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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.
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- 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
Oaxaca in Recovery? Let’s Hope So.
Mexico has a long tradition of taking her issues to the streets. Protest is an acceptable way of airing grievances here.
Many of you have heard or been reading about the teacher’s union demonstrations and blockades over the last month that this week became a flare-up of tragic consequences as federal police and demonstrators confronted each other at a blocked toll-road station 50 miles north of Oaxaca.
Templo Santo Domingo at sunset, Oaxaca, Mexico
This is not a post about who is right and wrong. In fact, it is against the law for foreigners to participate in any political activity here or we are at risk of being detained, losing our visas and being deported. The U.S. State Department just warned again of this in the security message it issued for U.S. citizens living in or traveling to Oaxaca.
Last night’s news reported that finally, after years of back and forth, the union leaders and government have agreed to sit down in Mexico City today and talk about their differences to see if they can come to a resolution. Ojala! (word of Arabic origin meaning God willing or let’s hope.)
Friends who work in the historic center of Oaxaca reported things were calm yesterday and there were many people out walking on the streets.
When I woke up Monday morning after an overnight in the city, I heard about the violence and possibly more demonstrations. So, I immediately got in the car and made my way back to Teotitlan del Valle, the little pueblo where I live about 40 minutes from the city. It is calm here, self-governed and never violent. For the past days, I’ve been plugged into social network and local news sites to stay current.
There’s lot of information out there, lots of pros and cons, spin and interpretation about why the teachers union is protesting. You can read for yourself and come up with your own conclusions.
(Part 1 Video above from The Real News and interview with Center for International Policy, Mexico City’s Laura Carlsen) with commentary about neo-liberalism in proposed education reforms in Mexico.
For complete video — Parts 1 and 2 + transcript, click here.
For right now, let’s all hope that there is resolution to this turmoil through negotiation. If the government and the union are unable to come to terms, then outside mediation is a solution.
Is it safe here, now? Probably. And, yet, one never knows where violence will erupt. There has been plenty of it in the United States of America, too.
News Sources and Opinion Pages
Social Media/Blog Sources
For now, I’m going to do a city reconnaissance tomorrow since I have a shopping list to check off as I get ready to volunteer at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, followed by a California family visit.
Take good care, everyone!
P.S. I’m not open to moderating a forum about who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong. I am open to adding other news sources to offer perspective so that each of us can say we are well informed about the issue.
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Mexico
Tagged demonstrations, Mexico, news sources, Oaxaca, safety, teacher reform, teacher's union