An eventful, but less academic, day was about to start. A van fully packed with fourteen students, a guide, a member of UniTierra and the descendent of Professor Vazquéz was ready to bring all the passengers to the ruins of Monte Albán. Once arrived, the students had to cross a border of at least twenty street vendors, who all desperately tried to sell them their masks, hats and other stuff. But, no, gracias.
Gabriël guided us through the museum, while passionately telling about the period of the Olmecs till the post-hispanic period. Monte Albán was the most important town in Oaxaca, the fifth largest state of Mexico. During the time of the “indians”, better known as Zapotecs in this region, a beautiful village was built. Of this incredible village painted in red, only eight percent is discovered by now. Walking past the left-overs of the buildings, it is hard to imagine the situation sketched by the Spaniards. By no means were these people uncivilized, running around naked and stupid. With more knowledge of astronomy than the UCR-students will ever gain from books, this civilization had not only the capacity of creating ginormous temples, they also understood a lot of the universe. And to all the vendors on the archeological side: no, gracias.
On the side: the name Monte Albán has only been given by the Spaniards, as the mountain was covered in a sea of white flowers. After this fascinating experience, the tourists left the mountain, looking for something to stuff their tummies. Professor Vazquéz arranged something for the group in a picturesque Mexican restaurant. Trying all different sorts of Oaxaceñan food, everyone satisfied their demanding stomach, and they left the long Bertolli-table, ready for the next adventure. So, next on the program: the Ethno-botanical garden, designed to prevent the view of a new parking lot and a hotel.
Do you want to see more about this day? See the video tour.