November 4-10, 2013 — 6 nights, 7 days of cultural immersion and discovery! Click Here for Registration Form. Spaces open with full payment.
Questions? Call Norma Hawthorne at 919-274-6194 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Penland School of Crafts, an international center for craft education located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, was founded on the principles and values of preserving and promulgating the rich textile traditions of local weaving culture. In keeping with these roots, we offer you a week-long cultural exchange and immersion to explore the indigenous textile world of Oaxaca, Mexico. Here the art and craft of weaving has been embedded in the culture for centuries. More than body covering, weaving reflects community and mirrors ancient designs adapted from the natural and physical environment.
The mountain ranges of Oaxaca state are scattered with traditional villages where women still weave using back-strap looms just as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. They create amazing textiles adorned with animal figures, plant life and sea creatures or patterns derived from the spiritual world. The woven textiles become shirts, blouses, dresses, scarves, shawls, table linens and floor rugs. The cotton and wool might be prepared with local natural dyes from wild marigold, pecan nuts, indigo or cochineal. Every piece has a back-story and is a testimony to the creativity and beauty that is Oaxaca today. We invite you to become a part of this exciting, personalized program.
During our week together, you will
- discover (or return to rediscover) the 16th century Spanish colonial city of Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- meet textile experts, curators, museum directors and weavers
- participate in a hands-on indigo dye workshop to create a shibori textile of your own design
- create a nuno felted wool scarf on silk during a hands-on felt fashion workshop with one of Oaxaca’s leading designers
- explore the famed Zapotec archeological site of Monte Alban with an expert English-speaking guide
- sample local cuisine during a cooking class with a Rick Bayless-trained Zapotec teacher in her village kitchen
- dine at some of Oaxaca’s greatest restaurants and meet the chefs
- see Oaxaca like an insider through the eyes of Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator
Day 1: Monday, November 4, 2013. Participants will travel independently from their home city and arrive at the Oaxaca, Mexico, international airport. If you come directly from Houston, you will clear customs and immigration in Oaxaca. If you connect through Mexico City, you will clear customs and immigration there before boarding your connecting flight to Oaxaca. We will send you a complete travel guide one month before the program date. When you give us your flight arrival information, we will arrange private transportation to meet you at the airport and bring you a short distance to our comfortable Oaxaca city hotel. If you arrive in time, meet us in the lobby at 8:00 p.m. for a light supper, if you wish. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Oaxaca.
Day 2: Tuesday, November 5, 2013. Introduction to the textile traditions of Oaxaca. After breakfast, tour the Museo Textil de Oaxaca with education director Eric Chavez Santiago, discuss the collection and textile preservation techniques. We have invited special guests to demonstrate back-strap loom weaving techniques and to present a private show. Then, we will walk down the street and have a welcome lunch at a local, highly-rated organic restaurant that prepares traditional Oaxaca food with flair. After lunch, meet and talk with a private collector and textile curator. Overnight in Oaxaca. Dinner on your own. (B, L)
Day 3: Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Just outside of Oaxaca city lays the stunning and important Zapotec archeological site of Monte Alban. The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago considers Monte Alban to be the finest example of social and government organization in Mesoamerica. Sturdy walking shoes and walking sticks encouraged! We will have a private, guided visit with one of Oaxaca’s most knowledgeable guides. Snack in the Monte Alban sky café. Return to Oaxaca for lunch on your own. Depart for an overnight in the rug weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle. Group dinner. (B, D)
Day 4: Thursday, November 7, 2013. After breakfast, we will visit the tapestry weaving workshop of Federico Chavez Sosa, master weaver. Federico will demonstrate the two-harness loom introduced by the Spanish in 1521. Then, we will roll up our sleeves to participate in an Indigo Dye Workshop. We will enjoy a delicious group lunch prepared by one of the finest village cooks in the village. Afternoon on your own to meander and explore this historic site that blends Zapotec and Spanish culture. Group Dinner. Overnight in Teotitlan del Valle. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Friday, November 8, 2013. After breakfast, we will meet Reyna, one of Oaxaca’s famed cooking teachers for a cooking class in her outdoor kitchen located just around the corner from our B&B. She will take us on a walking tour of the village market where we will shop for fresh ingredients, then work together with her guidance to prepare a delicious traditional repast that includes, of course, one of Oaxaca’s famous mole dishes and a mezcal tasting. After lunch, we will depart for Oaxaca where we will spend the night. Dinner on your own. (B, L)
Day 6: Saturday, November 9, 2013. Today we will join noted international fiber textile artist Maddalena in her Oaxaca studio to make a scarf of your own design using the nuno felting technique of wool on silk. In keeping with our commitment to sustainable development, we only use natural dyes which are made from local sources. Maddalena has been working with indigenous women in Oaxaca and Chiapas states to preserve natural dye traditions for many years. Lunch in Oaxaca. Return to Oaxaca for a gala grand finale group dinner. Overnight in Oaxaca. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Depart, Sunday, November 10, 2013. We will provide private van or taxi transportation from our Oaxaca hotel to the airport based upon your departure schedule.
$3,185 per person double occupancy. $3,485 for a single supplement. Includes $500 per person tax-deductible gift to Penland School of Crafts.
Register Today. Have Questions? Ask Norma Hawthorne at email@example.com or call 919-274-6194
Ready to Register?
About Norma Hawthorne. Norma started Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC in 2006 and began offering weaving and natural dyeing workshops in the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, where she now lives part of the year. Soon after, she expanded workshop offerings to include women’s creating writing, yoga, photography, and other forms of textile and fiber arts programs. In 2011, she retired from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she raised $23 million for the School of Nursing, and directed the School’s marketing and communications. Before that, she had a 25-year career in higher education continuing education and marketing at Indiana University, The University of Virginia, and The George Washington University. Norma holds the B.A. in history from California State University at Northridge and the M.S. from The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. A lover of indigenous textiles, Norma started weaving with naturally dyed wool in San Francisco, collected Amish Folk Art textiles which she recently donated to the Indiana State Museum, owned and operated a gourmet cookware shop and cooking school, and fell in love with Oaxaca arts and artisans when she first visited there in 2005. See Norma’s resume.
About Eric Chavez Santiago. Eric has worked to preserve Oaxaca’s textile traditions for most of his adult life. A graduate of Oaxaca’s Anahuac University, Eric speaks fluent English, is a talented weaver and dyer in his own right, is an experienced instructor. Eric has traveled throughout the State of Oaxaca to create documentary videos that include interviews with seasoned weavers and the new generation of young weavers committed to carrying the traditions forward. He is currently working on a documentary to record and preserve the Mexican tradition of Spanish needle lace. Eric has traveled to the United States regularly since 2006 to present Oaxaca’s textile traditions to museums, galleries, and universities, including UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, University of Notre Dame Snite Museum of Art, University of California at Santa Cruz, National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, San Jose, California Quilt and Textile Museum, American Tapestry Alliance, and The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. He is one of the most knowledgeable textile resources in Mexico.
Lodging/Accommodations. We have selected highly rated, elegant, upscale accommodations for you in Oaxaca city where we will spend four nights at Casa Las Bugambilias B&B. We will also spend two nights at family owned and operated Casa Elena B&B or Las Granadas B&B in Teotitlan del Valle to give you a flavor of village life.
Cost: The basic cost for the trip is $3,185. USD. This includes six nights lodging shared occupancy with private bath, six breakfasts, four lunches, three dinners, transportation to/from airport and activities as noted in the itinerary, site entry fees, all instruction, and a $500 tax-deductible contribution to Penland School of Crafts.
The cost does NOT include airfare and related taxes, tips/gratuities, travel insurance, liquor/alcoholic beverages, and several meals as specified in the itinerary. If you want travel insurance, please let us know and we will quote you a cost.
Base Cost: Shared double room with private bath; $3,185.
Option 2: Single Supplement, private room with private bath; $3,485.
Please make your deposit check payable to Norma Hawthorne, OCN-LLC and mail to Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, 110 Blue Heron Farm Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or tell us you want to pay by Credit Card and we will send you a PayPal invoice via email. PayPal transactions are online, safe and secure.
See the Registration Form for complete details.
Reservations and Cancellations. Please understand that we make lodging and transportation arrangements months in advance of the program. Our hosts often require deposits or payments in full to guarantee reservations. If cancellation is necessary, please notify us in writing by email. After September 1, no refunds are possible; however, we will make every possible effort to fill your reserved space or you may send a substitute. If you cancel on or before September 1, we will refund 50% of your deposit. 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.
This program is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC in cooperation with Penland School of Crafts. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary and make substitutions as necessary.
A Word About How to Get There Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, U.S.A., has offered arts workshops and cultural immersion experiences in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 2006. Many participants often travel independently to reach Oaxaca on a direct flight from the gateway city of Houston, Texas, on United Airlines. Other major U.S. airlines connect to AeroMexico in Mexico City, which offers several flights a day to Oaxaca. Delta operates a Code Share with AeroMexico. The international airport at Oaxaca is new, safe and clean, as is the Mexico City airport. Our trusted Oaxaca airport pick-up service will personally greet you as you depart from baggage claim. Note: Tips may be given to your local guides, instructors, and service providers throughout the trip. The recommended tip is 50 pesos per day for each provider per person. Be sure to collect your belongings from your room and check the Safety Deposit Box. Have your Passport, Mexico Exit Visa, and Plane Tickets ready! Please Note: This is a working itinerary, is subject to change and may be modified as we confirm final details for the trip. Be assured that any changes made will only enhance the program and add to your total experience. Thank you for your understanding!