Rowan Tree Travel

315 Stark Highway North

Dunbarton, NH 03046

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Oaxaca's Magical Colors, Flavors & Texture

January 23-31, 2019

$2530, not including airfare.

With Suzie Briddsang and Janie Cravens of Open Heart Tours


This winter, Rowan Tree Travel is planning an escape to warm, wonderful, exotic Oaxaca, Mexico. Come with us! Experience the city’s lively plazas, open air markets, architecture and archaeological sites. We’ll spend time getting to know the amazing work in textiles for which the region is famous. We’ll also explore Oaxacan food, the best of the region’s museums, and spend time with the region's wonderful residents. This is a perfect trip on which to bring your non-fiber-obsessed partners, friends, and family. The trip is limited to 15 participants to ensure a small group experience.  For registration materials, or to ask a question, please contact us.


Cost of Trip Includes

  • 8 night’s lodging as well as breakfast and lunch each day

  • Workshop with Zapotec textile artisans in cochineal dye

  • Two workshops in Mexican embroidery techniques

  • Entry fees to all museums and site visits

  • Chauffeured transportation


but does not include

  • Soda, alcoholic drinks and personal items

  • Yarn and other textile goods

  • International airfare

Trip Itinerary


Wed, Jan 23rd


Participants arrive late afternoon/early evening in Oaxaca and check in at Casa de los Frailes hotel. We’ll gather for a welcome and getting-to-know-you session, and then enjoy an evening stroll together to the Zocalo. Yes! An evening stroll in January!


Thursday, Jan 24 

Exploring Oaxaca

Enjoy a leisurely tour of Oaxaca’s main plazas, churches, and its two major markets. We’ll have a chance to purchase material, garment or textiles on which to learn embroidery techniques. Evening demonstration and workshop in Mexican embroidery techniques, part I.


Friday, Jan 25 

Teotitlan del Valle

A day-long visit to our favorite Zapotec town of wool artisans. Will include demonstrations of traditional textile techniques, a hands-on cochineal dye workshop, and opportunities to purchase these world-renowned woven goods and yarns.  


Saturday, Jan 26th   

The Work of Many Hands

A day visiting artisans of the region. First, the village of Ocotlan for time at the Morales Josephina Aguilar compound. Next, to Coyotopec, makers of fine black pottery. Finally, to the town of San Martin Tilcajete, whose famous, fancifully carved wooden sculptures (alebrijes) are made. Evening demonstration and workshop in Mexican embroidery techniques, part II.

Sun, Jan 27th  

Stepping Back in Time

Day long trip to UNESCO World Heritage archeological sites Mitla and/or Yagul. The day also includes a stop at Tlacolula to spend time at an indigenous tiangues (open air) market. 


Monday, Jan. 28th    

Museums, Museums, Museums!

Visits to the Oaxaca Textile Museum, Santo Domingo Museum (the treasures of Monte Alban), and an optional Botanical Garden tour.  Evening workshop in Mexican embroidery techniques, part II.


Tuesday, Jan. 29th 

Monte Alban & Mezcal

Our group will visit Monte Alban – the most famous archeological site in Oaxaca – then spend the afternoon learning how Mezcal is made (sampling encouraged)!


Wed., Jan 30th

Group Choice Day

Art school & paper fabrica?  Glass art? Another cooking class?  Mountain hiking?  Vote for your choice once you’ve registered; be ready for a fabulous adventure on our last day!


Thursday, Jan. 31st  

Adios, Amigos!

Check out of Casa de los Frailes; depart for home.

For trip details and registration materials, or to ask a question, please contact us.

Textile Highlights


Teotitlán del Valle, world-famous for its colorful weavings, was the capital of the Zapotec culture of Mexico during the 11th and 12th centuries. Today, it’s a thriving village of 6,000 residents. Village weavings date back to 500 BC. and were historically made from cotton and ixtle (a plant fiber primarily derived from agave) on backstrap looms. The Spanish introduced the use of wool and pedal looms – both of which became widely used. A variety of natural dyes (marigold for yellow, pecan for brown, cochineal bugs for red, etc.) provide the textiles with a full range of rich, saturated colors. Teotitlán artisans continue to produce exceptional rugs, bags, pillows and other goods, although chemical dyes are becoming more common.  Teotitlán del Valle is also well known for its rich moles, chocolate, mezcal making, and making visitors welcome.

Oaxacan Embroidery

with Araceli Gonzales 

Over two evenings, Araceli will share her knowledge of embroidery techniques used throughout the region. The first, Otomi, comes from Huautla de Jimenez. It features Spanish and Aztec motifs, as well as animal figures derived (according to legend) from a nearby, ancient cave. If time allows, we’ll progress to the more complex techniques of Deshilado and Randa de Ahuja. We’ll also learn about the peasant blouses that originated in San Antonino Casillo Velasco.  These blouses, made popular in the 1960s and 70s, feature small figures worked across the bodice. Our group will spend an afternoon at the homes of village artisans, then try our hand at the technique. Araceli will assist us as we create our own gorgeous rebozos or blouses!