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Fifty three percent of the population lives in rural areas. Life expectancy is Births far outpace deaths. In , there were , birth and 19, deaths. Demographically, Oaxaca stands out due to the high percentage of indigenous peoples. The northeast of the state is part of the cultures of the Valley of Mexico , with historical influence seen from ancient cities such as Teotihuacan , Tula and Tenochtitlan.

The main reason that indigenous languages and cultures have been able to survive here is the rugged terrain, which isolate communities. There are 16 ethno linguistic groups recognized by the Instituto Nacional Indigenista [42] who maintain their individual languages, customs and traditions well into the colonial period and to some extent to the present day. The most populous indigenous groups in Oaxaca are the Zapotec or Mixtec.

Several other languages of the Oto-Manguean languages are spoken in Oaxaca: The Triques , Amuzgos and Cuicatecs are linguistically most closely related to the Mixtecs, The languages of the Chocho , Popoloca and Ixcatec peoples are most closely related to that of the Mazatecs. The Chatino language is grouped with the Zapotecan branch of Oto-Manguean. The languages of the Zoque and Mixe peoples belong to the Mixe—Zoquean languages. Other ethnic groups include the Chontalees , Chinantecs , the Huaves and Nahuas. For them, they have always been here. Zapotecs have always called themselves Be'ena'a, which means The Cloud People.

Zapotec territory extends in and around the Central Valleys region of the state, around the capital city of Oaxaca. The Zapotec language has historically been and is still the most widely spoken in the state, with four dialects that correspond to the four subdivisions of these people: Central Valleys and Isthmus, the Sierra de Ixtlan, Villa Alta and Coapan. The various Zapotec dialects account for 64 of the total still surviving forms of Oto-Manguean. These same people put pressure on the Zapotec kingdoms until the Spanish conquered both peoples in the 16th century.

The Upper Mixteca covers 38 municipalities and is the most populated region. The Lower Mixteca includes 31 municipalities. The Coastal Mixtecs are a small group. The Mixtecan language family , as one of the largest and most diverse families in the Oto-Manguean group, includes three groups of languages: Mixtec, Cuicatec , and Trique.

The Mazatecos call themselves Ha shuta enima, which means People of Custom. Some historians believe that the Mazatecos descend from the Nonoalca-Chichimecas , who migrated south from Tula early in the 12th century. While most live in Oaxaca, a significant number of Mazatecos also occupy Veracruz and Puebla. The Chinanteco language has as many as 14 different dialects and is part of the Oto-Manguean linguistic group. Historians believe that those living in this region struggled to maintain their independence against sudden and numerous attacks by the Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Mixes and Aztecs.

The latter, led by Moctezuma I , finally conquered the Chinantla region during the 15th century. Their region includes 19 municipalities and communities. The Mixes call themselves Ayuuk, which means The People. It is unknown where the Mixe migrated from, with some speculating from as far as Peru , but they arrived in waves from to They came into conflict with the Mixtecs and Zapotecs, but allied themselves with the Zapotecs against the Aztecs, then resisted the Spanish.

Minorities include the Chatino 42, , [18] the Trique 18, , [44] the Huave people 15, , [44] the Cuicatecos 12, , [44] the Zoque , also called the Aiyuuk roughly 10, , the Amuzgos 4, , [44] the Chontales of Oaxaca 4, , the Tacuates 1, , [44] the Chocho or Chocholtec , the Ixcatecos , [44] the Popolocas 61 [44] and a small population of Nahuatl speaking peoples in the border area with Puebla. Ritualistitic and shamanic religious practices were prevalent in Oaxaca valley, until the Spanish invaded the valley in Proselytism was also started in , Christianity was ushered into the valley and eventually took firm roots.

The ancient religious practices have been dated by archaeological findings over a 15 years period of excavations by two Archaeologists of Michigan University to be more than years old. Initially, years ago, the people were "hunters and gatherers with no fixed abode". Concurrently, ceremonious religious practices with ritualistic and shamanistic dancing around stone marked floors came to be observed a pre-Zapotec dance floor dated to BC testifies this. Even cannibalistic practices were noted. The ritualistic practices were formalized, as permanent settlements were established, and temples were built to perform the rituals as per a set of calendar annual events.

There were two interconnected calendars prevalent at the time- one of days and another of days, which synchronized every 52 years. In subsequent years, as upper strata of society an "elite class" came into existence, the religious practices and the temple got more formalized with priests controlling the community's religion. Religion started to evolve around the ritualistic practices but with more defined role of religion under the monarchic rule which came into effect along with "the religious systems that were the previous source of social authority".

Monte Alban was founded around BCE. It is inferred that from BC, Zapotec society evolved as an organized "autonomous ascribed-status peasant societies". The ritual buildings in the valley dated to this period testify this observation. Richard Sosis, an anthropologist at the University of Connecticut has summarised the archaeological findings with the observation: [45].

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Among foragers, ritual serves to cement solidarity, he said, and the "powerful moralistic gods that we associate with contemporary religions" are a later development, introduced at the stage when priests have acquired control of a religion and "are effectively controlling the masses through ritual activities that instill the fear of supernatural punishment. When Christianity made inroads into the Valley in , the valley was part of the Aztec tribute empire with Tenochtitlan as the capital present day Mexico City and Spanish settlements came into existence to exploit the rich land and mineral resources of the valley.

The first record of Baptism in the valley was that of the King of Teozapotlan , the most important Valley ruler, in He was baptized as Don Juan Cortes. Nobles, who converted to Christianity, were permitted to keep their traditional rights under a order by Phillip II of Spain. Spaniards pursued proselytisation activity with dedicated single-minded devotion throughout the 18th century with the "goal of saving the souls of their subjects". It took many years of dogged persuasion to discourage the Zapotec people to give up their pantheon of idolatry , shamanistic and cannibalistic practices of the Mesoamerican religion , which was denigrated by the Church.

While most indigenous Mexicans are at least nominally Catholic, some combine or syncretize Catholic practices with native traditions. The National Presbyterian Church in Mexico has a relatively high percentage of followers in Oaxaca, one of its stronger states. Although it is the fifth-largest state in Mexico, it has the most biodiversity. It is also among the five highest-ranking areas in the world for endangered species. In the lower elevations by the coast there are evergreen and deciduous rainforest , with those dropping leaves doing so in the dry season.

In the driest areas mesquite , some cactus and grasslands can be found. Wildlife includes a wide variety of birds, small to medium-sized mammals and some larger ones such as deer and wildcats, reptiles and amphibians. Off the coast there are fish and shellfish, as well as dolphins and whales which pass by during their migrations. Of the registered reptile species nationwide, are found in the state.

Sea turtles used to be exploited for both their meat and eggs but this was stopped by the federal government in the s. Despite conservation efforts starting in the s, the number of nesting sites and nesting turtles has dramatically decreased. Conservation efforts in the state are hampered by high marginalization, lack of economic alternatives, agricultural conflicts, change of land use agricultural activities, fires , over-exploitation and pollution of natural water sources, inadequate forest management and illegal tree felling, unsustainable coastal tourist developments, climate change, limited local capacity, and limited local knowledge and valuation of natural resources.

It can be reached via Federal Highway or by boat from Puerto Escondido. The park encompasses The park has 10 different types of vegetation: "selva espinosa", swampland, deciduous , sub-tropical broadleaf, mangrove , savannah , "bosque de galleria", "tular", palm trees, and coastal dunes. Birds such as storks , herons , wild ducks, blue-winged teals , pelicans , and spoonbills can be found here.

Three species of turtles also visit the park to lay their eggs. It was designated as a national park under a presidential decree, in The topography of the park has an elevation range varying from 1, to 3, metres 5, to 10, feet above sea level. The climate is Coastal sub-humid and Temperate sub-humid. The main rivers that flow through the park are the Huayapan and San Felipe rivers. Most of their flows used to be utilized to meet drinking water needs of Oaxaca through an aqueduct in the early part of the 18th century, during the colonial period. However, it is now tapped for water supply through piped system to the city.

It has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. There are pine and oak forests in the upper reaches of the mountain, while the lower reaches have scrub oaks, and tropical deciduous forest in the canyons. Most of the forest is secondary growth, having been previously forested. Fauna species have been identified as , which includes armadillos and white-tailed deer. Bird species are counted at , which include hummingbirds , pelicans and hawks.

The amphibian and reptile species are counted to be , which include Black Iguana , salamanders and snakes. Dolphins , whales and turtles are sighted species off the coast line, out of the identified marine species. On account of wide variation in topography and annual rainfall, the micro-climatic conditions in the reserve has created a biosphere reserve, which is very rich in flora and fauna. The rich biodiversity of the preserve consists of plant genus, 2, vascular species, species of mammals, species of birds which includes the endangered Green Macaw Ara militaris , and 53 species of reptiles.

However, the reserve is faced with threats from poaching, deforestation, overgrazing, and trash scattered on the highways and secondary roads that pass close and through the reserve. Inadequate patrolling staff is an issue which needs to be addressed to remove the threats to the biosphere reserve. The state was created by a federal decree in , and is the fifth largest state in Mexico. The area of Oaxaca has been divided into small entities since far back into the pre-Hispanic period. Much of the reason for this is the highly mountainous geography, although the occupation of the area by numerous ethnicities is a factor as well.

The area resisted large scale Spanish domination through the colonial era, and maintained local traditions and customs better than other areas of Mexico.

Even today, the state has far more municipalities and semi autonomous local authorities than any other state in the nation. The state has traditionally been divided into seven regions, which took into account variables such as ethnic makeup, economics and geography. These still take into account the traditional variables, but geography plays a larger role. The Coast Region consists of the 21st, 22nd and 30th districts with a total of 50 municipalities; the Isthmus Region consists of the 28th and 29th districts with a total of 41 municipalities; the Mixteca Region consists of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th and 16th districts with a total of municipalities; the Papaloapam Region consists of the 6th and 7th districts with a total of 20 municipalities; the Sierra Sur Region consists of the 15th, 23rd, 26th and 27th districts with 70 municipalities; the Sierra North Region consists of the 12th, 13th and 14th districts with 69 municipalities; the Central Valleys Regions consists of the 11th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th and 25th districts with municipalities.

According to the Mexican government agency Conapo National Population Council , Oaxaca is the third most economically marginalized state in Mexico. Eighty percent of the state's municipalities do not meet federal minimums for housing and education. Most development projects are planned for the capital and the surrounding area.

Little has been planned for the very rural areas and the state lacks the resources to implement them. In Poverty and migration are caused mostly by the lack of economic development in the state, which leaves most of the population working in the least productive sector. This has led to wide scale migration, mostly from the rural areas, to find employment. Within Oaxaca, many people leave rural villages to work in the city of Oaxaca, the Papaloapan area and the coast. Most of those leaving the state are agricultural workers. As of , over 80, people from Oaxaca state live in some other part of Mexico.

Much of the current wave of emigration began in the late s, and by the s Oaxaca ranked 8th in the number of people leaving for the US from Mexico.

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Today, that percentage has fallen to 20th. Most of those migrate to the United States, concentrated in California and Illinois. The economy of Oaxaca is based on agriculture, especially in the interior of the state.

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As of , 1,, hectares are used for the raising of crops, most of which occurs during the annual rainy season, with only , having crops growing year round. Only 81, hectares have irrigation. It is third in the production of peanuts, mango and sugar cane. In more tropical areas, crops also include coffee, sesame seed , rice, sugar cane and pineapple. Cattle dominate in the Tuxtepec, Isthmus and Coast regions, with pigs dominating in higher elevations such as the Central Valleys Region.

Other animals include sheep, goats, domestic fowl and bees. The value of this production was estimated at 2, The growing of coffee here dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries when English pirates introduced the plant. Coastal fishing is also a major source of income and in the total fishing catch was estimated at 9, tons with a value of over million pesos. Mining has traditionally been important to the economy and history. There is an oil and natural gas refinery in Salinas Cruz, which provides products to the state and other areas on Mexico's Pacific coast. Tourism is important to the state as it is the only sector that is growing and brings substantial income from outside the state, although most tourism is concentrated in the capital and along the coast.

In , there were hotels with 15, rooms. Thirteen of these were classed as five stars. The state has a total of 18, Federal highway hugs the coast connecting communities such as Puerto Escondido, Salinas Cruz and Huatulco with Acapulco and Chiapas. Federal highway runs from the Puebla state line along the western part of the state. Federal highway leads from Puebla to Oaxaca City then down to Pochutla. Federal highway runs from the Veracruz border to the city of Oaxaca. Other highways include Federal highway and Federal highway There is a railroad line connecting the city of Oaxaca with Mexico City for cargo.

The state's major port is Salina Cruz which primarily services ships belonging to PEMEX, bringing crude oil and refined petroleum products along the Mexican coast as well as the United States and Japan. This airport has a runway that measures 2, metres 8, feet and a total extension of hectares 1, acres with two hangars. Local public transportation is offered various local business using pickup trucks, buses and small cargo trucks. Smaller providers provide service in vans, especially between the city of Oaxaca and the coast.

These operators have existed only semi-legally in the past but legal issues have since been resolved. From the latter half of the 20th century, the state has produced a number of notable painters such as Rufino Tamayo , Rodolfo Nieto , Rodolfo Morales , and Francisco Toledo. These four painters have been influential in the establishment of new movements of art from the state. Music and dance are almost inextricably linked to the state's folkloric heritage.

Traditional music and dance has its roots in the indigenous traditions that existed long before the Spanish arrived. To these traditions were added elements from European culture and Catholicism. The three main traditions to be found in the state are those of the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, with a small but distinct community of Afro-Mexicans.

La Sandunga is a song that typifies the musical style of the Tehuantepec region and a musical style called "son bioxho" is an endemic form of the son style played with drums, an empty tortoise shell and a reed flute. Oaxacan cuisine varies widely due to the relative geographic isolation of its peoples, and the climates in which foods are produced. Like most of the rest of Mexico, corn is the staple food, with corn tortillas, called "blandas" accompanying most meals. Black beans are preferred. Epazote , pitiona and hoja santa are favored herbs in Oaxacan cooking.

The last is indispensable for the preparation of verde version of mole. Chocolate, which is grown in the state, plays an important part in the making of certain moles, but is best known for its role as a beverage. The cacao beans are ground then combined with sugar, almonds, cinnamon and other ingredients to form bars. Pieces of these bars are mixed with hot milk or water and drunk. It is sold in "ropes" which are wound onto themselves into balls. It is eaten cold or lightly melted on quesadillas and other dishes. One unique aspect to Oaxacan cuisine is the consumption of "chapulines," which are a type of grasshopper that has been fried and seasoned with salt, lime and chili pepper.

Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks as well as food items based on the maguey plant have been consumed in many parts of Mexico since early in the pre-Hispanic period.

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The tradition of the making of the distilled liquor called mezcal has been a strong tradition in the Oaxacan highlands since the colonial period. One reason for this is the quality and varieties of maguey grown here. It is made with the heart of the plant which is roasted in pits giving the final product a smokey flavor and is sometimes flavored with a chicken or turkey breast added to the mash.

It is mezcal, not tequila , and may contain a " worm ," which is really a larva that infests maguey plants. The final distilled product can be served as is or can be flavored called cremas with almonds, coffee, cocoa fruits and other flavors. The best known producer here is Rancho Zapata, which also has a restaurant. In many parts of the Central Valleys area, one can find small stands and stores selling locally made mezcal on roadsides. Most tourist attractions are located in the city of Oaxaca and the Central Valleys region that surrounds it.

This area is the cultural, geographical and political center of the state, filled with pre-Hispanic ruins, Baroque churches and monasteries, indigenous markets and villages devoted to various crafts. The most important of these three is Lambityeco, in the middle of the Tlacolula Valley. It was important at that time for its production of salt. Age of child 1. Age of child 2. Age of child 3. Age of child 4. Age of child 5. Find flights. Prefer nonstop. Include nearby airports.

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