Oaxaca City, Mexico

BY Kate DuFour and Rachel Brian

History and Location

Oaxaca was in the first place in Mexico where human settlements occurred in 11,000 B.C. Around 1200 A.D., Mexican Indians started populating the area. In the mid 14th century, Aztecs founded Oaxaca City, and they ruled over other groups and cultures. Europeans started moving in around the 15th century. By the 16th century,the indigenous population had been wiped out by diseases brought by the European settlers.

Oaxaca City is roughly 300 miles south of Mexico City. It is the capital of a state that is also called Oaxaca. It is located on the southern coast of Mexico, and the state itself has an area of 36,820 square miles. It is also located approximately 5,000 feet above the sea level, meaning that the state and the city have a perfectly mild climate.


Oaxaca City has a moderate climate usually all year round. However, occasionally a hurricane will strike that will damage the area. Oaxaca usually acquires around 27.4 inches of rainfall yearly. In winter the average temperature is usually 63 degrees Fahrenheit, and from May to August, or the summer temperature, is approximately &2 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Natural Resources

Oaxaca has many natural resources. There are shrimp and fish that are popular. However, the fishing industries still haven’t grown to their full potential. Also, there are forests that are used for their lumber. The lumber is usually used as fuel or building materials. Finally, there are many mines that supply gold, silver, lead, copper, and zinc.

The Government

The local and state government are both run by democratic elections. The government is also made up of a unicameral legislature with 42 members. The governor has a term of 6 years, and legislators have a term of 3 years.

Languages Spoken

Around 37.2% of Oaxaca’s population speaks an indigenous language, and there is around 16 native groups of people living in Oaxaca.This is second largest amount of indigenous speakers in Mexico. However, the majority of the population speaks Spanish as their first language.

Tradition Music and Dance

Oaxaca has some traditional music and dances. Some of these dances include the Petate Bull Dance, the Turtle Dance, the Tiger Dance, the Badger’s Dance, the Masked Dance, and many more. These dances are filled with color, have a story behind it, and has history with the culture. The music is beautiful, spirited, and abundant. From mariachi bands to pan pipers, musicians in Oaxaca enjoy serenading people in the streets.

danza folklorica Oaxaqueña (traditional dance from Oaxaca, Mexico)

Monetary System

Oaxacan currency is pesos, however many business accept the U.S. dollar. A peso is 0.067 of a dollar.
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Industrial Capacities

Oaxaca is widely known for hand crafted goods. Some of these are pottery, clothing, and wood items. Although solo creators are the main roots of these goods, there are some small businesses that are just as successful. Mining has been another key industry to Oaxaca. These mines are rich with silver, gold, lead, coal, chalk, and many more minerals.

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Places to Visit

These points of interest are appealing to the eye and have a background that dates back centuries. These places satisfy both history buffs and those who appreciate architectural beauty.