Apr 11, 2009, 11:34 AM
Post #1 of 1
Well, actually, this post is about the high sierra villages of Bernito Juarez and La Nevería, Oaxaca. two settlements designated as "eco-tourism" centers near Oaxaca City but I just wanted to entitle a posting "Benito Juarez" because that is so cool. Sr. Juarez, perhaps one of the most important presidents in Mexican history, is from these parts - actually the small town of Guelatao de Juarez, Oaxaca near those two villages . Sr. Juarez was a dirt poor peasant whose parents died when he was a young boy and the story as I understand it is that he took it upon himself to walk from Gueletao to Oaxaca City where he met up with a priest who nurtured him and recognized his extraordinary talents.
However, this is not about Benito Juarez the man but the high sierra around Oaxaca City above Teotitlan del Valle where we stayed with family of friends in that famous Zapoteco rancho from which Benito Juarez is a 20 kilometer drive up a very good dirt road . Teotitlan is at about 5,000 feet and the highest part of Benito Juarez (a splendid mountaintop mirador) is at about 12,000 feet and that dirt road climbs those 7,000 or so feet in a spectacular ascent from virtual desert to magnificent pine forests in about an hour and you can find this road by asking about Teotitlan or you can drive a few kilometers down the road from Oaxaca City to Tlacolula Township of which Teotitlan is a part and take the drive up the mountain there.
Anyway, after enjoying the splendid view and pleasant surroundings of Benito Juarez, one can take the approximately seven kilometer drive to La Nevería for an excellent trout lunch at a local cafe which can be located by simply asking around at the La Nevería village center and one should not worry about the name of this place since locals manning walkie-talkies will call ahead and Violeta, the owner/chef will prepare trout harvested on the spot and/or whatever else is available and accompany the trout or whatever with herbs and greens and vegetables freshly picked from her organic greenhouses nearby and serve this food with cold beer or Coca -Colas or whatever you wish to drink and if you call a day ahead of time she will kill a chicken for you and prepare a fun meal for you and your companions. You can call ahead at (044) (951) 203 0522 and ask whoever answers for Violeta´s place but only if you speak Spanish or Zapoteco.
By the way, La Nevería received its name in the 19th Century when it was a place where ice was harvested at its high altitude for use in the surrounding areas primarily Oaxaca City but that industry is no more since the artificial preparation of ice became predominant. In the 19th Century, the naturally occurring ice was stored in caves and shipped in the spring at night by mule and wagon to the city.
Violeta and her compatriots in La Nevería primarily cater to young backpackers hiking through high-mountain wilderness as can the reader and this is magnificent high sierra country. The people of all of the villages could not be nicer nor more welcoming so The Dawg recommends this as a stop along the way as you travel to or from Southeastern Mexico - this nation´s most wonderful area (in The Dawg´s opinion of course).
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 11, 2009, 12:18 PM)