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Doug Menuez: Heaven, Earth, Tequila

These images document the people and daily life of the tequila producing region in Jalisco State, Mexico, primarily in and around the agave fields, haciendas and distilleries, and the town of Tequila itself, where the traditions and rituals of making tequila have been passed down for centuries. 


Throughout Mexico’s long, complicated, often violent history –– from Aztec warriors to the Spanish conquistadores to Pancho Villa to the drug gangs of today ––  one drink, an ancient sacrament and gift from the gods, has remained a constant: tequila. Blue Agave, the source of tequila, has been cultivated, fermented and enjoyed for over 9000 years. Over time many traditions and rituals were born, later incorporated into and modified by conquering cultures. In the 1500s the Spaniards applied their brandy distillation technology to fermented agave juice to create what we call tequila. This history is completely unknown to most Americans. After photographing in Mexico periodically over twenty years I thought I was excluded from this ignorance. Then while reading Salman Rushdie’s “The Ground Beneath Her Feet,” I was struck by a scene where the protagonist sees naked men in vats of agave juice making tequila. I thought the image too precise and unusual to be completely fictional, and that the author must have observed this himself. In my work, I'm attracted to the mystery of our existence, the contradictions and incongruities of everyday life, and this image struck me as deeply mythological and pulled at my imagination. So I began the process of discovery that led me to realize that actually I knew very little about tequila, Mexican history or its culture.  

Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado provides holistic legal and humanitarian support to indigent refugees, deportees, and other migrants in the US and Tijuana through a multidisciplinary, client-centered, harm reduction-based practice.

We provide direct, free, legal services on both sides of the US-Mexico border and beyond. We engage in zealous individual representation,  medical-legal partnerships, and impact litigation to protect the rights of immigrants and asylum-seekers.

Sizing, Printing and Pricing

The total cost of the print includes a donation that the buyer makes to the charity directly at the time of purchase. The buyer receives the tax benefits and the immediate satisfaction of knowing that through their purchase they made a difference. Once the donation is made, the buyer then purchases the print from Giving Photography for the remainder of the amount. 

We ask that you donate to Al Otro Lado. Please click on the "Click Here to Purchase" button below for percentage information.

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Listed price is inclusive of donation, shipping and printing costs. Framing and mounting not included.

Isabel, San José del Refugio. Amatitán, Mexico, 2001
24”x36”: $3000

La Catedral de Guadalajara. Guadalajara, Mexico, 2003
24”x36”: $3000 

Harvest at Daybreak. Jalisco, Mexico, 2000
24”x36”: $3000 

Hacienda de San José del Refugio Amatitán, Mexico, 2001
24”x36”: $3000

Blue Agave Field at Dawn. Los Altos, Jalisco, Mexico, 2000
24”x36”: $3000

Tequileros at the First Distillery. Amatitán, Mexico, 2001
24”x36”: $3000 

El Bar Maestranza. Guadalajara, Mexico, 2001
: $3000

Archival Museum Print

All Prints come signed by Doug Menuez and are open editions.


Certificate of Authenticity will be provided.

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