¡Viva México!

with Caroline Booth

Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, Francisco Suarezre & Rodrigo Esponda

Linen tabby with glass beads & silk embroidery in Bargello, drawn work & cross stitch.

Guests watching the food preparation


Pork belly tortilla


Shrimp mousse with herbs

"What we want to do is showcase the best of Mexico for our partners," said Rodrigo Esponda of the Mexican Tourist Board welcoming industry guests to a recent cultural showcase. Esponda acknowledged that its Canadian travel partners are responsible for sending millions of tourists to Mexico, and for that the Tourist Board wanted to give thanks.

And what an impressive showcase it was. 300 guests were invited to partake in a celebration of Mexican gastronomy and culture at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. VIPs included Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, CEO of Mexico’s Tourist Board; Francisco Suarez, the Ambassador of Mexico in Canada and Toronto-based Consul Generals from 9 different countries.

The main attraction this evening was an exclusive viewing of ¡Viva Mexico!, an exhibit featuring Mexican clothing, textiles and art from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries spanning all regions of the country. Comprised of close to 200 pieces it is one of the largest and most important collections in the world, and what makes it even more special is that few textiles from this collection have ever been displayed. Visitors can see complete costume ensembles, rebozos, sarapes, beadwork, embroidery and more, and will learn that the evolution of Mexican fashion reflects the country’s history. Contemporary Mexican textiles owe their style to a mix of European, Mayan and Aztec traditions.

The ROM exhibit has been running since May and will continue until May 2016. “The museum welcomes a million visitors each year so we can be assured that 1 million people will see the exhibit, which is a very unique opportunity. We want to invite people to see Mexico besides the beaches,” added Esponda.

During his speech, Lopez Negrete said he was pleased to report that Mexico continues to beat records in international tourism, outpacing world tourism by almost double. In the 1st 5 months of this year the destination had already reached 1/2 of its typical yearly target, putting visitor attendance for 2015 on track as a banner year.

According to Lopez Negrete, Mexico’s ability to expand its reach includes an increase in air connectivity from Canada to Mexico out of 25 hubs to 12 different airports throughout the country. Cancun airport has been upgrading with a new terminal 4 and has undergone expansions at terminal s 2 and 3. In Los Cabos, new hotel rooms are under construction and will see the reopening of 11 hotels from now thru 2017.

Despite the impressive statistics Mexico is determined to do better. “Canada is a priority market,” said Lopez Negrete. By the end of 2015 the Tourist Board together with its partners will have invested close to $10 million towards marketing and promotional efforts.

“Mexico has been recognized by UNESCO for its cultural heritage, but it has been a struggle to convince people of its depth and scope and also that our gastronomy goes well beyond the Tex/Mex taco shells,” said Ambassador Suarez.

With some of the best restaurants and top chefs in the world, Mexico has much to show off and be proud of and will continue to work at putting gastronomy in the forefront. “We know for a fact that it is a driver to entice people to travel,said Lopez Negrete.

During this special evening guests had an opportunity to sample some flavourful bites prepared by Chefs Arturo Fernandez Montes de Oca from Central Mexico and Jonatan Gomez Luna Torres from Riviera Maya who was the winner of Iron Chef Canada in 2012.

With so much to offer Mexico will surely continue to see record numbers of Canadians coming in search of not only sun and sand but culture and delicious cuisine as well .





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