SamanthaHundemer's Travel Journals

SamanthaHundemer Samantha Hundemer

  • From Ohio, United States
  • Currently in Oaxaca, Mexico

Viva Oaxaca

I am interning at a clinic for children with hearing impairments in a small town outside of Oaxaca City from August to December.

Mexico es Magico

Mexico Oaxaca, Mexico  |  Sep 03, 2012
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 The rich culture of Oaxaca can be seen everywhere you look: elaborate botanial gardens, graffiti covering most public surfaces, street cart food vendors on every corner, museums, archeological sites, and especially in the people you meet each day. 

Time is relative. In Oaxaca the more appropriate term is irrelevant. For example, there is no public bus schedule; no listed times or established stops. You arrive on your own time and hope the congregation of people on the corner is made up of others waiting for transporation and not one of the many daily protests. So, it's not surprising that I was shocked when I glanced at the calendar today and realized I've been living the Mexican life for a month now. 

Oaxaca city, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre in Southern Mexico, is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Home to about 250,000 people, the city center, or zocalo, is constantly bustling with merchants, music, and mirthful children dancing about with elongated cylyndrical balloons in hand. As the culinary capital of the country, there are always new markets to explore and food to try. A Oaxacan favorite, called "chapulines" is fried grasshoppers generally available in chile, salt & lime, or garlic flavor. Two of my favorites are the cheese, called quesillo, and the chocolate which is usually served hot in a bowl for drinking. 

The rich culture of Oaxaca can be seen everywhere you look: elaborate botanial gardens, graffiti covering most public surfaces, street cart food vendors on every corner, museums, and archeological sites. It is most brightly illuminated in the people you meet each day, many of whom continue to pass down languages such as Zapotec and Nahuatl. Preservation of culture is valued much more here than in the states for several obvious reasons. For example, without inheriting the knowledge of how to make wool and natural dyes for tapetes, the people of Teotitlan del Valle would lose their main source of income.

Oaxaca may be one of the poorest states in Mexico, but its wealth of welcoming, generous people is abundant. In the short time I've been here, living in Oaxaca has been the most eye-opening, awe inspiring experience I've ever had. As my host mother, who I more fondly refer to as "mamá" often says, "Mexico es magico."

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  • Mexico es Magico

    September 03, 2012
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