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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
Weekly Photo Challenge: Possibility
Sunset at Las Cuevitas
New Year’s in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, is an extraordinary, momentous and reflective time when families gather to make wishes for the coming year. The celebration is on January 2 when the entire village makes a pilgrimage to the caves (las cuevitas) or grottoes in the hills outside the town. There, they make an offering to the Virgin of Guadalupe for the hopes, dreams and possibilities of the year to come. From the twigs, rocks and grasses, families will construct a symbolic house, adding a roof or a garden or barnyard or a new addition or a second floor. Everyone wants to create a home that holds children, grandchildren, grandparents, aunts and uncles. This is a sign of both satisfaction and wealth.
This photo captures the mystery of the Las Cuevitas annual ritual. As the sun sets and the people gather, the possibilities for the future are luminous.
Las Cuevitas Sparkler
The boy sits by the “house” made of rocks contemplating his future. A sparkler lights the space. Are the possibilities limitless for him? Oaxaca is the second poorest state in Mexico and many young people migrate to the cities or El Norte looking for work. Perhaps he will stay in the village and work construction or weave like his father or grandfather before him or plow his father’s fields and plant them with organic indigenous maize. Will he dream of going on to high school? Perhaps. And, then, what possibilities will open to him?
A family wishes for bright possibilities
Circle of Women, a not-for-profit advocacy organization, says, “Oaxaca, being a mainly indigenous state, has one of the lowest literacy rates in Mexico, and literacy among indigenous adult women is even lower. Historically there has been a major bias towards Spanish literacy in education, leaving indigenous languages marginalized. Migration to the US for jobs has also left women as heads of households. Illiteracy and discrimination has been a major barrier for women in trying to market their weaving products and create sustainable micro-businesses.”
See our Oaxaca arts workshops: Christmas and New Year’s photojournalism workshop, Day of the Dead documentary photography, creative writing, and more.