Oaxaca de Juárez, México – This afternoon the Lula’a Restaurant, Calzada Heroes de Chapultepec #801, serves up some tasty indigenous food in honor of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People or Día Internacional de los Pueblos Indígenas and Indigenous Peoples Week.
What’s on the menu? Ayuuk or Mixe culture, and you don’t have to be a culture vulture to enjoy a good meal.
The signature dish is ma’atsy – a memela with spicy sauce – accompanied by a squash soup. Tip: ask for the xëjk pojtsää (hint). Check in via Facebook and add a photo of the food or the fomboard. Visitors are reminded that it’s not just what you eat, it’s who you eat with, who prepares your food. On the indigenous food route, a visit to Oaxaca is made so much better thanks to Doña Eni’s ma’atsy, the Gauchupin Family’s Chinanteco Caldo de Piedra and the wonderful wonderful tamales made by the Zapotec weavers in Teotitlán del Valle. And that’s just a start.
It’s time to re-humanize travel. The new face of responsible travel is to recognize the faces, to provide kudos not just to the restaurants but to the people who make the food. Ditch the foodie checklist and opt for recommended cooks. Anyone can prepare ‘Caldo de Piedra’ and Oaxaca has a few knock-off versions. But to eat the food made by those who have a story that connects their culture to the food, that’s a trip worth taking. Meanwhile, TripAdvisor and so many other bland top-10 review sites spew out the same old, same old. No wonder visitation to Oaxaca lasts around two nights. Locals have not given potential visitors enough clues to justify a week, or two week or 600 week vacation. The bright news is that local travel is the future of travel (kudos to Ethan Gelber here!)
Be Present in Your Absence
Those not in Oaxaca are invited to participate in a virtual way. Share this event on your Facebook wall or give away an ‘I like’ to comments and photos. On Flickr, please give the poster a star or add it to a Pinterest album. You can even watch live on Ustream from 3-4pm.