This one-day customized study tour takes you beyond Oaxaca City and into the villages along the highway to Ocotlan de Morelos, the home of famed Mexican painter and muralist Rodolfo Morales (1925-2001). We schedule this excursion based on your travel plans and our availability.
You can choose to visit four (4) of the following options from this menu of mixed media experiences:
Black pottery making in San Bartolo Coyotepec
A fine copal wood carver and painter (alebrijes) in San Martin Tilcajete
A family of clay sculptors in San Antonino Castillo Velasco
A group of embroiderers in San Antonino Castillo Velasco
We don’t go on Fridays, the frenzied day of the Ocotlan Market, when there is a crush of people and visitors and it’s too difficult to savor the experience.
What is included?
Transportation to/from Oaxaca City Historic Center
Expert explanations of art and craft
Curated visits to meet some of the best artisans we know
$375 per day for one or two people. $175 per person additional. Does not include lunch or alcoholic beverages. You will cover the cost of lunch for those in your party.
Schedule your dates directly with Norma Schafer. You reserve for the dates you prefer. Please send us a couple of options. You are welcome to organize your own small group. We match your travel schedule with our availability.
This is for a full day, starting at 9 a.m. when we pick you up and ending at about 6 p.m. when we return you to your Oaxaca lodging. Please provide us with hotel/lodging address and phone number.
Reservations and Cancellations
We require payment in full to secure your date. We offer you three (3) ways to pay: 1) Zelle transfer, 2) PayPal, or 3) VENMO. Please tell us which payment method you prefer and the name or phone number associated with your account. When we receive funds, we will send you confirmation and details. Be sure to send us the name and address for where you are staying.
Cancellation Policy: If you cancel five (5) full days or more before your tour, we will refund 50% of your fee via the same method you paid.
Our Penland School of Crafts group travels through Oaxaca arts and artisan villages this week. One destination is the regional town of Ocotlan de Morales where we met artist Rodolfo Morales through the murals he painted in the municipal building during the mid-century. These frescoes depict the rich agricultural tradition of the Ocotlan valley and honors the labor of the campesinos — the people who till, plant and harvest.
The Morales home is a treasure trove of 1930’s and 1940’s collectibles and folk art. It includes a traditional tile kitchen with walls adorned in tiny clay cooking vessels. Every room opens to a central, plant-filled patio.
The primary caretaker of the home is nephew Alberto Morales, who greeted us at the front gate and let us inside. He is also the head of the Morales Foundation that keeps the house renovated and open to the public. On our request, he generously opened the private bedroom and studio where his uncle slept and worked.
With more than an hour to explore the always diverse and culturally delicious Friday Ocotlan market tianguis …
we went off to San Antonino Castillo Velasco to visit folk art potter Jose Garcia Antonio. Jose and his family work in red clay sculpture and he is recognized as a Grand Master of Oaxaca Folk Art.
Next, a quick stop to the women’s embroidery cooperative. The quick stop became an hour-long shopping forage through the piles of gorgeous Oaxaca wedding dress style blouses and shirts, preceded by a demonstration about pattern making and stitching techniques. This coop is excellent quality with affordable prices!
Fortified by a delicious lunch at Azucenas Zapotecas at the San Martin Tilcajete crossroads, we backtracked to Santo Tomas Jalieza for a visit with Grand Master of Oaxaca Folk Art weaving family of Abigail Mendoza.
A long day, but not too long to return to enjoy a lovely dinner at Casa Crespo. I put together a tasting menu with Oscar Carrizosa made up of an array of first courses. It was just perfect.
Oaxaca Cultural Navigator organizes arts workshop study tours for groups of up to ten people. Please contact us for more information. Norma Hawthorne Shafer has over 30 years experience developing award-winning university programs.
We know the culture! We are locally owned and operated.
Eric Chavez Santiago is Zapotec, born and raised in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.
Norma Schafer has been living in Oaxaca for almost 20 years.
We have deep connections with artists and artisans.
63% of our travelers repeat -- high ratings, high satisfaction.
Wide ranging expertise.
We give you a deep immersion to best know Oaxaca and Mexico.
Creating Connectionand Meaning between travelers and with indigenous artisans. Meet makers where they live and work. Join small groups of like-minded explorers. Go deep into remote villages. Gain insights. Support cultural heritage and sustainable traditions ie. hand weaving and natural dyeing. Create value and memories. Enjoy hands-on experiences. Make a difference.
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them, 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. We create connection.
OCN Creates Student Scholarship at Oaxaca Learning Center Giving back is a core value. Read about it here!
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma contributes personal essay, How Oaxaca Became Home
We Contribute Two Chapters!
Click image to order yours!
Meet Makers. Make a Difference
Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university, textile and artisan development experience. See About Us.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your independent travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, curators, universities and others come to us to develop artisan relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *Abeja Boutique, Houston *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 *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Oaxaca has the largest and most diverse textile culture in Mexico! Learn about it.
When you visit Oaxaca immerse yourself in our textile culture: How is indigenous clothing made, what is the best value, most economical, finest available. Suitable for adults only. Set your own dates.
One-Day Custom Tours: Tell Us When You Want to Go!
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January 13-21, 2024: Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour. Very popular! Get your deposit in to reserve. For intrepid travelers. Visit 7 back-strap loom weavers. Explore the culture of cloth and community. ONE SPACE OPEN!
We require 48-hour advance notice for map orders to be processed. We send a printable map via email PDF after your order is received. Please be sure to send your email address. Where to see natural dyed rugs in Teotitlan del Valle and layout of the Sunday Tlacolula Market, with favorite eating, shopping, ATMs. Click Here to Buy Map After you click, be sure to check PayPal to ensure your email address isn't hidden from us. We fulfill each map order personally. It is not automatic.
Dye Master Dolores Santiago Arrellanas with son Omar Chavez Santiago, weaver and dyer, Fey y Lola Rugs, Teotitlan del Valle