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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, we'll be guided by and connecting with women at the heart of Oaxacan culture, from young entrepreneurs to wise grandmothers. Our inspiring journey culminates in the city of Oaxaca where we'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, we explore the city's bustling markets and shops before heading down into the valley, famous for weaving and art. There we 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, we head up into the breathtaking Sierra Norte mountain region. Following winding pre-Columbian footpaths, we make our 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, we 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.
Participants have the option to continue the trip to the coast of Oaxaca, first for a night of “glamping”, then on to explore the rich marine environment. We'll meet with a women's natural cosmetics co-op and discover the rugged beauty of Mazunte.
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.
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
Extension cost includes:
Transportation to the coast
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B, L, D)
Gratuities for guides and chefs
SPECIAL OFFER! Receive a $400 discount on the program cost if you pay your deposit by December 31, 2018. (Please note that the free SteriPen with deposit offer will not apply.)
DAY 1 - March 3, 2019
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, 2019
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, 2019
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, 2019
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, 2019
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, 2019
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, 2019
Departure (or on to the beach extension)
Spend your last morning enjoying a fresh pastry and cup of coffee, before heading to the airport for your flight home.
Participants on the optional beach extension will depart for the coast on this morning.
DAY 7 - March 9, 2019 (Extension)
In the early morning, we will leave to make the long journey to the coast. Snaking in and out of the mountains, the road descends, passing through jungle and small villages. We will make a couple stops for meals, beautiful viewpoints and for a coffee tasting. Finally, we'll reach an incredible spot where we will be“glamping”, staying in fancy tents.
DAY 8 - March 10, 2019 (Extension)
After breakfast, we'll take a short hike to a waterfall where we can relax, swimming and hanging out in the freshwater pools. We will have lunch in Mazunte, then visit a women's cooperative that makes natural cosmetics and beauty projects. This women-run enterprise has been very influential in the local economy and brought positive attention to the sustainability of the community. We will have lunch near the beach, then have an afternoon free to explore on our own.
Our accommodations on the beach offer a perfect balance of eco-tourism and luxury, just right for relaxing and meditation.
DAY 9 - March 11, 2019 (Extension)
In the morning, we will head out by boat to see what we can find in the mangroves: birds, iguanas and maybe even crocodiles. Returning for lunch, we can compare notes and photos before enjoying a free afternoon. We can help arrange activities or classes in the community for individuals who are interested.
DAY 10 - March 12, 2019 (Extension)
Free day to enjoy the beach. We can also help you make a reservation for a boating excursion or a birdwatching adventure, or provide other suggestions. We will meet in the evening for one final dinner together.
DAY 11 - March 13, 2019 (Extension)
After an early breakfast, head to Hualtuco or Puerto Escondido Airport for departing flights. Plan to leave at least an hour for travel between San Agustinillo and Hualtuco.
$2,195 per person based on double occupancy (Special price $1795 ($400 savings) if you pay deposit by 12/31!), $165 single supplement (Extension $850 per person, $145 sgl supp)
7D / 6N (plus 5D / 4N opt. extension)
March 3 - 9, 2019 (optional beach extension March 9-13)
Oaxaca City - Cuajimoloyas - Benito Juarez - Oaxaca City
Village Experience, Women-focused
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