Arrive Thursday, October 17 and depart Monday, October 21, 2019. Space available for 4 people. Cost is $795 per person. (Does not include lodging)
Come to Mexico City to explore the lives of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera through their art. This is in-depth art history education at its best! We offer you a narrated, leisurely cultural immersion that you can miss if you visit on your own. Our expert guide is a bi-lingual Mexican art historian! Come solo, with a partner or friend. Norma Schafer participates in all programs. Small group size limited to 10 people for quality experience.
We will send you the zocalo area meeting location after you register.
Arrive by 4 p.m. and meet for a group dinner on Thursday at 7 p.m. We will have a long weekend — three full days — to learn about Diego Rivera‘s stunning Mexico City murals, visit Casa Azul where Diego and Frida Kahlo lived, and see the largest private collection of their work at the Dolores Olmedo Museum.
Man Controller of the Universe mimics destroyed Rockefeller Center mural
Through their eyes, you will better understand Mexico’s political, cultural and social history, and their personal lives together. Theirs is a story of Mexico’s development as a post-revolutionary modern nation.
If you want to register, send me an email.
A few little nips — Frida painted this after Rivera’s affair with her sister
This is an incredible experience! The Rivera murals at the Secretary of Public Education building were like nothing I expected. The scale, the intensity, the variation of themes, the continual flow of connecting vignettes – just mind blowing! It isn’t just an art tour. It is an intense immersion into the beginning of an art movement, a cultural movement, and a culmination of historic events that come alive. — Christine Bouton, North Carolina
Our expert guide is a noted art historian who holds a master’s degree in art history. She will soon begin a doctoral program. She shares her passion for the Mexican Muralists, narrates the expedition, and leads us through these spaces to give you the most meaningful educational experience:
- Palacio Nacional
- Palacio Bellas Artes
- Museo de Mural de Diego Rivera
- Secretaria de Educacion Publica (SEP)
- San Ildefonso National Preparatory School
- Abelardo Rodriguez market
- Casa Azul — the home of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo
- Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño
Yes, you can visit these places independently. But it’s not likely you will get the same in-depth knowledge, insights, and perspectives we offer.
She called him toad. He was 20 years older. They were passionate about life, politics, each other. They shaped the world of modern art and she became an icon in her own right, creating an independent identity that serves as a role model for women. They were twice married and unfaithful, the subjects of books and film, and art retrospectives around the world.
Rivera’s Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Park
Rivera’s mural at the Palacio Nacional (National Palace) covers detailed Mexican history, from pre-Hispanic America to the Spanish Conquest through industrialization, including the French and U.S. invasions, from 1521 to 1930.
David Alfaro Sequieros, Rivera rival; Palacio Bellas Artes mural
Plus, you will have lots of options for independent exploration: shop for outstanding folk art, and eat at local markets, historic and fine contemporary and traditional restaurants! Visit the Anthropology Museum.
Lunch at the gourmet market, Mercado San Juan
See our reviews on Trip Advisor!
Base Trip Includes:
- welcome dinner at renown restaurant Azul Historico
- guided discussions by an expert, bilingual art historian educated at UNAM and graduate Southern Methodist University
- introduction to Norma’s favorite restaurants (meals not included) and folk art galleries
- transportation to Casa Azul and Dolores Olmedo Museum
- complete travel packet and readings sent in advance via email
- Day 1, Thursday: Meet for group dinner at 7 p.m. at an excellent zocalo area. Dinner included in your tour cost. Overnight in Mexico City.
- Day 2, Friday: guided visit to SEP, Colegio de San Idlefonso, where Diego met Frida, and the Abelardo Rodriguez market where Rivera’s students, including Pablo O’Higgins, painted. Lunch and dinner on your own. Includes museum admission fees. Overnight in Mexico City.
One of 125 Rivera painted at SEP, 1923-28, this one mocking the bourgeoisie
- Day 3, Saturday: guided visit to Palacio Bellas Artes and Museo Mural de Diego Rivera. Optional folk art shopping or visit to Anthropology Museum. Lunch and dinner on your own. Includes museum admission fees. Overnight in Mexico City.
Palacio Bellas Artes built during the 30-year Porfirio Diaz presidency
- Day 4, Sunday: guided visit to Casa Azul and Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño. Includes transportation, admission fees. Lunch included.
- Overnight in Mexico City.
- Depart on Monday for home or extend your visit.
The oldest street in Mexico next to the Palacio Nacional looks like Europe
Be ready to WALK and then, walk some more! Don’t forget to bring an extra suitcase to pack treasures you pick up along the way.
- Cost is $795 per person for the tour package.
- Cost DOES NOT include lodging
- Includes all art history, city transportation, museum admission fees, selected meals as specified in the itinerary
Please make your own lodging arrangements, reserve and pay your hotel directly. You are asked to book your hotel in the Historic Center of Mexico City within walking distance to the Zocalo. We recommend Hotel Catedral or Chill Out Flat or El Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico.
Tiffany ceiling, El Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico
What the cost does not include:
- hotel accommodations/lodging
- meals except noted in itinerary, alcoholic beverages
- transportation to/from Mexico City
- mandatory international health/accident insurance
- tips for hotels, meals and other services
You might like to arrive early to stay later to discover Mexico City and her incredible museums and restaurants. We will give you a list of recommendations to explore on your own.
Katharsis, 1934 mural by Jose Clemente Orozco, Palacio Bellas Artes
Reservations and Cancellations. Full payment is requested to reserve. We will send you an itemized invoice using Square. You can use your credit card. It’s easy.
If you cancel on or before September 1, 2019, we will refund 50% of your deposit.
Frida died July 13, 1954, at age 47, soon after she painted these watermelons
Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health/emergency evacuation insurance. Proof of insurance must be sent at least one month before departure. Unforeseen circumstances happen!
To register, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept payment with Square only. Thank you.
Frida’s sketchbook & journal; notice the deformed leg from childhood polio.
This workshop is produced by Norma Schafer, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We reserve the right to adjust the itinerary and substitute leaders without notice.
A note to Frida from Diego two years after her death … “you live in my heart.”
Paint brushes in Frida’s studio at Casa Azul, exactly as she left them
Sunday Afternoon on the Last Aztec Lagoon: Xochimilco
We packed it in. After a Sunday morning at Casa Azul followed by seeing the largest private collection of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo paintings at the Museo Dolores Olmedo, we took an UBER (safe, easy, the only way to get around in Mexico City, despite USA negatives) to the Embarcadero de Nativitas in Xochimilco for a boat ride on the last Aztec canals in Mexico City.
Colorful fun. Fake flower crown vendors, Xochimilco.
Sunday is definitely the day to go. You get the full experience of what it is like to party on the trajineras — the flat bottom boat that can hold huge families,
How about some lively mariachi music? A Mexican tradition.
plus an entourage of mariachis playing guitars, trumpets, accordions and violins.
Sunday is the best day to be on the Xochimilco lagoons for people-watching.
It’s almost like riding a gondola in Venice, Italy. Maybe better. Much more colorful.
Dancing the afternoon away, Xochimilco
Sometimes families bring their own cook and the smell and smoke of grilling meats pervades the waterways. Sometimes families bring their own beer and the bottles pile up for the longer rides through the canals.
You can buy a pig en route, just transfer from their boat to yours.
It is festive, relaxing and the quintessential Mexican experience. Is it touristy? Yes. But, it’s also real because locals do this as part of birthdays, anniversaries, and any other excuse to have a celebration.
Expand the party and tie two boats together
Sometimes, you see two trajineras tethered together, so groups of forty or more can jump between boats, dance, sing and generally carouse. Children find their entertainment, too, relaxing in the sun, playing games, and dancing along with the adults. Just being together.
It’s a perfect way to enjoy the family, just 45 minutes from city center
The rate is fixed per boat: 350 pesos per hour. We went out for two hours and the next time, I think being out on a four-hour excursion would be better.
Doll island. Some say its haunted.
Then, we could get into the more remote areas where birds and flowers are more prevalent than people.
I had fresh roasted native corn on the cob. Valeria chose esquites.
Hungry? A small boat will pull up and entrepreneurial vendors will sell you grilled corn on the cob slathered with mayonnaise, chili and lime juice. Thirsty? Beer and soft drinks are delivered the same way.
How about a pulque? Fermented agave sap for Aztec power.
Want a souvenir? Buy a fake flower crown in any color of the rainbow. Need a pit stop? Clean facilities offer service for five pesos.
Buy a synthetic shawl or a plastic doll. Cheap fun.
On the return trip to the docking area, we had a traffic jam. Boats jammed up against each other, unable to move.
Moving the boat along. You can even buy plants from passing gondolas.
The gondoliers doing a ballet of pushing the long stick into the muck and against the next boat to jockey into a clear passageway.
Straining to move the boats on the last leg of our voyage.
Sometimes, they jumped boats to help each other out. Muscles straining, taut. Bodies at forty-five degree angles to the water.
The push-pull of getting out of the traffic jam.
I never heard a curse, only the sound of laughter and music from the party-goers, only too happy to spend extra time on the water as the boatmen sorted it out.
A jumble of color at the docking station.
Xochimilco is the last remaining vestige of what the lake region looked like during the Aztec period, pre-Conquest 1521.
Local emptying, then anchoring his launch.
This is how people got around from one island to the next. The people who live here still do. They are gardeners, growers of fruits and vegetables. It used to be that not too long ago the boats were covered in fresh flowers. Today, they are adorned with painted wood.
A remote waterway off-the-beaten path, like a jungle.
The next time you are in Mexico City, allow yourself at least a half-day to enjoy this respite from city life. Perhaps I’ll spend my next birthday here, hire a mariachi band and dance the afternoon away.
A serenade from shore on an island by the lagoon
For now, I’m at my other home in North Carolina, enjoying August heat and humidity, and the comfort of friends.
Norma Lupita, followed by Mexico Lindo. Porsupuesto.
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Mexico City, Travel & Tourism
Tagged Aztecs, boats, gondolas, lagoon, lake, Mexico City, tourism, travel, Xochimilco