Both segments combined $3,525 Double Occupancy
On this journey, we explore the multiple ethnic communities of Oaxaca (and Guerrero) 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!
Arrival Day: Arrive Acapulco Hotel and Meals are not included in the price, but Tia Stephanie Tours will negotiate a room block at the hotel Fairmont Pierre Marquez.
Day 1: Today we transfer to our base for the Amuzgo region, Ometepec, Guerrero. Upon arrival, we relax in our hotel and enjoy a great welcome dinner at a local restaurant and taqueria! (D)
Day 2 : An amazing day awaits, as we travel to the mecca of Amuzgo weavers, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, where we meet the extraordinary weavers of the coop, Flor de Xochistlahuaca, formerly lead by master weaver and teacher to young women, Florentina. Here, the tradition remains alive, due to the dedication of these women to their art and heritage. We see the huipils (3 panels) and batas (2 panels) that are woven on backstrap looms, taking up to six months to produce. We see the use of beautiful natural cottons, such as coyuche with carmel hues, and others with sage green hues. Overnight in Ometepec. (B, L)
Day 3: Today, once again, we travel to meet some of the most talented and inspiring weavers, spinners and dyers of the coastal Mixtec region of Oaxaca, known as the Costa Chica. In two communities, Pinotepa de Don Luis and San Juan Colorado, to learn of the traditional dress of the region, such as the pozahuanco wrap skirt of purple Murex, indigo and cochineal stripes. We overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. (B, L)
Day 4: Today we visit the communities of Huazolotitlan and Jamiltepec to meet with some of the best weavers and embroiderers of the region and to see how dress changes from one community to the next. Here, we will learn about the double-headed eagle iconography that is so representative in this region, and we will see a unique way the huipil is worn over the shoulder! Overnight in Puerto Escondido. (B, L)
Day 5: Today we travel further down the coast to Huatulco, where we are met by the leader of the Mixtec coop of purpura pansa, Murex dyers, who have extracted the purple dye from the Purpura Pansa mollusk for generations. We learn about the tradition of dyeing with a live mussel, without harming it, and the work of anthropologist Marta Turok, to educate people on the threats to this now endangered creature of nature and the natural dye traditions of the Mixtec community. Overnight Huatulco (B, L).
Day 6: Leaving Huatulco, we continue down the Oaxaca coast towards Salina Cruz, to the Huave community of weavers, San Mateo del Mar. While the women are Huave, they have adopted the dress of the Zapotec women of the Isthmus; the colorful huipil accompanied with a flowing, equally colorful skirt. Their traditional whimsical weaving designs of animals, fish, butterflies, can be seen on the runners, place mats and other utilitarian items they weave of cotton on backstrap looms. From here, we travel into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to visit the Zapotec community, Juchitan. We will learn of the history of traje, or dress which is so emblematic of this region, making the women of Tehuantepec a favorite subject of artists and sculptors, such as Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Zuniga, and made popular by Frida Kahlo, who often was seen wearing beautiful traje brought to her by travelers to the region. We overnight in Tehuantepec. (B, L)
Day 7: End of Oaxaca Trip, Beginning of Chiapas Trip! In the morning we visit the Market in Juchitan before we Transfer to Chiapas San Cristobal, Dinner San Cristobal (B, D)
We arrive in Tuxtla Gutierrez and then ascend the mountains to San Cristobal de Las Casas, named after Bartolome de las Casas, who was known as the “conscience of the conquest”, as he admonished the Spanish monarchy to change their attitudes and behavior towards the indigenous population. San Cristobal sits at 7,000 feet, and the air is clear and light. We enjoy a welcome dinner at a local favorite restaurant!
Day 8: Chiapas: Chamula & Zinacantan, Return to San Cristobal de Las Casas, Visit the Museo de Textile Maya and Sna Jolobil (B)
Today is market day in Chamula! In addition to the market, we will 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 leran 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. Returning to San Cristobal, the evening is free to explore the bohemian atmosphere of San Cristobal de Las Casas.
Day 9: Chiapas: Larrainzar & Magdalenas, Return San Cristobal, Visit Sergio Castro Collection (B, L)
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.
Day 10: Venustiano Carranza, Return San Cristobal (B, L)
After breakfast, we depart for the community of Venustiano Carranza, in the tropical midland region. The cotton backstrap woven blouses here are very light and gauze like, as the region is hot. We will visit homes of master weavers to see this delicate weaving style. From here we visit the Chiflon waterfalls; a light hike to the falls, a swim, followed by lunch.
Day 11: Chenalho, Return to San Cristobal (B, L)
On our last day, we will visit the community of Chenalho that has yet another very unique and distinctive style and technique. We will meet with coops that are working with contemporary designers. Return to San Cristobal.
Day 12: Tenejapa (Market Day) & Cancuc, Return San Cristobal to Visit Na Bolom Museum, Dinner at Na Bolom, Fireside Chat with Patricio Murphy Ruiz (B, D)
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 we’ll visit Na Bolom Museum and enjoy a Farewll Dinner and Fireside Chat with the nephew of the Late Archbishop Samuel Ruiz, to learn about the history of revolt in Chiapas.
Day 13: Flights home or Extend! (B)
Free day to explore San Cristobal or Visit the Sumidero Canyon!