Wonderful Oaxaca: Vibrant Vandalism and Ravishing Rubble

Well, I’ll start out by giving credit where credit is due.

The city of Oaxaca has some absolutely spectacular colonial architecture. 😀
IMG_1843 IMG_1851 IMG_2010 IMG_2009This is partially due to the mix of both Renaissance and Baroque design; however, it is mainly because of the unique use of green cantera stone, a quarried volcanic rock, which is mined exclusively in Mexico.
IMG_2200 IMG_2016The green facade of these buildings is absolutely spectacular, especially after a fresh rainfall. 😀
IMG_1989 IMG_1990Prime examples include the Alcalá theater and the Oaxacan Cathedral shown above. 😀

Ravishing Rubble

That being said, what I found surprisingly more beautiful was the somewhat decrepit buildings I found scattered throughout Oaxaca. 🙂
IMG_1992You see, Oaxaca has a somewhat tragic history of natural disaster.

Throughout the 20th and 21st century alone, over seven major earthquakes have hit the region of Oaxaca, most being over 7.0 magnitude, and subsequently destroying many buildings in the surrounding area.
IMG_2012 IMG_2007Despite this, the people of Oaxaca appear resilient, and their spirit remains lively and strong in times of despair. 😀
These dilapidated buildings represent the persistence of their people, and as such, seem to take on a beauty of their own.

Vibrant Vandalism

Along those same lines, Oaxaca seems to have developed a bit of sass and attitude with this defiance and regional pride. 😛IMG_2170The vibe in the city is that of a spirited resistance, with numerous peaceful protests occurring in the city center at any given time. These opinionated citizens are keen on preserving both Mexican heritage and creating equality among their citizens.

Aside from protests, other displays of opposition have included vivid street graffiti. The colorful artwork does not appear desecrate these buildings, yet revive them and spread joy to all of those that walk by. 🙂

Now you won’t see a section on street graffiti in your visitor guide book, and there is obviously no map of where to find it.

For that reason, it required a lot of wandering on my part, which actually made the discovery of these hidden gems all the more special. 😀
IMG_1999 IMG_2002 IMG_2003 IMG_2008 IMG_2005 IMG_2006 IMG_1950The atmosphere found in Oaxaca can almost be compared to that of New Orleans.

Both cities have been struck by tragedy, yet seem persistent upon retaining their vibrant culture and sense of community. 🙂

Even better, the music in Oaxaca reminded me of the street jazz found in New Orleans as well.
On Sunday I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a parade in the city center, and the live band was outstanding!
IMG_2204 IMG_2210 Here’s a small clip for you to enjoy. 🙂

Well that’s all folks! Hoping to post shortly about upcoming projects in the classroom. Until then. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Wonderful Oaxaca: Vibrant Vandalism and Ravishing Rubble

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