Oaxaca

The state of Oaxaca is best known for its indigenous peoples and cultures. The most numerous and best known are the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, but there are sixteen others which are officially recognized. These cultures have survived better than most others in Mexico due to the state's rugged and isolating terrain.

Archaeological and historic sites in Oaxaca offer a glimpse of the majestic builders their ancestor were.

Urban Life

Church of Santo Domingo
Church of Santo Domingo

As a city, Oaxaca is blend of old and new. You will find modern architecture as well as colonial structures throughout the city.

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Neighborhood

Residential Wall
Residential Wall

You can get a sense of the Qaxacan residents by walking the neighborhoods in which they live.

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Markets

Mercado Benito Juárez
Mercado Benito Juárez

Residents enjoy a rich shopping environment for food, art, and textiles. It's all colorful, especially near the time of Dia de los Muertos.

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Archaeological Sites

Monte Albán
Monte Albán

Archaeology near the city of Oaxaca is plentiful. Monte Albán, Yagúl and Mitlá are all within a day's drive.

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Alebrijes

Fantasy Peacock
Fantasy Peacock

Alebrijes are brightly colored Oaxacan-Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. Carving a piece, which is done while the copal wood is still wet, can take from hours to a month, depending on the size and fineness of the piece.

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Weaving

Rug
Rug

During the 1990’s, weavers began to combine imported New Zealand and Peruvian mohair with churro wool.  This combination produces a soft hand and a very strong fabric.  Looms have also been modified to create larger, higher quality and more unique pieces.

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Dia de Muertos

Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead is a magical time to visit Oaxaca. Colorful ofrendas can be seen all over the city, and on the night of October 31st, local cemeteries are teeming with families remembering lost loved ones.

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Comparsa

Rescuers
Rescuers

Costumed villagers dress up representing different famous people from their community. The most important costume is the "rescuer", which carries a black coat with mirrors that represents the light of life. They dance and walk around the town all night.

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