why would I mentor outside of a tourist that towards the interesting. Well, and one of the reasons Well, first, one of the things is like I would like Let’s talk about my world. I mean, you live in Chicago, I live in the city for 11 years and if you read the news you are afraid of leaving your house does it true but we cannot live in fear we cannot live in fear because otherwise you will not go to Brussels you will not go to Paris you will not go to some of them and

Unknown Speaker  4:14  

I will tell you to to that point, every time almost every year when we say we’re going to Mexico for vacation. Inevitably somebody says oh my god all the drug cartels and this and that, and the decapitations and this and that right? They someone I told them we were going to Guadalajara and they said they sent me a link of some there were 14 bodies that they found in Guadalajara. What what they don’t understand is that that the world and I say this and this is one of the things with with the vacation travel show that I really try to impart is that people are people 99% of the people are doing the things that you and I are doing we work shop, we worry about our kids at a supermarket to the supermarket. There’s always going to be an element of that the Southside of Chicago every week is murder murder, there was like 11 people murdered in one weekend during the holiday weekend. So and here’s the other thing too, that I want to point out. And I want our listeners to really understand this because this is so important. Every time you see a headline about violence in a foreign country, you need to read the story. Because most of the time not all, but most of the time it is a tourist who is not respecting the culture. One or they’re out at 3am flat, being drunk and disorderly or acting foolishly and flashing a lot of money.

Unknown Speaker  5:38  

I think if you read the news, I completely agree with all your points. Okay. But I also like to mention that if you read the news, you can sense that are mostly the wild wild west Mexico. Mexico is giant. Mexico is very big. So the first thing that you should be worried is like we’re in Mexico, okay. It’s in this destination. We’re in that destination because even some of the things that happened in the in the Yucatan Riviera Maya they’re not in the tourist area. No. So you need to also like understand your get your map private good your surroundings, but something I like to tell you is that when a klepto, eights ranked third in economic growth in the country, how can that happen? If it was the wild wild west? That’s impossible companies from all over the world have investments in one that would not have happened right? It was a mess. If it was the wild wild west,

Unknown Speaker  6:26  

listen, I’m gonna I’m gonna say this right off the bat. I’ve been going to Mexico for 20 years. I’ve never not once not any not even once had an incident where I felt unsafe or threatened in any way shape before. And I want to say this to all of you LGBT traveler, especially our lesbian listeners and I think lesbians. In general, the feedback that we get are very fearful about operating outside of their comfort zone. That’s a broad statement. But that’s just my own feedback that we’ve received. And I’m saying Mexico has always been welcoming to to us. Very familial as far as you know, very family oriented, very friendly, very open. We’ve never had had any issues and and i i bristle when they they respond and repeat talking points that are on the news like some sort that Mexico is one big drug cartel, huh?

Unknown Speaker  7:19  

I remember sometimes people will ask me things like, oh, something happened to in Mexico and I’m not gonna go to Cancun. I lived here in Chicago. And I remember well, where you’re telling me that you’re going to cancel an event because something happened in Miami and your event is in New York, you go with that information to your boss, gonna tell you folks get out of here because you have no idea of like, where things are. It’s the same thing with Mexico. So the first thing is to understand what things are happening. And also, you know, be smart when you travel, you’re more vulnerable because you don’t have your whole support network. And so you have to be smart. You have to know where you’re going. You don’t have to be flashy, you have to be respectful because that it’s good practice anywhere in the world. And this also makes you a good practice.

Unknown Speaker  7:59  

Something that we should, right. It’s something that we should be aware of and we should be cognizant of but not paralyzed. Absolutely. So now I personally am excited to to visit Guanajuato. So I I’ve been wanting to go to San Miguel de a long day. How do I say that? Again? They are young San Miguel ind. Okay, send me gelei NDA because I’ve read all about that. But I had now on I want to check out want to walk though, because we’ve never been and we’d like to explore and and so I’m going to put that on my on my list.

Unknown Speaker  8:34  

Well, when it’s a destination, we have 6 million people living in one quarter, that’s a population. So it’s a big city.

Unknown Speaker  8:39  

It’s a big state that makes

Unknown Speaker  8:41  

millions in in the state and what happens is that every destination is very close by so, we are the only state in Mexico that has two World Heritage cities.

Unknown Speaker  8:52  

So what is one what to what is what is it known for

Unknown Speaker  8:57  

many things will start for Leon beam leather and shoemaking capital of Mexico so when you think about packing pack light and truth because you’re gonna want to buy a lot of shoes,

Unknown Speaker  9:10  

leather goods in that area Oh, what does that we did I bought one to what Archie?

Unknown Speaker  9:17  

Well cuse me a bit more manufacturing from at the layers that they can do measure your feet and make you shoes that are fake like I’d love to like big factories where you can find fantastic prices so that’s something that is very like we don’t have to bring one pair and you will get the rest of it and also leather goods you can find fantastic purses and like portfolios and things are made out of leather at great prices and really good quality. Another thing that it’s very famous in Mexico, have you heard of cosel flavor humanists? You have seen a one of your trips to Mexico when you listen to a mariachi you probably have heard many of his songs because this is the composer that is the most important composer of Mexican folkloric music He was born in dollars.

Unknown Speaker  10:01  

Wow. By the way, I think I told you, I’m the president of the National equality Association and our conferences in Puerto Vallarta this year at the end of the month on from the 27th through the 30th. And I arranged to have a 12 element mariachi as our opening ceremony now I’m going to listen especially

Unknown Speaker  10:21  

to the mariachi as them to play la la. And this is an amazing song. If you go for the lyrics it says, I know I’m not doing very good right now. But regardless, I am the king. Like wait to like approach life no social selfie, no human is was born in the Lotus was Alfredo like I told you he has hundreds hundreds of folkloric music so when you listen to him when he was lucky, you listen to many of his songs. And he has a house and he was passed away many years ago. But the home that he used to live is in the Lord is and now it’s a museum and you can visit and see where these fantastic like if you were going to call port or home or something right very important. a contributor to Mexican culture and he’s writer and he’s from one o’clock.

Unknown Speaker  11:05  

Let me ask you what kind of on a break. But before we go, I want to ask what is the best time if I wanted to go to Guanajuato, what would be the best time of year ago,

Unknown Speaker  11:14  

you can go year round, which is fantastic whether we have cemetery started, whether so really the rainy season is this summer, and we usually have these rains that last an hour, it’s a good shower, and then it’s gone. So in terms of weather wise, you can go anytime during the year. It’s a matter of like when you have that time. And also if you want to do it when there’s an event happening in the in the state, we have a calendar of events will have more than 100 events along the year. But there also be segments that I was mentioning to you that are very great opportunity to go and see one of the largest quarter balloons in the world, for example. When does that happen? That’s in November, it’s going to be the 15th to the 17th in November in Leon when what

Unknown Speaker  11:51  

I am going to make a note of that because I want to check that out. So we’re gonna take a little bit of a break here and then when we come back, we’re going to start we’ll talk A little bit more about one of my new favorite places on my bucket list is one of the lotto and of course my delightful and very easy to chat with a guest Teresa, thank you. Alright, so we’ll be right back you’re listening to the vacation travel show. This episode of the DJ Doran show is brought to you by our friends at Joey’s world featuring chef Joe Morales as he eats and drinks his way through life sharing recipes, dining experiences and cooking tips. Be sure to follow him at Joey’s world calm and on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All right. Well, we’re back and we’re speaking with the Minister of Tourism. Today, Sir metamodels Oh, I think that pretty well, who’s been my very special guest on the vacation travel show and we’re, we’re talking about an off the beaten path destination that is not on the normal radar of most LGBT q travel planners and that is a want to walk through the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, it’s in the central part of Mexico, but a little northwest of Mexico City, correct and, and so let’s talk about the three cities so there’s the Guanajuato is the state and then the capital city of groundwater. Exactly. And then there’s a San Miguel Yeah, yeah, I’ll end and then Leon Leon, so right so I heard about San Miguel. Right? So of course it looks so beautiful. And I mean, every time I look at the pictures, I’m I always tell Joe my By the way, my husband Joe is half Mexican and, and every this is I swear to God, every time we go to Mexico, like we, you know, he never wants to leave Chicago, he loves Chicago, everything is great. But every time we go to Mexico, I’m never leaving. I want to stay. So I said, you’re gonna say that he goes, No, I won’t. Not this time. We’re there two days. And that’s what he says, because you know it. First of all, for people that don’t travel to Mexico, food is a big deal. Right? And so Joe is a chef. So that’s the first thing and the second thing is people are so I find the Mexican people. So warm and hospitable. And, you know, I just in today’s world, not to segue off too much. But in today’s world where everything is so crazy, I love to go there because it’s like taking a step back to when fit like, families had respect for their elders. And I’m getting to be one of those, but family have respect for elders and the family unit. And all of that, like we went to I didn’t tell you this, but we went to Denver recently for a friend’s wedding. And Joe has a lot of family there. Okay. And on his father’s side, traditional Mexicans, we went there, the first thing they did they hook you and talk and you know, sit down, we, we were having a drink, and then they cook. And that’s all they do is

Unknown Speaker  15:25  

you eating 340 items. So they’re like, oh, here

Unknown Speaker  15:29  

have this DJ, oh, how this DJ or have this DJ. Oh, and, and it’s all in the kitchen all the time, right? That’s right. And I kind of grew up that way too. But, but nowadays, everybody’s on the fly, everybody, Nobody. Nobody has conversations. Nobody really gets to know each other. I love that. And I’m telling you, our listeners that i’d love that about the Mexican culture is, is that it is so warm and inviting. And I wish I could really impart that and truthfully, I wish I could impart even our conversation. Today, I feel like I’ve known you 10

Unknown Speaker  16:02  

Thank you. I think you’ve touched on a very important point. I think nowadays, we’re so busy and so distracted with 100,000 things that are not that important, honestly, and I think Mexico has a country offers you that pace, that opportunity to pay attention to your surroundings, to look at someone’s that is taking care of you, maybe your waiter look him in the eyes, right. And we don’t do that anymore. And I think that’s what travelers are wanting, we’re eager to feel connected with others and with places and we sound some with flavor

Unknown Speaker  16:35  

with experience, you know, this is the thing that, you know, that we talked about earlier. And that is, there are some travelers that that just travel and they just want to eat and drink in a location and and that’s it. But the listeners for the vacation travel show are more experiential. So we have our our demographic, the people that listen to our show are in the 35 to 55 range, and so we’re young still young. I mean, I’m 59. And, and so but I’m just saying is, is the people that listen to our show, they want that experience, and they have the financial ability to make sure they have it. And so, you know, so I think that not everything has to be what party can is, is happening or event sometimes it’s just I want to experience the culture. Exactly. You know, when Joe and I travel, we don’t hang off of each other and make a fool of ourselves with public displays of affection. I wouldn’t do that if I was married and had a wife, you know, it’s just not my, our thing. And when we go to a foreign country, we act respectful. And, and, and we don’t hide the fact that we’re married, Joe and I, because we don’t have to know how to cater, nobody cares. But we do have respect for their local culture. And of course, you know, I read that a Guanajuato is like 96% Catholic. The Catholic Church is very prevalent. Well, I grew up in Mexico. So, you know, that’s where I think that, that I hope that we impart to our listeners that when you travel internationally, whether it’s Mexico or any other country, that you can’t just take the glaring freedoms that we have here and smash your guests country in the face, you just have to be aware of the culture and be respectful. And you’ll find that they’ll be very welcoming. I think. I think most of the time, whenever I’ve traveled around the world, and I travel a lot, I’ve always found that most people didn’t really care. Because Because we respected their culture. We don’t take our culture and to their country, when we go to their country, we are the guest, you know, I think you just have

Unknown Speaker  18:41  

to be, I think she’s got to follow common sense, honestly, because for example, if I’m invited to your home, let’s say for the first time, right, and I show up with my boyfriend or the guy that I’m dating or whatever, and I sit up on your living room and I start kissing him French kissing him feeling comfortable, not because of who

Unknown Speaker  18:58  

I am. I

Unknown Speaker  19:02  

guess it’s just, you know, be respectful that you’re in a new area and you just absolutely don’t care. I mean, we have to remember that we’re humans are we are all here experience in these world with whatever we want and that that’s what should be the important part.

Unknown Speaker  19:16  

I agree. I totally agree. So which brings me to a couple of other questions I want to ask. First of all,

Unknown Speaker  19:24  

you were telling me about how Miguel. Miguel,

Unknown Speaker  19:28  

Miguel, again, that has been getting a lot of attention then there are many reasons for you said that when you look at pictures, you’re like, Oh my god, that looks great. Well, a lot of people can get that same feeling. And it’s the number one destination for weddings outside of the beach resorts. In San Miguel, there are about over 800 weddings a year. Wow, you can do the math on every Saturdays pretty VC.

Unknown Speaker  19:51  

Let me ask you this a great question. So the fastest segment of LGBT travel is wedding

Unknown Speaker  19:58  

haha weddings. So, tell me

Unknown Speaker  20:01  

what would happen if, let’s say, Joe and I got married this year, but we just did a civil ceremony and then we’re going to have a reception at a later date when everybody can be available. Uh huh. Let’s say we wanted to have our reception in in San Miguel.

Unknown Speaker  20:16  

Well, you will find in San Miguel, you first of all, you have a ton of amazing, really well experienced wedding planners because when you’re doing Alice tonation wedding, you need to have somebody

Unknown Speaker  20:26  

let me get you here for one second. That I assume what my question is, and and if I can be so bold is first of all, can we have our reception there? Absolutely. And would we have any obstacles if we decided if we let’s say we decided to do that? Because you just planted a seed in my head and I’m thinking man, should they go party of it? Absolutely. And I’m gonna send you an invitation and I expect you to be there.

Unknown Speaker  20:52  

No, I think you will find I think the main problem you will have when finding when organizing your your wedding in in San Miguel is to be Where to go because there are so many amazing what venues you can have terraces. The city is full of amazing terraces where you overlook these beautiful town alleys, like come out for a promo book. You have a CMS, you have amazing restaurants with

Unknown Speaker  21:14  

chefs. Okay, so we’re moving there.

Unknown Speaker  21:18  

Get up Get up.

Unknown Speaker  21:22  

I didn’t mean to interrupt you but I mean, I am totally having I’m sure the people that are going to listen to the show, I am completely having a vision of this in in my mind and if the city is any thing is friendly, and and warm and welcoming as you have been on the show. It’s absolutely stunning. I I want to encourage people to think outside the box. I mean, it’s everyone goes to print the director can write, but there’s so many other beautiful places within within the country of Mexico that are worth exploring, that that we can explore it to get to and it’s easy to get yourself That was going to be my other question. How do we get there?

Unknown Speaker  22:02  

This is a very important important point. I want to I want to I want to go deep into this. Mexico is the number one international destinations for Americans. The number one country that they travel outside the US is Mexico. And people have been in traveling to Mexico for many years. And I promoted Mexico for over 10 years in the US and internationally. And it was a question like, Okay, I have been to Cancun. I have been to Los Cabos. I have been to biotope. Where else where is that other Mexico? That’s exactly what went to hot dogs that are there, Mexico that people are dying to see that they have seen a picture. They’re like, that looks stunning. How do I get there? Well, in terms of connectivity, for example, we have nine slices from our international airport. Nine flights from the US was the main carriers

Unknown Speaker  22:48  

at aeromexico. know we have I don’t make it so we have united with 10 American Airlines and we also have already

Unknown Speaker  22:55  

that’s what we’re taking this year.

Unknown Speaker  23:00  

99

Unknown Speaker  23:11  

So let me ask you, so from Chicago we can fly directly to.

Unknown Speaker  23:15  

There’s nonstop flight from Houston there four flights directly every day from Houston you have flights from Dallas. We have flight from Atlanta we have flight from Detroit. So connectivity is really good actually our connectivity within the map. We are one stopover from 65% of the world capitals so flying into one kuato it’s very, very easy. The airport is also centrally located in the state. If you fly into the airport is big x. You will be in about 30 minutes in to learn you will be in 25 minutes in one bottle. And don’t forget to stop over for coffee in my house. And you will be about an hour be surprised by

Unknown Speaker  23:51  

standing at your door

Unknown Speaker  23:53  

about an hour from San Diego. So I mean, from here in Chicago to O’Hare you do a good hour you always plan with our airport. So that connectivity is very easy. And like I said, I mean non stop. It’s always fantastic because that makes you get there and start enjoying your time.

Unknown Speaker  24:09  

Right. So where would this is another question? Where would someone go? Who has no idea about Guanajuato? Where would I go to find out information about hotels? Where to stay? do you have? We have a great web page, a web? I

Unknown Speaker  24:26  

think that was that was it’s one aquata.mx. And it has all the tourist information that we that we have in terms of offer, what to see what to do. But if you allow me, I will tell you that a good way to start it will be if you want to do a weekend definitely do it either semi gay, or one o’clock We’ll see. But I think an ideal first sort of sampler of what when a hot dog has to do it’s a good week, you really can spend three nights in one capital. And the city has so many museums and he’s just walking in that city. It’s such a joy the way the light hits the building. The colors when I show that picture and I’m going to leave you some pictures here when I show the pictures of my CD people will like is that downtown? No, that is the whole CD. You can see this amazing, dreamlike CD that people will love to just spend time over there. After that you can do some Miguel that’s about an hour and 15 minutes from one o’clock or so very short drive. You’re in San Miguel in San Miguel, you have fantastic spots, like if you’re into wellness and all that there’s a ton of options, a great design and high end shopping. I know a lot of people appreciate that. And you can find this amazing designers are doing I don’t know jewelry and these are are something with fabrics and

Unknown Speaker  25:39  

let me ask you a question about that about San Miguel especially is is how many hotel rooms are in San Miguel. And what is the average occupancy?

Unknown Speaker  25:50  

I don’t remember the amount of rooms we have in San Miguel in the whole state we have over 32,000 budding semi gay you have a really broad arrangement of booty cocktails you have to understand that these are cities that have been protected by the UNESCO. So you cannot build a Hyatt, the center of the city. That’s not possible. So most of the of the hotels that you find are gasolina sort of CNF that have been rebuilt, although I have to mention for example, rosewood San Miguel, you are familiar with rosewood, these hotel. It’s been on the nomination for the best hotel in the world. For the Conde Nast travelers. This has never happened with a Mexican Hotel in the past. And that hotel is to die for of course the sky in a you will find rates that probably you will find here in Chicago. But what I room that it’s really you can see the money you’re paying right?

Unknown Speaker  26:43  

An average room rate in

Unknown Speaker  26:45  

I think in San Miguel will be something between $250 and above, up to like 1000 if you want to Well, there’s also another hotel that is getting a lot of attention and it’s shaking the whole concept of a hotel scene in San Miguel recently. There’s like Vodka. You’ve probably seen the one in Cancun and they have one in Monterrey, Mexico City, this whole concept of like cheek mother, but with the flavor of samiha they build this amazing hotel this has over 100 rooms, and they have really good space also for events for social events of professi. These are people that are bringing a business event to the city. So you have from let’s say, a sauna that has been completely refurbished like and converted into a hotel that maybe has six seven rooms for example non name hotel, it’s amazing they can discuss on as I was, that belong to an American artists, and then Mexican woman bought it and reshape it and they made this amazing hotel, for example, one of the rooms when they were doing that in the remodeling, they found there was a tunnel that connected the house with some of the churches because that was very common back in the days. And they they have that opening with everything they found like little leashes on things they found from from all times and they Korea with Krista so you’re in your room and you can see you can see the basement for example something that unique and that is unique they also have these amazing murals so you have these special hotels that you will be happy to pay these these rates because they are really worth your money and the service of course if you’re staying in a small property, you know, they get to know your Yes, they get to know how you drink your coffee by the second day. That’s just a great feeling that you feel at home. That is absolutely amazing. I mean, you really sort of explained to me the the the reason why anyone let alone LGBT q traveling one would want to visit Guanajuato is a is just the first of all going to walk though is known for its history, especially as it pertains to the like we were talking about.

Unknown Speaker  28:50  

And then the architecture, you know, some of the photos I’ve seen, first of all in in guano, Guanajuato, the capital city and in San Miguel the Buildings are stunning.

Unknown Speaker  29:01  

We have some of the best example of bedrock architecture in Mexico, which is super adorn and they may be some stone in Canberra. I mean, you can do that in wood and it’s an easier element to work with. Another area that is nearby San Miguel, it’s the sanctuary of nickel. And this is a church you will think another church know when you enter this place.

Unknown Speaker  29:23  

Is that the one that’s mustard color,

Unknown Speaker  29:25  

it’s not that’s not mustard, it’s white that are below outside, but inside the mural is the Mexican Sistine Chapel. These gentlemen that painter that will be the whole, the whole church is hand painted. And the whole painting is one message and he explores the life and conception of Christ. From authentic natural Yola, which was the founder of the test suites. So imagine walking that church with a target that tells you every single part of this mural vetrix it becomes alive. This is the Mexican Sistine Chapel and it’s just right outside San Miguel 15 minutes on the car. Wow. So people that are looking into culture into content into something that moves you, I think, I don’t know about you. But I wake up every day and I want to feel alive. I feel that it’s worth my Not that I produce something. Yeah, of course. But I want to feel alive. And you will find a ton of those moments when you’re walking into different cities.

Unknown Speaker  30:21  

See, that’s one of the things new we’re sitting in. My studio in my studio is facing Lake Michigan. So this leather chair that you’re seeing right here, it’s broken in Joe has always been trying to get me to throw it away because it’s I had it, but I sit here I have my coffee and I watched the sunrise and I’m telling you today so I think as I’ve gotten older especially I am more tuned into the experience and the the element of living life that’s all that travel does that for me travel inspires me travel helps me realize that we’re more than just worker bees. And you know, and so, Mexico always has a special place in my heart for two reasons. One is we go there so often I feel like it’s my adopted country. And second of all, because Joe is half his, his culture is there and when he goes there he comes alive and he, his father, you

Unknown Speaker  31:12  

see a different version of Joe is a different

Unknown Speaker  31:14  

person. And we go his parents, their 50th wedding anniversary is during the Dia de los Muertos. October Yeah, that’s why we go so and so when his father goes there, he’s at something now. He just comes. I mean, he just among his people, among his history, his son is there. You know, it’s just a bit See, I get all emotional, I’m thinking about it, because it is a very, very special time. And so no matter how busy I am, with all of the things that I do, I we always make the time to go because his father is 80 something years old, and these moments are not going to be forever tacklin. And we and we just realized that the the fragility of life a very good friend of ours, passed away suddenly last week and

Unknown Speaker  32:05  

the day it’s you

Unknown Speaker  32:06  

Yeah, it shakes me that I spoke to him that day. And he passed away the next day. And he was older as I say in his

Unknown Speaker  32:13  

early Sorry, no way you were expecting No, he was waiting for me he wasn’t sick or anything. And you know, that’s life. That’s like the day we just are BC and we create this illusion that we sort of control our world but it’s not like that. So we need to make space to go out to connect to see the world you

Unknown Speaker  32:30  

see to me today, when I travel, it’s the destination is great. But it’s the people see meeting you here is, is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a beautiful view of the lake but meeting you and connecting with you on a personal level is what will make this show and is making the show special. You know, when you come into my home where our studio is, we have coffee and we talk and we laugh. That’s the connection. That’s the connection. And so, so that’s important to our to our listeners. Now I want to I want to touch on a on a question that is probably a little bit difficult, but I think it’s something that we should discuss. Uh huh. And that is what is the Department of Tourism for kuato doing, if anything specifically to attract LGBT tourism because LGBT tourism and I’ll give you some facts here, just came from a conference in San Francisco $4 billion travel. It’s a $9 billion economic impact the LGBT consumer, right. But 4 billion of that is for travel specifically, they go to places that they feel safe and welcome. They have once they find a place that they feel safe and welcome, they repeat and go there. They pay a premium. Yeah. And when they go to a destination, of course, it’s the segment that drinks and parties but most of our listeners go to a destination they spend exactly they spend money on dinner and on, on experience, whatever that experiential thing that they’re looking for. So it’s good business to market to the LGBT travel community. And by the way, this is a statistic that continues to be borne out in our surveys, and that is, the LGBT consumer wants to feel targeted, haha. And they respond. So they also have a high use of social media, they check your social media, they check your webpage they check out, you know, they use the technology. I’m kind of old school, you know, I was telling my daughter A while back I said, Oh, I think I’ve mastered Facebook, right? She was dead. Facebook is for old people. Yesterday, you have to use Snapchat and I was and she sent me a Snapchat and app and I still today so don’t know how to use it. It’s something you make videos and they disappear in certain amount of time and

Unknown Speaker  34:51  

wonder why why wouldn’t?

Unknown Speaker  34:53  

Yes, so but the thing the point I’m making is the key word and this is another word that we’re going to be speaking at the conference about. That is authenticity. So everybody wants the pink dollar as they call it. But a savvy travelers and most LGBT travelers are savvy because they they go and they search. And so they look to say, Well what are they doing? You know, it doesn’t it doesn’t mean that you have to pander, but they they want to know that if I go to this destination, we’re going to feel welcome and and what are they? What is the official Department of Tourism doing to to make us feel that way?

Unknown Speaker  35:32  

I think in terms of when you’re trying to go into the marketplace, the first thing you have to do is to teach people about your product, right? We’re very new in the US market. So by now we’re just sort of wanting to have a presence in the marketplace. After that I will like to be able to create a special strategies and special products for for different markets. I’m for sure they they’ll gbd travelers are very important. But right now, our approaches Mainly like to get awareness of our product now so people that are like okay we mean to to the resorts now where where else will be out of there Mexico is when a plateau and definitely people from the community can be sure that they will feel at home and when a plateau because there’s more areas where people appreciate the researchers, but we will definitely think about it. I mean to do something particular maybe an event or something because when I was well known for events and maybe something like that will be I

Unknown Speaker  36:26  

have a great idea. Tell me to help you. I want to hear so. Vacation magazine. Uh huh. is a glossy magazine comes out six times a year. It’s a number two, LGBT q travel magazine in the United States. I would love I would love the opportunity to work with you to help write content occasionally about the state of Guanajuato and all of the other not not advertising that could come at a later date but help us that magazine is a platform to talk about these different things now I love it. And and then you can get your message out. And then we can we can talk about that as well. I

Unknown Speaker  37:09  

love it. And I think, you know, we need this ambassadors in different areas. And of course, you’re a great ambassador from the community. And we love because you have an approach to the destination that you’re like, Oh, I know, what we pay attention to. And you will be able to give us that feedback and create a product that is more friendly and more more likeable for you for the community.

Unknown Speaker  37:27  

Well, I think the other the other part to today so is that is that our readers, they look to vacation magazine sees some travel magazines, they show all these 20 year olds with zero percent body fat, you know, and six packs. You know, I have a keg more than a rail yet no, but our readers, they want to know the practical side, like if I here’s an example, if I check into a hotel in San Miguel, with my husband of 17 years and we say we will Want a king size bed?

Unknown Speaker  38:01  

Will do you will you get there is like, yes,

Unknown Speaker  38:03  

looking into the sky. That is what they want to know. Louder. That’s what they want to know. Because that is when you’re there too late.

Unknown Speaker  38:09  

I think particularly in San Miguel, we’ve been doing some of the, I don’t know, say we since since he released us, Jonas and I have to say like to make them understand that not everybody is what you think. Right? It’s always doesn’t hurt to ask. And particularly in San Miguel, they’ve been doing a lot of trainings for the hoteliers. And so people don’t assume no and also with women, I mean, yes.

Unknown Speaker  38:31  

That’s true. But do you understand that for us? Absolutely. It is. You don’t want to

Unknown Speaker  38:35  

be explaining you don’t want to have to explain right there and realize like, okay,

Unknown Speaker  38:39  

yeah, we have to see it. I mean, because right away that sets the tone for the experience. And I’m telling you that because that happened to Joe and I one time and I got mad and I was like that is none of your business. Exactly. I’m paying for the room. But I wasn’t in this room that I want. So but I’m just telling you, that’s one of the new ones and this is part of Why I love talking to people about gay travel is because normal, I hate to say the term that’s probably not the right term heterosexual travel when you check in with your boyfriend or or assume they know you, right? You and so they just make it and it doesn’t raise an eyebrow, but we check in with my husband. And by the way, you didn’t know this, but we have a daughter, and we have two grandchildren. We have a family. So when we check in, we’re sophisticated travelers, if that is the beginning of my experience that is setting the tone of my experience. And so I’m just curious if the Department of Tourism is sensitive to that, and if there’s any policy or anything that that they are aware of that they’re trying to do to make sure that because that’s it doesn’t, you don’t have to specifically right away I think do anything for LGBT tourism, but one thing That they will notice is if they go there. And they feel that at the beginning, it’s going to take their whole experience.

Unknown Speaker  40:07  

Yeah, absolutely. I think you you have a point I think what what they have done is having a particularly for the hotels is basically said don’t assume ask questions, ask questions, don’t assume and because also the other side, like why if I go with a friend and we don’t be in the same bed, we won’t come in. I mean, just make sure that people understand that that have that sensibility. I agree with you that they have done several workshops and the hoteliers are pretty well prepared to prepare to receive travelers from all over the world, don’t assume.

Unknown Speaker  40:36  

Good. Alright, we’re coming up on the last segment we’re gonna take, we’re gonna take a heartbreak and when we come back, some final thoughts about Guanajuato and San Miguel and Leon. I said it all three. Yeah, all three. Right? You’re becoming good. I’m telling you. Unbelievable. And now I’m also wondering how the rest of your people are doing with Joe out there. It’s awfully quiet.

Unknown Speaker  40:57  

Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  40:58  

So we’ll be right back. You’ll Listening to the vacation travel show don’t go anywhere. We’re talking to the Minister of Tourism for Guanajuato, Teresa Matamoros. I did that right. All right, we’ll be right back. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker  41:40  

Alright, well we’re back. You’re listening to the vacation travel show and I have a super special guest, Theresa today so metamodels I didn’t have to look at your card this time. I’m telling you. I’m telling you. Today’s it is the Minister of Tourism for my new favorite bucket list destination. go on a walk. Though the state of Guanajuato which has gone a walk when I had to city to city, San Miguel there and Leon exactly and you know some of the things that we talked about just just really excite me about visiting there. I’m so excited to to try something new because we’ve gone to the same places and you remember I told you earlier in the show, I said, you know, LGBT travelers go to the same places over and over again. Joe and I are are this we go to the same places now. I will tell you that we prefer to buy art to overcame Koon because Cancun is too I think it lost a lot of its Mexican culture. I like a slow mo head is much better. Beautiful. And I love to go to my Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  42:51  

yeah.

Unknown Speaker  42:52  

To Cheetah needs. Stop to loom. I like those areas. But Cancun is lost its appeal to me.

Unknown Speaker  42:59  

I love California. There’s a Caribbean in one flight and you don’t have to be Island.

Unknown Speaker  43:02  

Yes The water is different

Unknown Speaker  43:04  

you get the Caribbean so I will always different kamcord I think, yeah, I think travelers want to see what else but also I think thinking from a destination like like Chicago I know people listen to your show from everywhere in the US but the scenarios that are cold. I used to I used to criticize when I was telling me yo I can understand somebody will come and stay three days in me now all inclusive culture and don’t leave the hotel. But when you’re freezing for four months, you’re ready to just tell and keep the beach and something that you can do if you choose to like just get out of the cold weather, you can do a combo. We have nonstop flight from here to Los Cabos and to Cancun, so you can do from our airport. So you can do a combo, a combo vacation. I mean, I love the beach, but after three days, I’m like, Okay, I’m getting bored. I cannot spend four hours by the sun. So you can do that you can visit Cancun and then fly nonstop to over here or la skousen. So

Unknown Speaker  43:59  

must tell you this that when we go to Mexico, I swim in the ocean. I love the ocean. Joe, not so much. He’s a pool pool. So you know, he likes to see the ocean and he doesn’t like all the animals in the ocean. Like we went. We were somewhere and he saw these fishes. And of course, I dove in to go snorkeling with the fishes and everything. He’s like, absolutely not. I’m not doing that. I think it was that your law?

Unknown Speaker  44:25  

Okay.

Unknown Speaker  44:27  

Yes. And so, so as long as the hotels in San Miguel or or Leone or groundwater will have pools, he’ll be fine. Yeah, he will find lots of pool It will be fine. So um, last thought, what would you want to say to LGBT travelers that are considering new and different places to travel in Mexico?

Unknown Speaker  44:50  

Well, definitely that one aquatics an option for them. It’s a it’s a it’s a state that has a soul. Not only you will come back and only maybe with Done with wood chopping and things to put in your decor in your place, but also in experience that you also will remember more moments that move you, but also we bragging rights, because you can say, you know what I was in the town where the independence of Mexico was. I was in the city that’s been declared world heritage. And we also like that, I don’t know about you, but I also like, right and to say, you know what, I have these me in a hotel in San Miguel. And they gave me these a special route, and they make me bite into it. And I first I start feeling a tingling in my, in my, in my town, and I learned that they use this route to when they had to take like bad. They use it. And after they give me that tiny piece, I stopped feeling that and then I slipped again in my beer, and that was the best beer because that route or cheektowaga has that effect. And in that’s the kind of momentum we want to come back and say Also something really cool that we didn’t mention is that for people that are into food and wine, we have five routes of wine in when a plateau where the third state in production of wine, and you have a 30 wineries that you can visit. So if you’re in leylandii wineries nearby,

Unknown Speaker  46:15  

you already sold Joe on that.

Unknown Speaker  46:16  

Yeah, we have to make him go and I will take you guys because I’m also crazy about wine. And this is also an experience that compliments you know, you’re missing some of the main of the main destinations. We didn’t touch on all the pointless Mexico’s in Mexico there was there’s been a program that recognizes these special towns that have a particular flavor, a particular value, we have six of them in one aquata Dolores is one of them. And I’m not going to give you the names because people are just going to forget them. But also something that you can do has a day tour when you’re saying you have three of them. If you’re staying in a loan, you can go to two of them. So that’s also something that complements your estate. And something that I want people to remember is that they’re not just pretty CDs, but there’s plenty of things to do. We have over 62 For example, eco and nature adventure experiences in the state and 14 municipalities people can do different things like if they want to go horseback riding or going to mountain biking,

Unknown Speaker  47:10  

they want to stay more. And this all can be found on your website. Absolutely. Before you finish, let’s tell our listeners what the website is, again,

Unknown Speaker  47:16  

one kuato.mx like in Mexico, no one aquata.mx. And we’re also launching really, really soon, maybe in a couple of weeks and you up there so you can have one for the rest of the world start thinking about

Unknown Speaker  47:29  

very, very 21st century.

Unknown Speaker  47:32  

You I live with my phone stick to my hands. I know,

Unknown Speaker  47:35  

but I also want to be distracted and feel connected

Unknown Speaker  47:38  

with it. Absolutely. Well, listen, teressa it was such a pleasure to have you as my guest on this show. I’ve learned so much about a part of Mexico that I never really thought about. And I told you when we were first starting out I never even heard of quanta walk though, and I wasn’t aware of it. I heard of San Miguel but I didn’t understand the relationship. But now I do and now I am So excited to take a trip there and, and to do that to go to go on the walk though, and then take another trip to San Miguel and then to Leon. And, and explore that for myself and look for a future future retirement place or venue for your

Unknown Speaker  48:17  

reception.

Unknown Speaker  48:21  

That’s right. I know you know, we we defaulted and we assume that we were going to have it in put the buyer because we know Yeah, but I really want to I really want to check out these other places and see that now Don’t be surprised. If one day you here knock at the door and it’s me and Joe. I’m here for the coffee.

Unknown Speaker  48:40  

There’s always there’s always coffee, but there’s always wine. From when I’ve gotten tequila from when a partner waiting for friends. Oh

Unknown Speaker  48:47  

my gosh, that’d be perfect. All right. So it’s been a pleasure. Thank you. And for everyone. You’ve been listening to the vacation travel show. Hopefully you’ll tune in and check out the website. Guanajuato Mex me x so you can see

what’s happening. Only MX MX

Unknown Speaker  49:03  

MX so guanajuato.mx and you can see what’s going on there. Again until next time, you’ve been listening to the vacation travel show. This is DJ Doran. Have a wonderful day.

Unknown Speaker  49:14  

Thank you DJ

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