community of Santa María Yavesía (elevation: 2,000
meters) lies at the end of the road in Oaxaca's Sierra
Juárez. The name comes from the Zapotec word
Yabethia meaning 'the eagle's hill.'
It is also known as Shoo Raa, a Zapotec word meaning 'river
that is born in the mountain.'
This community is located in an area considered a global hotspot
Several environmental groups are working with community leaders
to protect the natural resources.
Yavesía is also one of the Sierra Juárez' more beautiful
pueblos. It is one of the cleanest communities in the whole country,
for which it has received international honors.
Leaders have preserved much of its traditional architecture.
You can tour the former hacienda mining property. Paths lead from
town and wind through orchards and walnut groves. Nearby is the
archaeological site of Giu Yubago AND the bottling plant for 'Shoo
Ra' mineral water.
This one-day hike leads to Piedra Ventana (3,300 meters) with a
view of more than 5,000 square kilometers of mountainous landscape.
The path leads through the Abies hikelli forest, a species endemic
to the region. The path leads across a gentle slope to Dos Piedras
(Two Rocks) named Piedra Hembra and Piedra Larga (Female Rock and
Giu Yubagot is a sacred archaeological site. It takes a day to
make the visit.
This multi-day hike begins along the vestiges of the ancient Royal
Road (Camino Real). For birders, this is a rewarding journey. It's
a challenging hike through pine-oak forests (some of the oaks are
more than 60 meters in height). Once at the lake, you can make an
hour-long hike to the Xia Caba hill.