Velvet Flowers: Textiles of the Isthmus




June 11th-14th, 2017




* Meet one of the finest backstrap weavers in Mexico

* Enjoy artisan home visits

* Travel to the land that inspird Frida Khalo’s wardrobe

* Immerse in the land of embroidered velvet clothing



The Isthmus of Tehunatepec is legendary in Mexico for it’s powerful Zapotec culture and iconic clothing. The embroidered velvet or satin blouses and skirts lined with starched lace are admired throughout the country. Our journey takes us into the heart of the isthmus and into the homes of skilled artisans who embroider colorful flowers of fine thread.

We’ll also visit three of Mexico’s great masters of threaded art. Two are weavers coming from very distinctive traditions and cultures (Zapotec and Huave) and the other has taken traditional embroidery into the realm of contemporary art. We’ll also visit the lively Tehuantepec market, small villages and immerse ourselves in a fascinating land seldom visited by tourists.

Tour Itinerary by Day:

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner included in tour price.

Day 1, June 11th (BLD) Meeting this morning at 9AM at your venue hotel, we climb into our van and follow the old trade path, turned Pan-American Highway, to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. En route we’ll make a small detour to visit a weaver, just about the last weaver, in a village that once did some of the finest cotton weaving in Oaxaca. Actually, it still does in the hands of Nicolasa Pascual, who was recently featured in the Great Masters of Oaxacan Folkart. Nicolasa works so finely that she uses a needle for a shuttle creating works of traditional woven, wearable art at the rate of six huipiles per year. Then we travel the last winding miles through the Southern Sierra to the tropical lowlands of the Isthmus and stop in the bustling Zapotec town of Tehuantepec. We’ll spend the next 3 nights in the heart of this fascinating town. Overnight in Tehuantepec.

Day 2, June 12th (BL)
If you are familiar with the famous Mexican artist and cultural icon, Frida Kahlo, then you will know that she favored hand-embroidered floral blouses and skirts, often times of velvet. (If you aren’t familiar with Frida, take a moment to do so- look on the internet, see the movie Frida). Ornate, hand embroidered blouses and skirts are the dress-up, show off clothing of the Isthmus woman. Frida fell in love with the costume and made it her own. We will visit the two heartlands of strong Isthmus culture, Tehuantepec and Juchitan. In Tehuantepec we’ll visit the an historic home and meet the gentleman owner. He'll open his wardrobes and pull out a living museum of traditional blouses and skirts, lace and starch, and tell us about how this finery has been worn in his family. In the neighboring town of Juchitan we visit Natividad Amador who has combined formal art study with the embroidery tradition of the region to create stunning works of threaded art.
Evening in Tehuantepec.

Day 3, June 13th (BL)
Not far from Tehuantepec is the little village of Santa Rosa. Here almost every woman spends part of the day embroidering blouses that are commissioned by shop owners and women from the neighboring towns. We will visit with a few of these women to see their stunning work, including the house of a young woman who, with the deftness of a cartoonist, draws the patterns used by all the women in town. Then we take a back road and travel out to the long sand spit between the Pacific and a large lagoon called the Calm Sea to visit with the Huave people. In the village of San Mateo we will meet with the family of Justina Oviedo, featured in The Great Masters of Mexican Folkart, and see how these backstrap weavers incorporate images from their surroundings, like crabs and cranes, into their beautiful weavings.
Evening in Tehuantepec.

Day 4, June 14th (BL)
We bid Tehuantepec and the Isthmus a leisurely farewell this morning and start our return migration to Oaxaca city. But enroute we’ll make a surprise stop or two at some of the fascinating sites along this stunning route.
Evening in Oaxaca


Where: Isthmus

Date: June 11th-14th (4 days / 4 nights)

Departing and Ending point: Oaxaca City, Mexico

Cost: $1,380 usd per person

Early Bird Discount: $995 usd
Register and pay your deposit before February 15th

Single Supplement: $130 usd

Min 4 / Max 11

Trip Guide: Alex Muñuzuri

• Professional, local bilingual guides
• All local transport in private van
• Entry fees, tips for meals and drivers
• Four nights double-occupancy accommodation in 3- and 4-star locally-owned hotels
• All activities and meals as described in itinerary

Not included:
• International air tickets and ticketing fees
• Airport transfers
• Travel and trip cancellation insurance
• Alcoholic beverages
• Items of a personal nature such as, incidental charges at the hotel, laundry or communication (phone, internet, etc.)
• Discretionary tips to guides and service staff

To reserve your place please fill out our Registration Form.


Registrations will be considered confirmed upon receipt of deposit of $450.

Terms and conditions will be sent upon acceptance of reservation.