These flowers are purple!

Today, I left my apartment to walk to the Library and visit the market that is held on Fridays at El LLano or Benito Juarez park. I just finished reading the books that I bought on Tuesday at Amate Books so I really needed to visit the library. Did you know that yesterday was World Book Day?
So far my library membership  ($25 Canadian for 3 months) has been my biggest expenditure since my arrival. That's not bad because the library is a goldmine of other possibilities. Oaxaca has many retired "experts" who give workshops or lectures at the Library so it offers me so inexpensive learning opportunities. I love how I can walk to all of my destinations! I haven't put on my step counter but I usually walk for a couple of hours.

The market is an interesting combination of clothing, toys and makeup. The ever-present American pop music of the 70's is playing over loud-speakers. This is the market of the people and they were having a good time browsing, eating and socializing. I bought a bottle of nail  polish for 5 pesos. The food smelled tempting but I will not be eating it!  I don't want any stomach problems while I'm on my own and there is no refrigeration anywhere!

lots of meat

Oaxaca is in a dry area of the Sierra Madre mountains. Water is scarce and crops are few.  The minimum wage is 66 pesos ( $5.60 Canadian a DAY).  Tortillas, beans, peppers and meat are the staples.
But for me, I require a different diet.
my breakfast
Today, I visited a restaurant , 100 % Natural, which is just across from the park. The restaurant's menu actually explains the different nutritional values of the menu items. I chose a fruit salad and a spinach and mushroom omelet. Wholegrain bread came with the meal. I noticed that the clientele in this restaurant were very different from their counterparts who were enjoying their meals across the street in the park. They were drinking smoothies and playing with their iPhones. Generally, they are taller and fairer-skinned than the group of Oaxqueños in the park. My bill is 164 pesos ($13.73C) which is almost
3 times the daily minimum wage!

Benito Juarez y Margarita Maza

Which brings me back to Benito Juarez , a Zapotec, who came from a nearby pueblo to be educated in Oaxaca and who became the President and reformer of Mexico. As I made my way back to the apartment for my afternoon reading/writing time, I passed the protesters camped out in the zócalo and I realized the Juarez's reforms have a long way to go!

Juárez's famous quotation continues to be well-remembered in Mexico: "Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz", meaning "Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace." The portion of this motto in bold is inscribed on the coat of arms of Oaxaca.


  1. Ah, yes, that's a Jacaranda tree. The blooms are truly lovely, but very sticky when they drop on the ground. It looks so lively and colorful there!

  2. I have never seen a jacaranda tree before but they certainly are bright. I am going to visit the Ethnobotanic Garden to learn more about the plants.

  3. I love the jacaranda! Saw those in Lisbon the first time we went -- they're not indigenous there but imported from perhaps Brazil long ago. Such a beautiful, beautiful sight against a bright blue sky. So many beautiful sights, really, you're sharing with us.


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