WEAVING WORKSHOP, NATURAL DYEING + THE FOOD OF OAXACA | OAXACA CITY, MEXICO | NOVEMBER 7 - 13, 2017
Immerse yourself in Oaxaca’s rich traditions and cultures and visit the homes and workshops of different artisans on this Ace Camp in Oaxaca City and surrounding towns. You will learn color design for weaving and will head on a journey to learn skills of weaving and natural plant dyeing.
This is a 6 day trip designed to immerse you in the rich traditions and cultures that make up the vibrant state of Oaxaca. You’ll visit some of the most beautiful and important cultural spaces of the country and witness the traditions of making native crafts.
A major craft category is textiles. Textiles, made from cotton and other fibers and produced on backstrap looms, date back to the early pre-Hispanic period. This form of weaving has been dominated by women since that time. Traditional clothing items such as huipils are still made on backstrap looms, while the European looms are used to produce larger and heavier items such as rugs, ponchos and blankets. Most items are produced with cotton or wool fibers, although some maguey fibers can be found and palm fronds are used to produce mats and hats.
Oaxaca is a veritable foodie paradise of indigenous eats, French-style sauces and some truly amazing mescal. Oaxaca is also famous for its masa-based dishes, including tlayudas (jumbo-size tortillas topped with refried beans and meat) and tamales (the Oaxacan ones are flatter than usual and are wrapped in green banana leaves instead of corn husks). You will find tasty examples at Central de Abastos. Think sweet corn tamales, molé tamales with sweet prunes wrapped in banana leaves, fresh pastries, fruit, salty Oaxacan cheese, and a full selection of fresh juices from guava, to pineapple, to cilantro.
On this trip you will have a chance to see and taste it all!
This Ace Camp includes:
- 6 nights* (based on shared occupancy)
- 6 breakfasts
- 4 lunches**
- 4 dinners**
- 2 days of guided tours with one of the best guides in Oaxaca (to visit weavers, natural textile dye workshops, Teotitlan and more...)
- A guided tour of Museo Textil de Oaxaca
- Weaving workshop with a skilled local expert
- A trip to Ocotlan Market
- Mezcal tasting
- Admission and tour fees - local museums
- Tips - Guides
*Rooms are shared with one other person. Unfortunately, there is no opportunity for single rooms. **Our lunches + dinners are at various locations and are selected to give you the most authentic experience. We find the best food in Oaxaca!
This Ace Camp is limited to 10 people.
Airfare + airport transfer are not included, however, low cost rides from the airport are available and will drive you right to our hotel in Oaxaca.
WHERE WE'RE STAYING:
Hotel Casa Azul de Oaxaca is a tiny boutique hotel in the Oaxacan city center that’s a quiet showcase for the city’s modern design scene. The attention given to working with local artists means more than simply that Hotel Casa Azul de Oaxaca is just a well-designed hotel; it is a statement about the importance of Mexican design in the international landscape.
Every element of hotel Casa Azul de Oaxaca has been conceptualized and produced by a Mexican artist. Cooly shadowed walkways leading to patios, cactus, and hidden retreats within the walls of Hotel Casa Azul de Oaxaca make for an environment open to the interpretation of each guest’s personal experience.
Oaxaca City is a colonial city protected by the UNESCO world heritage convention and is revered as the culinary capital of Mexico. It is packed with inexpensive markets and elegant five-star restaurants serving some of the tastiest food in the world.
In Oaxaca the best food is not found in the high-end restaurants but in the street food stands and neighborhood markets - you can chose from empanadas de huitlacoche, tinga, amarillo, coloradito or rajas, enfrijoladas, enmoladas, caldo de rez, caldo de pollo, mole negro, huevos al gusto, memelas con asiento as well as champurrado, chocolate atole, jugo de naranja, papaya or zanahoria, café, hojaldras…and so on.
THE PLACES YOU WILL VISIT...the things you'll do.
Teotitlan del Valle – Visit the hub for the world-famous, traditional, woven, wool blankets and rugs of the state of Oaxaca.
Museo Textil de Oaxaca - Eric Chavez is the education liaison at the Textile Museum in Oaxaca and will take us on tour throughout the museum.
Ocotlán de Morelos - Market day is an amazing array of colours, crafts and regional food.
A guided tour of Santo Tomas Jalietza
Learn the art of Tejido - a Mexican weaving technique.
Free day in Oaxaca City with a visit to the Saturday market – optional activities include a cooking class or temazcal - a traditional steam bath.
Oaxaca remains one of the safest states in Mexico
ACE CAMPS administration will email you when it is time to make your travel arrangements. This email will always be sent 60 days or more before your trip departs unless you book within 60 prior to the camp.
Oaxaca-Xoxocotlan Airport (IATA code OAX) is approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Oaxaca city centre. Airlines that fly to the state include Mexicana, Aeroméxico, Aviacsa and Aerocalifornia arriving from Mexico City, Acapulco, Villahermosa and Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Daytime temperatures are almost always moderate, in the 70s, but the evenings from mid-December through mid-January are often quite cool, especially outside of downtown Oaxaca.
During the daytime, short sleeves are advisable, but one is cautioned that the mornings, and of course night-time, can be quite cool. Accordingly, for those vacationing in Oaxaca at this time of year, it’s strongly recommended that a sweater or jacket be packed in the suitcase.
OAXACA NATIVE CRAFTS
The traditions of Mexico’s colourful folk art and handicrafts have been passed down through generations.
Today, artists still use the same techniques and skills that were used by the ancestors hundred of years ago. In Oaxaca, the weavers, black ceramic artists, and wood whittlers create pieces that are not found anywhere else in the country. What better way to learn about these antique art forms and collect original samples than to visit the workshops of these artists who are keeping their ancient traditions alive.
Oaxaca Saturday Market + free day to adventure on your own.
Breakfast at hotel
Free morning to explore or join us and head to the Saturday Market* Oaxaca comes together at the markets. There is an ancient ritual of exchange, people watching extraordinaire, sights, sounds, smells and tastes.
Lunch on your own
Dinner – on your own (a list of the best places to dine will be given to you, locations we have sourced out and hope you’ll enjoy as much as we do)
*Today we to head to the Oaxaca Saturday Market - also known as Abastos Market becomes which becomes alive with artisans from the early morning to afternoon. On a typical day in the Abastos market in Oaxaca you will find luscious tropical fruits, herbs, turkeys, rugs, baskets, camera toting tourists, wandering children that have seemingly grown up in the market, tortilla making, cheese vendors, and even grasshoppers to eat. At the market you will encounter Trique Indian weavers using looms to create intricate textiles and rugs for sale from world renowned Teotitlán del Valle. You can also find bread, chocolate, jewelry, baskets, ceramics, sandals, hammocks, and hundreds of other signature items.
Cooking Class: Oaxacan Specialties
Breakfast at hotel
Cooking class with lunch ~ learn to make essential Oaxacan antojitos and tortillas.
Afternoon - We leave this open to do something spontaneous as a group and will let you know when we send out final itinerary to you prior to your departure.
Dinner on your own
Discussion on Slow Food at Itanoni Antojeria y Tortilleria.
Breakfast at the hotel
Lunch and discussion on Slow Food at Itanoni Itanoní Antojeria y Tortilleria. Learn about maize and corn mills. This simple disk of corn ~the tortilla ~ is much more complex and important than most of us imagine. Our discussions today will show us why.
Afternoon - Free to explore
Dinner - Final Group Dinner
Breakfast at hotel
Travel day. Departure from hotel.
After breakfast we say our final adioses and head our own way. We will help you share rides to the airport or get you to your next destination.
Arrival in Oaxaca City.
Transfer to hotel and settle into your accommodation. (we will let you know how to get from the airport to the hotel...it's really easy)
A charming colonial hotel that will be your home for 6 nights.
Meet + Greet and dinner at Hotel Azul
Backstrap Weaving + Tour of Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning: Learn the art of Tejido - a Mexican weaving technique.
Using the same method as the master weavers of Oaxaca, students will learn to make a small woven piece of their own design and color. This class is taught by a local indigenous weaver. Supplies are included.
Afternoon - Continue with weaving project and class
Oaxaca Textile Museum (Museo Textil de Oaxaca) - Eric Chavez is the education liaison at the Textile Museum in Oaxaca and will take us on tour.
A visit to Los Baules de Juana Cata - a most unique textile store
Dinner - TBD
Tour to Teotitlan del Valle + Ocotlan Market with guide
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning: Early morning drive for market day in Ocotlan, south of Oaxaca City. Ocotlán de Morelos' core turns into one of the region's biggest and best markets. Located about 35 kilometres south of Oaxaca's centre, it is a true cultural experience.
After the market we will have a guided tour of Santo Tomas Jalietza to see the backstrap weavers working in the zocalo.
Lunch - TBD
Afternoon excursion to learn about their initiatives to revive cochineal in Oaxaca as a primary source for red dye. Dyeing techniques - Murex, natural dyes and would like to visit a natural dying facility. Teotitlan del Valle which is known particularly for it’s colorful, hand-woven rugs, naturally-dyed textiles, as well as elaborately decorated hand-made candles made of beeswax, shiny metallic paper and paper flowers
Before dinner: Mezcal Tasting ~ Mezcal is distilled from the maguey plant, a type of Agave plant. There are over 200 different species of maguey all of which used to make the spirit. Mezcal's more famous relative, Tequila, is made from blue agave and must be made in the state of Jalisco and a few other limited regions, by tequila law. Oaxaca, is famous for Mezcal, tequila's strong, smoky, badass older brother, which for the most part is made today exactly the same was it was made 200 years ago.
Dinner - TBD