Zaachila is located in a fertile valley, irrigated by the Atoyac
River. There center of town is lush with walnut and mesquite trees.
The Santa María Natividad Temple is on north side of the
Zaachila celebrates the Guelaguetza
the second Monday after July 16. Locals say the event is older than
what is held in Oaxaca City. Peformers are all from Zaachila and
take turns each year to learn the dances from other regions in Oaxaca.
Thursday is Market
Day. It's best to arrive by 10am. The tejateras are out in force
providing generous portions of the popular Zapotec power drink,
served in the traditional red painted jicaras.
A few blocks west of the center of town there is considerable activity
in the Baratillo animal market. Seeds are sold on the east side
of the city hall (palacio municipal). In the zocalo and near the
church vendors sell handicrafts from nearby villages.
The Alarii Market is on the east side of the zócalo. Built
in 2001, there are about one hundred stands, most serving either
bread and chocolate or a variety of fresh meat.
Looking for a snack? You'll find tasty peanuts (cacahuates) and
plenty of tejate
served in bright red jicaras. Another treat is fresh sugarcane,
with or without the hot sauce.
The city has no formal museum, but there are plans to create a
community center. Temporary exhibits of archaeological finds are
scheduled on occasion during holidays.
The El Cerrito (or 'el mogote') hill is not noticeable until you
come up on upon it. Located across from the church, the archaeological
site is topped by a large hill. Visitors can enter two tombs.
After the decline of Monte
was the most important Zapotec city of the 14th century. It was
later ruled by the Mixtecs until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.
The meaning of the word 'Zaachila' has not been clearly established,
although in the Zapotec language it is believed to mean 'the one
who came from the east.'
In the Náhuatl
language of the Aztecs,
the word refers to Teozapotlan, 'God of the Zapotec