Hola everyone, and welcome to John’s Oaxaca. This is my very first blog post, not just for Expats in Mexico, but in my life! As the blog name suggests, I’ll be sharing information, thoughts and observations on this wonderful place I call home. I hope you will get a good sense of why so many expats are falling in love with Oaxaca.
I thought I would start by letting you know a bit about me. I was born in Austin, Texas and have lived in Mexico since 1984, becoming a naturalized Mexican citizen in 2004. I have been working as a real estate broker in Oaxaca since 2014 after living and working in Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende for 27 years.
I first visited the state of Oaxaca in 1985 and fell in love with it immediately because of its very rich culture, friendly people and extraordinarily diverse landscapes. From arid multicolored highlands in the Mixteca Alta to the plains and mountains of the central area surrounding the capital city, the pine-covered mountains of the Sierra Sur, the Sierra de Juarez and the spectacular beaches of the Pacific Coast.
Every part of the state is rich in cultural heritage, going all the way back to the formative Olmec culture 2,000 years ago. Oaxaca City, where I live, is vibrant with not only non-stop traditional festivals and public displays, but also frequent cultural events of all types. For example, live classical music concerts, contemporary art exhibitions, symphony orchesta, Metropolitan Opera simulcasts in an authentic belle epoque opera house, world-class museums, spectacular architecture spanning 4,000 years of civilization and some of the best restaurants in the world, to name a few.
For shopping, the Mercado 20 de Noviembre – also known as Mercado Juarez – is one of Mexico’s most interesting and colorful. There also is a vibrant expat community here that is mostly centered around our wonderful Oaxaca Lending Library. Because of the size of Oaxaca City, around 1 million people, you can either immerse yourself in the expat community or be completely anonymous, it’s up to you.
Day-trip opportunities abound, including numerous, very interesting and beautiful pre-Hispanic sites such as Monte Alban, Yagul, Dainzu, San Jose Mogote and Mitla. For those interested in bird watching, hiking and camping there are wonderful safe nature reserves all over the state of Oaxaca, some as close to Oaxaca City as San Andres Huayapam, and as far away as the Mixteca Alta near the northern border with the state of Puebla. UNESCO recently inaugurated one of only two Geo Parks in the western hemisphere in the Mixteca Alta with its center in Yanhuitlan.
Just a few more things I think you might be interested in if you ever consider moving to Oaxaca. Medical care here is excellent and offered by several first-rate private hospitals, as well as numerous IMSS clinics and impressive General Hospital.
As for transportation, our Oaxaca City international airport is very convenient and has direct flights to cities within Mexico and other countries. One of the best ways to travel in Mexico is via bus and the ADO bus line’s luxury buses leave about every 30 minutes to Puebla, Mexico City and many other destinations. You can also get around the city via intercity buses for about $8 pesos.
I hope you enjoyed the quick tour of my hometown. I look forward to sharing more of my love for Oaxaca with you in my future blogs.
Happy Holidays to all!