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Norma writes for Selvedge Magazine Issue #109 -- Rise Up, November 2022
Norma Writes for Selvedge Latin Issue #89
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with weavers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them in their designs, the ancient history of patterning and design, use of color, tradition and innovation, values and cultural continuity, and the social context within which they work. First and foremost, we are educators. Norma worked in top US universities for over 35 years and Eric founded the education department at Oaxaca’s textile museum. Our interest is in creating connection and artisan economic development.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma Contributes Two Chapters!
- Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university program development experience. See my resume.
Study Toursd are personally curated and introduce you to Mexico's greatest artisans. They are off-the-beaten path, internationally recognized. We give you access to where people live and work. Yes, it is safe and secure to travel. Groups are limited in size for the most personal experience.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, universities and other organizations come to us to develop weaving relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *Selvedge Magazine-London, UK *Esprit Travel and Tours *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University *MINNA-Goods *Smockingbird Kids
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- WEAVE Podcast: Oaxaca Coast Textiles & Tour
- NY Times, Weavers Embrace Natural Dye Alternatives
- NY Times, Open Thread–Style News
- NY Times, 36-Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico
- Cooking Classes–El Sabor Zapoteco
- Currency Converter
- Fe y Lola Rugs by Chavez Santiago Family
- Friends of Oaxaca Folk Art
- Hoofing It In Oaxaca Hikes
- Living Textiles of Mexico
- Mexican Indigenous Textiles Project
- Museo Textil de Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Lending Library
- Oaxaca Weather
- Taller Teñido a Mano Natural Dyes
Guacamole Heaven: Food Costs in Oaxaca
The last few days I was in Oaxaca, I gorged on avocados — thoughts about calories to the wind. I mashed them, sliced them, added them cubed to soup, to eggs, to chicken tacos. One day, I bought 6 avocados for a dollar and made enough guacamole to last for days. I knew when I got home to Chapel Hill it would be a cold day in hell before I would ever see an avocado for 20 or 25 cents each. A teeny weeny Haas avocado in any local NC super or organic market is costing $1.29 to $1.99 each. Must be the cost of gasoline to get it here! I roll by them in the market, looking longingly, fingering the skin to check for ripeness, then just can bear to pay the price for such a small bit of food. In Oaxaca, avocados, papaya, melon and bananas are grown locally, so they are abundant and inexpensive, even in winter (which is like early summer in California). California pears and peaches, pineapples from Costa Rica and Guatemala are readily available and are not exhorbitant. Restaurant fare varies according to where one chooses to eat, of course. On the high end, a comida midday meal at Casa Oaxaca can easily run $50 USD per person. I’d rather eat at La Biznaga or La Olla, knowing I was buying healthfully prepared food, spend about $7-10 USD for a meal (although one could eat there for as little as $4-5), and put the money I “saved” toward buying an alebrije or rug. Other good bets for meals are restaurants Marco Polo, and Maria Buena in the same price range, and at the San Martin Tilcajete crossroads, Jacobo Angeles’ new restaurant, La Azucena. I’ve taken to eating in the markets when the stall looks clean and the food is either grilled or boiled or steamed to oblivion. In Tlacolula, on Sunday market day, Stephen and I went to a grilling stall where the raw red meat was draped over metal display racks like at a butcher after we saw the long lines in front of the place. One thing I’ve learned from traveling the world, especially Asia, is that where large groups congregate, it’s got to be good food. So, we picked out our piece of meat, they grilled it, along with the onions we bought at an adjacent stall. Stephen went off to forage for bread baked that day, a hunk of Queso Oaxaqueno, and drinks. With food in hand, we strolled out to the church courtyard, plunked down on the raised concrete edge of a flower bed, and ate our “lunch-dinner” just like the locals. The cost was about $6 for both of us including everything. Delicious and no worries!
There’s a night life now in Teotitlan. It is called “Samburguesas.” Samuel is the proprietor and he unfolds his awning every evening around 7 p.m. on the side of the market that faces the church. The grilled burgers are delicious, as are the tacos al pastor. These tacos are made from grilled pork meat that is sliced off a vertical roaster, topped with grilled pineapple, and served over two small soft handmade corn tortillas. A plate of condiments is put on every table that includes guacamole, red onions, salsa fresca, and hot peppers (watch out for those peppers). You dress your own tacos. They cost about 50 cents each. Beer is available, though it is usually warm. Throughout posada season, Samburguesas is really busy, and townspeople just love the idea of getting out around 8:30 or 9 at night for cena, and it’s a place for teens to gather, too, beyond the street corners.