The Lure of Oaxaca: Conservancy Tours for Day of the Dead

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Dia De Los Muertos Altar at the Zocolo.
Dia De Los Muertos Altar at the Zocolo.

At The End of October, 28 Archaeological Conservancy members joined SW regional director Jim Walker and George Washington University archaeologist Jeff Blumster in Oaxaca for ten days of touring one of the most beautiful areas of Mexico: the Oaxaca Valley. Despite dire predictions of downpours from hurricane Patricia (which fortunately were overstated), the tour enjoyed mostly warm sunny days and beautiful nights.

2000 Year Old Tule Tree in the Beautiful City.
2000 Year Old Tule Tree in the Beautiful City.
Azompa, Oaxaca City in the background.
Azompa ruins, Oaxaca City in the background.

Although the main focus was the valley’s amazing archaeological sites, museums and attractions, the group also discovered crafts villages, costume parades and of course some of the best culinary delights to be found on the planet.

Street Parade, Oaxaca City
Street Parade, Oaxaca City

 

Santo Domingo Church at night
Santo Domingo Church at night
Mural Art, Zaachila
Mural Art, Zaachila

The late night visit to the cemetery in Xoxocatlan was considered by many to be the highlight of the trip.

Main Cemetery, Oaxaca City
Main Cemetery, Oaxaca City
Xoxocatlan Cemetery
Xoxocatlan Cemetery

One of the favorite activities of the group was the nightly gathering in one of the sidewalk cafés on the Zocolo (main square) where tour participants would swap stories and admire everyone’s latest folk art purchase over a beer and a bowl of chili-garlic peanuts while a Marimba band played on the corner.

treet party near Santo Domingo.
Street party near Santo Domingo.
costumed performer on the Zocolo
costumed performer on the Zocolo

The lure of Oaxaca is hard to resist. Its appeal goes beyond the Spanish Colonial architecture and the epicurean delights. Oaxaca’s most appealing attraction for me is the people. Locals often greet visitors like lifelong friends. I find most Oaxacans to be warm and genuine.

Black Pottery Demonstration, San Bartalo Coyotapec
Black Pottery Demonstration, San Bartalo Coyotapec
Wood Carving Demonstration
Wood Carving Demonstration

For those of you who long to return to Oaxaca, or those of you who have never had the pleasure of experiencing the area, we will be running this trip again in 2016.

 Visiting the Ruins of Mitla
Visiting the Ruins of Mitla

–Jim Walker, Southwest Regional Director

Interesting in Joining Us on our Next Adventure? Explore our Upcoming Tours

Learn more about UNESCO designated Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

Learn more about Monte Albán: Sacred Architecture and Stone Sculptures from the Met NYC timeline

Monte Alban
Tour View of a Lush Looking Monte Alban.

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