Spirits of the Forest
The Oaxacan central valley sits between the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre Oriental, two extensive mountain ranges that run down Mexico’s eastern and western coastlines. The region is internationally renowned for its incredible biodiversity of plants, moss, animals, mycelium and birds. According to biodiversity experts, Oaxaca is one of the most important regions for environmental conservation in México due to its concentration of endemic species and increasing extractivist risks to valuable ecosystems.
Mornings at the Ixtepeji forest
Oaxaca is also home to a wide range of natural landscapes that have the power to inspire nature lovers everywhere. From pine forests to expansive jungles and pristine coastlines, our tours will present Oaxaca’s unique biodiversity and give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in these remote natural spaces.
Mountain biking in the Ixtepeji forest
When we hike through the forest we are careful to honor the spirits of Mother Earth. According to the cosmovision of indigenous peoples in Oaxaca the forests are alive and possess an inherent spirit that should be respected. Before a hike, we often make a small offering to the chaneques of the forest. Chaneques come from ancient Aztec religious beliefs and are said to be the small guardians of nature. Throughout México, cultures will assign different names to these spirits such as duendes, but the concept remains the same. In order to gain safe passage through sacred natural places we must make an offering and ask for permission. These offerings may be a little water from our bottles or we may dig a hole to leave the forest a small portion of our food.
Pueblos Mancomunados, Sierra Norte
At Coyote Aventuras, we consider the forest to be a network of interacting beings. The connectivity of the ecosystem manifests itself before our eyes as we hike. We pay close attention to the synergy present within this delicate ecosystem. There are intricate webs of mycelium networks underneath our feet that serve as communication tools for trees to share water and warn of incoming predators. Hummingbirds and bees fly about pollinating the wild herbs that decorate the winding trails to the summit.
Clouded forest of Ixtepeji
We support the indigenous beliefs of ancient civilizations that consider these natural spaces to be sacred, finding divinity within the rocks, rivers, trees and plants that permeate the landscape. Considering nature to be sacred is a fundamental belief at Coyote Aventuras and if we understand nature to be divine we will feel obligated to do our best to take care of Mother Earth.
1. “Mexico – Main Details: Biodiversity Facts.” Convention on Biological Diversity, https://www.cbd.int/countries/profile/?country=mx.