Well, I’ll start out by giving credit where credit is due.
The city of Oaxaca has some absolutely spectacular colonial architecture. 😀
This 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.
The green facade of these buildings is absolutely spectacular, especially after a fresh rainfall. 😀
Prime examples include the Alcalá theater and the Oaxacan Cathedral shown above. 😀
That being said, what I found surprisingly more beautiful was the somewhat decrepit buildings I found scattered throughout Oaxaca. 🙂
You 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.
Despite 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.
Along those same lines, Oaxaca seems to have developed a bit of sass and attitude with this defiance and regional pride. 😛The 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. 😀
The 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!
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! 🙂