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About Oaxaca de Juarez



The city and municipality of Oaxaca de Juárez, or simply Oaxaca, is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of the same name (Oaxaca). It is located in the Centro District in the Central Valleys region of the state, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre at the base of the Cerro del Fortín extending to the banks of the Atoyac River. This city relies heavily on tourism, which is based on its large number of colonial-era structures as well as the native Zapotec and Mixtec cultures and archeological sites. It, along with the archeological site of Monte Alban, were named a World Heritage Site in 1987. It is also the home of the month-long cultural festival called the “Guelaguetza,” which features Oaxacan dance, music and a beauty pageant for indigenous women.

It is nicknamed "la Verde Antequera" (the green Antequera) due to its prior name (Nueva Antequera) and the variety of structures built from a native green stone. The name Oaxaca is derived from the Nahuatl name for the place, Huaxyacac, which was Hispanicized to Guajaca, later spelled Oaxaca. “de Juárez” was added in honor of Benito Juárez, who was a native of this state. The coat of arms for the municipality bears the image of the decapitated Donaji, who was an indigenous princess in the years immediately after the