Benito Juarez Museum
Another interesting destinatino in Oaxaca is the adoptive home of Benito Juarez, the revered president who
began life as an illiterate Zapotec shepherd, was orphaned as a child, and raised to be a priest
here by Father Salanueva. However, Juarez chose to study law and went on to be a lawyer, before becoming the leader
of the reform movement and President, that instituted a new constitution in 1857, leading to the Civil War of Reform,
which ended victoriously in Mexico City on New Year's Day in 1861.
Juarez was president for almost 15 years, including a brief exile in the US during the 5yr occupation
of Mexico in 1862 by France. Austrian Archduke Maximillian and his wife Carlota
were installed by Napoleon III to govern the country, but Juarez and his rebels continued
to fight from the hills around Mexico City until finally besieging and defeating Maximillian's
Army in 1867, and restoring the Republic.
Mexican's feelings towards Benito Juarez can be compared with our attitudes
towards Abraham Lincoln. He is widely revered and considered foundational
to the establishment of human rights in Mexico. He died in 1871.