Frequently Asked Questions
I am not a tour guide and don’t entirely support the tourism economy as it exists today. This question comes mostly from people who are traveling to the city. I did not grow up in the city and the city is becoming tourist-centric. The hyper gentrification is felt for native and local people. Instead, I offer reflection questions:
- Why Oaxaca? Was it an invitation by someone who is Oaxacan or was it marketed to you by pictures, social media, magazines, news, etc?
- What did they sell? The food, mezcal, landmarks, art, landscape, ideas of ancestrality and a sense of connection?
- What role do you see Indigenous people playing, if you see them at all? Who is being served? Can local people afford the places that you’re visiting?
Oaxaca is a world of its own, all lived experiences are valid. These questions are for the purposes of reflection. They’re not meant to shame or guilt-trip. Reflection is an underutilized tool for self and social awareness.
It’s a personal journey because everyone starts out in different places, with different childhood experiences, family dynamics, and proximity to lived principles and practices of Indigenous Lifeways, proximity to whiteness and supremacy culture.
I grew up in a home where my parents spoke Zapoteco to each other, exclusively. That exposure has been one of the most powerful in staying connected with my Indigenous roots, especially because as a formerly undocumented person, I was not able to travel and vist the motherland until less than 10 years ago.
Reflection, curiosity, and reconnecting spiritually with my ancestors have helped me deepend my roots.
Not exactly how they’re asking, but that’s what I read.
Sometimes, I consult on projects. Please see the services page and send an inquiry for more information.
The best way to show love to a culture is to be of service to the people who are of the culture and have safeguarded/stewarded elements of those cultures. My only word of caution is to be aware to not tokenize people, co-opt a movement or message, or hold native and Indigenous people up on a pedestal. Because to put people on a pedestal, in the sense that they are seen as the absolute knowledge holders, actually puts too much responsibility on our shoulders. We need people who care about us and can lovingly and compassionately share their wisdom with us, because building a culture of appreciation takes community care.