Profound Oaxaca: Textiles, Pottery, and Living Arts

Dec. 2 - Dec. 10, 2018

Quick Details

  • Dates: Dec 2-10, 2018
  • Duration: Nine days/eight nights
  • Where: Oaxaca Valley and Mixtec
  • Departing and ending point: Oaxaca City

About the Profound Oaxaca Tour

Join us on this journey deep into highland Oaxaca and her most rooted communities–a tangible link to a proud and profound history at the crossroads of quickly changing times.

From Oaxaca City to the outlands of the Mixteca, this journey takes us deep into Oaxaca and well off the beaten path. We visit some of the last spectacular regions in Oaxaca, where ancestral dress still thrives, where weaving the daily cloth is still a mainstay trade, where pride and identity are still worn over people’s shoulders. We meet potters in several villages and see how they are innovating their way into the 21st century. We also immerse ourselves in the swirl of the Saturday market and explore crumbling Spanish fortress monasteries.

This is profound Oaxaca, the soulful land where the living roots of this indigenous state’s amazing heritage continue to persist and where the fast changes of the present have been slower to arrive.

We also visit Oaxaca city, where beautiful colonial buildings, high-speed internet, and interesting organizations work in collaboration with traditional artisans.

This is a glimpse into the real world, the deep roots, the ancient ways thriving or fading like a sunset, the fast-changing times, the need to adapt, all the creativity that inspires, and the endlessly innovative nature of the human spirit–feet on the ground, eyes to the sky. Profound Oaxaca takes you far beyond the tourist shows and leaves you so much richer for it.


Highlights:

  • Travel into the essence of Oaxaca
  • An ideal journey for lovers of authentic folk art and culture
  • Visit deeply traditional indigenous communities
  • Learn about the dynamic cultural arts of Oaxaca
  • Immerse yourself a market alive with flavors and colors
  • Enjoy a meaningful glimpse of an ancient land’s people, customs, and roots
  • Meet with weavers and potters
  • Discover the soul behind each handmade piece of art

 

  • Chevron down What's Included
    • All lodging during trip based on double occupancy
    • Most meals (listed on itinerary)
    • Superb guide
    • Transport in private van
    • Entry fees
  • Chevron down 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
  • Chevron down Itinerary
  • B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner included in trip cost

    Day 1 – Sunday, Dec. 2 (D)

    Arrive in Oaxaca for our first meeting at 6 p.m., followed by dinner in the town.

     

     

     

     

    Overnight in Oaxaca


    Day 2 – Monday, Dec. 3 (BL)

    Explore Oaxaca City through textiles and clay. We enjoy a private tour of the Oaxacan Textile Museum, which works closely with weavers throughout the state and brings in exhibitions from all over the world. Next, we visit with the directors of Innovando la Tradición, a nonprofit organization working to improve the livelihood of traditional potters. We explore this beautiful city a bit, peeking into markets, shops, and an amazing church or two.

     

    Overnight in Oaxaca City


    Day 3 – Tuesday, Dec. 4 (BLD)

    The crown of ancient Oaxaca was the Zapotec kingdom of Monte Alban, now silent pyramids, fallen palaces, and ball courts. We make an early morning pilgrimage to this noble sight. Then we go to the nearby pottery village of Atzompa, which has been turning clay into something fancy for the last 3,000 years! We visit two exceptional potters here before heading on to an old textile mill turned contemporary art center and a visit with artisanal paper makers.

    Overnight in Oaxaca City


    Day 4 – Wednesday, Dec. 5 (BLD)

    We begin a migration into the uplands of the Mixtec people today, heading to a small village with a gigantic church and a history to match, Yanhuitlan. Here we learn a bit about this interesting town, explore the grand church, and to cap it off, meet a fascinating contemporary/traditional potter and his family. Our day winds down in the bustling town of Tlaxiaco, where we spend the next three nights.

     

     

    Overnight in Tlaxiaco


    Day 5 – Thursday, Dec. 6 (BL)

    This is the land of the Mixtecs, one of the greatest pre-Conquest civilizations in Mexico that we’ve never heard of. Today finds us in the whispering echo of that high Mixtec culture. So many traditional ways have been lost over the last few centuries through the ongoing destruction of colonialism… but not all has been lost.

    We travel today into the far reaches, the secret corners of the Mixtec uplands, to a region where the women, old and young, still dress in a flamboyant and proud style of ruffled dresses and unusual embroidered tops. It is a style unique to them, their roots, and their living heritage. We get to meet a people quietly proud and outwardly humble; we are fortunate to be able to visit such places. We also meet a family of old-time basket makers carrying forward the work of their grandmothers.

    Overnight in Tlaxiaco


    Day 6 – Friday, Dec. 7 (BL)

    Coyotepec

    We continue our travels into profound Oaxaca, visiting the vestiges of the greatness that once characterized this land’s proud and powerful cultures. Our route takes us to Cuquila and a small collective of women who spin wool and weave and work to keep their trade alive.

    Then we travel out to the Trique community, where the tropical lowland air meets the crest of the highlands. Here all the women dress in full-length red huipiles, and many women are weavers. We visit with a family of weavers and see how they ply their trade. We head to a log cabin, where we enjoy a home-cooked lunch cooked up in big clay pots.

    Overnight in Tlaxiaco


    Day 7 – Saturday, Dec. 8 (BL)

    Overnight, the plaza in front of our hotel has metamorphosed into a full-blown market! Around the clock tower, there are stacks of clay pots, piles of dried palm leaves, handfuls of garlic, chilies, woven palm mats, pirated movies, beef tacos, rubber boots, steel machetes… and a lot more! Head out and see it for yourself this morning.

    We enjoy a breakfast of tamales and hot chocolate in the market! Mid-morning, we begin our reverse migration back to Oaxaca city, but along the way, we stop at one of the grandest ancient churches in Mexico.

    Overnight in Oaxaca


    Day 8 – Sunday, Dec. 9 (BLD)

    We head into the land of the Zapotecs today. We travel into the Ocotlan Valley, where we visit the source of Oaxaca’s famous black pottery, San Bartolo Coyotepec, and meet a potter creatively pushing the edge of this village’s tradition. We also visit a village of backstrap weavers, meet a family that carves beautiful wood figures, and stop in for a visit with a true gentleman of a potter who truly sees with his hands, having lost his sight over a decade ago.

     

    Overnight in Oaxaca


    Day 9 – Monday, Dec. 10 (B)

    It’s a solo journey from here on out. We wish you good adventures!