Dear Readers:

Oaxaca stimulates your senses. Primary colors with all the hues and variations explode in front of your eyes on walls, textiles, vehicles, clothing, the painter’s canvas.

The aroma of roasting corn, goat buried for barbecue and mole coloradito simmering in the pot tickle the nose and stimulate your desire to taste and savor.

The cacaphony of barking dogs, cackling guacalotes, and honking buses provide a backdrop to the oompahpah of the village brass band and church bells.

Oaxaca is alive with creativity and energy.

That is why we organize arts workshops, retreats, conferences, and residencies here.  By being in Oaxaca, one cannot help but look at the world differently, develop new ways of seeing things, stretch the imagination, and provoke innovation.

Our programs are stimulating, fun, and take you a step off-the-beaten path.  We are educational providers, not tour operators, so our approach is very different!

The information on these blog pages will also help you plan your own visit if you choose to travel independently or are looking for a reliable resource.

We hope you enjoy Oaxaca. It is wonderful and safe. Disfruta bien.

Norma Schafer, Executive Director, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC

P.S.  Don’t forget to Follow Us! by adding your email address on the home page.


P.S.  Is it safe?  Unequivocably, YES.

30 responses to “Welcome

  1. Will be visiting Oaxaca in Feb/March 2019 with 4 other women who are textile artists/art gallery manager. We are very interested in the dyeing experience you offer. Also looking for information on visiting the silk worm farms in the mountain area. I’m hoping you have some information about a ‘tour’ there or any information you can provide. Thank you and looking forward to making arrangements for one of your tours/classes.

  2. Hello,
    I will be in Oaxaca July 22-30. I am interested in visiting art studios, speaking with artists and perhaps seeing art shops, although I am not interested in tourist type art. What are my best options in finding these places? I can’t find any small tours designed specifically for my needs. Suggestions?

    Thank you,


  3. Hi Norma,
    I am a visual artist, planning an exhibition for next year that will include a rug (5′ x 7′) which currently I am finalizing its design. I have visited Oaxaca and Teotitlan de Valle 3 years ago and was impressed by the quality and beauty of many of the rugs and bought one that I love. I am interested in a flat weave rug as they are made in Oaxaca. My design is pared down and minimal yet includes curved lines. I can make work with a rug design studio in Toronto that collaborates with rug manufacturers in Nepal and India. But I am considering cut the middle man and work with a weaver in Oaxaca. A. Would you recommend that route ? B. Would you be able to direct me to direct me to skillful weavers that have a contemporary sensibility and that will be able to render my design?

    • I am happy to introduce you to several weavers in Teotitlan del Valle when you come to Oaxaca. You can make your own negotiation and choose the weaver you want to work with. Just let me know when you want to come. There is a daily fee for my services. Thank you. Norma

  4. Hello,
    I’d like to be able to buy ghee here in Oaxaca. Do you know of a seller–preferably not a retail shop, otherwise the price could be out of my reach.

    Thank you,

    Veronica Uribe

  5. Hello!

    What a wealth of knowledge you have about this fantastic place. My name is Gardenia and I’m the owner of an online boutique: http://www.lolaytula.com. My business is a platform for amazing artists across Mexico. I sell mainly home decor and women’s accessories. We’re very proud of our direct to artist model, ensuring fair wages to all our artisans. Further more we give 10% of our purchases directly to communities in need, with focus on early education. I am Mexican, the majority of my family lives in Mexico, so doing business in Mexico is a work of passion.
    I have never been to Oaxaca. I’m thrilled to be traveling there in two weeks. My objective is to meet as many artists I can. I’m definitely eager to meet rug weavers, but am also wanting to meet dress makers. I understand these weavers all have their own unique styles, across a vast region. I’m interested in huipils where a back strap loom is used as well as the traditional, floral embroidered dresses we all love. I have a short list of where to go based on my research. Should you have any recommendations or tips, I’d be delighted to hear about them.
    Thank you, your site is lovely.

  6. Sophia Haas-Salmieri

    Hello Norma!

    I work with natural dyes and I’m super interested in visiting Oaxaca and the Teotitlan del Valle to learn from master dyers artisans and and wondering if I could email you and learn about possible itineraries etc.

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi, Sophia. I will help, if I can. Please send me an email at and I will answer your questions and see how we can set up a natural dye workshop for you and/or take you to meet weavers who work in natural dyes. -Norma

  7. Dear Norma,
    I hope you are well!
    I travelled to Mexico recently on a personal trip and was very inspired by the folk crafts of the area.
    I would like to source/buy products from artisans or co-operatives to bring back to India to showcase the crafts of Mexico.
    I am in the process of planning another trip for this purpose.
    The products that I am interested in sourcing are :
    • Mexican ceramics mainly Talavera pottery and the black ceramics
    • Embroidered textiles made by indegenous tribes
    • Woven textiles from Mexico.
    Could you let me know how to go about this or if there is an agent/designer/collective that I could get in touch with. I don’t speak the language and maybe this route could make the process easier for me.

  8. Norma, I’m hoping to spend a couple of weeks in Oaxaca this summer both working on my Spanish and either taking cooking or art classes. Do you have any info on language classes that have a better reputation than others? And are you aware of printing classes(silkscreen, Linotype or woodblock) that I could take? Thanks so much!

    • Jane, I wrote a blog post about where to take Spanish lessons in Oaxaca. Please use the SEARCH function on the website to find recommendations. Check out La Chicharra graphics arts workshop for classes. You can find them on Facebook. Have fun.

  9. Hi Norma! I am in the middle of planning a trip to Oaxaca because I would like to buy some craft artisan goods, such as handmade wool pillow cases and meet with someone that could design some for me in hopes that i could either bring or have shipped back to me in the states. I am a big supporter of the Fair Trade Federation or if the artisans are not apart of this than i want to make sure that the artisans are paid fairly. Do you know who i could see in Oaxaca about getting some items made and i could set up a relationship where these items can be continuously ordered on my end and shipped? Thank you so much!!!

  10. I am interested in painting workshops (about a week) in Oaxaca sometime later this month (July) or sometime during the first 2 weeks in august. Can you make any recommendations?

  11. I am curios about having specific handbags made for my company. I have traveled to Oaxaca and bought rugs and pillow covers many years ago. I am looking to have some made with the textile and leather. If this is somthing you can help me with, please respond by email.
    Thank you for your time. Enjoy the day.

  12. Hi Norma,
    Thank you for posting the story about finding the printmakers’ workshop. I am about to embark on an epic adventure into Central and South America, discovering and learning how to do various traditional folk art mainly through textiles and printmaking. My interest and goals are to learn these techniques and create unique textiles and clothing, although I am very new to this industry. I have had a unique background in painting, architecture, welding, tattooing, dreamcatchers, found object craft projects, etc. The only conclusion that I have made is that I LOVE to learn, so here I am ready to explore the world. I have researched artist residencies and don’t feel drawn to them, I want to immerse myself into local cultures and meet the artists and learn. Can you please help me by finding a suitable learning opportunity? I am interested in printmaking on textiles and fabrics, weaving, dyeing, etc. I am on a budget and willing to do worktrade, but can also afford a small fee. I plan on traveling to Oaxaca as a start to my southward journey around the 10th-12th of December. I am also looking for an affordable place to stay while I am in town and would stay with a host family, in my tent or with an artist. Thank you, I am so looking forward to hearing back, and I can email examples of the crazy diverse art that I have created if you would like to see.

    • Dear Bear, I don’t think I can help you. Maybe you can look at the Oaxaca Lending Library site to find a host family to stay with. Perhaps when you get to Oaxaca you can contact the Museo Textil de Oaxaca to take some courses or to contact the print making studio directly to see if they want to engage you as an apprentice. Good travels. -Norma

  13. Hi Norma,
    I’m traveling solo in March to buy crafts for my growing collection. I’d love to connect with you to gage your feedback for off-the-beaten path places to visit. Please email me to exchange information about my visit. Many thanks in advance!

  14. Hi Norma and the rest of the team,
    Firstly let me start by saying what a wonderful thing you have created. It is truly colourful and inspiring!
    My best friend and I have recently started a textile/soft furnishing company called Walter G (www.walter-g.com.au). Please be sure to check out our story and products. We design naturally hand dyed and block printed fabrics in India. You could say indigo runs through our veins!
    We will be traveling to Mexico and Guatemala in January to soak up some more vibrant colours and we would love to get involved in anything textile! Our dream is to immerse ourselves in the culture and work with or do a course with some local artisans (possibly in weaving or natural dyes).
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated from this fellow lover of all things textiles!
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Many thanks,

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