Scratching the Surface in Oaxaca City

IMG_0800

In our modern urban lives we search for the latest cuisine hot-spots across American & European cities. On Friday nights we settle in to the hippest cantinas for tapas and  music. It’s exhausting to keep up with the latest trends as  the new continuously turns over. What happens when trendy is incredibly Old- World, relatively  unknown, & authentic?

IMG_0804.JPG

IMG_0603

Most travelers search for an unspoiled culture.
Oaxaca City isn’t a place that tries to be trendy . . . it just is.

IMG_0712.JPG
IMG_0663.JPG

IMG_0785

My favorite street in Oaxaca

The sun beats down on the farming fields surrounding Oaxaca  City. A cool breeze floats through the cobblestone streets down from the Sierra Madre.  The city  seems to exhibit perfect placement; it’s no wonder the Spanish just [HAD] to have this place in the 1500s.  Restaurants open their windows and roofs for quiet evenings.IMG_0662.JPG

IMG_0838.JPG

IMG_0726.JPGBy day, little old farmers line the Zocolo sell tacos with their wives and insist (in Spanish) that you top your taco with onions, and all of the salsa fixings. The architecture is fascinating and the textiles are vibrant. The people are extremely friendly. The food is untouchable. (I tried grasshoppers and fried Hibiscus flowers and ENJOYED both!)

IMG_0696.JPGIMG_0632.JPG

IMG_0686.JPG

Chapulines or Grasshoppers

IMG_0798.JPG

Hibiscus Flower Oaxacan Infusion

Food 1.jpg

Tazuerias y Pozolerias Alvaro is the taco shop that is rumored to have the best tacos in all of Mexico & I agree

IMG_0661.JPG

Tapestries.jpg

IMG_0640.JPG

Katrina is the mascot for Day of the Dead

IMG_0729.JPG

Ceiling design of the Santo Domingo Church

IMG_0790.JPG

IMG_0708.JPG

Oaxacan cheeses are fantastic

IMG_0745.JPGIMG_0749.JPG

IMG_0670.JPG

Authentic Tres Leches devoured at a bakery close to the Zocolo

The state of the politics in the country left a lasting & unexpected impression on me.

On my first night I discovered a tent city in the historic center of town. I was a bit taken aback, and could instantly feel that something was big was going on. So– I did what came naturally in that situation– I walked through the tent city. It was an educational experience.

IMG_0655.JPG
Tent City

Teachers in the state of Oaxaca have been protesting since 2006 over the state of public education, wages, and certifications. The state of Oaxaca is attempting to move to a privatized education system, where only wealthy residents will be able to afford to send their children to school.

I immediately noticed that many kids didn’t attend school during the day– instead they helped their families earn wages. Kids that did attend school rose early for a lunch-time dismissal to help work.
IMG_0687.JPGIMG_0723.JPG
I even got to witness a state governor candidate give a speech in the street. The election was the following week.
IMG_0738.JPG

[A few weeks after I returned home, a riot broke out in the tent city. Several unarmed people were killed by the Oaxaca Police and casualties continue to rise]. 

Heritage is Important.

Outside of the city center I found the Earth’s largest tree trunk. The Arbol del Tule massively rises next to the most perfect little church that you have ever seen. Tule is over 2,000 years old and can be found in the recordings of the Aztecs.  Many local legends involve the tree that tie it back to indigenous inhabitants . The tree houses hundreds of birds; it is a majestic sight that cannot easily be described. Sadly, as with most amazing things on this Earth humans are accidentally destroying the tree and it will be dead in an extended amount of time.IMG_0754.JPGIMG_0772.JPG

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: