The Mixteca Baja & San Pedro Amuzgos - A Backroads Cross Cultural Encounter
Wednesday November 13 -Arrive Puerto Escondido for two nights at our classic four start colonial hotel The Hotel Santa Fe.We'll enjoy a welcome dinner and then local criollo popcorn and a movie plus we'll learn a few words of Mixteca
Thursday November 14 - A relaxing morning and breakfast in the lovely Santa Fe dining room. The first of many fresh coconuts to drink. Aclimate to the warm weather and take a boat ride out to the Roca Blanca. I'm hoping for turtles and dolphins and some birdwatching and Alison wants to fish. Lunch is beachside and once back in Puerto we'll meet for a get together and go over our itinerary, have a little study group, fashion show and crash course in Amuzgo and Mixteca textiles. Cocktails and dinner ensue.
Friday November 15 -
We'll leave Puerto by 9 on our way to the town of Pinotepa Nacional. En route we'll stop in Tututepec, a puebla that has been inhabited for the last couple of thousand years. Their charming community museum houses many important artifacts of this ancient culture. And visit with a young weaver working to bring back the traditions of his community. Wood fired cooking for lunch at a local truck stop. Evening in Pinotepa.
|The home of a busy weaving family in Pinotepa Don Luis|
Off bright and early to Pinotepa de Don Luis where we'll meet with the local muralist who will describe for us the town history and culture as depicted in his paintings.One of these murals depicts a sacred rock. I really want to hear that story. This young man also does quality control for the local collective that has a contract handpainting Converse tennis shoes for their Mexico City store. We'll visit this talented team who have taken the traditional skill of gourd carving practiced by many in this community and translated it to not only painting but printmaking as well. We'll have a demonstration of the gourd carving and hopefully they'll pull a print or two. On our way back to Pinotepa a very special stop at the home of a local potter in the neighboring village of Jicayan. We popped in on her unexpectedly last year but this year she'll be expecting us and I'm hoping for a demonstration. Her work, mostly utilitarian comals and water vessels, is classic and timeless and she is a master. Evening at Pinotepa, time for a swim and off to a fun dinner.
|These pots are made to hold water keeping it cool and fresh.|
This morning we'll take the windy road for a short(ish) hour and a half drive to San Pedro Amuzgos where we'll spend the next two nights at the quaint and charming Mother Earth Cultural Center which we'll have all to ourselves. We'll meet the first of many backstrap loom weavers who will also demonstrate cleaning, carding and handspinning cotton, a nearly forgotten art in the Americas. Learn more about symbolism and technique.Be humbled by this ancient wisdom. Dinner at a local fonda where we'll see how fresh corn tortillas are made and drink homemade tepache, a fermented pineapple beverage. Maybe a stop at the church just before Mass to learn about their famous sundial.
|Handspinning the native cotton.|
This is the double whammy of good shopping days. For those on the textile hunt, we have it on good authority that the Amuzgos weavers come down from the mountains from 5 to 8 AM to sell their wares. Quality varies and prices are unbelievably good. Plus it's fun to shop on the streets and watch this town wake up. Breakfast from our friend Gaby and her mom at their streetside fonda. Then we're off to the tiny puebla of Guadeloupe where we'll visit a master weaver. She's invited her friends to come down to her lovely home where we'll have a weaving demonstration, have a chance to shop some fantastic goods, maybe a fashion show, look at embroidery, talk with local women and have lunch together. Also this is a rare chance to custom design a piece for yourself. Amuzgos weavers are considered some of the finest in Mexico and you'll see why. A relaxing last evening in San Pedro Amuzgos - time to journal and gather for our study group where we'll share insights.
Tuesday November 19 -This morning we head back towards Pinotepa and stop in the Mixtec community of San Juan Colorado and visit a weaving co-operative and learn about natural dyes, the revival of local cotton, and fair trade. See more fine backstrap loom and handspinning in action. Another chance to buy weaver direct. Then a visit to the first of several mask making families we will visit. Evening back in Pinotepa. Yes to the swimming pool.
|Who made your clothes? The joy of buying maker direct.|
|We're hoping he gets his neighbors together for a dance performance!|
Thursday November 21 - A quick stop at the bustling market in Pinotepa Nacional full of cured tobacco, fresh fish, local cheeses and chiles, plus all manner of wedding wear, cowboy hats, leather belts, local clothing and more. This is life without Amazon or a big box stores. And on our way back to Puerto Escondido, we'll have our last village stop in Huazatotitlan where we'll visist woodcarvers and hear stories of how the tiger came to have mirrors in its' eyes and other local lore. Lunch in the village. Evening back at the Santa Fe.
Friday November 22 -Time back in civilization to process and unwind. Schedule your massage, swim in the ocean and we'll meet for a mid afternoon/early dinner/farewell fiesta/show and tell of all our goods before heading off for a magical swim in the bioluminescent waters of Manialtepec Lagoon.
|Natural coyuchi and indigo dyed backstrap piece|
Details of our Most Excellent AdventureTotal cost is $2,895 11 days/10 nights beginning and ending in Puerto Escondido. Price is for double occupancy. Single supplements are available for most of this trip by request .You are responsible for getting yourself to our hotel in Puerto (we're happy to help with details) but after that it's all on us. Everything else, all meals, transportation, tours, guide services and even a complimentary massage are included. Please note however we recommend budgeting in personal spending money for textiles, masks and other goods. More than you think. Supporting local artisans is the best way to support their cultures. Tour price does not include alcohol, tips, or laundry or personal shopping. Puerto Escondido has a daily flight from Mexico or Oaxaca City and the Huatulco airport (about ninety minutes south) has several daily flights.
Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or use our contact form on the right. A $500 non refundable deposit will hold your place. Please be committed to the trip when registering. We do recommend trip insurance. Space is limited. Price is double occupancy although single supplement may be available for parts of this trip by special request.