Yesterday we said goodbye to Oaxaca, and it wasn't easy! The city and its people stole our hearts and we pledged to return. Our month there was beyond anything we expected, Skye and I both believe that spending a substantial amount of time in a place gives you the real experience, we made friends, got to know the local areas and it (without any trouble) turned into a home away from home. Our Airbnb flat was the perfect compound to come home after the long days of exploring the city and nearby areas. Our host Ezequiel and his mother Nora were excellent, very helpful and the flat itself was in a separate complex which provided a private and tranquil environment.
Our trip so far has been incredible, mostly due to the people that we've met along the way. It was so nice to walk along every where we went and share 'good mornings' and 'good afternoons' with passer-byes. Also, it was nice striking conversations with people we randomly met.
On our last week we got some last minute crafts but we also took the time to visit some local sights such as the Monte Alban ruins; the most important Zapotec settlement and one of the oldest Mesoamerican cities. The systems and structures that Zapotec people had in place are mind-blowing: no need for banks, or corrupt governments, they had simple yet efficient structures that ensured fairness for all. Essentially, they only had what they needed and it was enough. I don't understand how the Spaniards came to settle a civilisation that was so ahead of them.
We also visited the Ethnobotanical Gardens in the city, there we learned about all the local flora and the different uses that Zapotec and Mixtec people had for them. Food, medicine, clothing, brews, shelter you name it, they had it. The Zapotec people were and still are really talented with local resources and before pre-colonisation they didn't need anything from the western world, and remains of it can be seen in today's life. Skye and I loved learning about all this history, it provided us with a better understanding and appreciation of this place.
Before we left we wanted to make sure we said goodbye to our friends so we did the rounds; we visited Roman at his rug shop, saw Memo in his stall at Centro's artisan fair, caught up with our friends from Santo Tomas Jalieza's women's weaving co-op and called our friends Felix and Artemia in Teotitlan del Valle. It was so nice to be farewelled and invited to visit upon our return. I guess now we have an even better reason to come back!Thank you Oaxaca and see you soon San Cristobal!