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Las Guardianas del Mezcal

by Nomad Cook

Maestras mezcaleras

When you arrive in Oaxaca, one of the first things you’ll notice is the number of mezcalerías. You’ll usually see men around this drink, pouring it at bars, and in the publicity, not equally for the maestras mezcaleras.

Maestros

Maestros

If you don’t know what mezcal is, well, maybe you have heard about Tequila, let’s say it’s its cousin. Both are alcoholic drinks that come out of agave. A succulent plant that is cut, then cooked underground, fermented for a few days and then distilled. What defines the difference between Mezcal and Tequila? Primarily the variety of agave used.

This story is not about Mezcal technical details, it’s about the people behind it: The maestras mezcaleras (Mezcal Masters) The problem with Spanish, though, is that there’s no gender neutral word for Master.

Telling their story to empower them

The release of the video about Las maestras mezcaleras: “Las Guardianas del Mezcal” will be February 22nd, 2019. In 5 days specifically, so please stay tuned. Or you can just go and subscribe to my Youtube channel, and you will get a notification when the video is published. Audio is in Spanish, but I got your back. English subtitles will be provided.

In this mini-documentary, we are going to talk about some issues that the maestras mezcaleras face in their daily lives, like living in poverty; therefore, lack of resources. They also talk about the relevance of the women in the palenques, which are the spaces where they work to produce it.

Let’s get to know a little more about this group of women working to create a collective to have a brand. They invited me to work with them to tell their story. We created this video to share their vision and enabling them to tell us more about their expertise, which is opaqued by society. Along with a larger team, we are striving to empower them and give them a voice.

Join us to see their story. In the meantime, on top of this post you can see a little trailer.

If you want to support them, you can buy a high resolution photo that you can print locally. The profit will be used to support them. I prepared a mini-gallery. Just click on them to go to my online-store.

Maestras mezcaleras cordoneando

Maestras mezcaleras cordoneando

Guardianas del Mezcal cordoneando

Guardianas del Mezcal cordoneando

Distilling mezcal at the palenque

Distilling mezcal at the palenque

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