Friday, 11 May 2018

MEXICO: Oaxaca State Is One Of The Poorest, Carry Backpack In Front Of Your chest, Always Look Back While Walking, Never Brag About An Expensive Phone.

Oaxaca is a state of Mexico. From Nahuatl languages is officially the Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca.

Oaxaca is one of the poorest states in Mexico. Therefore, there's a great lack of public services in the whole state.

While visiting Oaxaca, you will find a lot of roads and places in poor conditions, but people tend to be friendly if you give them nice comments about their place of origin.

Regardless of the lack of services, Oaxaca has much to be proud of. Its great biodiversity and cultural heritage is reflected in having almost every type of ecosystem and many monuments from different epochs, including pyramids, churches and some new buildings in the capital city.

For an open-minded visitor, there is much to learn and enjoy in Oaxaca.

It is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, make up the 32 federative entities of Mexico.

It is divided into 570 municipalities, of which 418 - almost three quarters are governed by the system of Usos y costumbres customs and traditions with recognized local forms of self-governance.

Its capital city is Oaxaca de Juarez.

Oaxaca is located in Southwestern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Guerrero to the west, Puebla to the northwest, Veracruz to the north, Chiapas to the east.

Cities In Oaxaca state
- Oaxaca

- Puerto Escondido

- Mazunte

- Zipolite

- Juchitan de Zaragoza

Huautla de Jimenez is a famous town in the Sierra Norte. Incredibly popular with N American hippies in the '60's.

Today the gringos are almost all gone but the town remains popular for Europeans and urban Mexicans from Mexico City.

Famous for its hongos and shaman rituals which take place during the rainy season.

Oaxaca is known for its linguistic diversity. Many indigenous languages are spoken in the state, with Zapotec and Mixtec being the most prevalent.

Most speakers of these languages are bilingual in Spanish and their indigenous language, although some speakers especially older generations, are monolingual in the indigenous language, and children are increasingly dominant speakers of Spanish.

The government has pushed Spanish education in schools, which has led to an increase in Spanish fluency throughout the state, but has been accompanied by a decline in use of indigenous languages.

Many communities are striving to preserve and promote their languages in the face of Spanish dominance. In Oaxaca de Juarez it's still very common to hear indigenous people who are selling some kind of merchandise talking to each other in their native language (Zapotec, Mixtec, Chontal, etc.)

However, Spanish remains the lingua franca, so the English-speaking tourist should make an effort to learn at least the very basics of Spanish, as well as greetings in the indigenous languages used in the region that you travel.

To the south, Oaxaca has a significant coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

The state is best known for its indigenous peoples and cultures. The most numerous and best known are the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, but there are sixteen that are officially recognized.

These cultures have survived better than most others in Mexico due to the state's rugged and isolating terrain.

Most live in the Central Valleys region, which is also an economically important area for tourism, with people attracted for its archeological sites such as Monte Alban, and Mitla, and its various native cultures and crafts.

Another important tourist area is the coast, which has the major resort of Huatulco and sandy beaches of Puerto Escondido, Puerto Ángel, Zipolite, Bahia de Tembo, and Mazunte.

Oaxaca is also one of the most biologically diverse states in Mexico, ranking in the top three, along with Chiapas and Veracruz, for numbers of reptiles, amphibians, mammals and plants.

The name of the state comes from the name of its capital city, Oaxaca. This name comes from the Nahuatl word Huaxyacac which refers to a tree called a guaje - Leucaena leucocephala found around the capital city.

The name was originally applied to the Valley of Oaxaca by Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs and passed on to the Spanish during the conquest of the Oaxaca region.

The modern state was created in 1824, and the state seal was designed by Alfredo Canseco Feraud and approved by the government of Eduardo Vasconcelos.

The state is located in the south of Mexico, bordered by the states of Puebla, Veracruz, Chiapas and Guerrero with the Pacific Ocean to the south.

It has a territory of 93,967 km2 (36,281 sq mi), accounting for less than 5% of Mexico's territory.

Here several mountain chains come together, with the elevation varying from sea level to 3,759 m (12,333 ft), averaging at 1,500 m (4,921 ft).

Oaxaca has one of the most rugged terrains in Mexico, with mountain ranges that abruptly fall into the sea.

Between these mountains are mostly narrow valleys, canyons and ravines. Major elevations in the state include Zempoaltepetl 3,396 m or 11,142 ft, El Espinazo del Diablo, Nindu Naxinda Yucunino and Cerro Encantado.

Oaxaca's has 533 km (331 mi) of coastline with nine major bays.

The mountains are mostly formed by the convergence of the Sierra Madre del Sur, the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca and the Sierra Atravesada into what is called the Oaxaca Complex or Complejo Oaxaqueno.

The Sierra Madre del Sur runs along the coast with an average width of 150 km (93 mi) and a minimum height of 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) asl with peaks over 2,500 m (8,202 ft).

In various regions the chain is locally known by other names, such as the Sierra de Miahuatlan and the Sierra de la Garza.

The Sierra Madre de Oaxaca enters the state from the Puebla and Veracruz borders in the Tuxtepec region, running northwest to southeast towards the Central Valleys region, then onto the Tehuantepec area.

Local names for parts of this range include Sierra de Tamazulapan, Sierra de Nochixtlan, Sierra de Huautla, Sierra de Juarez, Sierra de Ixtlan and others. Average altitude is 2,500 m (8,202 ft) asl with peaks over 3,000 m (9,843 ft) and width averages at about 75 km (47 mi).

The Sierra Atravesada is a prolongation of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. This range is not as high as the other two with an average elevation of just over 600 meters (1,969 ft). Most of it is located in the Juchitan district running east-west.

The only valleys of any real size are the Central Valleys between Etla and Miahuatlan, which contains the city of Oaxaca. Smaller populated valleys include Nochixtlan, Nejapa, Cuicatlan and Tuxtepec.

Small mesas contain population centers such as Putla, Juxtlahuaca, Tamazulapan, Zacatepec, Tlaxiaco and Huajuapan.

The largest canyons in the state are those in the Cuicatlan area and include the Cortes, Galicia and Maria in the municipality of Tlaxiaco. There are a very large number of small canyons as well as ravines and arroyos of all sizes.

The mountainous terrain allows for no navigable rivers; instead, there are a large number of smaller ones, which often change name from area to area.

The continental divide passes through the state, meaning that there is drainage towards both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

Most of the drainage towards the Gulf is represented by the Papaloapan and Coatzacoalcos Rivers and their tributaries such as the Grande and Salado Rivers.

Three rivers account for most of the water headed for the Pacific: the Mixteco, Atoyac and Tehuantepec Rivers with their tributaries.

Other important rivers and streams include the Tequisistlan, Santo Domingo, Putla, Minas, Puxmetacan-Trinidad, La Arena, Cajonos, Tenango, Tonto, Huamelula, San Antonio, Ayutla, Joquila, Copalita, Calapa.

Other rivers are Colotepec, Aguacatenango-Jaltepec, Los Perros, El Corte, Espiritu Santo, Sarabia, Ostuta, Petapa and Petlapa.

Major cities include Huajuapan de Leon, Juchitan de Zaragoza, Oaxaca or Oaxaca de Juarez, Puerto Escondido, Salina Cruz, San Pedro Pochutla, San Juan Bautista Cuicatlan, San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, Santa Cruz Xoxocotlan,

Other cities are Santa Lucia del Camino, Santa Maria Asuncion Tlaxiaco, Santiago Pinotepa Nacional and Tehuantepec or Santo Domingo Tehuantepec.

While the state is within the tropical latitudes, its climate varies with altitude. There are three principal climate regions in the state. The first is the hot and Subtropical lands. This accounts for about 30% of the state.

The next is the semi hot and semi humid regions which account for about 18%, and temperate and semi humid at about 16%. All of these climates experience a rainy season in the summer and early fall.

As most of the state is over 2,000 m (6,562 ft) above sea level, average temperature is about 18 °C (64.4 °F), except near the coast.

The coastline along with the regions of Yautepec, Putla, parts of Huahuapan and Silacayoapan are hot and relatively dry.

Hot and humid climates predominate in Villa Alta, and the Central Valleys area and all others over 2,000 m (6,562 ft) above sea level have a temperate climate.

A few of the highest peaks, such as those in Tehuantepec and Putla have a cold climate. Precipitation varies from between 430 to 2,700 mm (16.9 to 106.3 in) per year.

The Sierra Mazteca, Textepec and other areas near the Veracruz border have rains year round. The rest of the state receives the majority of its rain during the summer and early fall.

The higher elevations can experience freezing temperatures in December and January. The Chivela mountain pass in Isthmus of Tehuantepec provides a gap for the wind to pass between mountain ranges, creating the best conditions for wind power in Mexico.

The state has a total population of about 3.5 million, with women outnumbering men by 150,000 and about 60% of the population under the age of 30. It is ranked tenth in population in the country.

Fifty three percent of the population lives in rural areas. Most of the state's population growth took place between 1980 and 1990. Life expectancy is 71.7 for men and 77.4 for women, just under the national average.

Births far outpace deaths. In 2007, there were 122,579 birth and 19,439 deaths. Approximately 85% profess the Catholic faith.

Demographically, Oaxaca stands out due to the high percentage of indigenous peoples. It is estimated that at least a third are speakers of indigenous languages, with 50% not able to speak Spanish, accounting for 53% of Mexico's total indigenous language speaking population.

The state straddles two Mesoamerican cultural areas. The first extends into the state from the Mayan lands of Chiapas, Yucatan and Guatemala.

The northeast of the state is part of the cultures of the Valley of Mexico, with historical influence seen from ancient cities such as Teotihuacan, Tula and Tenochtitlan.

The main reason that indigenous languages and cultures have been able to survive here is the rugged terrain, which isolate communities.

This also has the effect of dividing the state into small secluded communities, which have developed independently over time.

There are 16 ethno linguistic groups recognized by the Instituto Nacional Indigenista who maintain their individual languages, customs and traditions well into the colonial period and to some extent to the present day.

However, some studies put the number of cultures in the state as high as 4,000. This makes Oaxaca the most ethnically complex of Mexico's 31 states.

The most populous indigenous groups in Oaxaca are the Zapotec or Mixtec. Several other languages of the Oto-Manguean languages are spoken in Oaxaca.

The Triques, Amuzgos and Cuicatecs are linguistically most closely related to the Mixtecs, The languages of the Chocho, Popoloca and Ixcatec peoples are most closely related to that of the Mazatecs.

The Chatino language is grouped with the Zapotecan branch of Oto-Manguean. The languages of the Zoque and Mixe peoples belong to the Mixe–Zoquean languages.

Other ethnic groups include the Chontalees, Chinantecs, the Huaves and Nahuas. As of 2005, a total of 1,091,502 people were counted as speaking an indigenous language.

Zapotecs. The largest indigenous group in the state are the Zapotecs at about 350,000 people or about 31% of the total indigenous population.

The Zapotec have an extremely long history in the Central Valleys region and unlike other indigenous groups, do not have a migration story.

For them, they have always been here. Zapotecs have always called themselves Be'ena'a, which means The People. Zapotec territory extends in and around the Central Valleys region of the state, around the capital city of Oaxaca.

The Zapotec language has historically been and is still the most widely spoken in the state, with four dialects that correspond to the four subdivisions of these people.

Central Valleys and Isthmus, the Sierra de Ixtlan, Villa Alta and Coapan. Zapotec communities can be found in 67 municipalities. The various Zapotec dialects account for 64 of the total 173 still surviving forms of Oto-Manguean.

Mixtecs. The second largest group are the Mixtecs at just over 240,000 people or 27% of the indigenous population.

These people established themselves in the northwest of Oaxaca and far southern Puebla over 3,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest communities in the region.

These same people put pressure on the Zapotec kingdoms until the Spanish conquered both peoples in the 16th century.

Mixtec territory is divided into three sub regions. The Upper Mixteca covers 38 municipalities and is the most populated region. The Lower Mixteca includes 31 municipalities. The Coastal Mixtecs are a small group.

Today, the Mixtecs call themselves Nuu Savi, the people of the rain. The Mixtecan language family, as one of the largest and most diverse families in the Oto-Manguean group, includes three groups of languages: Mixtec, Cuicatec, and Trique.

Mazatecos. The Mazatecos number at about 165,000 or 15% of Oaxaca's indigenous population. These people occupy the northernmost area of the state, in the upper Sierra Madre Oriental mountains and the Papaloapan Basin.

The Mazatecos call themselves Ha shuta enima, which means People of Custom. Some historians believe that the Mazatecos descend from the Nonoalca-Chichimecas, who migrated south from Tula early in the 12th century.

While most live in Oaxaca, a significant number of Mazatecos also occupy Veracruz and Puebla.

The Chinantecos account for about 10% of Oaxaca's indigenous people, numbering at about 104,000. They inhabit the Chinantla region of north central Oaxaca near the border of Veracruz.

The Chinanteco language has as many as 14 different dialects and is part of the Oto-Manguean linguistic group.

Historians believe that those living in this region struggled to maintain their independence against sudden and numerous attacks by the Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Mixes and Aztecs.

The latter, led by Moctezuma I, finally conquered the Chinantla region during the 15th century.

Mixe. The Mixe people account for another 10% of the indigenous population at just over 103,000 people. The Mixe are an isolated group in the northeastern part of the state, close to the border of Veracruz.

Their region includes 19 municipalities and 108 communities. The Mixes call themselves Ayuuk, which means The People.

It is unknown where the Mixe migrated from, with some speculating from as far as Peru, but they arrived in waves from 1300 to 1533.

They came into conflict with the Mixtecs and Zapotecs, but allied themselves with the Zapotecs against the Aztecs, then resisted the Spanish.

The Mixe language has seven dialects and this group has the highest rate of monolingualism, 36% of speakers in the year 2000 of any Indigenous group in Mexico.

Minorities include the Chatino (42,477),the Trique (18,292), the Huave people (15,324), the Cuicatecos (12,128),the Zoque, also called the Aiyuuk are roughly 10,000, the Amuzgos (4,819), the Chontales of Oaxaca (4,610), the Tacuates (1,725), the Chocho or Chocholtec (524), the Ixcatecos (207), the Popolocas (61) and a small population of Nahuatl speaking peoples in the border area with Puebla.

Ritualistitic and shamanic religious practices were prevalent in Oaxaca valley, until the Spanish invaded the valley in 1521.

Proselytism was also started in 1521, Christianity was ushered into the valley and eventually took firm roots.

The ancient religious practices have been dated by archaeological findings, over a 15 years period of excavations by two Archaeologists of Michigan University to be more than 7000 years old.

Initially, 7000 years ago, the people were hunters and gatherers with no fixed abode.

With development of agricultural practices, with maize as the main crop and settled villages getting established over several centuries, a warrior type of societal culture evolved by 500 BC, with the Zapotec state getting into shape.

Concurrently, ceremonious religious practices with ritualistic and shamanistic dancing around stone marked floors came to be observed, a pre-Zapotec dance floor dated to 6650 BC testifies this.

Even cannibalistic practices were noted. The ritualistic practices were formalized, as permanent settlements were established, and temples were built to perform the rituals as per a set of calendar annual events.

There were two interconnected calendars prevalent at the time- one of 260 days and another of 365 days, which synchronized every 52 years.

In subsequent years, as upper strata of society an elite class came into existence, the religious practices and the temple got more formalized with priests controlling the community's religion.

Religion started to evolve around the ritualistic practices but with more defined role of religion under the monarchic rule which came into effect along with the religious systems that were the previous source of social authority.

Monte Alban was founded around 500 BCE. It is inferred that from 1500 BC, Zapotec society evolved as an organized autonomous ascribed-status peasant societies.

The ritual buildings in the valley dated to this period testify this observation. Dr. Richard Sosis, an anthropologist at the University of Connecticut has summarised the archaeological findings with an observation.

The Michigan archaeologists' study delineated the process of religion adapting to different environments as Oaxacan society changed.

Among foragers, ritual serves to cement solidarity, he said, and the powerful moralistic gods that we associate with contemporary religions are a later development.

These were introduced at the stage when priests have acquired control of a religion and are effectively controlling the masses through ritual activities that instill the fear of supernatural punishment.

When Christianity made inroads into the Valley in 1521, the valley was part of the Aztec tribute empire with Tenochtitlan as the capital - present day Mexico City and Spanish settlements came into existence to exploit the rich land and mineral resources of the valley.

The first record of Baptism in the valley was that of the King of Teozapotlan, the most important Valley ruler, in 1521.

He was baptized as Don Juan Cortes. Nobles, who converted to Christianity, were permitted to keep their traditional rights under a 1557 order by Phillip II of Spain.

Spaniards pursued proselytisation activity with dedicated single-minded devotion throughout the 18th century with the goal of saving the souls of their subjects.

It took many years of dogged persuasion to discourage the Zapotec people to give up their pantheon of idolatry, shamanistic and cannibalistic practices of the Mesoamerican religion, which was denigrated by the Church.

Now, in Mexico, Roman Catholics are 89% of the total population. Only 47% of Oaxacan Catholics attend church services weekly, one of the lowest rates of the developing world.

In absolute terms, Mexico has the world's second largest number of Catholics after Brazil. While most indigenous Mexicans are at least nominally Catholic, some combine or syncretize Catholic practices with native traditions.

The National Presbyterian Church in Mexico has a relatively high percentage of followers in Oaxaca, one of its stronger states.

Although it is the fifth-largest state in Mexico, it has the most biodiversity. There are more than 8,400 registered plant species, 738 bird species and 1,431 terrestrial vertebrate species, accounting for 50% of all species in Mexico.

It is also among the five highest-ranking areas in the world for endangered species. The state has important ecological zones such as the Selva Zoque in the northeast.

Vegetation varies from those adapted to hot and arid conditions such as cacti, to evergreen tropical forest on the coasts. Forests in the higher elevations consist of conifers, broadleafed trees and a mixture of the two.

In the lower elevations by the coast there are evergreen and deciduous rainforest, with those dropping leaves doing so in the dry season.

In the driest areas mesquite, some cactus and grasslands can be found. There are also 58 species of aquatic plants.

Wildlife includes a wide variety of birds, small to medium-sized mammals and some larger ones such as deer and wildcats, reptiles and amphibians.

Off the coast there are fish and shellfish, as well as dolphins and whales which pass by during their migrations.

The state is a prolific place for reptiles such as turtles, lizards, snakes and crocodiles. Of the 808 registered reptile species nationwide, 245 are found in the state.

The state has the most amphibian species at 133, with one-third of all Mexican species of frogs and salamanders. It is home to 120 species of freshwater fish, 738 species of birds which is 70% of Mexico's total and 190 species of mammals.

Some insect forms such as grasshoppers, larvae and cochineal have economic importance for the state and there are several species of giant stick insects indigenous to the region such as Bacteria horni which has a body length of up to 22 cm.

The most important ocean creatures commercially are shrimp, tuna, bonito, huachinango and mojarra. Sea turtles used to be exploited for both their meat and eggs but this was stopped by the federal government in the 1990s.

The coast of Oaxaca is an important breeding area for sea turtles such as the leatherback - Dermochelys coriacea, which is classified as endangered throughout its global range.

Despite conservation efforts starting in the 1970s, the number of nesting sites and nesting turtles has dramatically decreased.

Conservation efforts in the state are hampered by high marginalization, lack of economic alternatives, agricultural conflicts, change of land usefor agricultural activities, fires.

Over-exploitation and pollution of natural water sources, inadequate forest management and illegal tree felling, unsustainable coastal tourist developments, climate change, limited local capacity, and limited local knowledge and valuation of natural resources.

However, there are seven officially protected natural areas in the state: Benito Juarez National Park at 3,272 ha (8,090 acres), Huatulco National Park at 11,845 ha (29,270 acres), Lagunas de Chacahua National Park at 14,920 ha (36,900 acres).

Playa de Escobilla Sanctuary at 30 ha (74 acres), Playa de la Bahía de Chacahua Sanctuary at 31 ha (77 acres), Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve at 490,678 ha (1,212,490 acres) and Yagul Natural Monument at 1,076 ha (2,660 acres).

Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, created in 1937, lies about 54 km (34 mi) west of Puerto Escondido, near a village called Zapotalito. It can be reached via Federal Highway 200 or by boat from Puerto Escondido.

The park encompasses 132.73 square kilometres (51.25 square miles), about 30 km2 (12 sq mi) of which is taken by various lagoons such as the Laguna de Chacahua, Laguna de La Pastoria, and Laguna Las Salinas.

There are various smaller lagoons that are connected by narrow channels. The rest of the park consists of dry land.

The park has 10 different types of vegetation, selva espinosa, swampland, deciduous, sub-tropical broadleaf, mangrove, savannah, bosque de galleria, tular, palm trees, and coastal dunes.

246 species of flowers and 189 species of animals have been documented so far in the park. Birds such as storks, herons, wild ducks, blue-winged teals, pelicans, and spoonbills can be found here.

Three species of turtles also visit the park to lay their eggs.

Benito Juarez National Park is located 5 km (3.1 mi) to the north of Oaxaca within the municipal limits of San Felipe del Agua and Donaji, Oaxaca, and San Andres Huayapan of the central district.

It was designated as a national park under a presidential decree, in 1937. The topography of the park has an elevation range varying from 1,650 to 3,050 metres (5,413 to 10,007 feet) above sea level.

The climate is Coastal sub-humid and Temperate sub-humid. The main rivers that flow through the park are the Huayapan and San Felipe rivers.

Most of their flows used to be utilized to meet drinking water needs of Oaxaca through an aqueduct in the early part of the 18th century, during the colonial period.

However, it is now tapped for water supply through piped system to the city. The park covers 2,737 hectares (6,760 acres), including the 3,111-meter (10,207 ft) high Cerro de San Felipe - San Felipe Mountain, part of the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca which has metamorphic rock formations.

It has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. There are pine and oak forests in the upper reaches of the mountain, while the lower reaches have scrub oaks, and tropical deciduous forest in the canyons.

Most of the forest is secondary growth, having been previously forested.

Huatulco National Park, also known as Bahias de Huatulco National Park – Huatulco, was initially declared a protected area and later decreed as a National Park on July 24, 1998.

Located in the Santa Maria Huatulco town, to the west of Cruz Huatulco, it extends to an area of 11,890 hectares (29,400 acres).

In the low lands of the park, there 9,000 species of plant, about 50% of the species are reported throughout the country in the forest and mangroves in the coastal belt.

Fauna species have been identified as 264, which includes armadillos and white-tailed deer. Bird species are counted at 701, which include hummingbirds, pelicans and hawks.

The amphibian and reptile species are counted to be 470, which include Black Iguana, salamanders and snakes.

Dolphins, whales and turtles are sighted species off the coast line, out of the identified 100 marine species.

Vegetation is dominated by the low forest growth of caducifolia in 80% area with the unusual feature of 50 ft (15.24 m) high trees.

Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve, which encompasses the states of Puebla and Oaxaca in Mexico, was established as reserve in 1998 covering an area of 490,187 ha (1,211,280 acres), with an altitudinal range of 600 to 2,950 m (1,969 to 9,678 ft).

It is in the valley of the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan-Quiotepec. The six rivers which flow through the reserve are the Tomellin, Chiquito, Las Vueltas, Salado, Zapotitan and Rio Grande of the Papaloapan watershed, which finally flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

On account of wide variation in topography and annual rainfall, the micro-climatic conditions in the reserve has created a biosphere reserve, which is very rich in flora and fauna.

The rich biodiversity of the preserve consists of 910 plant genus, 2,700 vascular species, 102 species of mammals, 356 species of birds which includes the endangered Green Macaw or Ara militaris, and 53 species of reptiles.

However, the reserve is faced with threats from poaching, deforestation, overgrazing, and trash scattered on the highways and secondary roads that pass close and through the reserve.

Inadequate patrolling staff is an issue which needs to be addressed to remove the threats to the biosphere reserve.

According to the Mexican government agency Conapo or National Population Council, Oaxaca is the third most economically marginalized state in Mexico.

The state has 3.3% of the population but produces only 1.5% of the GNP. The main reason for this is the lack of infrastructure and education, especially in the interior of the state outside of the capital.

Eighty percent of the state's municipalities do not meet federal minimums for housing and education. Most development projects are planned for the capital and the surrounding area.

Little has been planned for the very rural areas and the state lacks the resources to implement them. The largest sector of Oaxaca's economy is agriculture, mostly done communally in ejidos or similar arrangements.

About 31% of the population is employed in agriculture, about 50% in commerce and services and 22% in industry.The commerce sector dominates the gross domestic product at 65.4%, followed by industry/mining at 18.9% and agriculture at 15.7%.

In 45.5% of Oaxaca's municipalities, the population has declined due to migration.

Poverty and migration are caused mostly by the lack of economic development in the state, which leaves most of the population working in the least productive sector.

This has led to wide scale migration, mostly from the rural areas, to find employment. Within Oaxaca, many people leave rural villages to work in the city of Oaxaca, the Papaloapan area and the coast.

Within Mexico, many leave for Mexico City, Mexico State, Sinaloa, Baja California and Baja California Sur.

Most of those leaving the state are agricultural workers. As of 2005, over 80,000 people from Oaxaca state live in some other part of Mexico.

Most of those leaving Oaxaca and Mexico go to the United States. Much of the current wave of emigration began in the late 1970s, and by the 1980s Oaxaca ranked 8th in the number of people leaving for the US from Mexico.

Today, that percentage has fallen to 20th. Most of those migrate to the United States, concentrated in California and Illinois.

In 2007, estimates of the number of Oaxacans residing in Los Angeles, California ranged from 50,000 to 250,000.

The economy of Oaxaca is based on agriculture, especially in the interior of the state. Only 9% of the territory is suitable for agriculture due to the mountainous terrain, so there are limits to this sector.

The production of food staples, such as corn and beans, is mostly for internal consumption but this production cannot meet demand.

The total agricultural production of the state was estimated at 13.4 million tons with a value of 10,528 million pesos in 2007.

As of 2000, 1,207,738 hectares are used for the raising of crops, most of which occurs during the annual rainy season, with only 487,963 having crops growing year round. Only 81,197 hectares have irrigation.

The variation of climate allows for a wider range of agricultural crops than would otherwise grow in a geographical region of this size. Oaxaca is the nation's second highest producer of grains and agave.

It is third in the production of peanuts, mango and sugar cane. It is the second largest producer of goat meat, providing about 10% of the national total.

In the more temperate areas crops such as corn, beans, sorghum, peanuts, alfalfa and wheat are grown. In more tropical areas, crops also include coffee, sesame seed, rice, sugar cane and pineapple.

Livestock is raised on 3,050,106 hectares or 32% of the state's land. Cattle dominate in the Tuxtepec, Isthmus and Coast regions, with pigs dominating in higher elevations such as the Central Valleys Region.

Other animals include sheep, goats, domestic fowl and bees. The value of this production was estimated at 2,726.4 million pesos with cattle comprising over half of this.

Coffee is grown in mountain areas near the Pacific Ocean in municipalities such as Santa Maria Huatulco, Pluma Hidalgo, Candelaria Loxicha, San Miguel del Puerto and San Mateo Pinas.

The growing of coffee here dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries when English pirates introduced the plant.

Coastal fishing is also a major source of income and in 2007 the total fishing catch was estimated at 9,300 tons with a value of over 174 million pesos.

Mining has traditionally been important to the economy and history. Hernan Cortes sought and received the title of the Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca in order to claim mineral and other rights.

Currently coal, salt, chalk, petroleum, marble, lime, graphite, titanium, silver, gold and lead are still extracted. Most mines today are located in Etla, Ixtlan, San Pedro Taviche, Papalo and Salinas Cruz.

There is an oil and natural gas refinery in Salinas Cruz, which provides products to the state and other areas on Mexico's Pacific coast.

Tourism is important to the state as it is the only sector that is growing and brings substantial income from outside the state, although most tourism is concentrated in the capital and along the coast.

In 2007, there were 1,927 small grocery stores, 70 tianguis and 167 municipal markets. Tourism accounts for about 30% of the commerce sector of Oaxaca's economy. The state attracts visitors from Mexico and abroad.

The state government has been pushing this sector heavily as a means of growing the economy, with major infrastructure projects such as the Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido-Huatulco highway and the Iberdrola hydroelectric dam.

In 2000, there were 612 hotels with 15,368 rooms. Thirteen of these were classed as five stars. The state received 1,564,936 visitors that year, over 80% of whom were from Mexico.

The Central Valleys region receives the most visitors (60%), followed by the La Mixteca and Papaloapan regions (29%) and the coast (11%), in spite of the fact that only 7% of the state's attractions are in the Oaxaca city area.

One reason for this is that the city of Oaxaca is only four and a half hours away from Mexico City via the federal highway.

The state has a total of 18,933.4 km (11,764.7 mi) of roadways. Most of these roadways are in the Papaloapam, Mixteca, Isthmus and Coast Regions.

The primary highways in the state include Oaxaca (city)-Cuacnopalan toll road and the Pan-American highway, which crosses the state completely from Puebla to Chiapas.

Federal highway 200 hugs the coast connecting communities such as Puerto Escondido, Salinas Cruz and Huatulco with Acapulco and Chiapas.

Federal highway 185, also called Transístmica, crosses the state from the Veracruz border to the coast at Salina Cruz. Federal highway 125 runs from the Puebla state line along the western part of the state.

Federal highway 135 leads from Puebla to Oaxaca City then down to Pochutla. Federal highway 175 runs from the Veracruz border to the city of Oaxaca. Other highways include Federal highway 147 and Federal highway 182.

There is a railroad line connecting the city of Oaxaca with Mexico City for cargo. The state's major port is Salina Cruz which primarily services ships belonging to PEMEX, bringing crude oil and refined petroleum products along the Mexican coast as well as the United States and Japan.

There is also a railroad from Salina Cruz to Veracruz and to Tapachula.

Oaxaca-Xoxocotlan Airport is approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Oaxaca city centre. This airport has a runway that measures 2,450 metres (8,038 feet) and a total extension of 435 hectares (1,070 acres) with two hangars.

According to figures published by Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR), the airport received 523,104 passengers in 2009.

Airlines that fly to the state include Aeromexico, Volaris, Interjet, and VivaAerobus arriving from Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Tijuana.

In addition the airport also has nonstop flights to the US thru United Airlines and American Airlines to Houston and Dallas.

Local public transportation is offered various local business using pickup trucks, buses and small cargo trucks.Oaxaca city has separate first class and second class bus stations, offering services to most places within the state of Oaxaca.

These including the coastal resorts of Huatulco, Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel and Pinotepa Nacional, and also long-distance services to Puebla and Mexico City and other Mexican locations such as Veracruz.

Intercity bus services is provided by companies such as ADO, Cristobal Colon, SUR, Fletes y Pasajes and AU.

Smaller providers provide service in vans, especially between the city of Oaxaca and the coast. These operators have existed only semi-legally in the past but legal issues have since been resolved.

From the latter half of the 20th century, the state has produced a number of notable painters such as Rufino Tamayo, Rodolfo Nieto, Rodolfo Morales, and Francisco Toledo.

These four painters have been influential in the establishment of new movements of art from the state. These movements have spurred exhibitions, galleries, museums and schools such as the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MACO) and Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca (IAGO).

Many of today's artists from Oaxaca have been inspired by past indigenous paintings as well as the colonial era works of Miguel Cabrera.

The state has not produced as many writers as painters but some important names include Adalberto Carriedo, Jacobo Dalevuelta, Andres Henestrosa and Natalia Toledo.

Music and dance are almost inextricably linked to the state's folkloric heritage. Even more modern composers such as Macedonio Alcala, Samuel, Mondragon Noriega and Jose Lopez Alaves are strongly influenced by traditional melodies.

Traditional music and dance has its roots in the indigenous traditions that existed long before the Spanish arrived. To these traditions were added elements from European culture and Catholicism.

The three main traditions to be found in the state are those of the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, with a small but distinct community of Afro-Mexicans.

Some of the best known dances include Los Diablos, La Tortuga, Las Mascaritas and Los Tejorones. In the Afro-Mexican Costa Chica region, a dance called Las Chilenas stands out.

La Sandunga is a song that typifies the musical style of the Tehuantepec region and a musical style called son bioxho, is an endemic form of the son style played with drums, an empty tortoise shell and a reed flute.

Oaxacan cuisine varies widely due to the relative geographic isolation of its peoples, and the climates in which foods are produced.
Oaxaca's gastronomy is known for its seven moles, chapulines or grasshoppers, Oaxaca tamales in banana leaves, tasajo or meat cuts and mescal.

Regional variations include the wide variety of vegetables in the Central Valleys region, fish and shellfish in the Coast and Isthmus regions and the year-round availability of tropical fruit in the Papaloapan area on the Veracruz border.

Like most of the rest of Mexico, corn is the staple food, with corn tortillas, called blandas accompanying most meals. Black beans are preferred.

Oaxaca produces seven varieties of mole called manchamanteles, chichilo, Amarillo, rojo, verde, coloradito and negro.

These moles and other dishes are flavored with a variety of chili peppers such as pasillas Oaxaqueños, amarillos, chilhuacles, chilcostles, chile anchos and costeños.

Epazote, pitiona and hoja santa are favored herbs in Oaxacan cooking. The last is indispensable for the preparation of verde version of mole.

Chocolate, which is grown in the state, plays an important part in the making of certain moles, but is best known for its role as a beverage.

The cacao beans are ground then combined with sugar, almonds, cinnamon and other ingredients to form bars. Pieces of these bars are mixed with hot milk or water and drunk.

Oaxaca cheese is a soft white string cheese which is similar to mozzarella. It is sold in ropes which are wound onto themselves into balls. It is eaten cold or lightly melted on quesadillas and other dishes.

One unique aspect to Oaxacan cuisine is the consumption of chapulines, which are a type of grasshopper that has been fried and seasoned with salt, lime and chili pepper.

There is a saying in Oaxaca, Para todo mal, mezcal, para todo bien, tambien - For everything bad, mezcal; for everything good, too.

Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks as well as food items based on the maguey plant have been consumed in many parts of Mexico since early in the pre-Hispanic period.

The tradition of the making of the distilled liquor called mezcal has been a strong tradition in the Oaxacan highlands since the colonial period.

One reason for this is the quality and varieties of maguey grown here. Some varieties, such as espadin and arroquense are cultivated but one variety called tobala is still made with wild maguey plants.

It is made with the heart of the plant which is roasted in pits, giving the final product a smokey flavor and is sometimes flavored with a chicken or turkey breast added to the mash.

It is mezcal, not tequila, and may contain a worm, which is really a larva that infests maguey plants. The final distilled product can be served as is or can be flavored called cremas with almonds, coffee, cocoa fruits and other flavors.

The town of Santiago Matatlan calls itself the world capital of mezcal. The best known producer here is Rancho Zapata, which also has a restaurant.

It is owned by a man that goes only by the name of Tio or uncle Pablo, who won first prize for his mescal in Chicago in 2003.

In many parts of the Central Valleys area, one can find small stands and stores selling locally made mezcal on roadsides.

Monte Alban. Most tourist attractions are located in the city of Oaxaca and the Central Valleys region that surrounds it.

This area is the cultural, geographical and political center of the state, filled with pre-Hispanic ruins, Baroque churches and monasteries, indigenous markets and villages devoted to various crafts.

The capital city, along with nearby Monte Alban together are listed as a World Heritage Site.

Many of the attractions in the city proper are located between the main square or Zocalo and along Andador Macedonio Alcala Street, known as the Andador Turistico or Tourist Walkway.

These include the Cathedral, the Basilica of Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, Museum of Contemporary Art (MACO), Rufino Tamayo Museum and the Mercado 20 de Noviembre Market, known for its food stands.

The most important annual festival is the Guelaguetza, also called the Fiesta del Lunes del Cerro or Festival of Mondays at the Mountain which occurs each July.

The largest and most important archeological site is Monte Alban, which was capital of the Zapotec empire.

Also important as an archaeological site is the ancient Zapotec center of Mitla at the eastern end of the Central Valleys which is noted for its unique ancient stone fretwork and abstract mosaics.

Between Mitla and Monte Alban there are a number of other important archeological sites such as Yagul, Dainzu and Lambityeco. The most important of these three is Lambityeco, in the middle of the Tlacolula Valley.

It was occupied from 600 BCE to 800 CE and coincides with Monte Alban. It was important at that time for its production of salt. Yagul is a ceremonial center on the side of a mountain.

Features include a Mesoamerican ball court, the La Rana courtyard, a temple, palace and other buildings.

Other attractions in the area include colonial constructions such as the monasteries in Cuilapan, Tlaxiaco, Coixthlahuaca, Yanhuitlan and Santo Domingo.

Churches include the Cathedral in Oaxaca and the main church of Teposcolula. Hierve el Agua is an area with petrified waterfalls, where water with extremely high mineral content falls over the side of cliffs, forming stone waterfall-like structures.

The name means boiling water but the water is not hot; rather it pushes up from the ground in places which looks like water boiling.

Santa Maria del Tule is home to an enormous Montezuma cypress or Taxodium mucronatum tree which is over 2,000 years old. The town of Zaachila is known for its archeological site and weekly market.

The second most important zone for tourism is the coast especially from Puerto Escondido to Huatulco, with sandy beaches on the Pacific Ocean, dolphins, sea turtles, and lagoons with water birds.

Many beaches are nearly virgin with few visitors but several areas have been developed such as Puerto Escondido, Huatulco, Puerto Angel, Zipolite, San Agustinillo and Mazunte.

Puerto Escondido is an important destination for tourism from within Mexico with beaches such as Playa Carrizalillo and also attracts international surfers to Zicatela Beach, where an annual surfing competition is held.

There are also areas of Oaxaca that are promoted for ecotourism such as Lagunas de Chacahua National Park set in 14,267 hectares of lagoons, rivers, beaches, mangroves, rainforest and grasslands with some 136 species of birds, 23 of reptiles, 4 amphibians and twenty types of mammals.

Yagul Natural Monument, located in the Tlacolula Valley, 35 km to the east of Oaxaca city, was a settlement in the early part of the Monte Alban 1 Period (500 CE).

It flourished as an urban centre, following the abandonment of Monte Alban around 800 BCE. However, even Yagul was abandoned for a brief period, before it became a city-state in Oaxaca.

This status continued until the Spanish Conquistadores invaded the valley, which was then a settlement of Zapotecs.

The fortified complex is laid out in three zones; the central part approached through a series of steps is a built-up platform that leads to the temples and palaces.

It has the largest ball court in the valley and stated to be the largest in the Mesoamerican region.The palace of the rulers is an enormous monolith with six porticos and several entrances, built in stone and clay and covered with stucco.

The main tomb has a stone façade, which is beautified with carved human heads and features hieroglyphic motifs on the door slab on both sides.

To the south of the Palace of the Six Porticos, there is a narrow street that is paved with stone mosaics extracted from the nearby mountain. The street terminates into a long, narrow room called the Sala de Consejo or Council Chamber.

Handicrafts. The second most important zone for tourism is the coast especially from Puerto Escondido to Huatulco, with sandy beaches on the Pacific Ocean, dolphins, sea turtles, and lagoons with water birds.

Many beaches are nearly virgin with few visitors but several areas have been developed such as Puerto Escondido, Huatulco, Puerto Ángel, Zipolite, San Agustinillo and Mazunte.

Puerto Escondido is an important destination for tourism from within Mexico with beaches such as Playa Carrizalillo and also attracts international surfers to Zicatela Beach, where an annual surfing competition is held.

There are also areas of Oaxaca that are promoted for ecotourism such as Lagunas de Chacahua National Park set in 14,267 hectares of lagoons, rivers, beaches, mangroves, rainforest and grasslands with some 136 species of birds, 23 of reptiles, 4 amphibians and twenty types of mammals.

Yagul Natural Monument, located in the Tlacolula Valley, 35 km to the east of Oaxaca city, was a settlement in the early part of the Monte Alban 1 Period (500 CE).

It flourished as an urban centre, following the abandonment of Monte Alban around 800 BCE. However, even Yagul was abandoned for a brief period, before it became a city-state in Oaxaca.

This status continued until the Spanish Conquistadores invaded the valley, which was then a settlement of Zapotecs.

The fortified complex is laid out in three zones; the central part approached through a series of steps is a built-up platform that leads to the temples and palaces.

It has the largest ball court in the valley and stated to be the largest in the Mesoamerican region.

The palace of the rulers is an enormous monolith with six porticos and several entrances, built in stone and clay and covered with stucco.

The main tomb has a stone façade, which is beautified with carved human heads and features hieroglyphic motifs on the door slab on both sides.

To the south of the Palace of the Six Porticos, there is a narrow street that is paved with stone mosaics extracted from the nearby mountain. The street terminates into a long, narrow room called the 'Sala de Consejo' (Council Chamber).

Because of its indigenous tradition and abundance of raw materials, Oaxaca is a leading producer of handcrafts in Mexico. Handcrafted items here are noted for their variety and quality.

Oaxacan handcrafts are traditionally made with wood, wool, clay and leather and are sold in many venues from local tianguis markets to upscale international stores.

The best-known wood craft is the making of alebrije figures, which are usually miniature, brightly colored real or imaginary animals.

These were originally created from paper and cardboard in Mexico City, but this craft was adapted to native Oaxacan woodcarving to the form it has today.

Carver Manuel Jimenez of Arrazola is credited with the creating of the Oaxacan version of this craft. Other wood crafts include the making of masks, toys and utensils. Major woodcarving areas include San MartinTilcajete and Arrazola.

Pottery has a long tradition that extends into the pre-Hispanic period. Oaxaca shares many pottery types with other parts of Mexico along with two of its own: barro negro and the green glazed pottery of Atzompa.

The first is centered in the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec near the capital city. This pottery gets its color from the local clay used to make it and its shine from a technique developed by Dona Rosa Nieto in the mid-20th century.

The Atompa green-glazed ware is made much the same way it was in colonial times, although there have been some recent innovations with color and decorative techniques. This pottery is found in Santa Maria Atzompa, near Oaxaca city.

Another major craft category is textiles. Textiles from cotton and other fibers date to early in the pre-Hispanic period on backstrap looms.

This form of weaving has been dominated by women since that time. The Spanish introduced the wide European frame loom, which is mostly used by men.

Traditional clothing items such as huipils are still made on backstrap looms, while the European looms are used to produce larger and heavier items such as rugs, ponchos and blankets.

Most items are produced with cotton or wool fibers, although some maguey fibers can be found and palm fronds are used to produce mats and hats. Embroidery is an important part of indigenous clothing, especially for women.

One municipality noted for its indigenous and embroidered clothing is Santo Tomas Jalietza, just south of the city of Oaxaca.

The Xochimilco neighborhood of the capital is known for its embroidered tablecloths, napkins and other tableware.

Both precious and non-precious metals are worked in the state. Many gold and silver jewelry items are made with filigree or fine metal thread which is weaved and wrapped into shapes. This technique is Arab in origin and was introduced by the Spanish.

The municipalities of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, Juchitan de Zaragoza and Huajuapan de Leon are known for this work.

Other metals, especially iron, are forged into utilitarian and decorative items in places such as Santiago Jamiltepec and Tlacolula de Matamoros.

Items produced include mirrors, frames, figures, knives, machetes and more.

Oaxaca has produced many notable and popular people such as:

- Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

- Porfirio Diaz, President of Mexico

- Rufino Tamayo, painter

- Lupita Tovar, Spanish film actress

- Rodolfo Nieto, painter

- Rodolfo Morales, painter

- Francisco Toledo, painter

- Ricardo Flores Magon, anarchist

- Ricardo Osorio, footballer

- Javier Aquino, footballer

- Maria Sabina – curandera

- Yesica Sanchez Maya, human rights defender

- Lila Downs, singer

- Macedonio Alcala, composer

Football, baseball and basketball are popular in Oaxaca. Football is most popular in Oaxaca city and in Huajuapan de Leon, having a notable international player by the name of Ricardo Osorio.

The baseball team, Guerreros de Oaxaca, play at the Eduardo Vasconcelos Stadium in Oaxaca de Juarez and play in the Mexican League.

The Oaxacan Academy of Baseball is located in the municipality of San Bartolo Coyotepec. It was created in 2009 by Alfredo Harp Helú, owner of the Diablos Rojos and Guerreros de Oaxaca teams.

The goal of the academy is to reach youth people through sports and education, especially those who show talent for the sport of baseball.

Vinicio Castilla is the most notable player hailing from Oaxaca, having played third base in Major League Baseball for the Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Houston Astros and San Diego Padres.

He became the owner of the Oaxaca Guerreros in 1995 and three years later they won the championship.

Basketball is practiced in all of Oaxaca, mostly played during local festivals, especially in the Sierra Norte. The area also has a tournament with the Copa Juarez as the prize.

The best known beach in Puerto Escondido is Playa Zicatela, due to its fame as a surfing attraction. The tubes produced by the waves that come ashore here attract advanced and professional surfers from all over Mexico and internationally.

The Torneo Internacional de Surf or International Surfing Tournament is held here each year in November and is a world class event.

It has attracted names such as Nathaniel Curran from the U.S., Cris Davison from Australia and Marco Polo from Brazil, with its 50,000 USD first prize.

Because of its geography and landscape, mountain biking is also common in Oaxaca and is practiced primarily in the Sierra Norte in Ixtlan de Juarez, San Antonio Cuajimoloyas, Santa Catarian Ixtepeji, Benito Juarez Lachatao and San Isidro Llano Grande.

Surfing is common in places such as Huatulco Bay and Puerto Escondido, with the annual Zicatela beach tournament held in November.

Snorkeling and scuba diving take place in Puerto Escondido, principally in Playa Carrizalillo and Playa Manzanillo, Playa Marinero and Puerto Angelito and at Huatulco.

Sport fishing is common in Puerto Escondido and in Huatulco with tournaments held in November and May respectively.

Anglers, catch sailfish, dorado, marlin and others. In Huajuapan de Leon there is a fishing tournament at the Yosocuta Dam in July; it is noted for its black bass or lobina.

Kayaking takes places along the Copalita River in Huatulco.

Oaxaca, especially Oaxaca city, is well served by long-distance bus from major destinations in central and south Mexico.

Most tourists catch an overnight bus from San Cristobal (10h) in Chiapas. Alternatively, you can visit Juchitan de Zaragoza and break the journey to Chiapas there.

Most people use long-distance bus services such as those provided by OCC or the slightly cheaper alternative, SUD.

Attractions in Oazaca

Monte Alban, A 2,500 year old Zapotec city built atop a mountain outside Oaxaca City.

Pacific beaches such as Puerto Escondido and Mazunte.

Hierve del agua, A mineral spring with large travertine formations.

Santiago Apoala, A village surrounded by cliffs in the Mixtec region. It has two waterfalls and a some caves and supports eco-tourism.

Teotitlan del Valle, A town of weavers definitely worth the visit for the purchase of beautiful rugs.

Pacific Coast Backpacker Route Many travelers are making their way through Oaxaca these days. Oaxacan cities on the route are Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, Zipolite, and Huatulco.

After this travelers usually head to San Cristobal de las Casas or off to Guatemala via Tapachutla.

This route has grown in popularity in the past few years due to new road construction and increased traffic at Huatulco Intl. Airport.

Santo Domingo. This beautiful cathedral is a must see of Oaxaca, attached to the cathedral is a botanical garden and museum that are both worth visiting.
Oaxaca has a very rich gastronomy that offers a wide range of dishes. Most commonly in Oaxaca de Juarez you will have the chance to eat the famous Tlayudas, a giant tortilla filled with beans and the oaxacan quesillo or wrapped cheese and accompanied by tasajo or beef.

Dauntless travelers should also try Chapulines or Grasshoppers, which are another popular dish that real tourists should not miss.

Oaxaca's local drinks are quite exotic and a must for those interested in trying new things. Mezcal is certainly the most famous alcoholic beverage.

You will be offered this drink in any party or celebration where a big crowd comes together. Tejate is another typical drink of the region. Made of corn dough, it is a good option to quench your thirst.

Oaxaca is generally safe but there are some measures that should be taken into account to avoid any unfortunate events.

While walking downtown in Oaxaca City, venturing in very dark streets will probably get you robbed by local thieves.

Be sure to always look back while walking and never brag about an expensive phone.

Carry your backpack in front of your chest if walking near the local market in Oaxaca City.

Avoid visiting the following regions in the city and its surroundings: San Martin Mexicapam, Colonia Monte Alban, Santa Rosa.

These places are known for robberies to happen and being a tourist and especially a white tourist will make you a target for robbers.

While touring the state be sure not to drive at night near the Guerrero- Pinotepa highway. This road is known to be pontentially dangerous, and the risk of you being stopped by an armed group is high.

Coastal towns in general should be approached carefully, except for Huatulco and Puerto Escondido, they are normally safe even though one should take the appropriate precautions to avoid any misfortune.

Guatemala Hop on a bus anywhere in Oaxaca, and head for Guatemala. One route goes via Tapachula the quicker way, along the coast, and the other via San Cristobal de las Casas, and off to Guatemala afterwards.

Tourism Observer

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