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Juchitan Oaxaca: Experience the culture of the Isthmus as a local

Oaxaca is a rich state, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is one of the favorite places for its color and tradition. Discover all that Juchitan offers, a town in the region with a lot of history that you should know if you want to live unique cultural and gastronomic experiences.
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Oaxaca is a rich state, and the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is one of the favorite places for its color and tradition. Discover Juchitán, one of the towns in this region, full of gastronomy, history, and culture. The perfect destination to live the life of the Oaxacan people up close.

Juchitan Oaxaca Foundation

Juchitán Oaxaca was founded in 1480 by soldiers of the Zapotec monarch Cosijopí. The name comes from the Nahuatl Ixtaxochitlán meaning “Place of the White Flowers“.

Ixta: White

Xochitl: Flor

Tlan: Place

Juchitán Downtown

Image by Gzzz

With an area of 900.11 km2, Juchitan is located in the southwest of the state of Oaxaca, in the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Thanks to its geopolitical location, it became a communications hub and transit point for the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest mainland between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. On March 15, 1825, it was declared a municipality by the Local Congress by decree number 47.

According to the INEGI (2020), the population of Juchitan is 113,570 inhabitants, being the third most populated municipality in the state behind Oaxaca and San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec.

Main tourist sites

Juchitan Oaxaca has a large number of tourist sites that are worth visiting to experience local culture and tradition. Find out the main ones below:

Historic Monuments

Temple of San Vicente Ferrer: The oldest temple (XVII century) and dedicated to the patron saint of Juchitan, which is distinguished by its unique features of construction and the monument to the battle of September 5, 1866.

Temple of San Vicente Ferrer in Juchitan Oaxaca

Municipal Palace: Built in 1860, in its central garden you can find various monuments such as the bust of Benito Juarez and Margarita Maza de Juarez.

Casa de la Cultura Juchitan: It is a place with permanent exhibitions of renowned artists from the region and classes in the native language, theatre, dance, and music.

Foro Ecologico Juchiteco: They offer paper recycling workshops, swimming, and guitar courses. It also has an iguanary where different species of birds are housed.

September 5 Market: Located behind the municipal palace, this site is famous for selling iguana tamales, armadillo, rabbit, and turtle eggs. You can also taste traditional food from the region and find artisanal products that we will talk about in more detail below.

Clay craft market: Located on Juarez Avenue behind the temple of San Vicente, you can find handmade products. Pots, jars, dolls, and more.

Natural attractions

Tolistoque Grotto: With more than 35 thousand hectares, this place keeps one of the most important ecosystems in the region. Endemic flora and fauna, hills, and spring inside a cave are just some of the things you can find in this wonderful place.

Cangrejo Beach: In the municipality of Santo Domingo, this semi-populated beach is recognized by the natural dunes that are there.

Springs of the Laollaga spa and Santiago spring Tlacotepec: Located less than an hour away by road, they are ideal for cooling off and enjoying the natural beauty.

Ojo de agua tlacotepec juchitan oaxaca

Culture and traditions

Did you know that…

Juchitan is the summit of the recognized zapotec culture? That’s right, and almost 50% of the inhabitants speak the Zapotec language, which makes Juchitan one of the few areas in Oaxaca considered as urban in which an indigenous language is in common use.

Discover some of the most emblematic cultural features of Juchitan:

Festivities

In May, in celebration of the Patron Saint Vincent Ferrer, the famous Candle Festival is held. This includes a series of 26 candles with a 3-day party for each, to then change the town.

These community parties are filled with food, regional costumes, folk dance, music, and tradition. Without a doubt an experience that you must live at least once in your life to witness the culture in its maximum splendor.

Candle festival, woman dancing

Gastronomy

Its main foods are mole negro o rojo, tlayudas, tamales de mole, pan de manteca, marquezote and garnachas.

Music

The Isthmus region has its sones like the Sandunga. Listen to this great work of art in the video below:

Handicrafts

In JuchitAn, most of the handicrafts in Oaxaca are produced. The main ones are:

Huaraches: Shoes created since colonial times, the “Huaraches de Charol” of “Tapadera” or “Cruzados”, is the best-known handicrafts of JuchitAn.

Hats 24: Named because its price was $24 reais, this hat is made with red velvet and a gold braid accompanied by the initials of the owner. Used in the festivities, it is undoubtedly an object with a lot of history and culture.

Tanguyu: Small clay dolls decorated with bright colors, which arise in the representation of the goddess of dawn.

Banners: From juchiteco painter Candido Carrasco, with unique designs. The banners are large canvases adorned with gold bangs, flowers, and fluorescent paint that accompany the image of the saint.

Religious banners

Jicalpextles: This craft is like a hand-painted bowl with a relief of isthmus flowers. A picturesque and beautiful object to have at home.

Trunks: One of the authentic crafts of Juchitan.They are wooden chests meter and a half wide that serve to store clothes and valuables. Decorated with painted flowers to give a colorful and cheerful look.

Here’s all you need to know about Juchitán Oaxaca! Undoubtedly a town with a lot of history that you should know if you want to live the traditions and customs of the isthmus region. The perfect destination for unique cultural and gastronomic experiences!

“Come, know and live Juchitan Oaxaca”

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