On this journey, we explore the multiple ethnic communities Guerrero and Oaxaca to learn of their cultural and ethnic expressions in dress and textiles. From the Amuzgo in Guerrero to the Mixtec, Huave, Zapotec in Oaxaca we will readily see how textile traditions and dress are a cultural passport and unique expression of the women (and some men) who live in this region. We will learn of the fibers, such as coyuche cotton and natural dye sources, such as Purpura Pansa, indigo and cochineal. Visiting the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, we’ll learn about the fascinating culture there of the strong women, ripe mangoes, fashion and markets. Leaving Oaxaca behind we climb into the Chiapas Highlands to learn about dress and textile techniques of the Tzotzil and Tzeltal Maya. This is an extraordinary close up journey into the communities where we meet the people and artisans who create visual masterpieces and maintain their cultural heritage. Join us!
NOTE: This trip may be done in Segments: #1, Guerrero/Oaxaca Coast & Isthmus, #2, Chiapas Highlands, or #3, BOTH!
Pre-Arrival: Thursday, Jan. 6
If you’d like an extra day in Acapulco, schedule your arrival for today. The hotel is not included, but we’ll make the arrangements.
Day One: Arrival Day: Friday, Jan. 7 Arrive Acapulco, Dinner included (D)
Arriving to the Acapulco airport (ACA) you will take the airport transportation to our hotel: the famed and legendary Las Brisas. Think pink jeeps! This was the hotel of the movie stars, back in the day, in the 1950’s / 1960’s. We’ll meet in the lobby to go to dinner at another famed and legendary restaurant, Susana Palazuelos’s Zibu, overlooking the Acapulco Bay. We will time our dinner to enjoy the singular sunset; one that was painted in its multiple manifestations by Diego Rivera in his later years. Return to Hotel and Overnight Hotel Las Brisas Acapulco, Included: Hotel and Dinner
Day Two: Saturday, Jan. 8, Fuerte San Diego Acapulco, Transfer to Playa Ventura (L, D)
After breakfast, we’ll visit the Museo Fuerte San Diego. Here, we’ll learn about the fascinating history of the Manila Galleon and the trade that transformed Asia and the Americas, plying trade for over 250 years between Manila and Acapulco. After our visit, we’ll begin our journey on the Coast of Guerrero, making our way to Playa Ventura. Here, we’ll overnight and enjoy the regional dish of pescado a la talla, cooked and enjoyed on the beach, under the stars. We’ll add the musical rhythms of the region, called “son chilena”. Overnight Playa Ventura, Guerrero
Day Three: Sunday, Jan. 9, Playa Ventura-Ometepec to Xochistlahuaca (B D)
We’ll enjoy our morning on the beach before we leave for Ometepec, the municipal seat of region. We’ll make a brief stop in the market here, before continuing to Xochistlahuaca, home of the famed Amuzgo weavers, among the finest weavers of Mexico. Arriving in “Xochis”, we’ll stroll in the Sunday “tianguis” market before meeting with the cooperative members from La Flor de Xochistlahuaca, Overnight Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero
Day Four: Monday, Jan. 10, Xochistlahuaca, Overnight Xochistlahuaca (B, L)
Today we enjoy a full day in Xochistlahuaca, to enjoy a slower pace and settle in, to better know the natural and cultural surroundings of this region. We’ll also get to spend more time with the artisans! Today we’ll meet with Flores de la Llanura, we’ll walk around town, visit their home, see their weavings and learn about their techniques and materials (native cottons, natural dyes, brocade weaving and gaza weaving). We’ll enjoy lunch together, “down by the river”, that runs near town. Overnight Xochistlahuaca
Day Five: Tuesday, Jan. 11, Xochis, Cuajincuilapa to Pinotepa de Don Luis, San Juan Colorado (B, L)
Today, we say goodbye to Xochis and continue our journey, traveling towards Oaxaca. En route, we’ll make a quick stop at the Afro-Descendent Museum in Cuajicuinilapa, Guerrero, to learn about the history of the African presence in Mexico and in this region. We’ll then visit the two Mixtec towns in Oaxaca: Pinotepa de Don Luis and San Juan Colorado. In these two communities, we’ll learn about the traditional dress of the region, such as the pozahuanco wrap skirt of caracol purpura, indigo and cochineal stripes. We’ll also see the beautiful native coyuche cotton in these communities. Overnight Pinotepa Nacional
Day Six: Wednesday, Jan. 12, Huazolotitlan-Jamiltepec-Puerto Escondido (B, L)
Today, we make our way to Puerto Escondido. We make stops in two communities: Huazolotitlan and Jamiltepec, to learn about their unique textile traditions and styles that identify the women of these communities. Arriving in Puerto Escondido, we’ll check into the Hotel Santa Fe, enjoy lunch overlooking the ocean. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure, to walk along the beach, relax at the hotel or visit the Manialtepec Lagoon. Overnight Hotel Santa Fe Puerto Escondido
Day Seven: Thursday, Jan. 13, San Agustin, Caracol Purpura Dye Demo (B, L)
This morning we leave early, to arrive to the Bajia de San Agustin, to catch the low tide. Today is the day we will witness one of the great relationships between biology and culture, the “milking” of the caracol purpura mollusk to obtain the revered purple dye. The Mixtec dyers are the only people authorized to engage in this sustainable activity. The purple threads have been woven into the women’s pozahuanco wrap skirts for thousands of years. Overnight Huatulco
Day Eight: Friday, Jan. 14, San Mateo del Mar, Tehuantepec (B, L, D)
Today we leave the Coast and continue to a singular and the narrowest region of Mexico: Isthmus of Tehuantepec. On a map, you can see why it’s called Mexico’s waistline! It’s only 90 miles across from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes the “norte” winds blow fierce. Hence, many wind generators! The beauty and mystique of the Istmena women have captured the imagination of many artists and poets. Their dress style is often associated with Frida Kahlo, as she frequently wore Istmena dress. Her mother Matilde was from here.
We’ll stop in Mateo del Mar, seemingly at the end of the earth, and home to the ikoots or huave people. Here they weave charming brocade cloth on a backstrap loom. Arriving in Tehuantepec, we’ll have lunch, visit the market, then rest up at the hotel before our fun evening, enjoying a fashion show of Isthmus dress, followed by a reception and dancing to the regional tune, La Zandunga. Overnight Hotel Cali, Tehuantepec
Day Nine: Saturday, Jan. 15, Juchitan (B, L)
On our second day in the Isthmus, we’ll visit the region of Juchitan, visiting an embroidery school in the town of Asuncion Ixtaltepec. We’ll learn about the school and their initiatives to revive the cadenilla style of machine embroidery. We’ll enjoy a light lunch, before going to the recently renovated market in Juchitan. Returning to our hotel, we can rest, relax and take a swim in the hotel pool. Overnight Hotel Cali, Tehuantepec
Day Ten: Sunday, Jan. 16, End of Guerrero / Oaxaca Trip (B)
Group will transfer to Oaxaca City or Huatulco for flights or extensions. This transportation is not included, but will be arranged.
TRIP PART TWO: CHIAPAS
Day One, Sunday, Jan. 16, Chiapa de Corzo (B, D)
For the group continuing to Chiapas, we’ll depart for Chiapa de Corzo. Arriving in Chiapa de Corzo, we’ll enjoy a marimba exhibition, and we’ll learn about the famed dress (Chiapaneca) and lacquerware of Chiapa de Corzo. Overnight La Seiba, Chiapa de Corzo
Day Two, Monday, Jan. 17, Venustiano Carranza, Amatenango, Gauze weave and pottery, Arrive in San Cristobal and enjoy dinner at El Paraiso (B, L, D)
In the morning, we’ll tour Chiapa de Corzo, before we make our way to Venustiano Carranza, in the midland region. The cotton backstrap woven huipiles are a light, cotton, gauze weave, as this region is warmer than the highlands we’ll be visiting later on our trip. We will visit homes of master weavers to see this delicate weaving style. After lunch, we’ll depart for Amatenango and Aguacatenango, visiting potters and embroiderers of these communities. Arriving in San Cristobal de Las Casas, we settle into our hotel and enjoy dinner.
Day Three, Tuesday, Jan. 18, Larrainzar and Magdalenas, Fine brocade weave, Free time in San Cristobal (B)
Today we focus on the text and iconography in the Maya weaving of Magdalenas and San Andres Larrainzar and Magdalenas. We will learn of the Ceremonial huipil from Magdalenas and the layers of text and meaning of the woven designs and the form of the huipil, itself. Omnipresent in the Maya iconography are themes of underworld, material world and celestial world (3 planes), the elements (earth, wind, fire and water), and the cardinal points. Also, humankind’s relationship to the outer world is always present. In Magdalenas, we’ll also see how the ixtle bags are woven; from the stripping of the fiber from they maguey leaf, to the plying of the threads, to the weaving of the bags. It’s a fascinating process that dates to pre hispanic times.
Day Four: Wednesday, Jan. 19, Chamula and Zinacantan, Return to San Cristobal, Visit Sna Jolobil textile coopertative and the Museo de Textiles Mundo Maya (B)
Today we’ll experience the indigenous church of San Juan, where they Maya cosmovision of this Tztotzil community is revealed. Healing ceremonies take place to heal the infirm and drive out bad spirits. This church is like any other, with pine needles and candles on the floor as the community members pray to the respective saints, with the help of a “healer”. In Chamula we will also learn about the importance of sheep, as members of the family and we will learn how the women’s woolen skirt is made. In Zinacantan, flowers are seen everywhere; from the embroidered smocks worn by the women and men, to the cultivated variety. We’ll learn about the evolution of their styles and colors; something they pay very close attention to, as color trends change annually! Returning to San Cristobal, we’ll visit the extraordinary Museo de Textil Mundo Maya. The evening is free to explore the bohemian atmosphere of San Cristobal de Las Casas.
Day Five: Thursday, Jan. 20, Tenejapa and Cancuc (B)
In addition to visiting the Thursday market in Tenejapa we will visit a special coop that produces extraordinary examples of weaving technique and designs of this Tzeltal weaving community. Returning to San Cristobal the afternoon is at leisure to explore the wonderful shops of Real de Guadalupe.
Day Six: Friday, Jan. 21, Free Day in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Farewell dinner at Na Bolom (B D)
Day Seven: Saturday, Jan. 22, Depart or extend in San Cristobal (B)