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Yesterday we went to Teotitlan De Valle and checked out a women's weaving co-op, Vida Nueva, that our friend recommended. Traditionally weaving was done by men only. Now weaving as extended to women as well. Vida Nueva includes 15 women who each have a loom in their home. From what I could understand, most of the women are single and some have children. The mission of Vida Nueva is to create economic opportunities for women, serve their community, and pursue their Zapotec heritage. Each year, Vida Nueva does a service project for the community. This was a really neat co-op to learn about! Our guide, Silvia, taught us about the dyes, which was so exciting. Just by adding a drop of lime juice, some of the dyes change immediately. It's like a science experiment or magic! We were all amazed and very interested. Silvia's uncle was working on a rug and he so generously let Holly and Greta give it a go. We joked that we would pick them up later. We learned about the significance of the different designs and we browsed the selection of rugs they had for sale and bought one. Silvia gave us a card with information about the woman who made our rug. We had such a lovely time! Holly and Greta are excited to get home and try the little loom I have. Before we came to Mexico, I found a tutorial for weaving with straws that I'm excited to try out with the girls!

After the Jaguar Zoo, we went to Mitla. Mitla was such a pretty little town! We ate a really yummy lunch (I tried a mole and liked it!) and then we walked through a market and looked at the ruins of Mitla. The Mitla ruins are unique in that they have many mosaics made without mortars. Unfortunately when the conquistadores arrived, the dismantled much of Mitla and used it to build a Catholic church. At one point, it seems as though Mitla was a colorful, vibrant and incredible place! We really enjoyed walking through the ruins. They are of a different era than Monte Albán and if you could only visit one of the ruins, I would choose Monte Albán, however they were still very fascinating. I would love to learn more about these places! And I would be thrilled to read historic novels that take place in these areas. 

Yesterday, we headed out of town with our friends, Angela and Santi. Our first stop was a Jaguar Zoo. The only way to visit the zoo is with a guide. The first animals we saw are animals that Jaguars eats, ie raccoons, hogs, monkeys, etc. We also got to see and touch a python! Holly and Greta were thrilled about this, but Maeve absolutely would not touch it - she was afraid! We also saw a couple of black bears, tigers and a lion. And then we saw the jaguars! They put on a little show for us with raw meat around the enclosure. There was a chicken hanging from a rope and the guide pulled the rope as though the chicken were a piñata. Maeve thought the jaguar jumping was pretty funny. We had a great time!

A couple pictures of a bakery we stopped in at. Conor and the girls are really enjoying all the fresh baked goods that are cheap! 

Monte Albán is a huge area of ruins from 500BC - 800AD just a short ways away from Oaxaca city. The ruins are built on the top of a mountain that was leveled in order to build these buildings. The number of buildings and the space that they spanned was awe inspiring! It's difficult to put into words just how incredible this place was. I've heard that all the big ruins in Mexico have been linked to the Book of Mormon in some way or another and I read an article that suggested that Monte Albán is the City of Nephi. Where my family is reading in the scriptures right now takes place in the location of the City of Nephi and so it was pretty cool! We easily spent almost 3 hours looking at all the different buildings and overall, the girls were real troopers! This was such an incredible experience for me and in my opinion it's a must-see for anyone who visits Oaxaca. 

These pictures don't do it justice, but hey, here they are!

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