Welcome to Huajuapan de León, a city located in the northwestern part of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. This charming city, also known as Heroica Ciudad de Huajuapan de León, is rich in culture, history and traditions. As part of the Huajuapan District in the north of the Mixteca Region, the city has a population of 78,318, making it the sixth-largest community in the state in population. Huajuapan de León is located at the intersection of Federal Highways 125 and 190, making it an easily accessible destination. The name of Huajuapan comes from the Nahuatl words huaxin = huaje, ohtli = road, and apan = river, which translates to River of the Huajes. The town was elevated to an honorary Mexican status in June 1843 in remembrance of The siege of Huajuapan, a battle between the royal army and the insurgents led by José María Morelos, which was won by the insurgents. The city was named after Antonio de León, a hero of the Mexican War of Independence.Huajuapan de León is a city with a rich history and culture. The first inhabitants of this area are called the Ñuu Yate (ancient people) who formed their settlement in what is now the town of Huajuapan around 400 BCE. The initial settlement had about 500 to 1500 inhabitants, but as the city grew to its height between 350 and 800 CE it had up to 300,000 people in the valley. The next culture to flourish here was the Mixteca-Puebla culture at about 1200. During this time period, Huajuapan was one of several population centers on the slopes of the Cerro del Sombererito and Cerro de Acatlima, but it was the economic, cultural and ceremonial center of the valley. Sometime shortly after 1521, the Spaniards took control of this region. It is known that Francisco Orozco, along with Augustinians Fray Bernardino Minaya and Fray Gonzales Lucero were the first Spanish to arrive here. However, no Spanish records exist for this region until 1542. The Spanish town of Huajuapan was founded in 1561 by order of the viceregal authorities in Mexico City. Prior to this the low parts of the valley were not organized and merchants travelling through the area often suffered from highway bandits. Residents of the hill areas around the valley were ordered to move to the valley floor to found the city. The economy here during the colonial period was dominated by haciendas that exploited the native labor of the region. During the Mexican War of Independence, this village was subject to a siege by insurgent forces that lasted 111 days. Resistance of the town was finally broken in June 1812 by Coronel Valerio Trujano, with help from General José María Morelos. After Independence, the village began to grow, becoming a town named Huajuapan de León. In 1884, the town was declared a city by then-governor Mariano Jiménez.Huajuapan de León is located in a rugged and mountainous area of Oaxaca, The Mixteca Baja (part of the Mixteca region of Oaxaca), and has a dry climate most of the year. The city was badly affected by an earthquake in 1980, which was the worst-affected region, leaving 300 homeless across Oaxaca. Despite this, Huajuapan de León has many notable sites and attractions, including the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located in the center of the city. This stunning cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and a must-visit for anyone interested in history and culture. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Capilla del Señor de los Corazones, also known as the Chapel of Our Lord of the Hearts. The Antonio de León central plaza is located next to the cathedral and the municipal palace. Its paths are lined with trees and garden spaces and an octagonal kiosk in the center. Visitors can also visit the Cerros de las Minas, an archeological site located near the town, which contains human burials and a Mesoamerican ballcourt, as well as the Museo Regional de Huajuapan, which specializes in the Mixtec cultures of this area.One of the most notable events in Huajuapan de León is the Festival of the Señor de los Corazones, which is related to the siege that Huajuapan endured for 111 days during the War of Independence. The festival is celebrated on 23 July of every year, with a novena beginning on 14 July. Processions, organized by a brotherhood created especially for this purpose, are held for each day of the novena, with participants carrying an image of the Señor de los Corazones. The 23rd is celebrated with cultural and artistic events as well as fair rides and fireworks. Mass is celebrated to give thanks for the divine aid received during the siege. On the 24th one last major procession for the image wanders through the main streets of the city from eight in the morning to three in the afternoon, from the Chapel of the Sagrario to the cathedral.Huajuapan de León is an enchanting destination that boasts breathtaking landscapes, mouthwatering local cuisine, and a rich history and culture. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient archeological sites, indulging in delicious cuisine, or simply soaking up the local culture, Huajuapan de León has something for everyone. So why not add this hidden gem to your travel bucket list and discover all that this charming city has to offer?

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