I’m nearly finished processing the mountain of photos from Oaxaca! Most of them are up on Flickr now, here are a few more favorites from the second and third days of our trip, exploring Oaxaca’s markets, churches and craftspeople.
Hotel Casantica, just north of Oaxaca’s main square (zócalo), was our home base for the trip. It was pretty and clean and had decent amenities, and it was hopping the entire week we were there. I took this picture on the balcony overlooking the main courtyard.
Aside from mole and indigenous culture and handicrafts and a dozen other things, Oaxaca is known for chocolate. Oaxacan chocolate is rustic and unrefined, high in sugar and pretty delicious as a cold drink. We visited this chocolate factory with our group one day and went back the next day to buy a few blocks of chocolate for home.
We visited three churches in Oaxaca, including the cathedral, but my favorite was the Templo de Santo Domingo. A former Dominican monastery set in am imposing plaza, the Santo Domingo church looked equal parts house of worship and fortress. The sprawling monastery had been turned into a museum, centered on this arcaded courtyard.
All around Oaxaca, Dia de Muertos parades continued all week. The Santo Domingo church was a place of special focus and we watched several parades set off, led by marching bands.
I mentioned before that Oaxaca has managed to resist the American Halloween to a certain extent. In Mexico (or at least Oaxaca), children marching in parades don’t ask for candy, they hand out candy to bystanders, even adult tourists frantically snapping pictures. After posing for a picture, this little boy reached into his pail and handed me something like Mexican smarties.
In the next installment we’ll visit prehispanic ruins and head to the villages around Oaxaca to observe and take part in the central part of Dia de los Muertos, the graveside vigil.