Oaxaca Tour: A Journey into the World of Zapotec Traditions


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Join Botanical Colors on a tour of Oaxaca and A Journey into the World of Zapotec Traditions!

Join Botanical Colors for an indigenous-focused tour of Oaxaca, Mexico through Ancestros, Porfirio Gutiérrez’s Indigenous-owned and managed travel company. Oaxaca is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse areas of the country, with deep ties to ancient cultures and a rich practice of textiles, color and traditions. Our trip highlights include time studio time dyeing with cochineal as well as textile-focused visits with village artisans, time to learn, practice and make textiles, and visits to important, historic spiritual sites, all guided by Zapotec mentors. All the while we will enjoy incredible local food and exceptional hospitality, friendship and sharing. This will be a very special time. Kathy Hattori, Botanical Colors president, will be joining the tour and we look forward to this experience together.

We will use Oaxaca City as our home base and travel to nearby villages and sacred sites, returning to the city each afternoon or evening. We will be staying in a highly rated, beautifully appointed, centrally located hotel, Hotel NaNa Vida. The hotel is within walking distance of the Zocalo, a traffic-free town square that is the heart of Oaxaca and filled with cafes, shops and perfect for people-watching.

We are so honored that Porfirio offered this very special, curated trip through Ancestros to the Botanical Colors community.

A Journey into the World of Zapotec Traditions

October 11-20, 2024, 10 days, 9 nights

Lodging: 9 nights in Hotel NaNa Vida in Oaxaca’s historic center
Meals: Breakfasts, lunches, welcome reception and farewell lunch are all included
Entrance fees: All included
Workshop materials: All included
Guides: A mediator and a host included
Transport: All land transportation in a Sprinter Van Shuttle plus one trip to and from the airport

Price does not include airfare, alcoholic beverages, meals not listed, luggage charges, insurance of any kind, gratuities.

Oaxaca is a state with the most native nations, with 16 different ancestral groups thriving in it today. Because of these deep roots, Oaxaca is one of the richest places for cultural diversity in the world. The capital city sits in the Central Valley of the state, the residence of the Zapotec culture. Here is where we begin our journey into the world of the people who have carried and preserved the memories of the ancestors.

Imagine yourself being immersed in a world of colors, textures, music, aromas, ancient languages, and life-changing experiences. All of the places we will enter are filled with creative souls who often are going to invite us to join them for a meal. This will be a great opportunity for some deep dialogue around very important topics such as sustainability, preservation, social issues, migration, cultural exploitation, and related artistic projects.

Day 1: The group will join for a welcome reception at El Convite restaurant. With the hotel located in the historic center, you are close to markets, restaurants, galleries and a lot of tourist attractions. Walk around and get a feel for the area!

Dinner is on your own but we’ll have a list of Porfirio’s favorite places. Make new friends and eat out together!

Day 2: To gain a deep understanding of Oaxacan culture we will visit the home of the elders Dani Beédxe (Monte Alban) and Vives Verdes botanical garden. These visits will help to inform the ecology of our trip.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch included, dinner is on your own.

Day 3-5: We are going to visit communities and practitioners of craft traditions to learn about their processes and techniques. Can you see yourself at a silk sanctuary? How about meeting palm leaf weavers, drop spindle wool spinners, paper makers? As we travel to each place, each practitioner will be sharing with us how and why they use certain materials as well as inspiration as makers. During these visits at each stop, we will be collecting different materials we are going to use in our own personal projects in the next phase of our trip.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch included, dinner is on your own.

Day 6: Today is a free day – your day to explore, shop and sight-see! We’re currently working with Porfirio’s travel company to gather a list of side events should you want more structure.

Day 7-9: Time to shine and be creative! We are going to concentrate on bringing to life our own art projects inspired by what we have seen. We will dye with the most important colorant in Mesoamerica – cochineal – at the dye studio with Botanical Colors’ President Kathy Hattori as our faithful natural dye leader.

By the next morning, our materials should be dry and ready to be used. For this part of our session, we invited a master embroiderer to share with us some of her techniques and guide us as we work on our own projects. She will be with us for two days, teaching us from a peaceful location in Oaxaca.

For our final creative day, we’ll gather and share a meal, dance and celebrate but most important of all we will thank the ancestors for allowing us to learn more about their traditions and for allowing us to be on their land.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch included, dinner is on your own.

Day 10: After breakfast our host will guide you on your check out and get you safely into the van for a private transfer to the airport.

Meals: Breakfast at the hotel

Travel to Mexico

Please note that you must have a valid passport to enter Mexico and depending on your country of residence, you may also require a visa.  US citizens do not need a visa for travel to Mexico but a passport (not a travel card) is required for air travelers.  Details will be provided upon registration.

Sharing lodging or transportation
If you would like to share lodging or transportation, please let us know ASAP upon registration.

Liability Waiver and travel insurance
We require a signed liability waiver to participate in this workshop and personal travel insurance in the event of unforeseen changes in plans including cancellation, illness, theft, flight changes.  Ancestros recommends https://www.squaremouth.com/ for travel insurance.

Cancellations and refunds
All sales are final and we do not offer refunds once you have purchased the workshop and we do not have a waiting list. You may find a replacement on your own if your plans change.

Changes to itinerary

Please be aware there may be minor modifications to the schedule when we are in country.


Did you see the FEEDBACK FRIDAY featuring Porfirio as guest presenter? Watch it here.


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