Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca panorama from Guelaguetza
Oaxaca, located a few hours east of Mexico City, has a population of almost a half million people but it feels like a lot more than that.  Mexicans from all over the country come to the month long celebration of Guelaguetza.  In pre-Hispanic times, the festival was to honor maize and the wind gods.  Now days, it’s a folk festival and a celebration of the Virgen del Carmen.  We just happen to be staying right in front of the Iglesia del Carmen Alta, where street vendors are lined up outside our place selling empanadas, memeles, embaradas, tostadas, ice cream, pancakes, corn, jimica, etc.  Along with the food, there are carnival rides, giant puppet dances, firework displays, and music plays from morning to night.
Guelaguetza-3 The main event during the month is the Guelaguetza on the Lunes del Cerro, located in an ampitheater overlooking Oaxaca.  Traditional dance and music representing the seven regions of Oaxaca are celebrated.  It is held every year on the first and second Monday after July 16th.  It’s a three hour event, in theory.  But it’s necessary to arrive early in order to attempt to get a seat.  Mike and I left two hours early in an attempt to get one of the free seats, but ended up smashed up against other people waiting to get in.  Finally after three hours of almost no personal space, we got in.  Standing room only.  But for the hour we watched, the dances were beautiful, as were the costumes.

2 Responses to “Oaxaca, Mexico”

  1. karen says:

    Hola! (Yo)

    I wanted to comment as my son and I are from Philadelphia and have been in Oaxaca the month of July- we leave on the first of August.We actually used to live here.Oaxaca is a truly magical place.I am glad you have made it a stop on your tour.
    Well, just wanted to give a Yo! to some of our paisanos!


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