Oaxaca Gallery-Hopping, Shopping + Dining Expedition with Norma Hawthorne

Oaxaca Gallery-Hopping, Shopping and Dining Expedition with Norma Hawthorne, Wednesday, February 1 to Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Collectors, foodies, shop-a-thon pacesetters and novice wannabees are invited to join me for an all-inclusive adventurous foray into the back streets, alleyways, and dirt paths of indigenous villages and cobbled city streets to discover the best of Oaxaca.

First, we will set out on an urban hiking expedition by foot to explore the fantastic art and crafts galleries of Oaxaca city (bring your most comfy shoes and your largest tote bag).  You’ll see examples of the best textile designs and weaving, contemporary art, ceramics, and folk art.  On another day, we’ll climb into an air-conditioned (this time of year, it’s not really needed) van to go out into the villages of Ocotlan, San Antonino, and San Martin Tilcajete to visit the finest artisans who are exemplars of their craft:  pottery and sculpture, back strap loom weaving, and carved and painted wood figures.  You’ll visit the studio of silversmith Brigitte Huet who uses the lost wax technique to cast extraordinary jewelry.  I’ll take you up the Crespo Hill to an antique gallery that sells outstanding old Mexican jewelry and displays a fine museum collection of the same.

Each day will be punctuated by a great meal — I will take you to a mix of four-star dining rooms and little cafes where food is prepared with love and served fresh by a local chef.  You’ll savor and sample some of Oaxaca’s famed seven moles, dine al fresco, toast life with a fresh mango margarita (or traditional squeezed lime one, if you prefer), and perhaps sprinkle a bit of chapulines on your chicken tamale made with just ground organic corn masa.

We will take a respite in the Zapotec weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle where I will introduce you my favorite weavers (including Federico Chavez Sosa) who work only in 100% wool and natural dyes.  You’ll meet another friend who creates large-scale canvases with paint colors made from natural plant materials and beeswax.  There will be plenty of time, too, to go to the Tlacolula regional market or take a side excursion to the archeological site in the weaving village of Mitla where flying shuttle looms whip up fabulous, colorful tablecloths, napkins, bedspreads and curtains.

Hmmm. Have I said enough?  Are you on-board yet?  I promise this will be lots of fun — with enough down time to catch your breath for the next activity.

Arrive Wednesday, February 1, Depart Tuesday, February 7

Wednesday — Check in to our hotel, overnight Oaxaca City

Thursday — Orientation and urban hiking in Oaxaca City (B, L, D), overnight Oaxaca City

Friday — Shopping excursion to Ocotlan and surrounding crafts villages (B, L, D), overnight Oaxaca City

Saturday — Morning free and lunch on your own or optional morning trip to Arrazola or Atzompa, afternoon travel to Teotitlan del Valle and check in to bed and breakfast (B, D), overnight in Teotitlan

Sunday — Excursion to Tlacolula regional market (B, L, D), overnight in Teotitlan

Monday — Meet the weavers and artisans of Teotitlan del Valle who work in natural dyes, final celebratory dinner with show and tell (B, L, D), overnight in Teotitlan

Tuesday — Depart after breakfast (B).

Lodging and Costs:

To keep this program affordable, we have selected clean and basic accommodations in Oaxaca City and in Teotitlan del Valle.  In the village you will stay at a woman-operated bed and breakfast inn that is part of the family compound.  Josefina, along with her mother-in-law Magdalena and daughter Eloisa, prepare delicious meals from scratch.  (If you desire luxury travel, please consider a different experience.)

Base Cost: $975 per person double occupancy with shared bath facilities.  Single rooms are available with a single supplement. A limited number of double occupancy rooms with private bath, and single occupancy with private bath are available. Please write down your preference below.

[  ]  Option 1: I will share a room, double occupancy with shared bath, $975 per person.

[  ]  Option 2:  I prefer a single room with shared bath for a total of $1095 per person.

[  ]  Option 3:  I will share a room, double occupancy, with private bath for a total of $1095.

[  ]  Option 4:  I prefer a single room with private bath for a total of $1395.

Option A: Arrive early, on January 31, and take a 5-hour cooking class on February 1 with a famed Oaxaca chef, $225 (includes cooking class, one extra night lodging, breakfast and lunch)

Option B:  Stay a day longer and take a 5-hour cooking class in Teotitlan del Valle with an accomplished Zapotec cooking teacher on February 7, $135 (includes cooking class, one extra night lodging, breakfast and lunch)

Option C: Add on more days in Teotitlan @ $45 per night per person (includes breakfast).

Option D:  Add on more days in Oaxaca city @ $125 per person per night (includes breakfast)

Most travel workshops of this type and length cost more than twice as much!

The trip includes most in-country meals and transportation. It does NOT include airfare, taxes, gratuities, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and local transportation to and from Oaxaca city.

We reserve the right to substitute instructors and alter the program as needed.

Reservations and Cancellations

A 50% deposit based on your preferred options is required to guarantee your spot.  The last payment for the balance due (including any more costs) shall be postmarked by December 1, 2011.  Payment may be made by check or PayPal.  We will be happy to send you an itemized invoice.

Please see our cancellation policy in the “Register Today” section of the home page.  We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation, baggage, emergency evacuation and medical insurance before you begin your trip, since unforeseen circumstances are possible.

To get your questions answered and to register, contact: normahawthorne@mac.com or call (919) 274-6194

Please make checks payable to Norma Hawthorne, OCN-LLC, and mail it to: Norma Hawthorne, 110 Blue Heron Farm Rd., Pittsboro, NC 27312.  Thank you.

This program is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC.  We reserve the right to make itinerary changes and substitutions as necessary.

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