Discover the exciting confluence of old and new Mexico and gain a deeper understanding of this vivid, richly-layered country. We will explore how designers and artisans are working to create an original, modern Mexican aesthetic rooted in the country’s traditional textile and handcraft traditions—both indigenous and mestizo. This is not your typical trip to Mexico!
Our adventure starts in dynamic Mexico City, where we'll visit the studios and showrooms of urban textile designers. Next we will explore the remote Mixteca Region of Oaxaca where people still make and wear traditional textiles. The trip concludes in delightful Oaxaca City, our base for exploring the Central Valley, known for its weaving and craft centers, stunning pre-hispanic archeological sites, and vibrant cultural and food scene.
Part 1: Mexico City (3 nights)
We will gain an intimate experience of this electric, sprawling city by visiting the studios and shops of textile designers who epitomize today’s Mexico City—an ancient city with a vibrant cultural, gastronomic and design scene. We'll introduce you to creative entrepreneurs tapping into Mexico’s rich cultural and artistic heritage, and working exclusively with Mexican artisans, to create textiles and homewares with a contemporary aesthetic.
- Visit a rug designer working with weavers in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, to produce a collection of rugs with colors and patterns that are distinctively Mexican
- Visit a company that produces sophisticated, luxury homewares in collaboration with artisan communities throughout Mexico
- Meet a social enterprise that is committed to supporting indigenous women textile artisans by updating traditional Mexican garments to suit present-day taste
- Meet a young entrepreneur and graphic designer who is reinventing the traditional poncho in collaboration with Oaxacan weavers
- Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum to see how indigenous Mexican clothing and textiles inspired her iconic style
- Experience Mexico City's old colonial quarter and fashionable neighborhoods
Accommodation: Mid-range boutique B&B
You must be in good physical shape to explore Mexico City by foot and to navigate uneven sidewalks and street traffic. You may consider arriving early to explore the city's fascinating museums and historic sites.
Part 2: Mixteca Region of Oaxaca (3 nights)
Leaving Mexico City behind, we'll drive over a mountain pass with views of the grand volcanoes of Ixtacihuitl and Popocatepetl, then through the high Puebla plains, on our way to explore the remote Mixteca Region of western Oaxaca. This region is home to indigenous Mixtec and Trique communities who make and wear traditional textiles.
- Venture well off the beaten track to explore a slice of rural life in Mexico inaccessible to most travelers
- Visit a Mixtec village where women still wear distinctive, hand-embroidered blouses with figurative designs paired with pleated skirts and bright beaded necklaces
- Visit a Trique village where women still weave and wear full-length red huipiles. A spectacular sight, this is one of the last villages in Oaxaca where almost all women still dress traditionally. We will enjoy homemade lunch at a weaver's mountaintop log-cabin home
Accommodation: A basic, tidy plaza-front hotel in Tlaxiaco
For this leg of the itinerary, we will be staying in basic (but comfortable, clean and safe) accommodation and visiting poor, rural areas—please come with a sense of adventure!
Part 3: Oaxaca City & the Central Valley (5 nights)
Oaxaca City is a delightful, small city with beautiful colonial architecture, fascinating museums and galleries; excellent artisanal shops; outstanding regional food; and a lively arts and design scene. From here we'll take day-trips to explore the Central Valley, situated within the Sierra Madre Mountains and home to the indigenous Zapotec.
- Participate in a half-day natural dyeing workshop with a celebrated family of weavers in the famous rug weaving village of Teotitlán del Valle—learn about cochineal dyeing, which is native to the area
- Enjoy a private tour of the Museo Textile de Oaxaca with our guide, who was the museum's founding director
- Visit the Mitla archeological site to see where Zapotec weavers have drawn inspiration for their geometric designs
- Visit artisans in the Ocotlan Valley, many of whom have exhibited at the annual International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe
- Meet individuals and organizations in Oaxaca City working to create new opportunities for artisans in the area
Accommodation: 3-star boutique hotel in Oaxaca City
You may want to spend more time in Oaxaca City at the end of the tour so that you can visit the classic sights we won't have time to see on our itinerary.
Thursday, September 27 - Monday, October 8, 2018 (11 nights)
$3,900 per person (based on double occupancy) / $400 single supplement
Limited to 11 participants
A $1,500 deposit is due upon registration with the final payment due June 26 subject to a refund policy thereafter
Tour begins in Mexico City and ends in Oaxaca City
This price includes:
- An expert bilingual guide plus a tour host
- Workshop, studio tour and artisan fees
- Most meals, including tips
- Local transport in private van
- Entry fees
Does not include:
- International airfare
- Transfers to and from airport
- Personal shopping
- Alcoholic drinks
- Some dinners (as detailed on itinerary)
- Tip for guide
ABOUT OUR EXPERT LOCAL GUIDE
We are thrilled to have Ana Paula Fuentes as our guide. A Mexico City native and the founding director of the Museo Textile de Oaxaca, Ana is an expert in Mexican textiles who has strong relationships with the artisans we will visit. She has worked for several artisan collectives throughout her career and is presently the executive director of the CADA Foundation.