Presentation of the Pueblos Mancomunados,
small communitarian villages, isolated on the densely planted
with trees high lands of the Sierra Norte. The villages are
accessible to the visitors for an excellent guaranteed stay.
This project allows the village people to keep their traditional
activities and preserve their forests.
Nice video with comments in Spanish
This is Ecotourism from village to village : the
eight Mancomunados villages, located in the cold mountains of the
Sierra of Oaxaca, work together
to manage their forest and water and to keep their medicine. There
are 120 km (80 miles) marked trails covering 2,900 hectares (11
square miles). You can take them hiking or biking to reach any village
and discover a nice region.
It is a place of hiking and mountain biking with possibilities of
camping or lodging in the cabanas of the communities but it is also
a place of sharing and exchanging with the Zapotec communities perched
at 3,000 m (9843 feet) of altitude (you can attend cooking classes,
see a traditional healer, have a temazcal..).
After 17 years of existence, the project of the Pueblos Mancomunados
is the Mexican communitarian ecotourism place that welcomes the
biggest number of visitors. The members of the project are really
professional, with an information and reservation office in Oaxaca.
The villages, located in an exceptional environment, are linked
together only with trails and offer only cabanas to the tourists.
The principle of soft traffic (walking, biking or horse riding)
naturally regulates the number of tourists on the lands. Here, the
Indians (Zapotecos, Chinantecos
and Mixtecs) manage their lands and belongings according to
the ways and customs, with a political system that grant them quasi-autonomy.
The decisions, the projects, the benefits are common and corruption
is not proper. In the tourist project, the cabanas, bikes, buses
and all the equipment belong to the eight villages. The inhabitants
built the cabanas and trails and work on the reforestation and protection
of water. In exchange, the benefits are reinvested into the common
services, especially in health, transportation and education of
The villages make 60% of their economic resources from forestry.
They don’t want to go over this number. They needed to reforest
their lands so they looked for a common development of economic
alternatives. The ecotourism is one of them along with the mineral
water bottle-filling factory, the mine and the flower nurseries
The guides take the visitors to these places when asked. While they
guide you, you will notice that they also check on fires, poachers
and illegal wood-cutting. The 450,000 hectares (1737 square miles)
of forests of the Sierra Norte are part of the protected ecosystems,
included as part of the new Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (CBM),
but the wood traffic rages in the whole state of Oaxaca.
The tourist project has a real role to play in the protection of
the forests. It brings real resources to the most visited and easily