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Oaxacan Experiences

I first went to Oaxaca on my honeymoon in 2006. After hearing my mother-in-law’s stories, I was intrigued by the cuisine, history and traditional art of the Seven Moles. As my husband and I drove down the highway from Mexico City, I looked forward to trying mezcal, mole, chocolate drinks and so much more! 


We arrived right in the middle of the historic teacher’s strike of 2006. There were hundreds of people camped out in the Zócalo. I wanted to understand more of the political situation and started to ask questions. Slowly, I began to grasp the fierce independence of the Oaxacans. Despite the Spaniards arriving 500 years earlier, they had managed to preserve seventeen of their indigenous languages along with so much of their culture and foodways.


In Oaxaca’s Central Valley, different towns are known for their traditional crafts. We visited Teotitlán del Valle and saw how traditional weavers dye their wool with insects and plants and how they use the large wooden loom to create elaborate patterns. We went to San Martin Tilcajete to the studio of Jacobo y Maria Angeles,

where we bought our first alebrije, a carved wooden fantastical creature. 


In 2016, I developed a study abroad experience in Oaxaca. I organized activities such as cooking classes in the beautiful outdoor kitchen in Teotitlán del Valle with the amazing, well-known chef of El Sabor Zapoteco: Reyna Mendoza Ruiz. Students spent the night with the members of the 𝘾𝙤𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙖 𝙑𝙞𝙙𝙖 𝙉𝙪𝙚𝙫𝙖 (@vidanueva_oficialoax) • Instagram photos and videos, a women’s weaving collective that has fought for their rights to have a voice, A Rug-Weaver Searching for Social Justice in Oaxaca - The New York Times


Since 2019. I have worked with the outdoor adventure company, Coyote Aventuras, to craft amazing experiences for USC students. With the Coyote crew, we have visited remote indigenous mountain towns, hiked in cloud forests, swam with dolphins at the Pacific Ocean, surfed the beaches of Puerto Escondido, toured the murals of the city by bicycle, had a private tour of the Monte Alban pyramids at sunset, and so much more. 

I have also developed a long-term relationship with my bed and breakfast hotel, La Betulia, where I have stayed every year since 2016. La Betulia is so much more than a hotel–it’s a place where you wake up to the most amazing breakfasts, you can chat with all the visitors over your coffee, and check in with the manager, Daniel about things, stay in a pretty and comfortable room, and enjoy the closeness to the Centro:


I hope to share Oaxaca and all its encanto with you one day!  

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