Tag Archives: Zocalo

Lovely Oaxaca

3 Sep

Saying adiós to Mexico City, we headed for the next leg of our tour of Central Mexico, Oaxaca. Part of the goal of this trip is to visit places I loved while in college in Mexico in 1973, I used to travel by train from Puebla to Oaxaca for long weekends to this magical city. Unfortunately the trains no longer runs. Such is progress.

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Santo Domingo Cathedral. Weddings, funerals and quinceañeras.

 

We checked into our AirB&B after a seven hour bus ride from Mexico City. The hotelito was a bit primitive with a hard bed, lumpy pillows and lots of mosquitoes. The location was perfect however, right downtown and the price was right. I felt like I was back in college. Oh well, we survived.

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Botanical Gardens

We explored the city mostly on foot. It was mind blowing and I could write a month of blogs just on Oaxaca. Replicating my old photos has been so much fun.

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This fountain has changed considerably and is now the centerpiece for an amazing museum.

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Courtyard of the Museum de las Culturas

Probably the least attractive area of Oaxaca is the Zócalo. This beautiful park where teenagers came to check each other out under the watchful eyes of chaperones is now a campground for political protesters. I don’t know the details of their complaints but the area is a mess.

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Balancing a basket of watermelon, a young woman plies her wares. Circa 1973

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Another balancing act.  Note her long braids wrapped in ribbons, very typical of the times.

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Today, political protesters have taken over the Zócalo.

The Zocalo is crowded and dirty. For some reason I am having difficulty posting after the video below, so I will end here. Please scroll down and see the photos of the Zocalo today. Lots more on Oaxaca to come. DOS TORTAS

En Bacalar It’s El Parque (The Park)

28 Dec

In the colonial cities throughout much of Mexico, the town square is called the zócalo. The zócalo is located in the old center of the city and is a multi-purpose destination. On one side is usually the cathedral. Government buildings such as the governor’s palace or a museum flank another quadrant. Many are resplendent with portales, arched walkways with outdoor cafes to nosh and people watch. They are the place to see and be seen. I remember sitting on the zocalo in Oaxaca watching the teens circle, boys in one direction, girls in the other. The aunties on benches served as chaperones. Lord are those days gone forever! Welcome to our humble park.

The gazebo houses dance classes, tai chi, health fairs and games of tag.

The wonderful gazebo, in the center of the park houses dance classes, tai chi, health fairs and games of tag .

Bacalar’s town square is called el parque. On Friday night it is hopping. Families come to let the kids play, buy a treat and mingle with the tourists.
imageThe parque is also where children put on school presentations and holidays are celebrated.
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A walk around the outside of the park starts on the north where several small restaurants attract mostly tourists with regional cuisine and hamburgers.

Notice the bilingual sign.

Notice the bilingual sign. Bicycles provide transportation.

In the northeast corner is an office building devoted to tourism. It is newly painted with colorful murals.

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To the east is the pirate fort overlooking the Laguna. Young Guatemalan girls sell their wares in its shadow. These two wanted “three dollars” to take their picture. With lots of giggling, they got five pesos each.

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View from the fort and museum 

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On the southwest corner, local artists sell wonderful jewelry and wind chimes made from shells found in the laguna. I love to visit to see their latest creations. Shop here to take home that special keepsake.
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Continuing around the park you pass the ATMs and on to the municiple offices. It’s time to pay 2015 property taxes. If paid by the end of December there’s a 25% discount!
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I hope you enjoyed our little walk in the park. It’s our favorite place to hang out. Did I mention it has wifi? Love our little town.
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