Cultural Anthropologist, Miguel Angel Sosme Campos, researcher, author and film producer will accompany this trip.
Participate in a unique opportunity to travel to the Sierra Zongolica of Veracruz, home of the Nahua women, weavers we have come to admire so much. Nestled in the mountainous region of Veracruz, the Sierra Zongolica, these women live in isolated environments that have allowed them to maintain and preserve their ancestral traditions of being shepherdesses, who sheer, clean, card, spin, dye and weave wool. From sheep to shawl, we’ll immerse ourselves in their world, even if for a few hours; a few days. This is slow travel at its best. We’ll settle in, visiting the women and experiencing the world of the Nahua women of La Sierra Zongolica.
Pre Arrival Day: Monday, December 9
It’s never a bad idea to arrive one day early! For those who do, we’ll arrange your hotel and a city tour of the Port of Veracruz, if you’d like!
Day One: Tuesday, December 10, Arrive VER, Overnight Veracruz, Welcome Dinner (D)
Our trip begins with your arrival to the town of Veracruz (VER). You will be met at the airport and transfer to our hotel in the historic center of Veracruz. Harps and jaranas, the instruments of the son jarocho, fill the air. We’ll enjoy a special welcome dinner on the beach, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Huachinango a la Veracruzana and pompano in “acuyo” are specialties!
Day Two: Wednesday, Dec. 11, Veracruz-Orizaba, Overnight Orizaba, Special Documentary Film Presentation, The Weavers of La Zongolica (B)
After our hearty breakfast of “lechera” and huevos motulenos, we’ll transfer to Orizaba, Veracruz, our gateway to the Sierra Zongolica. The day is at leisure to explore the fascinating architecture, streets, torta shops of this mountain town. In the evening, we’ll gather to have a presentation and viewing of the extraordinary film, by Miguel Angel Sosme Campos on the Weavers of La Zongolica. This will prepare us for our next days visiting the women.
Day Three: Thursday, Dec. 12, Orizaba – Cabanas Zongolica – Mixtla de Altamirano, Overnight Cabanas (B, L)
In the morning, we’ll transfer to the Sierra Zongolica, and check into our comfortable cabins, that will be our home for the next three nights. Our first trek into the communities will be to the community of Mixtla de Altamirano. We’ll enjoy our mid-day and afternoon with the weavers, including a delicious typical lunch.
Day Four: Friday, Dec. 13, Tlaquilpa + Tequila, Overnight Cabanas (B, L)
Today, we’ll visit the Nahua communities of Tlaquilpa and Tequila. We’ll learn of and experience their daily rhythms of working with wool to create beautiful and utilitarian garments, all in natural wool and natural dyes. We’ll meet Matilda, one of the community elders, a gentle but strong woman who has learned and now shares the textile art of her ancestors. We’ll enjoy lunch in the community.
Day Five: Saturday, Dec. 14, Festival La Zongolica, Overnight Cabanas (B)
Today is the Textile Festival in La Zongolica! Now that we’ve met some of the weavers, we’ll spend the day attending the wonderful Festival, purchase more beautiful garments and blankets and walk in this town, the hub of the Sierra.
Day Six: Sunday, Dec. 15, Sierra Zongolica – Tehuacan, Overnight
Leaving the Sierra Zongolica, we’ll transfer to the desert valley city of Tehuacan. Arriving, we’ll visit the Museo del Agua in San Gabriel Chilac, where we’ll learn abot and enjoy a meal based on the ancient grain, amaranth. We’ll also enjoy a special expo-venta of artisans from this region, known for their beautiful, embroidered “blusas”. Returning to town, we’ll visit the store of the Mixteca palm weavers from this region. Their store was funded by an initiative from the Japanese embassy in Mexico, allowing them a locale to sell their beautiful craft.
Day Seven: Monday, Dec. 16, Tehuacan Reserve, Zapotitlan Salinas and Los Reyes Metzontla
On our last day, we’ll venture deep into the Tehuacan Reserve, home to the greatest diversity of cacti on the planet. Because of its natural and cultural diversity, UNESCO has named this region a World Heritage Site, worthy of recognition and preservation. We’ll visit the Popoloca community of potters in Los Reyes Metzontla, who make some of the most beautiful pottery in Mexico, using their ancient techniques of firing and burnishing. We’ll later enjoy a special lunch of cacti and bugs! Returning to Tehuacan, our evening is at leisure, to prepare for next-day departures.
Day Eight: Tuesday, Dec. 17, Transfer to Airport or Other Location
Note: We will provide a group share transportation to the MEX airport. Costs will be shared for this transfers. (price not included).