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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
Update: Visa Applicants Must Prove Intent to Return to Home Country
We pursued conversations with Congressman Becerra’s Los Angeles office and were very satisfied with their response. At least we better understood that there is little that can be done after the embassy makes a decision to deny a visitor visa. The congressman’s office has no jurisdiction and cannot influence a decision and even a call from a congressman won’t change a decision. In all fairness, we don’t know exactly what documents our friends brought with them to prove their intentions to return to Mexico. We know they did try to show the supporting letters from us. We don’t know if they had a complete package of information to provide the evidence that the family has strong ties to Mexico and were not intending to stay in the U.S. as undocumented immigrants.
Here are my recommendations for proving “strong and binding ties to their country of origin” –
Here are my recommendations for strengthening the visa application:
In the process of hearing that our friends were denied a visitor’s visa and learning more about why from Congressman Becerra’s office, I know that there is still a lot of subjective decision making that goes into the “yes” or “no” by the consul. The official statement is “There are many other factors that are taken into consideration when a person is applying for a visitor visa, such as, their age, how many family members are applying for a visa, their purpose for traveling, if they have other family in the country they are traveling to, if they have ever applied for a visa before, etc.”
Perhaps our friends were denied because the entire family — husband, wife and two children — wanted to attend the wife’s brother’s wedding and the consul considered this to be too risky. Who knows? I feel so bad that I wasn’t able to help, and I guess that’s the bottom line.