Tag Archives: Oaxaca

Permanent Resident of Mexico: Green Card Equivalent

Today, after my third trip to Migracion in as many weeks, I picked up my official Residente Permanente card granted by the federal government of Mexico. I was surprised at myself: I couldn’t stop smiling.  I’m thrilled, in fact, to now be an official part of this country I call home most of the year.

That’s not to say that the USA is not my home. I am a citizen, I vote, I take part in my community, I own property that I return to often, my family is there and I have a deep friendship network. I know my final resting place — in Santa Cruz, California, in a redwood grove, next to our mother, the Pacific Ocean in the distance.

There is much to appreciate in these two worlds — Estados Unidos Mexicanos and the United States of America. Neither is perfect. At the moment, I am happy to have focus here away from the turmoil of nationhood that has gone awry in my home country. As a friend recently said, we live in an imperfect world.

There is solace living in a small Zapotec village thirty minutes from a smallish town that is rich in cultural heritage and indigenous traditions.

I made this decision to apply for a permanent residence in September after I was invited to contribute a chapter to a book featuring the voices of women in the United States who have chosen to live in Mexico. I wrote almost 4,000 words about how I first came here, what kept me coming back, and the difference that living in Mexico has made in my life.

As an exercise in self-reflection, I realized how meaningful life here is for me, my relationships with people who come from an 8,000 year old heritage, and how my creativity is energized by the experience.

When I got to North Carolina in October, the first thing I did was contact the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh to make my application and arrange a personal interview. I was welcomed and treated with respect. I know that Mexicans do not have a similar experience when they appear for their appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to apply for a simple tourist visa.

The paperwork required is extensive: one year of printed bank records documenting income to meet a threshold to qualify for this type of visa. I did not tell them anything about me in advance and I did not bring a resume. They must have found this blog and while at the interview invited me to meet with the cultural attache to talk about ways we could work together to educate Carolinians about the artistic and cultural richness of Mexico and her people.  I received the preliminary approval with a stamp in my Passport within two hours.

That was just the beginning. Then, in Oaxaca, on recommendation from friends, I hired German Osorio, a very helpful English-speaking attorney who facilitated another application, payment of a fee, and the series of meetings with officials to complete the process that took several weeks. This included surrendering my Passport for several days, surrendering my Tourist Visa permanently. Without the Tourist Visa, I could not leave the country until the Permanent Resident Visa process was complete.

Not much will change for me with this Permanent Resident Visa, except that the official approval solidifies my commitment to people and place.

 

 

Big Discount: Earrings from Pinotepa de Don Luis

All earrings below discounted from $55 and $45 . NOW $24 each plus $8 mailing via USPS priority mail.

How to Buy: Send me an email, tell me which one you want by NUMBER along with your name, mailing address. I’ll send you a PayPal invoice.

SOLD #5 Deep blue dangle earrings

#16 Hot Tomato Red Dangle Earrings

#8 Black Stars Earrings

#6 Save the Turtles

#13 Lavender blue gourd earrings

#11 earrings from Malinalco, Estado de Mexico, crotcheted waxed linen

Sale: Finer Pieces From My Textile Collection

Over the almost 14 years I have been living in Oaxaca, I have had the opportunity to meet many artisan weavers  who make extraordinary clothing. I often made a purchase to support their work.  I also selected outstanding pieces from collector Remigio Mestas at his gallery shop, Los Baules de Juana Cata in Oaxaca and at Remigio’s in Mexico City.

Some of these finer pieces are for sale here. As I continue to take long walks, shed a few pounds and wiggle into skinny jeans, my body and personal style is changing. So, I am passing along the opportunity to you to own one of these amazing blouses or dresses — some of which are no longer being made at the same quality level.

How to Buy:  Each garment has a number. If you want to make a purchase, send me an email, tell me what you want to buy by number, your name and mailing address. I will send you a PayPal invoice and add $8 mailing cost via USPS Priority Mail. (Note: if you live outside the lower 48, I will need to calculate a custom mailing cost.) I’m going to the US soon and will mail your purchase by December 15, 2018, just in time for the holidays.

#1: Chakira Beaded Mexican Flag Blouse from Puebla State, rare, collectible

#1 is a smocked cotton blouse with Chakira (beaded) bodice with an amazing Mexican flag motif, from Xochitlan, Puebla, Mexico, high in the mountains. Same design front and back. Tiny beads trim the hand-embroidered neckline and sleeve. It comes from a fair trade cooperative that has earned its reputation for using the highest quality cotton cloth and dense, precise beading. Rare and collectible. 22″ wide x 22″ long. Size M-L. $350 USD

#1 bodice detail

#2 is a soft native white and coyuchi brown cotton blusa, made on the coast of Oaxaca in the town of Pinotepa de Don Luis. Here, women still spin using the drop spindle malacate and weave with the back-strap loom. There are hours of labor that go into making a top like this one. Comfortable and elegant. 31″ wide x 31″ long. Size L-XL $225 USD.

#2 Native white and rare coyuchi cotton tunic, Pinotepa de Don Luis

#3 is a stunning blouse from San Juan Colorado on Oaxaca’s Costa Chica.  All natural dyes — cochineal, indigo and coyuchi brown cotton, woven on a back-strap loom. The white is also cotton native to Oaxaca. Seams and neckline hand embroidered. 23″ wide x 26″ long. M-L.  $165 USD plus mailing.

#3 blouse from San Juan Colorado, indigo, cochineal + coyuchi

#4 tucked into the fold of a mountain that borders Oaxaca and Veracruz states lies the village of San Felipe Usila, where women weave and embroider the most amazing and graphic textiles. This one is a showstopper. I personally chose and bought it in the village directly from the maker. 26-1/2″ wide x 45-1/2″ long. Size L-XL. $550 USD

#4 Gala Huipil from San Felipe Usila, Oaxaca

#5 is a Puebla masterpiece of smocking! Notice the iconography/pattern of the deer in the smocked bodice. How do they do that? Also note the smock detail of the shoulder and sleeve hem, too. Cream colored manta cotton and black yarn. 22″ w x 28″ long. Sleeve length from shoulder seam is 21″. Size M. $165 USD

#5 intricate smocked Deer blouse from Puebla state, manta cotton

#5 bodice detail

#6 is a rare beauty, difficult to find blouse from Michoacan.  The bodice is attached to the lower part of the blouse with hand smocking. The bird pattern is achieved by using needle lace, a technique brought to the Americas from Europe and incorporated into indigenous clothing. Above and below the needle lace is a cut-work pattern, where the threads are pull out of the fabric and tied. 29″ wide x 30″ long. Size L-XL. $350 USD.

#6 is a white blouse from Michoacan, needle lace, smocking and cut-work

#6 bodice detail, all intricate handwork — needle lace and cutwork, a rare textile art

#7 is a huipil or dress from the Amusgos group that lives in the region of Oaxaca along the coast that borders the state of Guerrero. The pattern, from native brown rare coyuchi cotton, is woven into the cloth using a technique called supplementary weft. The base fibers are dyed with nanche, a local fruit. 27″ wide x 39″ long. Size L-XL. $225 USD

#7 San Pedro Amusgos coyuchi huipil

SOLD #8 this huipil (dress) has a beautiful flowing drape and the colors are glorious blue and gold, derived from the indigo plant and oak (encino) leaves and bark. This is a fine, gauzy fabric, carefully sewn and hand-stitched together in the Mixe region of Oaxaca. Purchased from Remigio Mestas at Los Baules de Juana Cata in Oaxaca. 35″ wide x 35″ long. Size L-1X. $285 USD.

SOLD #8 is a Mixe huipil with indigo and encino (oak) dyes

#9 Chakira beaded floral motif blouse

#9 was made by the leader of the Xochitlan cooperative in Puebla state, high in the mountains four hours from Puebla city. The bead work, flower motif and workmanship is an art form. 22″ wide across bodice x 30″ long. Size L-XL. $295 USD

#10 Xochistlahuaca finest detailed weaving

#10 comes from the Amusgos region that borders Oaxaca and Guerrero states. This is a fine, exquisite, intricately woven huipil that is dense with flowers. It is three wefts wide, is lightweight, and is perfect over leggings, a flouncy skirt or jeans. The top of the bodice and the shoulders have a beautiful embroidered detail that picks up the motif in the weaving. Yes, all those flowers are woven into the cloth. 37″ wide x 30″ long. Size L-2X. $495 USD

#11 Tlahuitoltepec blouse, dense machine embroidered

#11 is one of the most popular blouses in Oaxaca. It comes from the Mixteca mountain region, in the town of Tlahuitoltepec that is about 2 hours from Oaxaca city. This one is a particularly nice with excellent embroidery, densely accentuated, in the traditional colors of red and black on white manta cotton. This particular one is special because of the hand-braided tie. 19-1/2″ wide across bodice x 27″ long. Drop shoulders with 14″ sleeves. Size M. $135 USD.

 

Best of Oaxaca’s Biodiversity at Ejido Union Zapata: Day of Plenty

Oaxaca celebrates indigenous food and handmade at the annual Agro-biodiversity Fair in Ejido Union Zapata. This once a year event is building traction. The main street of several blocks, cordoned off for booths and foot traffic, was packed by noon. The natural food color was beyond belief.

Day of Plenty: native corn varieties with tortillas

Criollo, organic-natural tomatoes + More

Billed as a seed exchange, farmers came from as far away as Chiapas, the Coast of Oaxaca and the Mixteca Alta, the high mountain range that borders the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero. Weavers working in natural dyes and mask makers joined in. For sale were seeds, fruit, vegetables, flowers, tortillas and tamales.

Coconut from Oaxaca’s coast. Have you tasted coconut crackers?

Fitting for Thanksgiving Weekend, it was a day of plenty.

Amaranth seeds, protein-rich, makes sweet treat

There is a big and growing movement in politically active Oaxaca to conserve native food: chiles, tomatoes, corn, peppers, squash, coffee, chocolate, amaranth, jicama and more. There are so many different varieties of each.

Sierra Mixe handmade ceramics, utilitarian beauty

One of the leaders, Rafael Meir, was present along with government representatives of Oaxaca and Mexico. Leaders are becoming more conscious about the importance of keeping GMO contained to what has already infiltrated the commercial tortilla business. Yet, there is still much more to do.

Public education has so much to do with the success of programs like this one.

House made sesame crackers — yummy, or buy seeds and make your own.

Backstrap loomed textiles rom San Juan Colorado

I was so happy to see Yuridia Lorenzo and her mom, Alegoria Lorenzo Quiroz from the Colectivo Jini Nuu in San Juan Colorado. They were selling their beautiful blouses and dresses made with native coyuchi, white and green cotton and natural dyes. Participants in my Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour will visit them in mid-January.

Alegoria Lorenzo Quiroz and me.

If you missed it, I hope you will mark your calendar for next year. Although the dates may float, so I’m not sure exactly when it will be held. Check out these Facebook pages to keep track: Rafael Meir, who is director of Fundacion Tortilla de Maiz Mexicana. Watch a VIDEO of the fair. 

Zapotec words describe native food

Another benefit of attending is to taste and buy mezcal, Oaxaca’s organic, artisanal alcoholic beverage distilled from fermented agave.  I bought a bottle of sylvestre (wild) jabali mezcal grown and distilled in Teozacoalco in the Mixteca Alta  by Mezcalero Javier Cruz. Que Rico!

San Juan Colorado Katyi Yaa coop, native coyuchi cotton, natural dyes

I’m noticing that Oaxaca is becoming inundated with foodies and followers of What’s Hot on the food and beverage scene. We’ve got free walking tours led by guides holding colorful umbrellas and flags downtown who get paid with tips. We have USA restauranteurs coming for cooking classes to bring the cuisine home. Rent prices are escalating in the historic center. If one lives on the peso, everything is at a premium now. Those of us who live here always ask if the influx of tourist dollars trickles down to the pueblos, the makers, the field and kitchen workers.  What is your experience?

Corn, snake, cacao symbols on wool, back-strap loom

Back-strap loomed wool, San Pablo Villa de Mitla, corn, snake, cacao symbols. That’s why fairs like this one are so important — to buy direct from those who produce.  Slow food. Slow fashion. Slow mezcal. Saludos.

Know the Natural Richness of Mexico

Chiles, squash, Mexico’s gift

 

 

Biodiversity Fair in Union Zapata, Oaxaca, Saturday, November 24, Plus New Vegan Cafe

The Biodiversity Fair celebrates Oaxaca’s organic food. This includes not only the criollo (natural, unmodified, original) corn of the Oaxaca Valley. The fair encompasses all parts of Oaxaca State where farmers are using organic fertilizers and native seeds: peppers, squash, tomatoes, sunflowers, and more!  There is no GMO here!  Please come to support the small scale growers who make our food nutritious and honest. Eat good food. Support small scale farming.

2017 Biodiversity Fair Retrospective with Photos

Here’s the poster. Union Zapata is a small village just before you get to the Mitla-Matatlan crossroads on MEX 190 Carretera Nacional.

Meet me at the Biodiversity Fair, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018

My Friday Oaxaca Meander

After Thanksgiving at Los Danzantes with friends, I spent the day after NOT shopping on Black Friday, but meandering Oaxaca city, running errands and in a constant state of discovery.

Discovery One: Hierba y Dulce, a new vegan restaurant tucked in the patio behind Oro de Monte Alban silver and goldsmithing workshop on Calle Porfirio Diaz 311, between Matamoros and Morelos. Check it out! Comida Curativa. Curative Food.

In Need of Coffee: Nuevo Mundo

I made a quick stop at Nuevo Mundo, my go-to coffee purveyor. I love their roast. I’ve tried others and keep going back to this Oaxaca mainstay on M. Bravo between Garcia Virgil and Porfirio Diaz.

Discovery Two: They have a new roast at Nuevo Mundo called Gourmet. Darker and more flavorful than the house blend.

Pastry still life at Nuevo Mundo Coffee Roasters. Great sweets.

The messages at Nuevo Mundo: Wean yourself from using plastic bags …

Oaxaca environmentalism: Don’t use plastic bags.

and stop using straws that end up in the guts of marine mammals, are toxic and contaminate the environment. I say, Use your lips!

Straws are an environmental hazard, says Nuevo Mundo. Use your lips.

Global warming is real. Of course, eliminating straws from our juice sipping habits is only a small part of what it takes to reserve environmental destruction. Let’s get more teeth into the EPA and tell our governments to control big business emissions that pollute our environment.