Tag Archives: creative writing retreat

Bugs in Mexico: More Than Transportation, Edible Insects

Bugs are ubiquitous here. Most often you see them driving down the cobblestone streets in the historic center of town or along the highway, packed with family members. I’ve seen eight people in a VW bug, five kids in the back seat, the driver behind the wheel, and his wife with a baby on her lap next to him. These bugs have been around a long time. Some are shiny with aluminum wheels. Others are rusted out, spitting smoke, and you wonder whether they have enough oomph left to get moving when the light turns green.

Do you see the escamoles hidden under lettuce and radishes?

But, these are not the bugs I’m talking about here. I want to focus on the edible kind: ants, grasshoppers, worms, beetles, larvae and grubs.

Now, I hear you. Most of you are saying eeewww or ugh. If you are a visitor or expat who does not venture beyond the ken, your utterance might be particularly vocal.

Don’t stop now! 800 words more. Click Here!

Mexico’s Ubiquitous Bugs in Mexico News Daily

by Norma Schafer

Footnote: I had the idea to write about edible insects in Mexico a couple of months ago, but it wasn’t until our 2017 Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat that I was truly inspired. Where else could I find a group of adventurous women, who come to Oaxaca to write, to join me in the conspiracy of eating culturally foreign food?

I’m “hamming it up” for the camera. Hmmmm, good. Yes, I ate it.

It had also been two months since I contributed a feature to Mexico News Daily and I surmised the publisher thought I had dropped off the map. So the writing retreat became my inspiration for this essay. (I also wrote about other things.)

This is a regular part of Janet’s cuisine, just a bit fancified at Casa Oaxaca.

One thing I’ve learned, you never know what you are capable of (doing or writing) unless you try.

Are you interested in our 2018 Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat? Send me an email and I’ll put you on the notification list.

Creative Writing Instructor for Women’s Retreat: Applications Are Now CLOSED.

Applications are now CLOSED.   We have had an overwhelming response;  thirty-five talented writers, poets and teachers applied to lead the Winter 2011 Oaxaca Women’s Writing Retreat.  We received applications from writers and poets in San Francisco, Minnesota, Atlanta, and throughout North Carolina, from the mountains to the sea.  A review panel is meeting on Thursday, May 27, to read the applications and recommend three final candidates to talk with personally about how they would approach leading the workshop.  We should have an announcement by mid-June at the latest.  Then, we will publish the workshop program and begin to take registrations.  There are already four people on the wait list — waiting to register once we have dates and a cost.

The people who applied for this position are extraordinary.  Some have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, many have been published in major literary magazines, several teach in university English and creative writing programs, others have written and published books of memoir, poetry and fiction.  I am humbled and honored to have read their resumes and their many accomplishments.


Seeking to engage a published creative writer and veteran instructor to lead a creative writing workshop that will employ journal, memoir and poetry as genres for self-expression as part of a women’s retreat to be held in Oaxaca, Mexico, in winter 2011.  Month and date is negotiable.  Applicants must have experience facilitating writing workshops for adults.  Excellent verbal communications skills and ability to work with, nurture and meet the needs of individual adult participants who may range from having little or no experience to those who may be facile with the genres is expected.  An MFA is a plus, though not essential.   The retreat, which will be limited to 8-10 participants, focuses on self-expression and reflection in a relaxing environment; it is not designed to prepare people to publish their work or to be approached with academic rigor.   The focus is NOT on new age healing, spirituality or therapeutic intervention.  The women’s retreat is in the planning stages and will include approximately five days and six nights in residence over a long weekend in the Zapotec weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle in either January, February or early March 2011.  It will be held at a lovely bed and breakfast and weaving household operated by three generations of Zapotec women.  In addition to the writing workshop sessions, we will be including yoga and body movement, traditional temezcal sweat lodge, shiatsu massage, visits to artisans’ workshops and local markets, bird watching, and countryside walks.  Compensation will include air travel, food and lodging, plus a modest stipend.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume or CV, and three references via email to:  Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, Pittsboro, North Carolina, https://oaxacaculture.com

email:   normahawthorne@mac.com Applications will be considered through May 10, 2010.