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Connecting with Oaxaca's Dynamic Women
Explore the world of Oaxacan mujeres, from women's artist cooperatives to contemporary female chefs creating new dishes while rooted in a traditional world. On this women's group program, you'll be guided by and connecting with women at the heart of Oaxacan culture, from young entrepreneurs to wise grandmothers. This inspiring journey culminates in the city of Oaxaca where you'll celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women with locals in observance of International Women's Day.
Starting off in the lively city of Oaxaca, explore the city's bustling markets and shops before heading down into the valley, famous for weaving and art. There you learn about traditional art and weaving passed down from mother to daughter through generations and sip on small-batch mezcal made by a female mezcalera.
Next, head up into the breathtaking Sierra Norte mountain region. Following winding pre-Columbian footpaths, you'll make your way from community to community, learning about natural medicines, edible plants from the forest and ways to prepare them from the indigenous women who live here. Evenings are cozy around the communal dinner table and tucked in by the fireplace in our community-run cabins.
Finally, descend out of the mountains back to the city of Oaxaca in time for the International Women's Day to celebrate with female entrepreneurs and artists.
This women-focused trip is chock-full of fun and inspiration, with lots of opportunities for connection and hands-on learning from the women of Oaxaca. Oaxaca is an area that has long struggled under economic hardship, and Oaxacan women work hard, but often with little recognition. In recognition of International Women's Day, we look forward to honoring our Oaxacan sisters and joining them in solidarity and support.
An optional beach extension is available for those who have extra time to enjoy Oaxaca's coast.
PROGRAM COST INCLUDES:
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B, L, D)
Round-trip transportation between Oaxaca City and the Sierra Norte
Transportation of luggage to and from each village on Sierra Norte
Trail use fee and Sierra Norte ecotourism project entrance fee
Gratuities for guides and chefs
DAY 1 - March 3, 2020
Arrival in Oaxaca, Mexico
Welcome to Oaxaca! Participants should plan to arrive before noon, or consider coming in the day before. Upon arrival, we will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the central area where you can get settled in.
Later in the afternoon, we'll venture out on a walking tour of the city along the popular pedestrian streets, the main plaza and markets.
In the evening, we'll enjoy a welcome dinner at the well-reviewed Las Quince Letras run by the famous female chef, Celia Florián. Known as the fairy godmother of Oaxacan cuisine, Chef Florián transforms her grandmother's recipes with updated twists to create delicious meals. Our first day will be finished off by tasting the unique flavors of Oaxacan sweets.
DAY 2 - March 4, 2020
Artisans and Magic Hands
We will be picked up early this morning and head out for a traditional breakfast of the Valley Region. Then it's off to the village of San Martin Tilcajete, for a presentation of the art of Alebrijes, the brightly colored figurines of fantastical creatures popular in Oaxaca.
Later, we will visit a female master artisan who will teach us the art of back-strap weaving. Our afternoon will conclude with a mezcal tasting led by a master mezcalera, a female mezcal maker, at Palenque de Mezcal. We will return to Oaxaca in the late afternoon.
DAY 3 - March 5, 2020
Natural Wonders, Cooking Class and the Cuajimoloyas Community
This morning, we'll pack up and head out of the city. We'll start out by visiting a couple of natural wonders: the Hierve el Agua, natural rock petrified in the shape of a waterfall, as well as the famous Tule tree, a thousand-year-old Montezuma Cypress with the widest trunk in the world.
Arriving in Teotitlan del Valle, we will take part in a cooking class, learning local techniques to make a traditional lunch which we'll share. Continuing up the mountains, we will arrive in the community of Cuajimoloyas and check into the cozy community-run cabins where we'll be staying.
Our friend and chef, Fabiola, will prepare a special homestyle dinner for us at the common eating area. Spend the evening chatting with her and the other women who run the restaurant and the community-run cabins.
Before dinner, you will have the option of a short hike to a spectacular viewpoint to catch the last rays of the sun.
DAY 4 - March 6, 2020
Medical Plant Walk, Farm-to-Table Meal and the Benito Juarez Community
After breakfast, we'll hike along the communal paths to the neighboring community of Benito Juarez in the company of Senora Sonia, who will share her extensive knowledge of the plants and mushrooms that grow in the mountains. She will teach us about their traditional and medicinal uses, and where to find the finest specimens. After about 3 hours, we will arrive in the community and have lunch at Casa de Dora, enjoying an authentic 'farm-to-table' meal prepared from the organic produce grown on the farm. The family is happy to share their home and their kitchen, and they'll give us a tour of their beautiful organic farm, from which they live off of nearly 100% of the time.
After lunch, we'll learn to make serrano bread with Senora Lilia. After the bread is baked, we will sample it with chocolate in the Stone House, the gathering point in the community.
Before dinner, we will have time to share recipes, take walks around the community or rest and relax.
DAY 5 - March 7, 2020
Pre-Hispanic Path, Traditional Sweat Lodge and the Latuvi Community
In the morning, we will take the “Trail of the Rolled Leaf” path to the community of Latuvi. This pre-Hispanic route follows the river that unified Zapotec villages all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, full of incredible biodiversity. Beautiful Latuvi is perhaps the most dramatic of all the viewpoints on our route.
After arriving in the community, Senora Martha will teach us how to make pulque and tepache, traditional drinks made from corn and maguey, sweetened with natural fruits and flavors. Then travelers will have the chance to take part in a temazcal, a traditional steam bath or sweat lodge filled with healing herbs.
In the evening we will return to the city of Oaxaca.
DAY 6 - March 8, 2020
Female Artisans, Entrepreneurs and International Women's Day in Oaxaca
On the last day of the main program, we will have time to explore the city of Oaxaca independently, as well as participate in some of the local celebrations for International Women's Day. We will have the chance to visit some of the local markets and cooperatives and meet some of the city's most interesting female entrepreneurs and artists.
We will come together in the evening for a farewell dinner and reflections on the trip.
DAY 7 - March 9, 2020
Spend your last morning enjoying a fresh pastry and cup of coffee, before heading to the airport for your flight home.
(We are happy to help participants create optional extensions to this program if you'd like to stay longer and keep exploring!)
$1,995 per person based on double occupancy
7D / 6N
March 3 - 9, 2020
Oaxaca City - Cuajimoloyas - Benito Juarez - Oaxaca City
Village Experience, Women-focused
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