Quick Facts about Oaxaca

Capital City: Oaxaca de Juárez (wah-HAH-kah) Oaxaca City

Elevation: Oaxaca City has an elevation of approximately 5,200 feet above sea level.

Climate: Due to its uneven and diverse geography, the state of Oaxaca is characterized by its climatologic variants in its different areas.

The weather is hot and dry in the areas nearby the Pacific, although with some moisture coming from the littoral, while in mountainous areas, at over 2000 meters above sea level, the cold is persistent.

The state capital Oaxaca on the other hand, has an agreeable subtropical weather; the days are temperate in winter, being the average temperature of 16º Celsius; the average during spring is of 25º Celsius. The rainy season takes place between late June and October, with rain usually falling only in the evenings.

Year of foundation: late 5th century and later named as Spanish territory in November 1521.

Year of statehood: 1864

State population: approximately 3.5 million

Population of Oaxaca City: approximately 260,000

Patron Saint of Oaxaca City: The Virgin of the Soledad

Well-known beaches: Huatulco, Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel, Mazunte, Zipolite

Well-known historical figures: Benito Juárez (b.1806 d.1872), Porfirio Díaz (b.1830 d.1915), María Sabina (b.1894 d.1985), Jesús Flores Magón (b. 1871 d.1930), Ricardo Flores Magón (b.1874 d.1922), Enrique Flores Magón (b.1877 d.1954), José Vasconcelos (b.1882 d.1959)

Well-known artists/artisans: Enrique Flores (b. 1963), Manuel Jiménez (b.1919 d.2005), ‘Doña Rosa’ Real Mateo (b. 1900 d.1980), Leovigildo Martinez (b.1959), Rodolfo Morales (b.1925 d.2001), Fernando Olivera (b.1962), Carlomagno Pedro (b. 1965), Rufino Tamayo (b.1899 d.1991), Francisco Toledo (b.1940) and Teodora Blanco (b. 1928 d.1980)

Important Festivals and Yearly Events

-The Guelaguetza (Festival of the Mondays of the Hill), held on the last two Mondays of July. During this time, communities from throughout the state present their regional costumes, dances, songs and music in an open-air theater built into the side of a hill. The participants often throw gifts to the spectators.

- Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead): Takes place at the end of October, focusing on the first two days of November. Cemeteries are visited and food is often left at the graves. Candlelight vigils are held and altars in the homes hold flowers, fruits and nuts, and pan de yema, a special bread that is the favorite food of the ancestors.

- Noche de los Rábanos (Night of the Radishes): Takes place on December 23rd. this festival features a contest in which participants present nativity and other scenes with the people and animals carved from radishes.