10 Foods you must taste when visiting Oaxaca to Learn Spanish!

10 Foods you must taste when visiting Oaxaca!

As you know Oaxaca is famous for its gastronomy, but what you must eat when coming to Oaxaca? Here are 10 Foods you must taste when visiting Oaxaca to Learn Spanish?

1.  Mole Negro

Mole Negro

2. Tlayudas


3. Chocolate



4. Tamales (De Mole, Chepil o Frijol)

Tamales de Mole

Tamales de Mole

5. Memelas

6. Chapulines (Grasshoppers)



7. Tejate

8. Salsa de Queso

9. Chiles Rellenos (De Agua o Pasilla)

10. Empanadas de Amarillo


For More information about the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, Spanish Classes or Cooking Classes please visit http://www.icomexico.com


5 Reasons Why Homestay Families Are The Best Choice To Improve your Spanish Learning in Oaxaca

5 Reasons why Homestay Families are the best choice

Señora Yolanda and Emily.

5 Reasons Why Staying With a Homestay Family is the Best Choice to Get a Full Immersion when Learning Spanish in Oaxaca

1. Responsible Tourism:   Living with a homestay is a form of tourism that allows you to rent a room from a local family to better learn the local lifestyle and to improve your Spanish. When staying with a homestay family you contribute enormously to the local economy because you generate greater economic benefits for local people who also become more culturally sensitive and in exchange they provide more enjoyable experiences through more meaningful connections with local people and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.

2. More Spanish: Living with a family enables you to interact on a daily basis in Spanish and helps you to practice what you learned in class, enriches your vocabulary and gets you in contact with Spanish more hours a day.

3. A Deeper Cultural Immersion: Staying with a homestay family helps to learn more about the culture and the local traditions of Oaxaca.  When students opt for this form of lodging they live, eat and share the majority of their time with a homestay family who usually involves the students in family events such as dinning out, camping and holiday festivities such as Christmas, Easter, and Day of the Dead.

Families that host students from the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca have been in contact with Spanish language students for many years, and they are the best travel advisers in Oaxaca, while staying in Oaxaca they will give you advice about cultural events, places to eat, how to get to different villages in the valley of Oaxaca.

4. Local Food: Oaxaca is famous for its gastronomy, specially for the “Mole Negro,” and the best is the one my Mom cooks. That is what most people in Oaxaca would say, and to be honest there are amazing cooks among the women who host students from the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, so if you plan to stay in Oaxaca for a few weeks living with a homestay family will give you a local taste of the flavors of Oaxaca.

5. Less Cost: We recommend our students to study Spanish in Oaxaca if possible one month, living with a homestay family can be a great economic benefit for the family but also for the student. For US$18.00 per day a student can get lodging and breakfast and a great local adviser of where to go, eat or shop. 

Whether you come to Oaxaca or travel somewhere else to Learn a language we strongly recommend that you live with a homestay family. As you can see there are very good reasons to do so.

For more information about Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, Spanish Language Classes or Homestay Families please visit www.icomexico.com

40 Años del Mercado Sanchez Pascuas – 40 Years of the Market Sanchez Pascuas

 Mercado Sanchez Pascuas o del Carmen Alto



Location: This Market has two entrances: One from the street of Joaquin Amaro, and another on the street of Porfirio Díaz. 

Market day: Sunday 

On Sundays it is possible to find on the side of Joaquin Amaro Street a few carpenters of the City of Oaxaca, among their work it is possible to find: beds, book-shelfs, tables, etc… On the same side of the market you can enjoy a delicious Oaxacan breakfast, you can find the following Oaxacan dishes: enfrijoladas, chilaquiles, entomadatas, enchiladas, tamales de mole, de chepil, de dulce, con panes, chocolates y atoles of all colors & juices. 


Like in many Oaxacan Markets, it possible to find chilies from different regions of the state. 

40 Years of History

Traditionally in the city of Oaxaca markets have two names, a religious one and a civil one.They are named, controlled and monitored by the Municipality of Oaxaca, since it is the authority in charge of regulating and monitoring all markets in the city. The religious comes from the location of the market. In the case of the Sanchez Pascuas Market, its religious name was given because before the market that we know today was built 40 years ago, the market took place in the little plaza outside of the atrium of Carmen Alto Church. 


The church of the Carmen Alto, one of the many churches located in the center of Oaxaca city plays an important role in the local economy and  in the calendar of the city. On July 16 the church becomes the center of  attention of all tOaxaca’s churches, as it is the holy day of Carmen.  Apart from its religious importance, the date also marks the beginning of the Guelaguetza festivities in Oaxaca. Every year the Guelaguetza takes place on the last two Mondays of July, but importantly for Oaxacans, if one of these two Mondays falls on July 18, all the Guelaguetza celebrations are postponed one week because of the anniversary of the death of “Don Benito Juárez,” which falls on July 18.  


After the Guelaguetza festivities on these two Mondays, visitors and Oaxacans who attended the Guelaguetza at the “Cerro del Fortín”, returned to the city and it is the Mercado Sanchez Pascuas or Mercado del Carmen Alto who welcomes them for a delicious meal.


Any day is great to visit the Mercado Sanchez Pascuas, but if you are in Oaxaca during “Samaritana” or during the “Posadas,” Before Christmas, the Sanchez Pascuas Must do. 

Must of the tenants of the Mercado Sanchez Pascuas have been there for 40 years or before when the Market was in the “Plazuela del Carmen Alto” Below you can meet some of the people at Market.


According to my good friend Ron Mader (editor of planeta.com) Sanchez Pascuas it is a great place to meet people, make friends, learn stories and get yourself immerse in the culture of Oaxaca. 

If you are in Oaxaca learning Spanish we strongly recommend to practice your Spanish by visiting the Mercado Sanchez Pascuas people are great and it can be interesting and a lot of fun!



Mercado Sanchez Pascuas o del Carmen Alto


Ubicación: Este Mercado tiene dos entradas: Una por la calle de Joaquín Amaro y otra por la calle de Porfirio Díaz. 

Su Día de esplendor: Domingo


Los domingos en la plataforma de Joaquín Amaro se pueden apreciar los trabajos de los carpinteros locales: libreros, mesas, camas, mientras de un costado salen los aromas de los desayunos oaxaqueños, listos para satifacer al mante de las enfrijoaldas, chlaquiles, entomadatas, enchiladas, tamales de mole, de chipil, de dulce, con panes, chocolates, y jugos de todos los colores y sabores. 



Se destacan los chiles de diversas regiones del estado. 


40 Años de Historia



Tradicionalmente en la Ciudad de Oaxaca los mercados tiene dos nombres, uno cristiano/católico y otro civil, el último dado por el Ayuntamiendo de la Ciudad dado que el organismo encargado de regular y vigilar los mercados en la ciudad.  El nombre religioso del mercado se debe a el lugar en donde se llevan a cabo las actividades de dicho mercado. En el caso del mercado Sanchez Pascuas or Mercado del Carmen Alto, su nombre regioso, que data de antes de que el mercado se estableciera en donde esta hoy desde hace 40 años, es debido a que las actividades ocurrian en la plaza de afuera del atrio de la Iglesía de la Merced. 



La iglesia del Carmen Alto, una más de las muchas Iglesias que hay en el centro de la Ciudad de Oaxaca juega un rol muy importante en la economía local durante las fiestas del mes de Julio. El 16 de Julio, día del carmen, la Iglesia del Carmen Algo se convierte en el centro de atención de la ciudad, empieza la Guelaguetza, la cual se lleva a cabo los dos últimos lunes del mes de Julio, siempre y el 18 de Julio no caiga en lunes, ya que el 18 de Julio se celebra el aniversario de la muerte de Don Benito Juárez, y Oaxaca esta de luto, por lo que la fiesta de la Guelaguetza se cambia al primer lunes de agosto.



Después de las festividades de la Guelaguetza, en estos lunes, turistas y oaxaqueños bajan del “Cerro del Fortín” al ciudad pasando a degustar una deliciosa comida Oaxaqueña al mercado Sanchez Pascuas o Del Carmen Alto. 



Cualquier día se puede visitar el mercado Sanchez Pascuas, pero si estas en Oaxaca durante la Samaritana o durante las posadas, la experiencia es mucho mejor!



Muchos de los marchantes del Mercado Sanchez Pascuas han estado ahí desde hace 40 años, o desde que estaba en la Plazuela del Carmen Alto 


De acuerdo con mi amigo Ron Mader, el Mercado Sanchez Pascuas es un gran lugar para conocer gente, hacer amigos, descubrir historias y tener una inmmersion cultural de Oaxaca. 



Si estas en Oaxaca estudiando Español, te recomendamos practicar tu español entrevistando a la gente del Mercado Sanchez Pascuas, la gente es maravillosa y puede ser muy divertido e interesante.


For more information about Mercado Sanchez Pascuas visit oaxaca.wikispaces.com/sanchezpascuas

For more information about Markets in Oaxaca visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/mercadosdeoaxaca/

For more information about the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca or Spanish Language Courses in Oaxaca visit www.icomexico.com or follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/icomexico



Since 2009 the gastronomic festival “El Saber del Sabor” hosted by Chef Alejadro Ruiz from Casa Oaxaca Restaurant and Casa Oaxaca Hotel has taken place in Oaxaca.


The gastronomic festival has celebrated three consecutively successful years, and this year is no different! We at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca were thrilled to join in on this year’s festivities, and Alejandro’s efforts to promote and foster Oaxaca’s culinary traditions. Yesterday afternoon we hosting for the first time ever an indescribably delicious event, “Comida Oaxacalifornia.”



Comida Oaxacalifonia which took place at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca‘s gardens, was a blend of two culinary worlds, which included traditional Oaxacan ingredients, and the participation of the greatest culinary artists from Baja California: Sabina Bandera from La Guerrense, Ensenada, Chef Solange Muñiz & Chef Benito Molina from Manzanilla, Ensenada, Chef Diego Hernandez from Corazón de Tierra, Ensenada and Chef Javier Plascencia from Mision 19, Tijuana 


The delicious meal was accompanied by Wahaka Mezcal and a Selection of wines from the most distinguished vineyards in Baja California, these wines included Monte Xanic, Convertible Rojo, Nera, Casa Madero, and Luna del Valle.


The “El Sabor de Saber” festival takes place every September in Oaxaca, and is hosted by various venues and restaurants across the city. It is an extraodinary opportunity to sample the culinary delights of Mexico with a touch of Oaxacan flair. If you are not able to make it to the events, you may still sample the delicious Oaxacan fare by visiting the participating chefs at their local Oaxacan restaurants which include Pitonia, Casa Oaxaca, Catedral, Origen, Asador Vasco, among many others!

If you want more information about the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca or our Spanish Language Courses please visit http://www.icomexico.com or email us at info@icomexico.com

Our Top 10 List of Restaurants to enjoy Oaxaca’s Gastronomy while Studying Spanish


La Biznaga: it is a nice place to get fresh fresh food, atmosphere is very pleasant, and Margaritas are powerful and tasty!

Zandunga: Tradional Istmeñan Food. It is worth trying the “Estofado de Boda Istmeña”

Los Danzantes: Great Atmosphere, Oaxacan Fusion, Mezcal

Casa Oaxaca: A great representation of the Oaxacan Nouvelle Cuisine – Try their house wine and mezcalinis – which can be a great introduction to Mezcal If it’s your first time trying it

La Florecita Mercado de la Merced: Located in the heart of the “Mercado
De la Merced” it is a great place to get a delicious Oaxacan Breakfast

Grupo Lulaa: a Hiden Gem of Mixe Food in Oaxaca. It is a small but tasty restaurant. The menu changes everyday! Oaxaca.wikispaces.com/lulaa

Catedral: A Delicious Oaxacan Restaurant, buffet on Sundays at an affordable price. Excellent Service

La Popular: Tacos, Tortas and Popular Oaxacan Food . https://www.facebook.com/lapopularoaxaca


Torta de Pavo

Torta de Pavo at La Popular

Itanoni: Itanoni’s concept is quite unique. It is a restaurant that it’s menu is based on corn products only representing the traditional Oaxacan Food

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For more information about Oaxaca and Spanish Classes please visit www.icomexico.com