OAXACA NEWS, LIFE, AND TRAVEL
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Zapoteco Language Preserved Thanks to Didxazapp
Mexico’s indigenous language diversity is under threat due the overwhelming predominantly-used Spanish language, but young people like Gonzalo Santiago Martinez are doing their best to preserve their heritage by using new apps. Martinez created Didxazapp, the ‘word app,’ to translate Spanish to the Isthmus Zapoteco (or Didxaza), an Oto-Manguean indigenous language from Oaxaca, in 2016....
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Potter — the act of turning earth into clay and transforming its properties with fire — is one of humankind’s earliest inventions. Throughout history, certain techniques and styles have been particularly coveted, including Japanese raku ware, Turkish Iznik pottery, Persian earthenware, Italian majolica, Dutch delftware and Native American pottery. The secret of Chinese porcelain making,...
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This Is How You Drink Through Oaxaca
It was my first night in Oaxaca and my third mezcal; Ulises Torrentera, owner of the tiny mezcalería , In Situ, was pouring me a glass from one of his 180 bottles of mezcal, each labeled with a dangling paper tag marked with the name of the maguey plant from which it is made. It...
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Local Communities in Mexico Show Ways to Fight Obesity
Manuel Villegas is one of the peasant farmers who decided to start planting amaranth in Mexico, to complement their corn and bean crops and thus expand production for sale and self-consumption and, ultimately, contribute to improving the nutrition of their communities. “Amaranth arrived in this part of the country in 2009, and some farmers were...
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Traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico for a Weekend
This multicultural hub in the highlands of Southern Mexico is known for its mild climate, rich culinary and craft traditions and complex history. Even as strong earthquakes have shaken the region, the centuries-old city of Oaxaca remains largely unrattled. In the shadow of Monte Albán, the hilltop capital of the Zapotec civilization, this multicultural hub...
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When we fled Oaxaca, albondigas made us feel at home
I remember the day I saw the house that was to be our restaurant for the first time. It was — is — a 200-year-old colonial house in downtown Oaxaca, a city in Southern Mexico. The sheer magnitude of the place — with several rooms arranged around a roofless inner courtyard that included a fountain...
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Saving the Prized Chile That Grows Only in Oaxaca’s Mountains
Julián Isidro’s father, Robustiano Isidro Dominguez, rotates pasillas above a heat source. In 1933, riding on the back of a second-rate horse, it took the late anthropologist Ralph L. Beals two full days to reach the Mixe town of Ayutla from the Central Valleys of Oaxaca in Mexico—a distance of approximately 90 miles. As he...
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Oaxaca’s Potent Secret, Mezcal Is Born of Time, Tradition and a Slow-Growing Plant
Mezcal is a drink like no other. “El elíxir de los dioses” (the elixir of the gods) is a potent and largely handcrafted libation that has been consumed at quinceañeras, weddings and funerals for generations in Oaxaca. Unlike its cousin tequila, mezcal is not easy to produce commercially, limiting its export. And even with a...
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House Hunting in … Mexico
A Three-Bedroom Adobe House Outside Oaxaca $850,000 This three-bedroom, five-bathroom house is in an agricultural area about 10 miles from the colonial city of Oaxaca, the capital of the central Mexican state of the same name. Built from adobe in 2006 by the current owner, the home is about two miles from Highway 190, the...
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Las Molenderas Serves One of Mexico’s Most Iconic Dishes, Chiles en Nogada
Beginning this weekend, mole specialists Las Molenderas in Huntington Park will be serving up one of Puebla’s most iconic dishes, chiles en nogada. The Mexican haute cuisine classic was created by nuns in a convent to entertain Mexico’s first emperor, Augustín de Iturbide , at the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba in 1821. This...
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