The square has a number of trees that are loved by locals and visitors.
The oldest are the thick laurel trees on the southwest and northwest
corners planted by Felix Diaz, the brother of Porfirio
Díaz. Tip: You can find the oldest trees by their girth.
The giant laurel tree on the northwest corner is known as the 'laurel
de los conciertos' as this place is where weekly concerts are held.
A huaje tree is
located on the west side of the park.
Tables line the arched passageways surrounding three sides of the
zócalo and are popular meeting places.
Businesses surrounding the plaza have changed over the years. La
Primavera restaurant used to sell religious items. The all-purpose
grocery store (abarrotes) La Lonja anchors the western
The east side of the square has a number of restaurants. New arrivals
include Taco Inn, Sushi-Itto and Italian Coffee. Older restaurants
include Hosteria de Antequera, Amarantos and Terra Nova (with indoor
children's playground, Terralandia). There are also several fabric
Under the bandstand (kiosko) are a number of market comedores,
including "El Chino" (Locales 3 and 4) and "Refresqueria
El Kiosko" (Locales 5-6). The kiosko market has about 20 active
members. Hours: 9am-9pm daily. Flickr
POSTCARD FROM OAXACA, 2010
Teachers camping in early June
POSTCARD FROM OAXACA, 2008-2009
Not many changes. Kind of boring.
POSTCARD FROM OAXACA, JANUARY-MARCH 2007
Clean-up has begun. The buildings have been scrubbed clean of revolutionary
slogan. Signs on the corners of the square were added in February
2007. Maps are first-rate. Directional signs are a bit iffy.
POSTCARD FROM OAXACA, MAY-DECEMBER 2006
Notes about Oaxaca from May-December 2006 are included in the essay
POSTCARD FROM OAXACA, APRIL-DECEMBER 2005
Renovation of zócalo took place in 2005, between April and
Locals were frustrated at the lack of prior consultation. The
first presentation of the project took place a week before the bulldozers
arrived, but only a few were informed of the meeting. When the renovation
began in earnest -- bulldozers and cranes drove into the plaza --
most of the business owners were taken by surprise.
During the first week one of the giant Indian Laurel trees was
unrooted and fell against the Government
Palace. Witnesses say that the tree was about to be destroyed
by a worker with a chain saw before local environmentalists guarded
Critics decried the renovation as 'ecocide' and asked UNESCO to
look into the matter as the organization has designated Oaxaca City's
historic center as a World
Half of the work was completed at the end of July 2005 and the
summer's big event -- the Guelaguetza
Festival. Almost all of the work was completed before the Day
of the Day and Radish
Before the 2005 renovation, the last major revision of the zócalo
occured a quarter century ago when the square was blocked off and
motorized vehicles were prevented from entering. This made the square
pedestrian-friendly and is hailed as a model for how other colonial
cities can improve the downtown environment.
ENDEMICS AND THE ENDEARING
Some of the proponents of the 2005 redesign suggested that park
showcase endemic plants and trees. Replacing Indian Laurels with
Cypress trees (the same species at the Tule
Tree) was criticized as impractical -- cypress trees require
copious amounts of water.
Many locals are fond of the imported trees (which include laurels,
jacarandas and flamboyants). That the trees were considered less
important than 'native' trees struck many locals as arrogant.
NEW ZOCALO vs CLASSIC ZOCALO
How does the 'new' zócalo look? Gone is the exuberant foliage,
particularly around the bandstand. Much cleaner are the half dozen
food stands underneath the bandstand.
Much of the stonework is indistinguishable from cement.
VOX POPULAR (2005)
El zócalo no es la tela de ningún artista.
Que comienza mal, termina mal.
La renovación es como echar caca en el mole.
Este árbol tiene voz.
Oaxaca requiere un zócalo digno.
Es muy actual, antes era colonial
Esta bien antes.