The Old And Worn Side Of Oaxaca

The Side That Touches My Heart Most Often

GE McKerrihan


Worn plaster wall showing mud bricks, and a barred window full of stacked tiles.
“Barred Window Storage” — Image by Author

Oaxaca de Juarez is a study of contrasts. The very old and the very new often sit side by side in this city. Though I love all things Oaxaca, it is the old and crumbling that draws my eye, and lens most often.

Metropolitan Oaxaca covers more than 35 square miles, with population of 750,000 inhabitants. It is one big, spread out city.

I have spent my time here in Oaxaca Centro and surrounding neighborhoods. I have only taken a taxi when moving from one location to another. I spend part of everyday walking throughout the city. Most days I average about three miles.

The broken plaster wall above reveals the mud brick structure. I see these rough surfaces throughout the city. This is the Oaxaca I have come to love.

Exposed mud brick wall with dried grass on top.
“Mud Brick Wall” — Image by Author

This wall is next door to where I currently live. My building is three stories high and relatively modern. The white in the top of this photo is one side of the adjoining building, and is even newer than mine.

The facade facing the street looks very new and modern. That it sits next to this mud wall is astonishing to me. I see these kind of juxtapositions throughout Oaxaca. They bring a smile always.

Deteriorating white plaster wall with barred window.
“Barred Window And Trees” — Image by Author

This is a very common view in Oaxaca Centro. The plaster wall is showing its age, and could possibly use a fresh paint job. And some home owners make these kind of repairs.

Though I see this level of patina more often. I find it more pleasing to my eye. I appreciate the softness of this wall. Age has a way of gathering a few scars. I know I do here in my seventies. I am also proud of them. I see them as a sign of a life well lived.

Shadows on white and orange walls.
“A Shady Corner” — Image by Author



GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.