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, contemporary Mexican aesthetic rooted in the country’s traditional textile and handcraft traditions—both indigenous and mestizo. 

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 indigenous communities 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)

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We will gain an intimate experience of this electric, sprawling city by visiting the studios and showrooms of 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.

Highlights include:

  • Visit companies producing 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 contemporary fashion designer and hear about his inspiring collaboration with women embroiderers in Chiapas

  • Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum to see how indigenous Mexican clothing and textiles influenced her iconic style. Also tour the Luis Barragán House and Studio to see how he blended modern and Mexican aesthetics

  • 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. You may consider arriving early to explore the city's fascinating museums and historic sites before the start of the tour.


PART 2: MIXTECA REGION OF OAXACA (3 nights)

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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. 

Highlights include:

  • 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 but comfortable plaza-front hotel in Tlaxiaco

We will be staying in basic (but clean and safe) accommodation & visiting poor, rural areas. Please come with a sense of adventure & also be aware that we will be driving on winding dirt roads.


PART 3: OAXACA CITY & THE CENTRAL VALLEY (5 nights)

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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.

Highlights include:

  • Visit a renowned family of dyers and weavers in the famous rug weaving village of Teotitlán del Valle and learn about cochineal dyeing, which is native to the area

  • Enjoy a private tour of the Museo Textil 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

  • 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.

DATE: 

September 2019


COST & DETAILS:

Details to be announced

Limited to 10 participants

Tour begins in Mexico City and ends in Oaxaca City


This price includes:

  • An expert bilingual guide plus a tour host

  • Accommodation

  • 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)

  • Tips for guide, hotel staff and driver (according to your discretion)


OUR EXPERT LOCAL GUIDE

We’re thrilled to have Ana Paula Fuentes as our guide. A Mexico City native and the founding director of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Ana is an expert in Mexican textiles who has strong relationships with the artisans we will visit.

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Touring the creative heart of Mexico, our amiable small group was introduced not only to immense visual beauty but also the welcoming makers of such splendid objects. Always well organized but not too exhausting, the tour exposed us to the delicious regional cuisine and an overview of the history of the area. I personally feel this tour was life changing. I have fallen in love with Mexico, an unexpected but wonderful outcome. It is a unique tour that can have that effect on a seasoned traveler!
— Kathryn Harris