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Huautla de Jiménez English


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In the Mazatec region, wrapped in the vegetation that rises and falls across the mountains, you find this town shrouded in fog and with the sweet smell of wet earth, deep caverns, and age-old rituals. Here the voices of nature and the prayers that made the healer María Sabina famous are heard.

Echoes also rise from the depths of the earth. A cup of good coffee on a bench in the main square is a memory that will stay with whoever visits these Mazatec lands.

Take in the town and Mazatec mountains from the Loma de Chapultepec lookout point.

Enjoy locally grown coffee.

Learn more about the shamans María Sabina and Julieta Casimiro.

Chat with Huautla’s people about their traditions.

María Sabina’s House

The house where María Sabina lived has been made into a museum.

The house where María Sabina lived is at the end of the street that runs up Cerro de la Adoración or Del Fortín.

She lived here for 10 years, and during this time, performed rituals with hallucinogenic mushrooms inside. Today, it is a museum dedicated to the memory of this respected priestess and Mazatec poet. Pictures of María Sabina with some of the international figures who visited her hang on the walls.

You can also see paintings inspired by her and the trips she induced with mushrooms, as well as a room that brings her kitchen to life. The area in the back has space for camping and a temascal sauna, which, instead of being made with the usual clay or adobe, is built with fragrant tree branches. Very authentic.

Mirador Loma de Chapultepec

From the Loma de Chapultepec lookout point, you can drink in the beauty of the Mazatec mountains and the Magical Town of Huautla. And while you’re here, check out the plaque with the face of the priestess María Sabina.

It was designed in wax and cast in bronze by sculptor and painter Mario Fernández Merino. Her face is joined by an eagle, representing nature sheltering humanity, a snail symbolizing humankind’s communication, and a serpent for the earth’s constant movement.

Templo de San Juan Evangelista

There are several colorful buildings downtown, notably the cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist. It was built in 1966, but its bells are more than 150 years old.

This is the only Christian church because the difficulty reaching the area and firmly rooted indigenous spiritual traditions meant there was just a half-hearted attempt at evangelization during colonial times.

Just a few steps away is the Palacio Municipal (City Hall) and the Torre del Reloj, a clock tower erected at the beginnings of the last century. If you want a better view, head to the Loma de Chapultepec lookout point, a great spot to get panoramic photos.

Try Spelunking in the Sistema Huautla

Sistema Huautla is a cave system made up of numerous caves and caverns. It is the largest in the Americas at almost a mile deep and more than 45 miles long, and the system encompasses waterfalls, lakes, tunnels, and galleries. It has been explored by spelunkers from around the world since 1964.

Have a Spiritual Experience

Climb Cerro de la Adoración and follow the trails across the mountain that María Sabina walked when searching for the mushrooms she used to communicate with the universe.

If you visit the slopes in the summer, you may find mushrooms, while in other seasons you can find other edible plants such as anise with its star-shaped leaves. We suggest you go with one of María Sabina’s family members. Not only do they know the mountain like the back of their hands, but they can also share memories and experiences of their grandmother.

Experience a Healing Session with Julieta Casimiro

If you would like to try a healing session with “niños santos” (saintly children) mushrooms yourself, seek out Mamá Julia. She is recognized as part of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, and she and her daughters hold sessions and offer lodging in their house with a previous reservation.

Festival de María Sabina

María Sabina is known worldwide for her contributions to alternative medicine based on natural products, herbal medicines, and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Healers and shamans from all over come to the festival to carry out their rituals. Likewise, there are cultural events and handicrafts for sale.

When: July 17 to 22

All Saints’ Day

At the end of October and beginning of November, Huautla is filled with color. Altars and offerings are put up to commemorate the dead, streets are decorated, and there are dances, plays, cooking demonstrations, and handicrafts for sale.

Moreover, you can see the Danza de los Huehuentones (folk dance), a tradition that has been handed down for generations and is extremely important to the Mazatec people.

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