Newsletter #8 Fall 2021

Mary Jane Gagnier

Dear friends of Oaxaca,

Oaxaca, has returned to green, along with 8 other states in Mexico. The rest of the country is yellow except for Baja California that is orange.
At the moment everyone 18 and over in Oaxaca has received their first vaccine and by Christmas they should all be fully vaccinated. Everyone 30 and over should have received both by now. By and large the people want to be vaccinated.

My 60th birthday at Casa Murguia
My 60th birthday at Casa Murguia
Oaxaca is festooned with color in early October
Oaxaca is festooned with color in early October

For those planning to return to Oaxaca in the nearish future, relax about the required PCR or Antigen tests required to repatriate to your homelands. Several local labs, using WhatsApp to book, will send a health professional to your place of lodging, take the test in the morning, even take your credit card and by mid-afternoon the results are emailed to you. Costs vary between 1,000 – 2,000 pesos.
Oaxaca still abides by safe distance and wearing face-masks in public places (once seated in a restaurant it can be removed but if you get up from your table it should be put on). Gel is offered upon entering all establishments and it’s common to have your temperature taken with a zap gun. Otherwise life carries on in much a normal fashion.
Some museums and archeological sites are open. All the craft villages are receiving visitors and the ethnobotanical garden is offering almost daily tours in either Spanish or English.
There is definitely tourism. Not hoards but a positive flow. Restaurants, shops, galleries and markets are all open and looking and tasting good.
On a personal note, I am very well. My son Gabriel is well, busy running Galería La Mano Magica. Casa Murguia looks lovely, already busy with guests which makes Maria Antonia happy because it keeps her busy – idle hands are the …….

On a recent road trip through the Mixteca region
On a recent road trip through the Mixteca region
The amazing 2 inch tall Ruby-throated
The amazing 2 inch tall Ruby-throated
My main man Fernández still so handsome and healthy at 21.
My main man Fernández still so handsome and healthy at 21.

Rancho Pitaya has never looks better. My efforts at “re-wilding” ( this term was coined by my hero Richard Attenborough ) sections of the land are, after several years, delightfully apparent with the buzz of honey bees and birds in the midst of fall wildflower season. The Ruby-throated hummers are arriving in droves at the feeders from as far north as Montreal and the shyer Rufous, heading south from the west, are enthralled with the red salvia in the communal lands that border the ranch.
I’ve been scouting new rides – riding out from the ranch and in the course of a week circumnavigating the stately Piedra del Sol cordillera to the south. The 13 horses, 1 donkey, 3 dogs, 1 cat and somewhere around 13 hens and 8 chicks are all well.

The interior valleys of Oaxaca have enjoyed a long rainy season this year. The reservoirs are full and riding 35 kms. last Friday across the valley of Tlacolula I saw emerald green wetlands, beautifully flooded, herons and egrets everywhere – a site I haven’t seen in a decade!

So looking forward to your visit.

Mary Jane Gagnier

owner and manager of Casa Murguia Rental VillaRancho Pitaya Country Lodging and Horseback Mexico Riding Tours.

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