Traveling back in time in the present

Guelaguetza is one of Oaxaca, Mexico's important cultural festivals and most anticipated event held annually. During this festive time, Oaxaca's local cultures from eight regions are on display. Guelaguetza takes place in July of each year, typically on the first and second Monday after July 16th.

The entire state celebrates the festival, which includes public performances including regional dances. Guelaguetza is a Zapotec word, which means 'an offering' and the festival has its origins in the offerings made to Centeotl, goddess of maize.

There are multiple dances on display at Guelaguetza, which are vibrant and colorful, with costumes that are spectacular. Danza de la Pluma is one such dance. Flor de Pina is another form of dance, where women dance with a pineapple, as a prop.

Oaxaca is a large state and the various regions have their own specific cultural expressions and traditions. The Istmo region has characteristic dances and food cultures that are very different from those of Oaxaca's Valles Centrales, the communities surrounding the capital Oaxaca de Juarez, for instance.

This festival is a chance to experience all of these at once. There is the Centeotl goddess contest, which tests the knowledge of local indigenous women on local traditions. In addition, there are also parades that go through the streets of Oaxaca's capital city.

We've partnered with our dear friend Jessica, a bilingual (Spanish and English) tourism expert and native Oaxacan for an upcoming trip to Oaxaca centered around the Guelaguetza festivities. Our program includes immersive workshops on weaving and understanding the variations of natural dyeing, a candle-making demonstration as well as a tour of the Tlacolula Market, one of the most ancient and grand markets of Oaxaca dating back to pre-hispanic times, which only happens on Sundays.

Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to learn from master artisans in a barro negro (black pottery) workshop as well as immerse themselves in the artistry and history of alebrijes (Oaxacan spirit animals). Understanding these unique pottery and artistic traditions are an essential part of appreciating some of the Valles Centrales regional cultural heritage.  

We have also included an interactive ancestral cooking experience, where participants will learn how to cook mole from a local family and appreciate the traditional methods of the cooking process. You'll be eating what you make! This part of the tour adds a culinary angle to this very rich experience.



We have also included a visit to Mitla and Monte Alban, where we will embark on a tour of the ancient ruins and much more. 

Want to experience Oaxaca and all that it has to offer during this special time of the year? Travel with us this July!

We are organizing a tour for a small group of people to showcase Guelaguetza and all of the cultural and culinary delights described above. 

We aim to introduce you to Oaxaca in an intimate and authentic way, gaining insight to the local history and traditions. Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime trip!

See below for additional details.