Oaxaca – Spanish immersion school, Memelas, Chocolates, Fiestas and of course Mezcal and Chapulines!

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December 9th 2018
Published: December 10th 2018
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As I write this we have only three days left of our two weeks in Oaxaca and wish we were here for longer. Perhaps next year we will spend a month. We came to this great little town, only an hour’s flight from Mexico city/ two hours from Houston, a couple of years ago for Christmas. We fell in love with the food and the easy going people and the small number of foreign tourists. When Kate found the great reviews for the ‘Spanish Immersion School’ it was a no brainer to kick off our South American trip with a little Spanish learning in Oaxaca.

We have been doing one-on-one Spanish for five hours a day split over two instructors - half in the morning and half in the afternoon. The school however offers whatever combination you want. Add in some homework and it’s been full on! Hence the reason I am behind with writing a blog! Kate is going great guns and is learning multiple tenses. I am entertaining the ladies in the market with my recitals of the colors of the banners hanging over their stalls. We can thorough recommend the school. The teachers are very organized and patient. Lessons have been taken at the school, in markets, on buses, in cafés and parks and even whilst watching English soccer games! We are very happy we have taken to the time to work on our Spanish and intend to continue our ‘homework’ over the next two to three months in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia.

Oaxaca seems little different to our visit of two years ago, which is very pleasing. The tourist area around Santa Domingo church and square has a grown a little and there are a few more mezcal tasting rooms and even a couple of micro-breweries but bulk of the town is no different. There still seems to be a chocolate drink shop grinding is own beans every couple of blocks in the old town and the 20 Noviembre and Bonito Juarez markets are still surrounded by old ladies and stalls selling Horchata (rice water with vanilla & cinnamon), Tejate (a maize based drink with cacao), Chapulines (deep fried grasshoppers of various sizes with garlic and lime or chile) and assorted Tacos and Empanadas. A foodies paradise. Even better that I can now actually ask for some of these things in Spanish as opposed to just guessing what I am eating!

One thing we have noticed a lot more of are mini-fiestas and parades. We were here Christmas week last time so perhaps that’s why we didn’t see as many but it seems some small group is celebrating a party with a band/parade every day. On Saturday night the main square/Zocolo had at least three brass bands competing with each other as separate groups celebrated events. The atmosphere is really uplifting. We have already agreed we will most likely be back again next year.

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