Tijuana Donkey Show

The Tijuana Donkey Show

What is the Tijuana Donkey Show you ask? You're thinking, I've been to Tijuana, I love their Papas & Beer. It has got to involve cute little donkeys, happy little Mexicans and they put on a show right? Sort of like the Mexican Broadway musical version of Shrek?


So what is it? The authentico version of the TJ Donkey Show usually is held in a dirt floor bar or discoteca (a dance floor) where patrons are taxi-cabbed in and the cabbies get a cut. The gringos (stupid white people) are then are enticed to purchase large amounts of cerveza (beer) or gamble while waiting for the main event, a beautiful, scantly clad Latina woman (not to mention handsomely paid) arousing a restrained donkey lying on its back. (Vegas has a similar scam with Celine Dion.) It's not exactly Sesame Street on Ice but more along the lines of Debbie Does Dallas. Just replace the Dallas with a donkey and you get the picture.

To be more precise, outside of conservative America where people don't go walking around with Bibles up their return air supplies, there is a type of entertainment called burlesque. This Mexican version, called burlesco, is perhaps some of the raunchiest, grotesque theatrical shows in the world. The Donkey Show makes Moulan Rouge and the original Hoochie Coochie seem like Sunday sermons in comparison.

The concept has existed in many different forms for at least 25 years. Various other animals have been used in lieu of a donkey but none has captured the American tourist's drunk imagination like that of the original Donkey Show of Tijuana. In a town which has done so much to help America lose its virginity, what are a few chromosomes between species, really?

Women's night is every night.
However, the real show isn't in Tijuana. Tijuana is merely a con or a scam for wily Mexicans making a quick buck off ignorant tourists. The original show is still performed daily in prostitution legal, Boy's Town, also known as La Zona Rosa (The Red Light District) of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. There, far less stringent policia restrictions exist in comparison to the reputation protected Tijuana that attracts thousands of tourists daily. Tourists gullible enough to often associate the donkey shows with Tijuana, because of the pop culture references in movies and television which have led to the popularity of the phrase. This has, of course, created a market for corruption. You may just be strolling around T.J. with ten tequila shots to the wind, taco con carnitas in hand, when a cab driver entices you and your friends. "Hey... want to see a real life Donkey Show, amigos?". "Sure", you reply vaguely remembering that you've seen it in some movie. So you pile into the taxi, not knowing exactly where you're being taken and after it's too late  the cabbie pulls down a narrow alley and you're robbed by a band of Mexican muggers. Worse yet, there are stories of unwilling American tourists who go in search of the Donkey Show in Boy's Town only to end up becoming part of the show itself in the fashion of Girls Gone Wild.
Gaps in the Zona Rosa Perimeter.

Patron's of the bar started cheering burro, burro, burro as they dragged me to the stage, stripped, and bound to the dance pole with rope in a fashion so the donkey could perform its show unhindered.
Some argue that the Tijuana version of the Donkey Show is but a metaphor for the dumb-donkey like Americans who come to Mexico in search of the elusive pop-culture entertainment phenomenon.

Due to the popularity of the tourist attraction, many legit bars and clean discotecas now feature variety shows or contests by the same name and may be suggestive in nature (like simulating arousal using a beer bottle as a prop), but do not contain the graphic nature of the more perverse kind.

The Tijuana Donkey Show Video:

I assume this is one of the cantina operator attempting to wrangle in his unit:

Urban Legend or Truth? You decide...

If you really want to see the real thing, feel free to Google "zoofilia con burro" which I highly recommend against if you wish to retain your eyesight.


  1. The photo captioned "A typical Mexican donkey show." is a production still from a Hollywood movie shot in Ciudad Juárez.

    People who claim to have witnessed a donkey show in Tijuana tend to be brothers, uncles, or husbands in the chicano communities of southern California. Even as second-hand accounts, none has been more recent than the 1970s.


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