Overview

During this 9 day trip to Oaxaca, learn about the local impacts of free trade agreements, globalization and immigration policies from community leaders while experiencing the Guelaguetza festival, an annual Zapotec tradition that celebrates the values of sharing, reciprocity, and community through traditional dances that display each region’s distinct cultural traditions.

We will explore Indigenous resilience through food, art, and social movements in Oaxaca — home to one of the largest and most diverse indigenous populations in Mexico. We will taste the region’s renowned gastronomic traditions rooted in farm-to-table and mezcal production; witness the preservation of pre-Columbian artifacts and practices, including a visit to the Monte Alban ruins; and partake in the Guelaguetza festival, a yearly celebration of the customs of Oaxaca’s Indigenous communities.

A note on the festival: The Guelaguetza is a tradition that has survived since pre-Columbian times, evolving with the influx of Christianity. It was created to bring the community together. A Guelaguetza might be called to help with the harvest, bring food to a family with a sick relative or to gather offering for the patron saint of the town. Today, the Guelaguetza is practiced informally in communities around the region and is hosted every year in the capital, where groups performs traditional dances and share traditional foods and handicrafts with the audience. It is one of the most acclaimed events of its kind in Mexico!

Overview

Join us during Semana Santa (Holy week) and witness the beauty of Mexico’s most culturally and linguistically diverse state. Meet with Indigenous activists, enjoy world famous Oaxacan cuisine, visit the ancient archaeological sites of the region, visit community run projects and witness  the Holy Week celebrations.

These celebrations happen in a state that has suffered disproportionately from the collapse of rural economies and decades long surge of out migration detonated by the original NAFTA accords, as millions of Mexicans — bereft of income and opportunities – headed north. We will look at how Oaxaca was destabilized by this exodus and what people are doing now to hold onto family and community even when they are dispersed geographically.

Overview

Join us on this incredible journey to Oaxaca, home to 16 different indigenous groups, the largest indigenous population of any Mexican state, during the annual Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos celebration. Dating back to the Aztecs, this celebration is a family event to remember departed souls and to celebrate the resurrection of their spirits. They are welcomed back with seas of marigold flowers, elaborate sugar skulls, painted faces, colorful parades, live music and traditional dances.

We will explore Oaxaca’s rich culture through excursions to historical archeological ruins, mezcal palenques, and artisan workshops and witness Oaxaca’s vital culture of resistance based on local indigenous traditions. We will meet the local leaders and women who are often at the forefront of these struggles, organizing themselves and their communities and leading efforts to revitalize local language and culture.

Trip highlights:

  • Take part in the Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos Celebrations
  • Learn about the indigenous people of Oaxaca, their history and struggle to maintain identity
  • Meet with local political figures to learn about the current political situation
  • Speak with social justice leaders, including professors, teachers, and activists
  • Explore the colonial city of Oaxaca while you learn about its history
  • Explore local markets
  • Learn about Oaxacan migration to the U.S.
  • Learn about the repercussions of resort tourism development for local people
  • Meet artists and learn about the role they play in the popular movement of Oaxaca
  • Visit to a temazcal, a traditional vapor bath and learn about herbology and traditional medicine

Overview

Join us during Semana Santa (Holy week) and witness the beauty of Mexico’s most culturally and linguistically diverse state. Meet with Indigenous activists, enjoy world famous Oaxacan cuisine, visit the ancient archaeological sites of the region, visit community run projects and witness  the Holy Week celebrations.

These celebrations happen in a state that has suffered disproportionately from the collapse of rural economies and decades long surge of out migration detonated by the original NAFTA accords, as millions of Mexicans — bereft of income and opportunities – headed north. We will look at how Oaxaca was destabilized by this exodus and what people are doing now to hold onto family and community even when they are dispersed geographically.