An explanation: Navigating Oaxaca (pronounced Wah-Hah-Kah), Mexico, is a cultural arts and history experience that requires a certain sense of exploration, discovery and adventure. For me, it is going without a roadmap down the back alleys of a small village to see what I will discover next: a master weaver, an exceptional woodcarver, an accomplished potter or expressive painter. I am open to the experience of creating relationship by appreciating artistic creativity, cultural history, shared values and vision, and the possibility for multicultural exchange. After four visits of several weeks each over the past two years, and an invitation from Federico Chavez and his family to live and build a casita in Teotitlan del Valle, I begin to call myself “cultural navigator.” This blog is a way for me to share my experiences with you with the hope that it will excite your interest to visit this extraordinary place and appreciate the rich artistic and cultural traditions of Mexican immigrants. There are great artisans who live on the back alleyways, don’t show up in the tourist guide books, and aren’t willing to pay hefty commissions to have tour guides and tour buses pulling up to their front door. I am motivated to support fair trade so that 100% of tourist dollars go directly to the families who actually create the art. In the next weeks, we will be preparing to return to Oaxaca through the winter holidays. There will be posadas and fireworks. The ancient fife player will lead the village band in a Sousa march. Farmers will herd cattle and sheep through the streets. The guacalotes will chortle and the donkey next door will bray at sunrise. We will hike to the reservoir along the river through the bamboo and cactus forest, beyond us Picacho rises above the 6,000 foot plateau with a promise of a new archeological discovery. We will eat handmade tamales con pollo y salsa Coloradito with fresh nopales, and the adventure will begin anew.
Follow Us + Get Updates
About Our Programs
Workshops, Retreats, Expeditions. We offer hands-on, in-depth field study -- learn, see, do -- with artists who are great teachers. In small groups, limited to 10 people, you develop skills and explore your creativity with lots of personal attention. We pride ourselves on giving you affordable cultural immersion experiences. Ask us about customized programs tailored to your travel plans.
Key Word Search
- Young Oaxaca Weavers Honored and Encouraged
- Day of the Dead Photo Out-Takes: Part 2 + Recipe Quest
- Out-Takes Part I: Day of the Dead Photography Workshop
- Celebrating Five Years of Blog Writing: Oaxaca Cultural Navigator
- Best of Week Day of the Dead Photographs: Bella Jacque
- Tidbits: Calvin Trillin Loves Oaxaca, Too!
- Order Dolores Porras Video on New Website: Ceramics Education
Tagsalebrijes archeology art blogsherpa Chiapas class Cochineal cooking course creative writing culture day of the dead dia de los muertos Eric Chavez Santiago Federico Chavez Sosa folk art food indigo Lila Downs Mexico Museo Textil de Oaxaca natural dyes Norma Hawthorne Oaxaca photography poetry postaweek2011 pottery Puebla recipe recipes restaurants retreat safety Teotitlan del Valle textiles tourism traditions travel Travel and Tourism weaving workshop workshops yoga Zapotec
© Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC -2012.We give permission to reuse the content on this blog, including excerpts, photos and links only when full and clear credit is given to Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC along with a link to the original content. Thank you for being respectful of this request. -Norma