Oaxaca

“El Jaguar:” A Mexican Whodunit

El Jaguar

My visit to Oaxaca, Mexico, has been fun and interesting in all of the ways I expected. But it has also involved a mystery that has connected me to a lot of people in ways I could never have expected. The mystery begins and ends with a water color painting called “El Jaguar.”

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The Artisan Villages of Oaxaca

The state of Oaxaca has many folk art traditions, many centered in the small pueblos (villages) outside the city. Learning about local folk art is a great way to learn a little bit about local communities so this week I visited a few of them. Each village I visited seemed passionate about its art and happy to have visitors. Continue reading

Oaxaca: The Art of (R)Evolution

Templo de Santo Domingo

The first time I visited Oaxaca almost 30 years ago, a friend asked me why I would choose Oaxaca for a vacation because “it’s the Fresno of Mexico.”  I’m Armenian so it wasn’t a good choice of insult but the cities are similar in a few ways. Both have a lot of poor people and strong connections to the ethnically diverse rural communities outside their city centers. But only one has world-class colonial architecture, a prominent arts community, and a spirit of political activism. Also a lot of mole and mezcal. Continue reading