San Juan Cotzocón

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San Juan Cotzocón
Municipality and town
San Juan Cotzocón is located in Mexico
San Juan Cotzocón
San Juan Cotzocón
Location in Mexico
Coordinates: 17°10′N 95°47′W / 17.167°N 95.783°W / 17.167; -95.783Coordinates: 17°10′N 95°47′W / 17.167°N 95.783°W / 17.167; -95.783
Country  Mexico
State Oaxaca
 • Total 945.4 km2 (365.0 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 • Total 22,478
Time zone Central Standard Time (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)

San Juan Cotzocon is a town and municipality in Oaxaca in south-western Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Mixe district within the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca Region. The name "Cotzocón" or "Cozogón" means "Dark Mountain".[1]


The municipality covers an area of 945.4 km². The territory is rugged, with grazing and cultivation of coffee and corn practiced only the lower irregular plains. The Chiquito River runs through the northern part, a tributary of the Rio Grande. The climate is warm and humid, with rain almost all year round. The forested areas contain pine, cedar, and ceiba.[1]


As of 2005, the municipality had 5,030 households with a total population of 22,478 of whom 10,712 spoke an indigenous language. The main town is now María Lombardo de Caso, located at a height of 140 meters above sea level. Although in a Mixe area, many of the people in this town are Mazatec or Chinantec who moved here after being displaced by the Miguel Alemán Dam in the 1960s.[1] In the 1950s the remote municipality, accessible only via dirt track, drew visitors from the USA investigating use of hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms in the traditional Mixe ceremonies.[2]


The main economic activity is coffee cultivation, followed by livestock raising.[1] Some of the Mixe women of the village of San Juan Cotzocon use back strap looms to weave traditional huipil, rebosos, napkins, table cloths and other textile crafts.[3] The Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region, a cooperative founded in 1982, assists in production and distribution of the local products, notably coffee, under a fair trade label.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "San Juan Cotzocon". Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México. Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  2. ^ Terence K. McKenna, Thomas J. Riedlinger (1997). The sacred mushroom seeker: tributes to R. Gordon Wasson. Inner Traditions / Bear & Company. p. 138ff. ISBN 0-89281-338-5. 
  3. ^ "Cotzocon Mixe". Mexican Indigenous Textile Project. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  4. ^ "Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region" (PDF). GPIAtlantic. Retrieved 2010-07-18.