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Reflections from our first-ever team retreat in Mexico City as a fully remote startup

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Posted December 5, 2023

After three years of working together remotely, our team came together for the first time in Mexico City for a four-day retreat. We took this opportunity to reflect on all the progress we have made towards our mission while strengthening individual friendships within our team. 

Our itinerary was jam-packed, as we toured the city’s cuisine, architecture, and dance scene. Here is a sneak peak into JusticeText’s very first team retreat:

The flavors of Mexico

Jesus from @mylovefortacos kicked off our retreat with a delicious taco tour. He introduced us to three authentic taquerias in the historic center of Mexico City, our favorite being Los Callejeros. The tour not only exposed us to new flavors but also helped us understand the diversity of cultures that shape modern Mexican cuisine, including the Spanish, indigenous, and Lebanese. Some of the standout tacos were the cochinita pibil, huitlacoche, and al pastor — all of which originate from different regions of Mexico.

Over the course of the retreat, we dined at some of the best restaurants in Mexico City. From the mole poblano at Azul Condesa to the samosas de suadero at Masala y Maiz, we were blown away by the diversity of flavors represented in the local cuisine. Our group meals were definitely a highlight of the trip and helped us grow even closer together as a team.

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Local adventures

Our next stop was Salsa Condesa, where we took an hour-long group dance class. The instructors were incredibly engaging and did a great job teaching us the basic steps. We then went to Mama Rumba, Mexico City’s premier salsa club, to practice our new moves among seasoned local dancers. 

The following day, we joined Mexican architect Ana Hilda on a deep-dive into Mexico City’s urban design. We learned about the cultures that influenced the city’s most iconic landmarks - from the Parisian styles popularized by Porfirio Diaz to the Spanish architecture visible in the Metropolitan Cathedral. Ana also shared the fascinating history of the former Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, which now lies buried beneath modern-day Mexico City. 

Fun fact: Mexico City is sinking at a rate of 20 inches every year! This poses a massive engineering challenge for architects who must now find ways to construct new buildings sustainably while preserving the architectural heritage of the city.

Time for reflection

We complemented our adventures around Mexico City with presentations that reflected on our journey to date and goals for the future. It was truly astounding to reflect on the level of expertise we had cultivated within our small team of seven. Being together in person gave us the opportunity to have meaningful discussions across functional areas that may not communicate as frequently on a daily basis — including sales, engineering, design, and customer success.. We also took the time to share our personal passions with the group, from Bollywood to rock music to astronomy. 

Jose and Carlos from @fotografia_beauty_art helped memorialize our trip with a photoshoot hosted at our Airbnb. The team was all decked out in custom JusticeText swag that our incredible designer Sharon specifically created for the retreat. 

Our time in Mexico was a celebration of how far JusticeText has come since its conception in 2019 and how strong of a team we have managed to create in that time. Working remotely has enabled us to hire diverse talent from all over the world, but there was something truly special about being able to strengthen those relationships in person. In a startup environment with only seven full-time team members, every single person makes an outsized impact. This trip reminded us of how special the JusticeText team culture truly is and how much we still have to accomplish together.

P.S. Check out this TikTok Sharon created documenting our trip.