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Nouveau Mayan Weavers

CATEGORY

Textiles

DATES

March 6-13, 2019

COST

$2,450

Visits to Four Mayan weaving villages
Rare, meaningful access to Mayan homes
Fascinating weaving and dyeing techniques
Home cooked meals
Learn about an inspiring change maker organization
Explore gorgeous San Cristobal de Las Casas
Markets!!

This is a journey of meeting new people and smiles, with rare and meaningful access to traditional weavers, stories about struggles and achievements and truly beautiful work on looms on in the minds of creative change makers.

A Change & Maker Experience. traditional makers, or artisans, collaborating with innovative change makers (social entrepreneurs, cooperatives, etc) doing work that makes a difference in the lives of traditional people. A percentage of the tour price goes directly to the artisans and the change maker organization. And your presence and interest are priceless nods of approval to people working against the odds to make a difference.

OVERVIEW

A journey through the highland world of Mayan weavers and into the heart of a dedicated team working with them to dream up new ideas in their ancient weavings. Our trip takes us to four villages, each with a wonderfully unique way of dressing and weaving. We meet weavers and their families in their homes where they’ll share their knowledge, from complex backstrap weaving, fast floor looms to a Mayan method for making a skirt look as wooly as a mountain sheep!
And to make great even better, the weavers we meet are part of a group of 130 Mayan women working together with French designers in an alliance born in 1996. They are called El Camino de los Altos (The Highland Road). Together they have created a unique textile collection combining contemporary design and Mayan heritage. The result is beauty! And of a very practical sort, for it sells from towns of old Mexico to the des rues of Paris and the weavers lives are better for it. We’ll meet the people who run this inspiring organization and learn from the weaves how it has impacted their lives.

But wait, there’s more! For we will be based in the truly beautiful town of San Cristobal de Las Casas where we will smell orchids, see a funky and fabulous paper workshop, meet a visionary doctor, explore markets, eat well and have plenty of opportunities to be merry!

B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner included in trip cost

Day 1. Wed 6th (D) Our first meeting will be in the hotel lobby this evening at 6PM. We’ll say hello, talk about the trip and go out for dinner.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 2. Thur 7th (BL) Our first stop today will be at the offices of El Camino de Los Altos (ECLA, or The Highland Road). Our trip is largely built around the skilled women and weavers who make up this cooperative. We get a peek behind the scenes this morning and meet the women who run the show. Then we head to one of the communities where ECLA works to see their work in action. We go to San Andres Larrainzar, recognized for fine brocade in pick-up style backstrap weaving. We’ll visit ECLA weavers here and ooh and ahh over their work. You will be able to see traditional designs and learn about the way ECLA weavers have innovated, incorporating tradition with new ideas with some stunning results. There will be time to visit with the weavers and get a sense of this patient, thoughtful work.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 3. Fri 8th (BL) Each highland Mayan village is like a mini-nation. Customs, dressways and even language can change from one to the next. Today we visit the nation of Chamula. It is market day in Chamula, look for the distinctive shaggy wool sold here and if you are lucky you’ll find the man who sells the support spindles for wool and the loom sticks. We’ll also step into the other-world of the Chamula church, which is as close to time travel as you get. In a community nearby we’ll meet a Chamula weaver and member of ECLA, who will show us how the amazing Chamula skirts are made. They look like sheep skins, but they aren’t. They are woven, mud-dyed, fulled, pulled and one of a kind, and we’ll get to witness the process. In the afternoon we return to San Cristobal and visit Orquídeas Moxviquil whose mission is to safeguard for future generations a small sampling of the vast and varied essence of Chiapas' living natural wonders.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 4. Sat 9th (BLD) Today we stay home, in a sense. We won’t be traveling to villages, but rather meeting the wonderful city of San Cristobal our our front door. If ECLA is a fascinating and effective collaboration between artisans, thoughtful designers and interested buyers of our era, Na Balom is a great collaboration from years ago. Na Bolom was the home and research center of a Danish couple who did fascinating work with the Lancandon Maya in the lowland jungles in the era of pith helmets and mule travel. We’ll visit their house museum, learn about the work they did and enjoy the scent of woodsmoke and nostalgia. Then we’ll enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful old city. Plazas, markets, shops, churches, humanity…we wander through it all as we soak in San Cristobal. We visit Taller Leñateros, founded in 1975 by Mexican poet Ambar Past, the cooperative seeks to preserve, support and promote Mayan and related culture, mostly in the form of paper, prints and artist books.We’ll wrap up our day with a visit to the amazing Mayan Textile Museum, hosted by the director of the museum.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 5. Sun 10th (BL) Zinacantan! The village of flowers, from the ones that grow in the green houses that line the roads to the embroidered bouquets that adorn the clothing of the men and women. This morning beside the church there is a beautiful textile market, by and for the people of the village. Threads, woven belts, embroidered tops and so much to see. Then we’ll visit the home of Ana, one of the ECLA weavers, and see how she weaves and learn about how ECLA weavers collaborate around creating new designs. We’ll also have lunch at Ana’s house. Back in San Cristobal in the afternoon, we visit Jtatik Samuel Museum, one of the best kept secrets in San Cristobal de las Casas. It is splendid and vital to understanding the history of Chiapas in the last 50 years together with the story of a great man.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 6. Mon 11th (BL) We’ll travel deeper into the highland countryside today to the small hamlet of Belisario Dominquez to meet an ECLA weaver working on a strange species here in the highlands where backstrap looms are the norm; a pedal loom. She’ll go over her work as well as giving those who wish to try a chance to weave as well. We’ll enjoy a home-cooked lunch before heading back to San Cristobal where we´ll visit weavers working with Jacquard looms.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 7. Tue 12th (BLD) For our final full day in the highlands we’ll stay put, so to speak, and explore the city out our front door. San Cristobal is a truly beautiful old city with much to see. We’ll make a few special stops today. We’ll visit Margarita Cantu´s studio, a contemporary textile designer working with Maya weavers and who is questioning the fast fashion way of production. This designer have came up with her own concepts to create meaning to her own relationship to the industry, from the making of materials to personal stand-points about consumption. We´ll also visit the last man weaving skirts (para los enredos de las mujeres de los Altos de Chiapas) on pedal looms and dyed with indigo. Ahh, and we’ll head to the ECLA store and see the gamut of great items woven in the highlands, some by weavers we’ve met. And we’ll visit a museum showcasing region dress. A fine way to begin to conclude our journey, for we will now be familiar with some of what we see. But more so, this museum, like our trip, is a combined effort of a beautiful idea and good work. Our trip highlights and contributes to the work of ECLA and the weavers of Chiapas. This museum is the brainchild of Sergio Castro, a humanitarian who ceaselessly helps the people of Chiapas with his work. To be able to combine beauty with good work is a high achievement. We’ve done this in our travels. We meet in the evening for a final dinner and perhaps sharing some new memories.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 8. Wed 13th (B) Our trip comes to a close today, onward to other adventures. May the experiences of this journey enrich your days to come.

Where: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapan highlands
When: March 6-13, 2019
Duration: 7 nights/8 days
Max capacity: 11 passengers
Cost: $2,450 USD per passenger
Single Supplement $300 USD
Full payment of your tour is required at time of booking.

Departing point:
 San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas
Ending Point: San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

NOTE: 
Our trip starts and ends in San Cristobal. The closest airport to San Cristobal is Tuxtla Gutierrez (1.5hr car ride) You might choose to fly round trip to Mexico City to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Interjet, Volaris and Aeromexico are options for these flights.

Tour Guide: Ana Paula Fuentes

From Mexico City, Ana Paula has been wrapped and tangled in the world of textiles, travel, organizing and outreach for a long time! She holds a B.A. Degree in Textile Design with postgraduate studies in Knit and Fashion Knitwear Design and took that knowledge to work in Barcelona and Mexico City. In 2005 she moved to legendary Oaxaca City where co-founded the experimental “11011 studio” in which she collaborated with more than twenty contemporary artists in exhibitions, performances, installations and concerts. From 2006-2012 Ana Paula was the Founder Director of the Textile Museum of Oaxaca (Museo Textil de Oaxaca)…and then she went a-traveling in India, solo, for four months! She has worked for the non-profit association “El Camino de los Altos” formed by Mayan weavers and French designers, developing promotion and marketing and worked in a similar vein with the cooperative, La Flor de Xochistlahuaca. She loves to travel, has run her share of marathons and bagged a few peaks to boot. She’s also a skilled photographer (Instagram @anadelcamino) and a Friday isn’t a Friday if Ana Paula isn’t dressed in a traditional blouse or huipil.

Included:
* All Lodging during trip based on double occupancy
* Most Meals (listed on itinerary Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
* Superb Guide
* Transport in private van
* Entry fees

Not included:
* Airfare and transportation to and from the trip pick-up/drop-off locations
* Lodging before and after the trip
* Personal items purchased during the trip
* Alcoholic beverages
* Some meals are not included. On these trips, Traditions Mexico invites you to explore the local cuisine at your leisure.
* Gratuities for your Traditional Mexico Guides may be given at your discretion in response to their professionalism and leadership.
* Industry standard is for each individual guest to tip the guide team 5-10% of the trip price.
* Room Service
* Travel Visa Fees

See Frequently Asked Questions for more details.