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Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connection and 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 designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers 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. We create connection and help artisans reach people who value them and their work.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
We Contribute Two Chapters!
Meet Makers. Make a DifferenceOaxaca 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 *MINNA *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
Just Passing Through: Onward to Oaxaca, Day Two
Day Two on Interstate 20 took me through the rest of Alabama, across Mississippi and midway through Louisiana. LaTuga is running great and I’m getting to know her better. The manual says the Honda Element is a high-profile vehicle, not to drive her fast or make sudden moves. So, I didn’t. Slow and steady wins the race, I keep telling myself.
My intention was to spend the night in Vicksburg, MS, on the Mother America Mississippi River, wide, magnificent. Mark Twain’s river, paddle boats then steam boats. One of the greatest and prolonged Civil War battles happened at Vicksburg. It was worth a stop. And, when I did, the restaurants were closed and there was this dead-end, shut down, trying to make a comeback as a cute tourist chatchkah kinda’ town that didn’t quite make it. The views were magnificent. I honored the dead on both sides, imagined the force of battle, the strategic location on the bluff protected by still evident forts, and how the war turned against the Confederacy once it lost Vicksburg. Controlling the mightiest river in America meant controlling food, munitions, life itself.
Once I crossed the Mississippi, I was immediately plunged into Louisiana’s flatlands and bayous. The rain came. It was getting dark at three-thirty in the afternoon, and by four-thirty I was ready to get off the road. Where? In West Monroe, LA, where the Quality Inn welcomed me. This is not a high-end road trip, Judith Reitman!
Oh, boy, I though. Louisiana bayou country. Fish. Cajun. Jambalaya. Etouffee. Dinner. I asked the woman behind the front desk, Where is a good local place to eat? Why, jess dawn dah rode, she answered.
Repeat from Day One: at Willie’s Duck Diner where fatigue green and all-terrain vehicles populate the TV screen along with some scrufty looking millionaires, and diners whose bodies are testimony to overindulgence of hush puppies, corn bread, and jambalaya, there was no beer or wine. Sorry ma’am, said the waitress, we don’t serve alcohol here, and no hot tea. OK. Hot water and lemon please.
Can’t wait to get to Austin. I know from Eva Olson and Norm Chafetz that I can get a good glass of Malbec or Pinot Noir!
Posted in Cultural Commentary
Tagged Lousiana, Mexico, Mississippi, Oaxaca, road trip, Vicksburg