Living Threads
the best of Oaxacan Dressways





March 2 - 10, 2018



* Early Bird Discount

* Amuzgo and Mixtec backstrap weavers

* Brown cotton spinners and natural dyers

* Villages where traditional dressways still live

* Home cooked meals, off the beaten track Mexico

* Great markets, mangroves, clay pots and even a stop at the beach!





There is a balmy corner of Oaxaca between the Pacific ocean and the rolling foothills where cotton is still spun, dyed and woven, a place where the ancestral dressways continue to be worn by many. I call it the land of Living Threads. It is a region remote and seldom visited by outsiders, yet we have many friends here and it will be our pleasure to introduce you to them, in one village after another. We’ll spend a leisurely day with a gathering of weavers in San Juan Colorado cleaning brown cotton, learning how it’s spun the old way and eating a home cooked lunch. In Xochis we are welcomed by a cooperative of true masters of thread and backstrap loom. Meanwhile while in Zacatepec we sit in the shade of a mango tree and learn embroidered stories. We’ll meet a man in San Pedro Amuzgo who is a frequent guest at the International Folkart Market in Santa Fe and who’s built a private museum to share the woven heritage of Oaxaca, and in San Lorenzo we ease into the afternoon with a family of old time spinners and potters. We go visiting, meeting, chatting, sharing and spinning yarns. We travel to villages and homes, immersed in lives and stories, into the most traditional corner of Oaxaca and through an experience truly one of a kind.

There is more of course. Truly delicious, home cooked meals, seasoned with the smoke of cooking fires and locally grown corn. An early morning boat excursion into a mangrove lagoon to peek at birds, iguanas and the morning light. A market the brings together the harvest from coastal villages to hill country farmers and another in celebration of an auspicious day. And a visit to a horse powered, backcountry sugar cane press to see how something sweet and delicious called panela is made. But most of all our journey is about meeting people who make and wear beautiful clothing rooted in the history beneath their feet.

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner included in tour price.
Day 1/ (D) Welcome to the coast of Oaxaca. Our journey begins in the Pacific beach town of Puerto Escondido. We’ll have our first meeting at our hotel this afternoon at 6 and enjoy a delicious dinner to get things rolling.
Overnight Puerto Escondido.
Day 2/ (BLD) The bird, iguana and fish filled mangrove lagoons of the Oaxacan coast inspire the weavers of this land, feed them and even supply the wood used to make drop spindles. Our morning begins early with a visit to one such mangrove lagoon, enjoying in the cool early air the sounds of nature waking up and the scent of the sea. Then on to a town called Tututepec with a long history and a little museum that highlights it. Plus we’ll meet a skilled indigo dyer and enjoy a home cooked lunch. Afternoon will find us in Pinotepa Nacional which will be our base for the next 3 nights.
Overnight in Pinotepa.
Day 3/ (BL). This thriving city of a town is the trade center for a broad coastal region. We’ll get a sense of that visiting the cities market this morning where we’ll see goods from the ocean, lagoons, foothills and China all offered for sale. While traditional dress ways are long gone in this hub, there are still women who embroider the old style blouse once used by women of this town, and we’ll meet one. Then we head to a little village where women still spin brown cotton by hand and form water jugs and cooking pots from clay they dig. We’ll spend the afternoon with Mixtec potters and weavers.
Overnight in Pinotepa.
Day 4/ (BL)  Today we ease into the world of San Juan Colorado, a village where almost all the women are backstrap weavers, and many still spin. And so it has been for centuries. But times are changing fast and we’ll spend the day with a collective of women who bridge ancient ways while trying on new designs. We’ll get our hands into the cotton, working side by side with Mixtec women preparing cotton for spinning. We’ll learn about natural dyeing from them and watch as they work designs into their weavings (remember those lagoon creatures?) with their skilled fingers. Meanwhile someone will get the cooking fire going, tortillas will be made together with a celebration stews and a few other goodies which will grace our lunch table. And to add just a bit more spice to the day, we’ll visit a trapiche. This is a horse drawn sugar cane mill hewn of wood in the shade of a huge tree where we’ll learn how sugar cane is turned into panela, or real brown sugar.  
Overnight in Pinotepa.

Day 5/ (BLD) Pozahuanco is the name of the iconic banded skirts worn by the women of the coastal Mixtec villages. Almost all of them are made in Pinotepa de Don Luis. Each color in the wrap has a story. The purple historically came from the ink of a shellfish called Purpura Panza and men from Pinotepa de Don Luis hiked to a far away rocky coastline to dye the thread purple. This way has almost disappeared, but today, in Pinotepa de Don Luis we’ll meet some of the last men who dye with Purpura (and to see the process in person, join us on our Purpura, Silk and Threaded Dyes tour). We’ll also meet a family of weavers and gourd carvers who carry on their village’s weaving tradition. Then we travel deeper into the foothills to San Pedro Amuzgo. Here Amuzgo, not Mixtec, is the language, and likewise there is an entirely different language in thread and dress ways. We’ll be surrounded by it as we meet the exceptional weavers of this town, where we’ll spend the next two nights.
Overnight in San Pedro Amuzgo.

Day 6/ (BLD) A morning excursion takes us up the road to Santa Maria Zacatepec, one of the few places in Oaxaca where men still dress traditionally, and a place where the man’s traditional dress is truly unique. And where the women weave and embroider a style of dress only found in this village. We’ll sit in the shade of a giant tamarind tree at the center of a family neighborhood and hear stories of this place. Afternoon will find us in San Pedro Amuzgo again where we’ll spend a few hours learning about natural dyeing Amuzgo style in the courtyard of a home museum built to highlight the weavings of Oaxaca.
Overnight in San Pedro Amuzgo.

Day 7/ (BLD) A large bridge over a wider river takes us into the state of Guerrero this morning and then to the village of Xochistlahuaca. Here too the people are Amuzgo, but the style of weaving and dress vary some from San Pedro. We’ll meet with a cooperative of weavers who are master spinners and unparalleled weavers. They’ve even brought back the cultivation of green cotton. It’s for you to decide who’s work is the finest, that of San Pedro or the weavers you’ll meet today, but what is certain is that in these far reaches of Mexico some of the finest spinning and backstrap weaving in the country is being done. We’ll spend the evening in the ridge top town of Ometepec, going out for true Mexican tacos for dinner, and for those inclined to take a little walk, there is the amazing blue church of Ometepec!
Overnight in Ometepec

Day 8/ (BLD). We start early to begin the long trek back to where we began, leaving behind this deeply traditional corner of Mexico for the margarita and rum surf town of Puerto Escondido. But before we do, we’ll stop in at a place called Huaxpaltepec. And today, you’ll note, is the fourth Friday of Lent, which means the annual market of Huaxpala will be in full swing. People from Indigenous villages up and down the coast come to this age-old market and today so will we. Bring your wide eyes, there’s a lot to take in. Lunch will find us recovering from the bustle of the market under the thatched roof of a seaside fish restaurant with sand for the floor and the Dolby serenade of ocean waves in the not too distant distance. Tonight we’ll enjoy a final dinner together and reminisce about all we’ve just seen, felt and experienced.
Overnight in Puerto Esconido.

Day 9/ (B). Time has come to head onward, either home or deeper into Oaxaca. Flights can be arranged from Puerto Escondido to Mexico City. Please check on our TRIP DETAILS TAB for info on flights to Puerto Escondido.


Date: Mar 2nd –10th, 2018

Duration: 9 days / 8 nights

Category: Textiles

Cost: $2,350 usd
Single Supplement $225 usd

Early Bird Discount: $2,200 usd
If you book 4 months before tour departure

Departing point
: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

Ending Point: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

Our trip starts and ends on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca in PUERTO ESCONDIDO (PXM). You might choose to fly round trip to Mexico City. Aeromar, Viva Aerobus and Interjet are all options for direct flights Mexico City – Puerto Escondido.

If after tour ends you want to visit Oaxaca City there is a small plane with (about 130US one way). If you are taking this option you might choose to fly Mexico City to Puerto Escondido, then from Pto. Escondido to Oaxaca City and a one way flight from Oaxaca City to Mexico City.


* 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.