Textile Traditions of Veracruz, Chinantla, Oaxaca & Tlaxcala! March/April 2017

Chinantla, Tehuacan & Oaxaca

Textile Traditions of Veracruz, Chinantla, Oaxaca and Tlaxcala

Thursday, March 30 – Sunday, April 9, 2017 / 10 Nights


Visit El Tajin, the ceremonial center of the Totonac people, the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, to learn of the ancient Olmec culture, AND attend the 4th Textile Festival featuring the textiles of Veracruz! In addition, this trip will take us on an extraordinary journey into a region rarely visited, into the Papaloapan Basin of Veracruz and Oaxaca. The Papaloapan is a cultural / natural region located between Veracruz and Oaxaca, where the coastal plain drops from the Sierra Juarez mountain chain into the Gulf of Mexico. The natural landscape is varied, between lush tropical (think mangoes and pineapples) to higher elevations where coffee grows and deciduous forests begin. The ethnographic landscape of this region is comprised of Chinantec and Mazatec communities, that we’ll visit. Valle Nacional, San Lucas Ojitlan and San Felipe Usila, are some of them. Their textile traditions are among the richest in Mexico, combining unique iconography in woven and embroidered cloth to make huipiles. This trip also goes to the fascinating region of Tlaxcala where we’ll meet with Otomi farmers and artisans of Ixtenco!

El Tajin



Trip Highlights:

  • Explore El Tajin, Ceremonial Center of the Totonac People
  • Visit The Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa
  • Attend the 4th Annual Festival of Textiles, featuring textiles of Veracruz!
  • Learn of Indigenous Textile Traditions of the Chinantecos & Mazatecos of Oaxaca
  • Meet weavers & coops in remote communities of Valle Nacional, San Lucas Ojitlan, San Felipe Usila, in Chinantla
  • Experience “Caldo de Piedra” River Stone Soup!
  • Purchase collection quality textiles
  • Explore Cordoba in the Mountain Region of Veracruz
  • Explore Tlaxcala and learn about its misunderstood history!
  • Visit extraordinary Otomi farmers and “pepenado” blusa artisans in Ixtenco, Tlaxcala.
  • Meet the original sarape weavers of Contla, Tlaxcala!

Trip Includes:

  • Accommodations
  • Expert Guides and/or Academics
  • Comfortable / Secure Transportation
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Breakfasts
  • Meals according to itinerary
  • Water on Van/Coach
  • Airport Transfers
  • Entry Fees

Itinerary Outline:

Day One: Thursday, March 30, Arrive Mexico City, Enjoy a Festive Welcome Dinner!

Tonight we will enjoy a lovely welcome event at a favorite Mexico City restaurant!


Day Two: Friday, March 31, El Tajin: Leaving Mexico City in the morning, we travel to El Tajin and spend the afternoon learning about the ancient Totonac people!


Day Three: Saturday, April, 1 Xalapa and Textile Festival We travel to Xalapa to attend the 4th Annual Textile Festival, that will feature textile artisans from the State of Veracruz! Also, the invited country this year is Peru, so we’ll see textiles from the Andes, as well! In addition to attending the Textile Festival, we will enjoy a guided visit of the host site for the Festival: The Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, known for its extraordinary architecture and collection of Olmec art and ritual sculptures.


Day Four: Sunday, April 2, Alvarado, Tlacotalpan, Tuxtepec, Leaving Xalapa, we take a classic “road trip”, making stops in the shrimping and fishing town of Alvarado, followed by the UNESCO World Heritage town of Tlacotalpan before arriving in Tuxtepec. Settling into our hotel, we’ll enjoy a poolside fashion show to learn about the Chinantec and Mazatec dress of the region we are about to explore!


Day Five: Monday, April 3, Rancho Grande, Valle Nacional, Today we spend the day with a special community in Rancho Grande, Valle Nacional to learn of their traditions in food and dress. We will enjoy a light hike to learn of their native crops and then enjoy regional dishes made from these ingredients. We will enjoy a special expo-venta of their most beautiful brocade weave and embroidered huipiles. We will learn about the meaning of the various “tree of life” designs embroidered on the huipil panels.


Day Six: Tuesday, April 4, San Bartolome Ayautla and San Lucas Ojitlan, Today we’ll visit a Chinantec community and a Mazatec community, both of the Otomangue linguistic groups of Mexico. In Ayautla, we’ll meet with the extraordinary embroiderers who depict nature on their huipiles. Birds are the most common motif. In San Lucas Ojitlan, we’ll visit the Chinantec women of this community who will invite us to enjoy a lunch of local dishes, and to enjoy an expoventa of their extraordinary “diario”, “media-gala” and “gala” huipiles; a huipil for every occasion! The plumed serpent, Quetzalcoatl is among the most important of symbols.


Day Seven: Wednesday, April 5, San Felipe Usila, Leaving in the morning, we enjoy a full day in the Chinantec community of San Felipe Usila. This is an incredible drive, surrounded by the cloud forest and lush green mountainous landscape of this region. The drive is the journey! Arriving in town, we’ll be met by members of the community to learn about their culture and traditions. We’ll enjoy an expo venta, visit weaver’s homes, and experience the famed “caldo de piedra” (stone soup) made on the shores of the Usila River.


Day Eight: Thursday, April 6, Tuxtepec to Orizaba, Tour Orizaba, Today we depart from the Chinantec and Mazatec region and begin our travels onward to Orizaba. Arriving in Orizaba, we’ll visit the wonderful State Art Museum to learn of the regional art of Veracruz and the art of Diego Rivera! We enjoy dinner together in this mountain town of Veracruz.


Day Nine: Friday, April 7, Orizaba to Tlaxcala, Tour Tlaxcala, Today we depart Orizaba and travel through the mountain pass, arriving in Tlaxcala. Arriving in Tlaxcala we will take a walking city tour to learn about Tlaxcala’s misunderstood history. We will learn about the great “Señoríos de Tlaxcala”.  We’ll enjoy a wonderful evening, dining on the regional cuisine of Tlaxcala.


Day Ten: Saturday, April 8, Tlaxcala, Ixtenco, Contla, overnight Tlaxcala, Today begins with a special visit to the State Craft Store. We will meet the Director, who will talk to us about the crafts and textiles from Tlaxcala. We travel to Ixtenco to learn about native corn, and enjoy a meal there! We’ll visit the artisans who specialize in the “smocked” blusa de “pepenado”. We’ll also visit the birthplace of the sarape: Contla! We return to Tlaxcala to overnight. Farewell dinner.


Day Eleven: Sunday, April 9, Depart for airport for flights from Mexico City


Photos From This Tour

textiles motifs







the tools



chinantla- boy

chinantla landscape

town church




making tortillas

the menu

Welcome to San Felipe Usila

la casa del pueblo

la chinantla






4 pineapple for 25 pesos


By the river

The river is waiting

Choosing the rocks

preparing the fire

rocks on fire

rocks heating

preparing the ingredients

the vegetables

the fish

preparing the dish

fresh shrimp

the fire is over

choosing the rocks

putting the hot rock



canoe passing by

coffee berries

taking coffee’s pulp off

drying the grains

coffee drying

coffee is ready

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

« | »