Oaxaca, Mexico: At the Mountain Spring — Johnny Monsarrat Mexico Trip

One of the features of the area our guide brought us to is a natural spring at the top of a hiking trail. As we headed up the trail to visit the spring, we saw several more area residents going about their daily life, as well as more houses and huts, some of which were little more than shacks. Laundry hung by some of the houses, since dryers aren’t a thing in this part of Mexico. In some parts of the region, at least some of the residents don’t even have electricity!

This area is one of the more remote parts of Mexico, which makes it a draw for tourists who want a more natural experience than they would get in the cities. Here, visitors can take in the glorious scenery while they hike. As mentioned on the previous page, area residents are very welcoming and friendly toward visitors, as long as you’re respectful to them.

While we walked the trail to the spring, I was able to take some really nice photos of the surrounding mountains and scenery. Some of the pictures show fields on the sides of the nearby mountains, where the locals farm to provide food for themselves and their families, as well as probably to sell to help bring money into their households.

The spring at the top of the trail was nice to see, but I was more impressed with the views around us, as well as with the chance to finally see some examples of how people live in Mexico in the present day, particularly away from the cities and major tourist destinations. I feel like I have a much better sense of what life is like for some of the people here, instead of only getting the sanitized version usually seen by tourists.

On the way back down, we saw a man, who gave me permission to take his picture, leading burros. The burros carried bundles of cacti, or maguey, which the locals pick and process to make mezcal, an alcoholic drink popular around the world and made primarily in Oaxaca. Picking and selling the maguey is one of the ways residents of the area make money to support their families, as is the making, bottling, and selling of mezcal.

Overall, I think seeing a more realistic picture of the daily lives of the people of this part of Mexico made the trip to the spring one of the highlights of the entire vacation for me.

There's a natural spring in this area. Personally, I like the view better.
Johnny Monsarrat: This is a really remote area.

This is a really remote area.
Johnny Monsarrat: And it has some great mountain

And it has some great mountain sights. If you look carefully, you can see a few fields on the mountainsides. They look like rectangles cut into the greenery.

Johnny Monsarrat: At the top of the trail, there

At the top of the trail, there's a natural spring. I think we're more impressed by the opportunity to see a little 'real' Mexico. This is definitely not city life here.

Johnny Monsarrat: Time to go. I think these donk

Time to go. I think these donkeys are carrying squat, pruned, cacti. They make mezcal, an alcoholic drink, from cacti. This guy said a picture was OK.

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