Urban Naturism in Guadalajara, Mexico

At long last, naturism in Mexico is finally coming into its own. Even though the country has centuries-old traditions related to social nudity, only recently have nude temazcal (sweat bath) experiences become more popular. Even though AANR continues to debate, as recently as earlier this month at their national conference, which areas of Mexico belong in which of its US regions, Mexico has finally debuted its own national naturist organization, the Federación Nudista de México. And even though Zipolite beach in Oaxaca had been unofficially nudist for decades, the town leaders only recently designated their beach as the first official nude beach in Mexico. The laid-back vibe of Zipolite contrasts with Mexico’s luxury naturist resorts along the Riviera Maya, the oldest of which has been around only a little more than a decade.

Into the momentum of this newly invigorated Mexican naturist environment come Héctor, Andrea, and their friends who are the founders of NNG, or Naturaleza y Nudismo Guadalajara. Located in Mexico’s second-largest city, they are getting ready to celebrate their organization’s one-year anniversary in September 2017.

Young, energetic, and media-savvy, NNG’s leaders have been able to market and host many events ranging from camping excursions outside the city, to nude dinners and pool parties at locations in the city. Among their many activities is a photo project called Cuerpos Reales (Real Bodies), for which they’ve posed to promote body acceptance against media portrayals of idealized bodies.

Cuerpos Reales project sample
Poster for nude yoga gathering
The group’s urban headquarters, in a central area of Guadalajara, are located in a building they’ve named Casa Club NNG. This is where English conversation hours and yoga classes are currently offered. Participants in these events pay modest fees toward the cost of rent, furniture, appliances, and upkeep of the Casa Club.

A few photos of the Casa Club NNG
The word naturista in Mexico is used to designate health food stores, homeopathic healing, and the like. This is why what is often called naturism in English gets put under the concept nudismo. That term, with its focus on nudity, can be a bit daunting in terms of trying to open people to naturism, so the NNG leaders cleverly decided to pair it with the word naturaleza (nature) in the name of their organization. Similarly, their logo features one of the native plants most associated with their region – the agave, from which tequila is produced – and a mother with her baby, a natural association for nudity.

Another successful way in which Andrea, Héctor and company have framed nudismo is by linking it to body acceptance in a specifically Mexican context, el acoso (harassment). Because of Mexican culture’s machista heritage, harassment as an everyday occurrence–catcalls, unwanted attention, unwanted physical contact–has been tolerated too long. NNG started a campaign to encourage women to reclaim their personal bodily integrity by documenting and reporting acts of harassment. In this proactive way, the organization forges a strong, locally focused relationship to social correctives like body acceptance, corporal autonomy, and gender equality, as a way of creating interest in the group and its activities.

The NNG founders have filmed a number of videos available on their site, helping make available more Spanish-language information on naturism. Additionally, Héctor wrote a two-part piece for Young Naturists America (available in both English and Spanish), and was interviewed on the Naturist Living Show, in which he talks about his first experience with social nudity at Guadalajara’s World Naked Bike Ride. Héctor, Andrea and friends also produce a very professional podcast, in Spanish, called Desnudólogos (Nudologists).

Héctor

Stay tuned for a new online fundraising campaign with the goal of helping these urban naturist pioneers continue to fund their programming at Casa Club NNG!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: