Oaxaca is a state with tradition, a glorious historic past and is the pride of Mexico. The state of Oaxaca was created by decree of the H. Congress of the Union, on February 3, 1824. Its name originates from the náhuatl Huaxyacac, that signifies “In the nose of the pod”.
It is located in the south of Mexico, and covers the territory of the Southern Sierra Madre, the Sierra Madre of Oaxaca, and the Sierra Atravesada. Being mountainous, there are a multitude of valleys, among them are Nochixtlán and Nejapa. It is surrounded by the rivers Papaloapan, Coatzacoalcos, Mixteco, Atoyac and the River Tehuantepec.
The surface area is 95,364 square kilometers; representing 4.8% of the national total. In total surface area, Oaxaca is fifth in size after the states of Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuila and Durango.
Framed in a complicated and capricious orography, the state is divided into 570 municipalities and in more than 9 thousand localities that enjoy various microclimates.
The total population of Oaxaca is approaching 3.3 million inhabitants.
The population is distributed half rural and half urban, and from the demographic point of view, the population is concentrated in the cities of Oaxaca of Juárez (the capital), Juchitán de Zaragoza, Loma Bonita, Salina Cruz and San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec. The pan-american highways and transístmica are the main ways of communication.
There are 16 linguistic groups that live in various regions of the state: amuzgos, chatino, chinanteco, chocho, chontal, cuicateco, huave, ixcateco, mazateco, mixe, mixteco, náhuatl, triqui, zapoteco, zoque and the popoloca (which are indanger of extinction). Almost two million inhabitants are natives, which signifies that 6 of each 10 Oaxaqueños belong to some ethnic group.