In the southern tip of Mexico, a sleepy town with devoted people and beautiful natural surroundings awaits for you. Experience Santa Catarina Juquila in Oaxaca, an off-the-radar destination that will stun and fascinate you.
The name Juquila (hoo-kee-lah) is Nahuatl for “place where the redroot is abundant”. This small town is located in the southern mountain range of Oaxaca, known in Spanish as the Sierra Sur.
It is a quaint little place where not much goes on and indigenous traditions rule the land, weaving into the social, the religious and political aspects of the town. Its main attraction, the church dedicated to the local virgin, is surrounded with mysticism and wonder.
Sanctuary of the Virgin of Juquila
Back in the seventeenth century, a priest known as Fray Jordan de Santa Catalina owned an image of the Virgin Mary, which he gave to a native of the Amialtepec region in Oaxaca. The figure, which is 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide, became very popular among the locals, who would ask for things while praying to it and then claimed that the Virgin had granted them their wishes.
The town priest herd of the image and decided to take it to the local church in Juquila, where the fame and devotion for the Virgin grew even more. In 1633, a fire consumed the church and turned it into ashes, everything but the Virgin. After this, people from every town around the region flocked to Juquila to witness the miracle and pray to the image.
Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a beautiful church was built just for the Virgin of Juquila. The gorgeous neoclassical church is painted in white with details in red and is the crown jewel of the town. Step inside and stand before the miraculous Virgin yourself!
Every year, the faithful travel to visit the Virgin of Juquila, stopping at several different places on the way, in a journey known as Ruta de la Fe (The Faith Route) that goes through three of Oaxaca’s regions.
San Juan Lachao
About 20 miles from Juquila, this place is perfect for some ecotourism experiences. Its name means “between mountains and rivers” and it is pretty accurate.
Waterfalls, river rapids, zip lines, organic coffee farms, cave paintings and more are waiting for you at San Juan Lachao, don’t miss out!
Remember that, whenever you are traveling through Oaxaca, you can look us up at City Express, best place to stay in the capital city!