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Feria de Hongos 2008

Cuajimoloyas, Oaxaca

Trip report by Michele Mengel, nanuk9@prodigy.net.mx.

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The 8th annual Feria de Hongos was held August 23-24, 2008.

A flyer (in Spanish) for the event is available here. The cost was $320 pesos for 2 days, Saturday and Sunday. This included accommodation, 1 meal per day, guided field trip, and conference. Sunday only wass $140 pesos for the day including 1 meal and a guided field trip or conference.

For more information and ticket sales for the next feria contact:

Expediciones Sierra Norte
M. Bravo 210-I, Centro, Oaxaca
Tel (951) 51-48271 or 51-40527

We took the bus from the Central de Abasto, about 8 blocks west of the zócalo in Oaxaca. It was 25 pesos each and about a two-hour ride. We got to the station about 7:30 am to catch the 8:00 am bus only to find the seats were sold out--standing room only. The next bus wasn't until noon. After looking a bit for the collectivo we bought the bus tickets anyway. We got lucky and were seated. There is a collectivo, as we saw it for the return. We don't know where in the city it drops off though, as we got a ride back to Oaxaca from a man selling artificial lakes.

In Cuajimoloyas, we stayed in a shared cabana (4 per room) high up in the town. It was a fairly stout climb up, especially afer walking up hill and dale for 5 hours looking for mushrooms! We also saw a small hotel right by the bus drop off. If we return next year we will look into it.

The first day was a guided walking/gathering tour. There were three choices of walking tours we opted for the longest. Each group's guide had the basket with the intent to win by gathering the most diverse basket as well as the most comestibles. There are some 20 edible varieties and 300+ others, some quite toxic. We ended up with about 60 varieties in our basket with 6 that we could eat--we didnt win!

We had a nice lunch in the woods, where everyone displayed there gatherings by group, and the resident mushroom expert judged what was what as well as lectured some. I didn't get his name. He is a Frenchman though, who spoke very good Espanol as well as English. All the talks are in Espanol however. There were prizes awarded and much photo-taking. Everyone was enjoying the mushrooms and the company. There were many more Mexicans than foreigners. There was one mushroom expert visiting from Chiapas. Oh, the young man in the bottom photo was our guide, Octavio.

Sorting a basket of mushrooms   photo by Michelle Mengel   More Photos

Collecting mushrooms in the forests around Cuajimoyolos photo by Michelle Mengel   More Photos

Our guide, Octavio photo by Michelle Mengel

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