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.
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.
The late night visit to the cemetery in Xoxocatlan was considered by many to be the highlight of the trip.
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.
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.
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.
–Jim Walker, Southwest Regional Director
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Learn more about UNESCO designated Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán