“My grandfather…he was a resinero. When I started working for Ejido Verde we had this moment - he was so proud of me. He said ‘you’re a resinero now, too.’” Leticia is a biologist at Ejido Verde and a member of the Cherán indigenous community in Michoacán, where over 800 hectares of pine trees have been planted to date. You can usually find her disassembling pinecones or studying young trees at the organization’s headquarters in Morelia. “To do work that impacts my community - it’s incredible.”
You’d be hard pressed to find Xavier Amayo, or “Xavi,” without a smile on his face. And what’s not to smile about? This 29-year-old Puebla native is the fresh face of Don Amado, an artesenal mezcal crafted in the small Oaxacan town of Santa Catarina Minas, about 25 miles south of Oaxaca City. The Don Amado palenque, or distillery, uses stone pits, clay stills, and a recipe passed down through 11 generations to produce the high-octane Mexican spirit. And we mean high-octane. With a lineup of offerings coming in at just under 100-proof, it’s no wonder Mexicans say, “if you kiss it, it will kiss you back. If you hit it, it will hit you back.” But for Xavi, it’s all the former. He claims to have worked his way up from washing dishes in New York City to craft distribution simply by…talking to people. Though, with a personality to match his love for mezcal, it’s tough to be skeptic. When Xavi isn’t winning over booze and poultry lovers with Don Amado’s pechuga mezcal, which is distilled with chicken breast, he’s busy working on plans for his new restaurant, La Paloma. The establishment is set to serve up a variety of Mexican fare from Guerrero, Michoacán, Jalisco, and, of course, a healthy selection of mezcal. La Paloma will open its doors in February 2018 to a crowded market of mezcalerias and Mexican food. But for the self-proclaimed father of mezcal cocktails, no task is too tall.
When someone tells us they’d rather spend a beach day wrapped in wool blankets than bathing in salt water, it’s an automatic disqualifier. Except for Amy. Although this Brit is so cool you think she’d want to bake in the equatorial sun, Amy much prefers a crisp ocean breeze. That, and a good short film. She is the front-woman of Future Shorts, Secret Cinema’s short film appendage designed to deliver motion pictures to the masses. The company selects a handful of films from hundreds of submissions to package into it’s 90-minute seasonal program, which can be bought by anyone, and screened anywhere, at anytime. At Future Shorts, they believe access to short film shouldn’t require a festival ticket. For Amy, the premise is about more than a viewing experience - it’s about reaching untapped communities full of creative capacity to make film. So far, so good. Future Shorts is inspiring audiences in over 100 cities across the globe. Which means at some point, Amy will have to leave the leg warmers at home.