The Zapotec people who founded Tlacolula (pop. 15,000, 24 miles/38 km east from Oaxaca City ) around A.D. 1250 called it Guichiibaa (Place Between Heaven and Earth). Besides its beloved church and chapel  and famous Sunday market , Tlacolula is also renowned for mescal, an alcoholic beverage distilled from the fermented hearts of maguey.
Get a good free sample at the friendly Pensamiento shop (Juárez 9, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. daily), as you head from the highway gasoline station (along Juárez) toward the market. Besides many hand-embroidered Amusgo huipiles and Teotitlán weavings, Pensamiento offers mescal in more than 20 flavors, with many more for women than men.