MEXICO CITY, Mexico, July 26, 2022 – Mexico City native and founder Rocio Vazquez Landeta shares the city that she grew up in and is committed to supporting the community in her city. As the only Mexican-founded food tour agency that actively promotes economic growth and creates opportunities for families within the traditional markets, Eat Like a Local Mexico City continues to pave the way for women to make a difference in their local communities and in the hospitality industry. Woman-owned and women-staffed Eat Like a Local Mexico City is now a six-person company, but it is currently the number one food tour agency in Mexico (according to TripAdvisor). The tour company recently launched a new food journey that takes travelers throughout the city’s popular Condesa neighborhood.
Its newest tour, Flower Market Brunch, and Mezcal Tasting is a 3 and ½ hour walk-through of the trendy Condesa neighborhood. Roam the streets of Condesa starting at noon, tasting some delicious street food, and then ride the subway to visit the most beautiful market in the city. The brunch tour includes tacos such as mixiote, basket tacos, carnitas, seasonal fruit, and fried corn. After visiting the flower market, step inside a 100-year-old pulquería to taste Pulque, “the drink of the gods,” made with fermented agave sap. The group returns to Condesa to finish the tour with a mezcal tasting, sipping 3 mezcals or 1 cocktail, learning everything there is to know about this complex spirit. The new tour is offered Monday through Sunday, $115USD per person, and can accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian diets.
Rocio Vazquez Landeta is a Mexican entrepreneur and founder of Eat Like a Local Mexico City, a boutique culinary travel agency based in Mexico City. Born and raised in Mexico City, Rocio takes travelers through the streets of this vibrant city to taste, explore and connect with Mexico City’s food scene, markets, restaurants, and people. Discovering all the hidden gastronomic gems that only locals know, Eat Like a Local Mexico City’s food journeys showcase cutting-edge restaurants, secret food stalls, and street food that offer the most authentic Mexican cuisine. In 2016, her life took a 180-degree turn when she had to flee her home due to a domestic violence situation that threatened her life. After several months of hiding from her abuser, she completely changed her life direction, purpose, and company’s mission.
“I didn’t want to live in a world where women can be abused. I wanted to create a different kind of world, a world I would like to live in and feel safe.” Her company is based on this premise, and she asked herself, “what kind of tour would I like to take when I travel?” “What kind of company would I like to work for? What kind of boss would I like to have? What customer service would I like to receive?” And that’s when the transformation of Eat Like a Local Mexico City started.
The sales slowly increased allowing Rocio to create social programs at La Merced Market to empower children through English lessons and monthly educational activities. The children also host the tours during the weekends allowing them to have contact with other cultures and ideas. The social programs were the first step and after the company started growing, she decided to build a women-only team. “I stayed in an abusive relationship because I was terrified and didn’t have much money to run away. That’s why I decided to make my company a women-only company and give my team the best wages in the industry, flexible working times, and other benefits. I know first-hand that financial independence is the first step to helping women escape bad situations. I believe that as a woman in a powerful position, it is my responsibility to create safer and better working spaces for other women.”
Rocio decided to go bigger and change not only the way her team worked but also her whole life philosophy and focus on sustainability. “I strongly believe that the only way the travel industry (or any industry) will survive is through a sustainable approach. This means traveling without damaging the local culture, environment, social life and resources of the country you visit.” She attended training by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and after that, she completely transformed the company to comply with international sustainability standards.
Best wages in the industry for an all-women only team along with health insurance benefits, gym membership and yearly rewards) fair payment for the suppliers plus a fee when they provide a service; and responsible consumption by only working with restaurants who pay their suppliers who treat their employees fairly and offer a safe environment for women.
Reducing single-use plastics and offsetting carbon footprint through a reforestation program in the city.
English lessons for kids, free tours for senior Mexican citizens, English lessons for stall owners at the markets, donations to improve the markets, a zero-hunger program where whoever approaches the tour gets as much food as they want, and a foodie cultural exchange program where children from the markets learn about other cultures through food.
Making travel accessible to everyone
The company is solo traveler friendly. Every tour runs even if there is only one guest, no reschedules, no waiting lists. The team is learning ASL, and people with disabilities get private tours at no extra cost.
“Times are changing. We need to be better entrepreneurs, consumers, and travelers; there is a way to create business practices that are not abusive and rapacious, especially in the travel industry where over-tourism is creating problems in small communities and ruining them for the locals and future visitors.”
Eat Like a Local Mexico City hosts small group culinary tours in Mexico City focused on street food and markets. The company’s main goal is to connect locals and travelers using food. Visitors can learn about Mexican culture, daily life, and the social aspects of the community. On the weekend, the children from La Merced Market host tours to practice and improve their English.
All of Eat Like a Local’s food tours sponsors English lessons for children in the Tacubaya neighborhood. Eat Like a Local developed the 80iq program, a complete social program dedicated to supporting local children. In partnership with Traso AC, children are given weekly boxing lessons, citizenship workshops, and a psychology companion. The parents receive parenting and nutritional counseling. 80iq provides weekly English lessons and monthly inspiration workshops where the children will meet amazing people and learn about different careers. Eat Like a Local guest can meet the children every Friday at 5:00, 80iq and Traso team, organize book readings where guests can read to the children and parents and then ask them questions about the book. The children of La Merced Market will join this program, benefiting more than 30 children. 80iq will also provide financial education for the mothers, where they will learn about credit, how to create a savings account and a monthly budget, and developing strategies to achieve financial independence.
Eat Like a Local Mexico City’s team comprises highly educated women with master’s degrees and amazing personal projects that enrich the tour experience. Each tour can be customized on the go.
About Eat Like a Local Mexico City
The founder and mastermind behind Eat Like a Local Mexico City, Rocio Vazquez Landeta, was born and raised in Mexico City. She worked in public relations and marketing for luxury brands such as Mont Blanc and Mercedes Benz for several years. After a horrible tour in Turkey, Rocio decided to create Eat Like a Local Mexico City three years ago. A world traveler with more than 23 countries and 65 cities under her belt, Rocio is a sustainable tourism researcher, an avid reader, a food expert, and an entrepreneur. She left her job as Social Media Director at DDB Group, managing international brands such as Mcdonald’s, Kellogg’s, Danone, and Hasbro, to follow her passion for her city and its people to create a tourism product that promotes cultural exchange and economic growth. Eat Like a Local Mexico City has an all-women team with people stemming from different backgrounds, including sociologists, food stylists, art historians, and textile designers. As a female-owned and operated company, Eat Like a Local Mexico City’s mission is to empower other women and create job opportunities that allow women in the local community to take care of their children and explore economic opportunities. www.eatlikealocal.com.mx