ACE CAMPS TRAVEL COMPANY

OAXACA WEAVING WORKSHOP MEXICO

Explore Oaxaca City, Mexico with our weaving workshop, natural dyeing, and the food of Oaxaca November 2019. Learn More Here!

WEAVING + EMBROIDERY WORKSHOPS + THE CRAFTS OF OAXACA | OAXACA CITY, MEXICO | NOVEMBER 14 - 20, 2019

Photos by Rona B.

This 6 day Ace Camp is designed to introduce 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 in the country and witness the traditions of making native crafts.  

You will learn about color design for weaving and will head on a journey to learn the skill and time it takes to weave a rug and textiles with natural plant dyeing. You’ll try your hand at weaving and embroidery. We will travel out of Oaxaca City and visit one of the oldest local markets - Tlacolua along with visit the workshops to learn about black clay pottery and alebrijes.

One of the predominant craft cultures in Oaxaca is textiles, made from cotton, wool and other fibers and produced on backstrap looms, which 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.

In addition to the vibrant handmade crafts of the region, Oaxaca City is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to their art galleries. From smaller independent galleries to the larger more famous ones that display pieces from renowned artists, the art scene in Oaxaca is absolutely one of the things you must see. We highly recommend a visit to the well-known contemporary art stronghold MACO. 

And don’t forget the extraordinary foodie paradise of indigenous eats you will find here. Oaxaca is 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). 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.

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This Ace Camp includes:

  • 6 nights*

  • 6 breakfasts

  • 4 lunches

  • 4 dinners

  • A hands-on back strap weaving workshop with a skilled local expert

  • A hands-on modern embroidery workshop

  • A guided tour with one of the best guides in Oaxaca. They will take us to visit weavers, natural textile dye workshops, Teotitlan and more.

  • A guided crafts tour of San Martin Tilcajete - best known for its production of “Alebrijes”+ San Bartolo Coyotepec - best known for its black clay pottery

  • A curated market and shopping tour including our favorite hand picked shops

  • Guided tour of Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca

  • A visit to Museo Textil de Oaxaca

  • A trip to the Tlacolula Market - this is one of the oldest, largest and busiest local markets in Oaxaca

  • Tips for Guides

  • An Ace Camps Cotton Tote Bag

  • TOUR PRICE + DETAILS:

PRICE:  $2395 USD

Deposit:  $1395- due when place in workshop is confirmed 

Final Payment of $1000 due August 20, 2019


*Rooms are shared with one other person.

Group Size: Minimum 8 guests and maximum 12 guests.

Airfare to Oaxaca, Mexico is not included.


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. 


 
Alebrijes are brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures.

Alebrijes are brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures.

THE PLACES YOU WILL VISIT...

Teotitlan del Valle – Visit the hub for the world-famous, traditional, woven, wool blankets and rugs of the state of Oaxaca. A famous weaving village, located southeast of Oaxaca City, Teotitlán has been renowned for its weaving wares since pre-Hispanic times: the village had to pay tributes of cloth to the Aztecs. Quality today is high, and traditional dyes made from natural sources like indigo, cochineal and moss have been revived. The variety of designs is enormous – from Zapotec gods and Mitla-style geometric patterns to imitations of paintings by Rivera and Picasso.

Museo Textil de Oaxaca - the shop at the museum is a must visit. The museum promotes textile diversification in design, texture, techniques and creative processes. The aim is to link tradition, the present times, craftsmanship, design, rural and urban artists.

Tlacolula Market - this is one of the oldest, largest and busiest local markets in Oaxaca, hunt for handmade rugs from Teotitlán del Valle, and make sure to try some of the region’s mezcal+ barbacoa.

San Martin Tilcajete - The town is known for its artistry in creating alebrijes, wooden carvings that depict a pantheon of creatures, both real and magical, that are meticulously painted in electric colors. These are a signature craft of Mexico’s south.

Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca - Situated in the former monastic grounds behind the Templo de Santo Domingo, this garden features plants from around Oaxaca state. The gardens are more than just gardens though, and this spot is not just for plant enthusiasts. It was designed by a team including Alejandro de Ávila, Luis Zárate and artist Francisco Toledo, the living legend known locally as ‘El Maestro’, and the man behind many of the city’s most important cultural institutions. The purpose of the garden, and the definition of ‘ethnobotanical’, is the exploration of the relationship between plants and people. The garden tells a story about the cultural and artistic traditions of Oaxaca and its place in the natural history of Mexico.


TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

ACE CAMPS administration will email you when it is time to make your travel arrangements. This email will always be sent 90 days or more before your trip departs unless you book within 90 prior to the camp. 

Oaxaca-Xoxocotlan Airport (IATA code OAX) is 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Oaxaca city centre. Airlines that fly to the state include Interjet, Aeroméxico, Aviacsa and Aeromar.

WEATHER

November is a great time to visit Oaxaca, sunny skies are abudant as the rainy season has passed and daytime temperatures are generally very comfortable. During the day, short sleeves are advisable, but one is cautioned that the mornings, and of course night-time, can be quite cool. We recommend packing some warmer layers and an umbrella or rain shell just incase. 

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.


ITINERARY

DAY ONE - ARRIVAL

Travel Day - plan to arrive in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

Make your own way to our hotel in Oaxaca. The airport is easily accessed as its just a few minutes away by taxi.

This evening we have a meet + greet welcome dinner.

DAY TWO - BACKSTRAP WEAVING WORKSHOP + MUSEUM VISIT

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we make our way to our backstrap weaving workshop where we will learn the art of Tejido - a Mexican weaving technique ~ taught by a local indigenous weaver. Using the same method as the master weavers of Oaxaca, we will learn to make a small woven piece with your own design and color.
Lunch included on site.


This afternoon we continue with our weaving workshop and complete our loom projects. After class we make our way to the fascinating Oaxaca Textile Museum (Museo Textil de Oaxaca), you will have time to wander the museum on your own and make sure to check out the highly recommended gift shop.


Dinner - TBD

DAY THREE - JARDIN ETHNOBOTANICO DE OAXACA + SHOPPING

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we visit Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca for a guided tour. Situated in the former monastic grounds behind the Templo de Santo Domingo, this garden features plants from around Oaxaca state.

Lunch - along the way to the markets

This afternoon we hit the streets to explore our favorite new modern craft and textile stores of Oaxaca City such as Miku Meko, Lanii Gifts, Marchanta, Aripo, Los Baúles de Juana Cata and more. Time permitting we will also check out 2 local markets ~ Mercado Benito Juárez + Mercado de Artesanías.

Dinner – on your own (a list of restaurants will be given to you to help with your decisions to dine in Oaxaca)

DAY FOUR - TEOTITLAN DEL VALLE + TLACOLULA MARKET

Breakfast at the hotel

We have an early start this morning as we head to the Tlacolula market. Teotitlan del Valle is world-renowned for its colourful hand-woven rugs and naturally-dyed textiles. Our local guide, one of the best in the region, will take us on a full day of learning all about the hand crafts of the area. A main aspect of the day includes getting a better understanding from artisans about their initiatives to revive cochineal in Oaxaca as a primary source for red dye. You will learn about various natural dyeing techniques and visit a natural dyeing workshop.

Lunch - A local cafe

Group Dinner – TBD

DAY FIVE - SAN MARTIN TILCAJETE + SAN BARTOLO COYOTEPEC

Breakfast at the hotel

Today we experience a guided crafts tour of the two nearby villages of San Martin Tilcajete + San Bartolo Coyotepec.

San Martin Tilcajete is best known for its production of alebrijes {Mexican Folk Art Sculptures} we watch a demonstration and learn about how they are made with copal and painted with natural dyes in the workshop of Jacobo & María Ángeles. Next we visit the craft village of San Bartolo Coyotepec which is best known for its black clay pottery. For hundreds of years pottery has been made in San Bartolo Coyotepec with a gray matte finish, but in 1953 a technique was devised to give the pieces a shiny black finish without painting. This has made the pottery far more popular and collectable.

Lunch + Dinner - TBD


DAY SIX - MEXICAN EMBROIDERY WORKSHOP

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we make our way to a local workshop for a modern Mexican hands-on embroidery class. One of the most distinctive aspects of indigenous handcrafted textiles is the use of embroidery. Indigenous motifs found on garments range from geometric patterns, zig-zag, spirals, moons, crosses and stepped frets. Many of the embroidery patterns of the huipils in Oaxaca, also show pre-Hispanic influence.

This afternoon is free to explore~ go shopping, check out local art galleries, go on a mezcal tasting tour - there are so many things to do!

Lunch and Dinner on your own today, we will be sure to provide recommendations to explore!

DAY SEVEN - DEPARTURE

Breakfast at the 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.

Nota Bene: this is a prospective itinerary. It is subject to modest modifications, dependent on local weather, new opportunities and the desires of the group.