Tag Archives: textiles

One-Day Tour to Oaxaca Silk Source: San Pedro Cajonos

On Wednesday, July 19, 2023, we will take you into the cloud forest deep into the Sierra Norte Mountains of Oaxaca, to the silk weaving village of San Pedro Cajonos. Cajonos is located at 10,000 feet above sea level and fifty-seven (57) miles northeast of Oaxaca City. This amazing region in Oaxaca is set in the middle of a pine forest and boasts a cooler microclimate — a perfect destination for mid-summer travel.

This is a Zapotec community. Many fled here from the Valles Centrales de Oaxaca (the central valleys) to escape the Spanish conquest in 1521. Deep into the folds of the mountains, they remained out of view and inaccessible to the influences of colonization. Here, we will spend the day with artisan families who specialize in making ixtle (agave fiber) bags and weave amazing silk garments from cultivated worms that become silk cocoons that magically are transformed into fine silk strands. We will have a special homemade traditional lunch in the home of one of the most famous silk weavers in Mexico. His dining room overlooks verdant mountain valleys. Then, we will visit the recently opened Silk Sanctuary, built by federal and state funds to support this important economic development project.

This region of Oaxaca is known throughout Mexico as the mecca of hand made silk production. We will discuss the processes used to make these precious textiles. We meet weaving families who devote their creative energies into raising silk worms, raising mulberry trees to feed them, harvesting and preparing the cocoons, using hand-spinning, natural dyeing and fringe knotting (macrame) techniques to complete these fine textiles.

We invite textile enthusiasts to join us on this textile adventure and spend a full day exploring, learning, and appreciating how silk is made into cloth. You will have plenty of opportunity to shop, if you wish, too. (Credit cards accepted.)

This is a full day of travel in a comfortable van. We will depart at 8:00 a.m. and return by 7:00 pm. from the same location in Oaxaca Centro. We will announce the group meeting location closer to the date of the tour. Group size is limited to 14 people.

Your Oaxaca Cultural Navigator Expert is Eric Chavez Santiago. Eric Chavez Santiago is an expert in Oaxaca and Mexican textiles and folk art with a special interest in artisan development and promotion. He is a weaver and natural dyer by training and a fourth generation member of the Fe y Lola textile group. He and his wife Elsa started Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio where they produce naturally dyed yarn skeins and textiles for worldwide distribution. Eric is a business partner with Oaxaca Cultural Navigator, too. He is trilingual, speaking Zapotec, Spanish and English and is a native of Teotitlan del Valle. He is a graduate of Anahuac University, founder of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca education department, and former managing director of folk art gallery Andares del Arte Popular. He has intimate knowledge of local traditions, culture and community, and has deep personal relationships with indigenous artisans throughout Oaxaca and Mexico.

Climate and what to wear to be comfortable: We go high into the misty mountains where it can be overcast and breezy, with drizzle or rain. Please bring a rain jacket, umbrella, wear comfortable walking boots and a hat.

Cost: This one-day tour includes transportation in a luxury van, lunch, complete guide services with translation, textile and cultural interpretation, and commentary. The cost is $295 per person.

Reservations and Cancellations

We require a non-refundable 25% deposit of $73.75 per person to secure your registration. We offer you three (3) ways to pay the deposit: 1) Zelle transfer with NO SERVICE FEE, 2) PayPal and add a 3% service fee, 3) VENMO and add a 3% service fee. Please tell us which payment method you prefer and we will send a request for funds. The 75% balance of $221.25 per person is due on the day of the tour in cash, either USD or MXN pesos (at the current exchange rate). When we receive funds, we will send you confirmation and details. 

TODAY: The BEST Oaxaca Expoventa in Teotitlan del Valle–Don’t Miss It!

If you are in Oaxaca for 2022 Day of the Dead, be sure to put this on your calendar and show up in Teotitlan del Valle on November 3, 11 am to 4 pm. Map is on the poster. Ride share a taxi from the city with friends. Don’t miss it!

This expoventa showcases the textiles of some of Oaxaca’s most accomplished and famous weavers — personally curated by Eric Chavez Santiago and Norma Schafer.

PLEASE PRINT FOR BEST RESULTS! PLEASE SHARE — THANK YOU!

Can’t read the map? Here are directions: Enter Teotitlan del Valle from MEX 190 and continue on Avenida Benito Juarez to the center of town. Turn left on Hidalgo. Continue until it ends at the unpaved road and bear left. Go for about 1/4 mile. Turn left at the next road — Prolongacion Francisco I. Madero. Go to the first 2-story house on the right. You have arrived!

What is an Expoventa?

It’s like an artisan fair and exhibition that is a cross between a gallery show and sale. A purely Mexican event that has universal appeal.

The expoventa will be held at Taller Tenido a Mano, a new weaving and natural dye studio in Teotitlan. Come enjoy the mountains, fresh air, great country views and browse hand-made clothing, rugs, pottery, chocolate, and more.

Participating artisans come from all corners of Oaxaca State, from the coast to the Mixe to Papoalapan, and include the famous Palafox family from San Mateo del Mar, Dreamweavers Tixinda Cooperative from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Galeria Fe y Lola naturally-dyed rugs and wall hangings, the family of Hermalinda Isidro from San Felipe Usila, Las Sanjuaneras from San Juan Colorado, Amalia Gue from Coban, Guatemala, Fernando Gutierrez Vasquez from Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, Francisca Diaz Ortega from San Juan Cotzocon.

Various price ranges. Huipiles, blusas, rebozos, bufandas, cojines. (Dresses, blouses, men’s shirts, shawls, scarves, pillow covers, home goods.) A collector’s delight. Most take credit cards.

Many have been invited to the juried Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and are recognized as Grand Masters of Oaxaca Folk Art.

100% of sales go directly to artisans. We take no commissions.

Eric and Norma, Teotitlan cemetery, 2021

Your producers are Eric Chavez Santiago, co-director and Norma Schafer, founder and co-director of Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. 

Eric is an expert in Oaxaca and Mexico textiles and folk art with a special interest in artisan development and promotion. He is a weaver and natural dyer by training and a fourth generation member of the Fe y Lola textile group. He and his wife Elsa are founders of Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio where they produce naturally dyed yarn skeins and textiles for worldwide distribution. He is trilingual, speaking Zapotec, Spanish and English and is a native of Teotitlan del Valle. He is a graduate of Anahuac University, founder of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca education department, and former managing director of folk art gallery Andares del Arte Popular. He has intimate knowledge of local traditions, culture and community.

Norma founded Oaxaca Cultural Navigator in 2006 while she was a senior staff administrator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since then, hundreds of people have traveled with Norma to experience the art, culture and textiles of Oaxaca, Chiapas and other parts of Mexico. About 65% of all participants return to take workshops, day tours and extended travel programs, an indication of client loyalty and satisfaction.

The BEST Oaxaca Expoventa is November 3–Mark Your Calendar

If you are in Oaxaca for 2022 Day of the Dead, be sure to put this on your calendar and show up in Teotitlan del Valle on November 3, 11 am to 4 pm. Map is on the poster. Ride share a taxi from the city with friends. Don’t miss it!

This expoventa showcases the textiles of some of Oaxaca’s most accomplished and famous weavers — personally curated by Eric Chavez Santiago and Norma Schafer.

PLEASE PRINT FOR BEST RESULTS! PLEASE SHARE — THANK YOU!

Can’t read the map? Here are directions: Enter Teotitlan del Valle from MEX 190 and continue on Avenida Benito Juarez to the center of town. Turn left on Hidalgo. Continue until it ends at the unpaved road and bear left. Go for about 1/4 mile. Turn left at the next road — Prolongacion Francisco I. Madero. Go to the first 2-story house on the right. You have arrived!

What is an Expoventa?

It’s like an artisan fair and exhibition that is a cross between a gallery show and sale. A purely Mexican event that has universal appeal.

The expoventa will be held at Taller Tenido a Mano, a new weaving and natural dye studio in Teotitlan. Come enjoy the mountains, fresh air, great country views and browse hand-made clothing, rugs, pottery, chocolate, and more.

Participating artisans come from all corners of Oaxaca State, from the coast to the Mixe to Papoalapan, and include the famous Palafox family from San Mateo del Mar, Dreamweavers Tixinda Cooperative from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Galeria Fe y Lola naturally-dyed rugs and wall hangings, the family of Hermalinda Isidro from San Felipe Usila, Las Sanjuaneras from San Juan Colorado, Amalia Gue from Coban, Guatemala, Fernando Gutierrez Vasquez from Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, Francisca Diaz Ortega from San Juan Cotzocon.

Various price ranges. Huipiles, blusas, rebozos, bufandas, cojines. (Dresses, blouses, men’s shirts, shawls, scarves, pillow covers, home goods.) A collector’s delight. Most take credit cards.

Many have been invited to the juried Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and are recognized as Grand Masters of Oaxaca Folk Art.

100% of sales go directly to artisans. We take no commissions.

Eric and Norma, Teotitlan cemetery, 2021

Your producers are Eric Chavez Santiago, co-director and Norma Schafer, founder and co-director of Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. 

Eric is an expert in Oaxaca and Mexico textiles and folk art with a special interest in artisan development and promotion. He is a weaver and natural dyer by training and a fourth generation member of the Fe y Lola textile group. He and his wife Elsa are founders of Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio where they produce naturally dyed yarn skeins and textiles for worldwide distribution. He is trilingual, speaking Zapotec, Spanish and English and is a native of Teotitlan del Valle. He is a graduate of Anahuac University, founder of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca education department, and former managing director of folk art gallery Andares del Arte Popular. He has intimate knowledge of local traditions, culture and community.

Norma founded Oaxaca Cultural Navigator in 2006 while she was a senior staff administrator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since then, hundreds of people have traveled with Norma to experience the art, culture and textiles of Oaxaca, Chiapas and other parts of Mexico. About 65% of all participants return to take workshops, day tours and extended travel programs, an indication of client loyalty and satisfaction.

The BEST Oaxaca Expoventa is November 3

If you are in Oaxaca for 2022 Day of the Dead, be sure to put this on your calendar and show up in Teotitlan del Valle on November 3, 11 am to 4 pm. Map is on the poster. Ride share a taxi from the city with friends. Don’t miss it!

This expoventa showcases the textiles of some of Oaxaca’s most accomplished and famous weavers — personally curated by Eric Chavez Santiago and Norma Schafer.

PLEASE PRINT FOR BEST RESULTS! PLEASE SHARE — THANK YOU!

Can’t read the map? Here are directions: Enter Teotitlan del Valle from MEX 190 and continue on Avenida Benito Juarez to the center of town. Turn left on Hidalgo. Continue until it ends at the unpaved road and bear left. Go for about 1/4 mile. Turn left at the next road — Prolongacion Francisco I. Madero. Go to the first 2-story house on the right. You have arrived!

What is an Expoventa?

It’s like an artisan fair and exhibition that is a cross between a gallery show and sale. A purely Mexican event that has universal appeal.

The expoventa will be held at Taller Tenido a Mano, a new weaving and natural dye studio in Teotitlan. Come enjoy the mountains, fresh air, great country views and browse hand-made clothing, rugs, pottery, chocolate, and more.

Participating artisans come from all corners of Oaxaca State, from the coast to the Mixe to Papoalapan, and include the famous Palafox family from San Mateo del Mar, Dreamweavers Tixinda Cooperative from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Galeria Fe y Lola naturally-dyed rugs and wall hangings, the family of Hermalinda Isidro from San Felipe Usila, Las Sanjuaneras from San Juan Colorado, Amalia Gue from Coban, Guatemala, Fernando Gutierrez Vasquez from Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, Francisca Diaz Ortega from San Juan Cotzocon.

Various price ranges. Huipiles, blusas, rebozos, bufandas, cojines. (Dresses, blouses, men’s shirts, shawls, scarves, pillow covers, home goods.) A collector’s delight. Most take credit cards.

Many have been invited to the juried Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and are recognized as Grand Masters of Oaxaca Folk Art.

100% of sales go directly to artisans. We take no commissions.

Eric and Norma, Teotitlan cemetery, 2021

Your producers are Eric Chavez Santiago, co-director and Norma Schafer, founder and co-director of Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. 

Eric is an expert in Oaxaca and Mexico textiles and folk art with a special interest in artisan development and promotion. He is a weaver and natural dyer by training and a fourth generation member of the Fe y Lola textile group. He and his wife Elsa are founders of Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio where they produce naturally dyed yarn skeins and textiles for worldwide distribution. He is trilingual, speaking Zapotec, Spanish and English and is a native of Teotitlan del Valle. He is a graduate of Anahuac University, founder of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca education department, and former managing director of folk art gallery Andares del Arte Popular. He has intimate knowledge of local traditions, culture and community.

Norma founded Oaxaca Cultural Navigator in 2006 while she was a senior staff administrator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since then, hundreds of people have traveled with Norma to experience the art, culture and textiles of Oaxaca, Chiapas and other parts of Mexico. About 65% of all participants return to take workshops, day tours and extended travel programs, an indication of client loyalty and satisfaction.

Quick Sale: Greca Rug + 2 Pillows

SOLD #1 Muy Suavecita Grecas Rug or Blanket—$187

This textile was woven by 90+ year old Secundino in the old Teotitlan Zapotec style. He washed the yarn in the river with amole, a root used for soap. He weaves on the treadle loom. This is two matching pieces sewn together just like the old days. It’s much softer and lighter weight than a rug. More suited, I think for the foot of the bed, back of a chair or sofa. All natural sheep wool. Very, very soft. A few small moth holes, but they don’t detract from the overall beauty or functionality. 61×64” Hand twisted fringes. BTW, for years Secundino led all the village parades, playing the ancient Zapotec flute.

#2. Pillow Pair from Chiapas, $195

These pillows are handwoven on the backstrap loom of the finest cotton in a village outside of San Cristobal de las Casas. The pattern is grey on white using the supplementary weft technique, which means it is part of the weaving. This is NOT embroidered. From the premiere cooperative Jolom Mayaetik. New, never used. Does not include pillow forms. Price is for the pair. Two tassle tie closures on back; measures 12” x19”

HOW TO BUY Send an email to norma.schafer@icloud.com and tell me the item(s) you want to purchase by number, your email, your mailing address and which payment method you prefer: 1) Zelle bank transfer with no service fee; 2) Venmo or 3) PayPal each with a 3% service fee. I will then add on a flat rate $14 mailing fee for the pillows and $23 for the throw Happy to combine shipping. Thank you.