This is the largest town in the southern valley and was once the home of Maestro Rodolfo Morales, the great painter who recently passed away in 2001. Through his own foundation, La Fundación Rodolfo Morales, Maestro Morales restored the XVI Century convent and church, and initiated a computer centre in his home that offers free lessons to school children. Worth visiting are; his home to see a collection of his art work, the convent where he displays a small folk art and colonial exhibition, and the town hall where the Maestro painted an outstanding mural.
The Ex-convent of Santo Domingo in Ocotlan is the main religious building in this southwestern valley and the largest of all from the late XVI century. Restored entirely by the Late Benefactor Rodolfo Morales, it now has an extraordinary facade flanked by tall cypress trees and beautiful gardens. Next to it, the convent is now a Museum where a retrospective of the work of Maestro Morales can be visited as well as some of the restored oil painting from the building.
Also worth visiting are the home-studios of fine cutlery knifes by the Aguilar Brothers who recycle car springs and railroad tracks to make blades and water faucets, using bone and wood for handles, made in such an artistic manner that they have become very famous. Clay is also crafted in Ocotlan by the renowned Aguilar Sisters (not related), who make colorful and whimsical clay representations of everyday scenes, flower vendors, skeletons, nativity sets and some of the most finely decorated pottery in Oaxaca.
San Antonino Castillo Velasco
This is a pretty village next to the large town of Ocotlan, in fact it almost seems to be part of the latter. This is one of those very traditional places were special celebrations take place on festive days for Day of the Dead, Christmas and Easter.
The village however is also were the most beautifully embroidered dresses of Oaxaca are made. Their style is widely known as San Antonino and consists of embroidery of silk over cotton in such detailed and elegant designs that some dresses take over 4 months to complete. This is also were special flowers grow that blossom dry, similar to "straw flowers". With these flowers, special ornaments are made that are one of the main features of the contest of the famous Radish festival every December 23rd in the city. It's nice to visit home studios were these beautiful crafts are made to meet the makers and see their way of life.
* Every Friday is market day around the main streets of the town.
Entrance Fee to Convent Open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.