Craft, Culture, and Cuisine of Oaxaca March 2-8, 2018

How about some amazement closer to home? We invite you to join us for a week in the celebrated Mexican city of Oaxaca. Imbued with magic, myth, and a centuries-old artistic legacy, Oaxaca combines the charm of rural life in Mexico with the sophistication of an international reputation in arts, crafts, and cuisine. Here, the bustle of everyday life is offset by languid afternoons in the shaded cafés surrounding the zócalo. Colonial buildings are painted in pastel colors and layered with vivid bougainvillea ablaze in the brilliant Mexican sun. Days are shaped by the rituals and celebrations of the Zapotec and Mixtec people, who have inhabited the surrounding valleys since ancient times. Native artisans maintain their artistic heritage: carvers whittle whimsical wooden animals, textile artists weave enchanting tapestries using ancient techniques and patterns, and potters shape black pottery from the region's iron-rich clay. Oaxaca's cultural landscape is like none other in Mexico.

The cuisine of the area is very much part of its wonder. Ancient foods of this region have resulted in some of the most delicious foods of Mexico. Mexicans themselves flock to Oaxaca to savor the mole sauces, the native corn, and even the chapulines, or grasshoppers. It is believed that the earliest domesticated corn is from this region, which gave rise to the first village settlement and subsequent great civilization of the Zapotec.

Along with a more sophisticated understanding of Mexican cuisine, our program includes visits with local artists and artisans, markets, gardens, and museums. Our base for the week will be the centrally located La Quinta Real, a 17th-century convent tastefully converted into a five-star boutique hotel. A three-day extension in Mexico City is available.