Tag Archives: earthquakes

Peace and Quiet in Teotitlan del Valle, Except for an Earthquake

The Guelaguetza crowds were staggering. Oaxaca city was clogged with foot and street traffic. There was excitement, band music, the sizzle of street food, parades of elegantly dress women from the villages, and more shopping overload than any accomplished shopaholic could need or want.

Day & Night Shopping: Expoventa on the Andador

Day & Night Shopping: Expoventa on the Andador

With enough stimulation to last me weeks, I decided to leave the city early on Sunday and return to the casita I call home in Teotitlan del Valle. On Monday, doing laundry was my meditation.

Tamarind, Lime, Hibiscus Mezcalinis at La Olla-Yummy

Tamarind, Lime, Hibiscus Mezcalinis at La Olla Restaurant – Yummy


Maya celebrates her 18th birthday










Sipping Nuevo Mundo  coffee from my rooftop terrace, I heard birds sing and the hammer of a carpenter building. In the distance, I saw farmers tending to their fields just as they do each day here.  It is a refuge here. Some never need to go elsewhere.


Strumming on an ass jawbone, traditional music

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Oaxaca is earthquake country.  In the early morning hours today, when REM sleep is deep, I feel the shake and roll of my bed, and the rattle of the kitchen pans suspended from the ceiling rack. It went on for what seemed an eternity or perhaps thirty seconds.  I decided not to panic, rolled over and tried to fall back asleep.

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Now, it is overcast and we are waiting for rain. The farmers need the rain for their milpa — the fields planted with corn, squash and beans, local sustenance for millenia.

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Thank you, Teotitlan del Valle, for sheltering me in peace, quiet and tranquility. It is enough. Even with an earthquake once in a while.

Temblor–Earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico–7.6 on Richter Scale

First, I thought it was the wind.  The laminated plastic cover over the second story of the patio starts to blow and shake.  I sit here writing and catching up on emails.  The ground begins to quiver and then the strong concrete infrastructure of the house begins to sway.  Then, it registered: an earthquake.

As I run down the alley and out to the street, the only thing I can think of is to get out of the way of the brick and concrete walls and ceiling that surround me.  Even as I run, I can feel the walls trembling.  Then, I get to the middle of street, look around and see that life goes on as usual.  My neighbor pokes his head out of his second story window and says he thinks the shake-rattle-and-roll lasted seven minutes.  I’m not sure it was that long, but this was a strong one, he says.  He leaves to go call his son in Oaxaca. A man on a bicycle rides by, stops to talk, says it was very strong here, continues on down the road.

I’ll check back on the magnitude and let you know!  I think it was at least 5.0 on the Richter scale.

Just in via Twitter:  7.6 magnitude on USGS Richter Scale.

I guess this is why they build houses here with deep rock foundations using giant boulders.  The concrete walls (not fragile stick construction) seemed to withstand the temblor without a crack!