Bienvenidos….the warm welcome commonly heard when you travel along the Chinantla Route in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Always proud of their history, culture and heritage the extraordinarily courteous and indigenous communities you visit will never cease to surprise you. The communities are the descendants of the Chinantec and Mazatec of the pre-Hispanic period. From amazing food and unusual activities, the locals are always looking to offer their exchange their traditional beliefs and lifestyle.
The most visited destinations in the state of Oaxaca are its colonial capital, which carries the same name, the surf paradise Puerto Escondido and the sustainable beach destination of Huatulco – all worth visiting! If you are looking for indigenous culture, heritage, nature, adventure or traditional food, just choose one or two routes designed by the local tourism board.
The Chinantla Route, launched officially in 2014, connects nine indigenous communities of the Cuenca del Papaloapan region, each one with different customs,. Most of them live from agriculture and tourism activities. The rich nature that surrounds the largest basin in the country is scenery to various ecotourism lodges. From kayaking to culinary lessons, handicraft workshops, trekking, to swimming in clear blue river waters, visiting coffee plantations to community museums, they all offer enchanting experiences.
It has been several years since the communities began exploring their culture and nature through sustainable tourism, generating revenue and employment. In some communities, like San Mateo Yetla, a rotation system is organised so everyone can have the opportunity to work in the eco-tourism centre. Money earned is frequently reinvested in the eco-tourism centre or in the community. With creative and ambitious minds, community leaders now want to develop their services and bring more international visitors for unforgettable experiences.
Written by Ana Duek
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