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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 email@example.com
- 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
Safety: A Non-Issue Now
My son just sent me a story about Oaxaca travel posted on CNN that they picked up from the Associated Press news syndicate. It’s a good read, published February 5, 2008.
The piece emphasized how safe it is to travel to Oaxaca now, and how few tourists there are. Even a year after the “troubles” have subsided, the images portrayed in the media have stayed in peoples’ minds and, consequently, they have stayed away. The writer says, and I concur, Oaxaca is a great travel opportunity. There are no waits in restaurants, no crush of crowds along the promenades, there is ample opportunity to grab a curb-side table, sit and sip a hot chocolate, drink a beer or eat pollo con mole at any one of the outdoor cafes ringing the zocalo. No one will shoo you off. Oaxaca is safe. It is tranquil and beautiful. It’s robust splendor is everywhere: the freshly painted majestic 16th century Spanish colonial houses that are converted to shops, offices, hotels, and restaurants. The ancient cobbled streets have a story of their own.
I liked this piece of journalism. It was well thought out because it didn’t whitewash what happened in 2006. It addressed the economic losses suffered by the artisans, by the entire region, resulting from the loss of tourism. It also presented an honest explanation of the political and social issues facing Oaxaca that have not been resolved: the conflicts between the politically powerful and the working poor, the social unrest that remains beneath the surface. But for now, all sides welcome tourists and want to do their best to make their return possible and hospitable. The pleasant tourist police stroll the central historic area offering directions and answering questions. The zocalo flower gardens are always freshly planted. The balloon vendors have eager customers in young locals. There is new directional signage throughout the city pointing tourists to important artistic, civic and religious sites. New street signs on the corners, posted on the sides of buildings, and freshly painted facades in all shades of melon, pomegranate, mango, earth and lime, send a message that this is a city rebuilding and hopeful.
For the CNN story, see: