Arrive on Saturday, January 15 and depart on Monday, January 24, 2022 — 9 nights, 10 days in textile heaven! Starting at $2,895.
ONE SPACE OPEN!
We are hopeful for 2022! This tour is strictly limited to 10 participants –6 single rooms and 2 shared rooms.
At Oaxaca Cultural Navigator, we aim to give you an unparalleled and in-depth travel experience to participate and delve deeply into indigenous culture, folk art and celebrations. Our hope, too, is that we will all be well and it will be safe enough to travel to Puerto Escondido by January 2022. If for any reason we must cancel this tour, you will receive a full 100% refund. See notes below about COVID vaccination requirements to travel with us.
To register, please complete the Registration Form and email it to us. When you tell us you are ready to register, we will send you a link to make your reservation deposit.
Cost is $2,895 per person shared room or $3,495 per person for private room. See details and itinerary below.
Please complete this Registration Form and return to Norma Schafer at email@example.com to participate. Thank you.
This entire study tour is focused on exploring the textiles of Oaxaca’s Costa Chica. You arrive to and leave from Puerto Escondido, connecting through Mexico City or Oaxaca.
We go deep, and not wide. We give you an intimate, connecting experience. We spend time to know the culture. You will meet artisans in their homes and workshops, enjoy local cuisine, dip your hands in an indigo dye-bath, and travel to remote villages you may not go to on your own. This study tour focuses on revival of ancient textile techniques and Oaxaca’s vast weaving culture that encompasses the use of natural dyes, back-strap loom weaving, drop spindle hand spinning, and glorious, pre-Hispanic native cotton.
Villages along the coast and neighboring mountains were able to preserve their traditional weaving culture because of their isolation. Stunning cotton is spun and woven into lengths of cloth connected with intricate needlework to form amazing garments.
We have invited a noted cultural anthropologist to travel with us. She has worked in the region for the past 15 years and knows the textile culture and people intimately. We learn about and discuss motifs, lifestyle, endangered species, quality and value of direct support.
What we do:
- We visit 7 weaving villages in Oaxaca and Guerrero
- We meet back-strap loom weavers, natural dyers, spinners
- We see, touch, smell native Oaxaca cotton — brown, green, natural
- We participate in a sea turtle release with sunset dinner on the beach
- We swim in a rare bioluminescence lagoon
- We visit three local markets to experience daily life
- We travel to remote regions to discover amazing cloth
- We support indigenous artisans directly
- We attend Dreamweavers annual sale at Hotel Santa Fe
- We escape WINTER in El Norte
Take this study tour to learn about:
- the culture, history and identity of cloth
- beating and spinning cotton, and weaving with natural dyes
- native seed preservation and cultivation
- clothing design and construction, fashion adaptations
- symbols and meaning of regional textile designs
- choice of colors and fibers that show each woman’s aesthetic while keeping with a particular village traje or costume
- the work of women in pre-Hispanic Mexico and today
2020 Itinerary — Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour
- Saturday, January 15: Fly to Puerto Escondido—overnight in Puerto Escondido, Group Welcome Dinner at 7 p.m. (D)
- Sunday, January 16: Puerto Escondido market meander, lunch and afternoon on your own. Late afternoon departure for turtle release and Manialtepec bioluminescence lagoon with beach dinner. (B, D)
- Monday, January 17: Depart after breakfast for Tututepec to visit a young weaver who is reviving his village’s textile traditions, visit local museum and murals — overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. (B, L)
- Tuesday, January 18: After breakfast, we go on to the weaving village of San Juan Colorado to visit two women’s cooperatives working in natural dyes, hand-spinning, and back strap loom weaving. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. (B, L)
- Wednesday, January 19: After breakfast, we return to the mountain with a first stop at the Pinotepa de Don Luis market. Then, we visit the Converse shoe project where talented artists hand-paint footwear, carve gourds and make amazing graphic art prints. We have lunch with Dreamweavers cooperative members and caracol purpura purple snail dyers in their home, complete with show and sale, and cultural talk. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. (B, L)
- Thursday, January 20: After breakfast, we travel up the coast highway into the state of Guerrero, where we visit two outstanding Amusgo weaving groups in Xochistlahuaca and Zacoalpan. They are working to revive ancient designs and incorporate locally grown native, wild cotton. Overnight in Ometepec. (B, L)
- Friday, January 21: After breakfast, we begin our journey back to Puerto Escondido, with a stop at the Afro-Mexican Museum to understand Mexico’s Black history. We stop in Pinotepa Nacional for lunch and a market meander. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. (B, L)
- Saturday, January 22: This is a day on your own to explore the area, return to the Puerto Escondido market, take a rest from the road trip, enjoy the beach and pools, and begin packing for your trip home. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. (B)
- Sunday, January 23: Attend the annual Dreamweavers Expoventa featuring the Tixinda Weaving Cooperative from Pinotepa de Don Luis. Other regional artisans are also invited, making this a grand finale folk art extravaganza — a fitting ending to our time together on Oaxaca’s coast. Grand Finale Dinner. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. (B, D)
- Monday, January 24: Depart for home.
Note: You can add days on to the tour — arrive early or stay later — at your own expense.
Cost to Participate
- $2,895 double room with private bath (sleeps 2)
- $3,495 for a single supplement (private room and bath, sleeps 1)
Your Tour Leader: Norma Schafer, director of Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, will again lead this popular tour. We sell out each year so don’t hesitate to register if you are interested in participating.
Some Vocabulary and Terms
Who Should Attend
- Explorers of indigenous cloth, native fibers
- Collectors, curators and cultural appreciators
- Textile and fashion designers
- Weavers, embroiderers, dyers and collectors
- Photographers and artists who want inspiration
- Anyone who loves cloth, culture and collaboration
Full Registration Policies, Procedures and Cancellations– Please READ
Reservations and Cancellations. A $500 deposit is required to guarantee your spot. The balance is due in two equal payments. The second payment of 50% of the balance is due on or before September 15, 2021. The third payment, 50% balance, is due on or before November 15, 2021. We accept payment using online e-commerce only. We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. After November 15, 2021, there are no refunds. If you cancel on or before November 15, 2021, we will refund 50% of your deposit received to date. After that, there are no refunds UNLESS we cancel for any reason. Then, if we cancel, you will receive a full 100% refund.*
We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. After November 15, 2021, there are no refunds.*
Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health insurance that includes $50,000+ of emergency medical evacuation insurance. Proof of insurance must be sent at least 45 days before departure.
We require proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Be certain your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico!
Plane Tickets, Arrivals/Departures: Please send us your plane schedule at least 45 days before the trip. This includes name of carrier, flight numbers, arrival and departure time to our destination.
All documentation for plane reservations, required travel insurance, and personal health issues must be received 45 days before the program start or we reserve the right to cancel your registration without reimbursement.
Terrain, Walking and Group Courtesy: We will do some walking and getting in/out of vans. If you have mobility issues or health/breathing impediments, please let us know before you register. This may not be the study tour for you.
Well-Being: If you have mobility issues or health impediments, please let us know. Our travel to remote villages will be by van on secondary roads with curves, usually not for more than two hours. When you tell us you are ready to register, we will send you a health questionnaire to complete. If you have walking or car dizziness issues, this may not be the trip for you.
Traveling with a small group has its advantages and also means that independent travelers will need to make accommodations to group needs and schedule. We include free time to go off on your own if you wish.
Note: Itinerary subject to schedule change and modification.
Sunset in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
My internet connection is funky and while I wanted to publish a post today about our Oaxaca Textile Study Tour trip to the mountain village of San Juan Colorado, it may not happen. The photo download is not cooperating.
Sunset at Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
So in lieu of hand-spun green, brown coyuche and creamy white native cotton, I’m going to tell you about our first night in Puerto Escondido on the beach after flying in the AeroTucan 13-passenger single engine Cessna Grand Caravan skirting 12,000 foot mountains and not going higher than 9,300 feet altitude.
Patrice Petrillie tells us about the endangered caracol purpura snail
How do we know? We could all see the altimeter. The pilot sat a mere eight feet in front of me!
Patrice Patrillie, director of Dreamweavers Tixinda Cooperative invited our group to the home of a supporter for sunset on the beach, a presentation about the purpose of Dreamweavers to sustain indigenous textile craft, and to participate in a release of endangered baby sea turtles.
Barbara and Sandi enjoying appetizers before the turtle release
Dreamweavers was having an expoventa on Sunday, January 21, and our itinerary dovetailed so that we would return for the event from our wanderings along the coast and in the mountains discovering textile villages in time for the 10:00 a.m. opening.
Being here in time for the expoventa was planned as part of the itinerary for the Oaxaca Textile Study Tour.
I’m accepting names now for people interested in our 2019 trip.
Please send an email.
We put the sea turtles on the sand to make their way to the ocean
Before touching the turtles, we were asked by our host to wash our hands in sand and sea water to eliminate any odors.
The sea turtles are a food staple for indigenous people who live in coastal towns along the Pacific. There is a rescue operation in place to protect them from poachers.
Along the Puerto Escondido coast where we learned about the caracol purpura
The tension is always about honoring the cultural traditions of native people who rely on sea animals to survive and wildlife preservationists who want the species to survive. With global warming, survival is becoming a more difficult challenge for all of us.
As I held this turtle, its flippers were strong, eager to escape
As with the turtles, the caracol purpura, a snail that lives on the rocky coastline of Oaxaca, is at risk of extinction. Mixtec people have used the snail ink for millenia to dye their clothing a brilliant purple, just as the Romans harvested the snail along the coast of Morocco to color the senators’ robes. But, this creature is also endangered and caracol threads incorporated into clothing drives the price up. Yet, this, too, is part of the regional culture as humans interpret their lives through the garments they wear.
The last bit of sunset before we return to town
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Posted in Cultural Commentary, Photography, Travel & Tourism, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged caracol purpura, Dreamweavers, Mexico, Mixtec, Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, purple dye, sea turtles, textiles, Tixinda, weaving