A couple years ago, I went to Zimbabwe with my mother. I was born there, and some combination of my immediate family will fly out there every couple years or so. En route to Zimbabwe from the US, there is always a stop somewhere else. That particular time, a couple years ago, we had a layover in Dubai. Due to circumstances out of our control, this layover turned into two free nights in an airport hotel, and plenty of free time to explore the city before resuming our journey to our final destination.
I was blown away by the aggressive opulence of Dubai and learned a travel trick. Traveling somewhere is an opportunity to travel somewhere else.
My last exam at San Diego State ended at 2:45 on December 15. My Internship in Costa Rica didn’t begin until the new year. According to my calculations, that was plenty of time to squeeze in a little adventure down in Mexico.
Mexico doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves. Tijuana, Cancun, Puerta Vallarta and Cabo. Those are the destinations that pop up on news feeds when friends go down for a little Mexican vacation. But it is so much more than that.
The richest history of indigenous American populations comes from the Mexico region. I have an infatuation with these mesoamerican cultures from the early Olmec up to the more famous Aztecs (S-D-S-U). My trip focused on the museums and cities that showcased some of this indigenous heritage. I started in Mexico City, then to Puebla, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas and Tuxtla Gutierrez.
Teotihuacan was a multicultural metropolis located just north of present day Mexico City. Much of the city, which housed one of the world’s largest populations at the time, was destroyed. However, the Temple of the Sun and the smaller Temple of the Moon still stand today in all their glory.
The city of Oaxaca is located in the southern region of Mexico. It has a strong indigenous influence because of its relative isolation from the coasts and other large cities. The ruins I visited here were constructed by the Zapotec, who still speak their language and engage in traditional activities such as rug weaving.
Mitla – Outside of Oaxaca
Monte Alban – Outside Oaxaca
Kumbirayi Murinda is earning a bachelor’s degree in International Business at San Diego State University. He is blogging from Costa Rica during spring semester 2016.