Daily Itinerary

Each day is carefully curated to connect with the art and spirit of Oaxaca while creating the space and providing the guidance to cultivate your artistic practice. Truly the experience of a lifetime!

  • The first morning, we'll set out on an overnight field trip to connect to the land, the cradle of Oaxacan culture. Heading down the eastern Tlacolula Valley, we will take a guided tour of caves with prehistoric paintings, then visit the impressive Mixtec/Zapotec ruins in Mitla. 

  • Next, we'll travel up into the verdant Sierra Norte mountains to the small town of  El Carrizal for a nature-inspired creativity workshop session with Carolyn. Surrounded by giant agaves, wildflowers, and mountain views, we will sketch and stitch textures and shapes to capture the feel of the landscape.

  • After a home-cooked dinner prepared with locally grown, organic ingredients, we'll tuck into bed with our bellies and imaginations full, warmed by the light of a wood fire for a good night's sleep.

  • Going higher up into the Sierra Norte, we will arrive in the silk-making village of San Pedro Cajonos. We will be met by the artisans of the beautiful new Sanctuario de Gusano de Seda (Silkworm Sanctuary.) The artisans and their families will guide us through the entire silk-making process, from cultivating the worms to spinning, weaving on backstrap looms and empuntado, the intricate knotting used to finish gorgeous handmade scarves and garments.

  • Master Dyer Moisés Martínez Velasco will lead us in a workshop session using natural materials (pericón, cochineal, and indigo) to dye handspun silk threads from the village. While our threads are being steeped in color, we will share lunch with the artisans . At the end of the day, we will travel back to Oaxaca City and return to city life.

  • Each participant will receive 15 grams of handspun silk thread to dye with natural materials and use in subsequent sessions and projects. Additional silk threads - as well as gorgeous silk garments - will be available for purchase at the Silkworm Sanctuary store.

Day 3. Stitching Tradition: Shape and Form

Master Embroiderer Virginia Alvarez Juarez from San Bartolome Ayutla will join us in the studio to teach the incredible stencil and stitch technique for which her town is known. Fanciful imagery is boldly outlined and then filled in with dense satin stitching, resulting in eye-popping color and form.

In the half-day workshop with Virginia, we will learn the technique and translate it into our unique designs. This workshop exercise presents an opportunity to discuss issues of appropriation vs. appreciation.

  • Carolyn and Miriam will lead us on a walking tour of Oaxaca's vibrant art and textile scene. We will visit the Textile Museum of Oaxaca, San Pablo Cultural Center, meet street artist Luis Alonso, who “paints with thread,” and visit slow fashion stores that incorporate hand embroidery.

  • We will see contemporary artworks and functional items deeply rooted in tradition, often striking a balance of personal expression and community identity. The day showcases the diversity, range, and innovation in traditional textiles and design.   

  • After enjoying lunch in a sunlit courtyard with sketchbooks in hand, we'll have time in the afternoon to explore what we'll create together. Carolyn and Miriam will also share some basic embroidery techniques to help anyone new or interested in refreshing their foundations.

Day 5. Stitching Tradition: Geometry and Mathematics

Exploring the geometric shapes of the Sierra Norte, Master Embroiderers Ali and Conchis Ramirez Lopez will join us in the studio. The embroidery style from their region layers geometric shapes to create depth and visual complexity. Ali and Conchis will be joined by Adriana Quiroz, a local designer collaborating with them on a collection of garments inspired by nature.

Over lunch, we'll hear more about how they work together. In the afternoon, you will have free time before dinner to relax and integrate what we learned before mixing it up in the manana.

While in this artisan-filled valley, we visit San Martin Tilcajete, known for colorfully painted, hand-carved alebrijes. We will stop in Santo Tomas Jalieza and watch as homegrown cotton is handspun and woven on a 16th-century style loom. We will visit the black pottery village of San Bartolo Coyotepec and the Museum of Popular Art on our way back into town.

Day 7. Connecting Ideas: Studio Day

This is a day of reflection, idea processing, and individual studio time. Carolyn and Miriam will lead a discussion in the morning, where we will share thoughts and reflections on the week's experiences, share project ideas, and discuss our creative processes. The rest of the day will be an open studio, where you will have free time to do what you please: think, stitch, sight-see, or rest. Miriam and Carolyn will be around if you have questions or need help. 

Lunch is on your own (or with your new friends). We'll regroup in the evening for dinner.

Day 8. Stitching Tradition: Deshilado

For our last stitching traditions workshop session, we will learn the art of deshilado, open-thread embroidery, from our very own Miriam Campos. Deshilado is a process in which you remove all of the threads in one direction of a cloth, then use supplementary threads to wrap and weave through the remaining threads to create intricate patterns.  

For the workshop session, we'll travel to Miram's home in the pueblo of San Antonino Castillo Velasco, where her family has been creating floral embroidery and deshilado pieces for more than 4 generations.

While in San Antonino, we will stop into the studio of local sculptor Don Jose and his wife Señora Teresita, whose whimsical style and humor will be sure to fill your heart and soul to the brim. We will finish up with dinner near the town square with Miriam's family, in a charming small-town restaurant.

Day 9. Taking It With You: Studio Day

This full day of open studio will allow you to focus on your pieces wherever you like to work. You can come to the studio, find a quiet coffee shop in which to work or stitch in the park (where people will likely stop and ask you about what you are doing!)

Carolyn and Miriam will be available in the studio to answer questions. This is a time to visually wrap up and stitch down your thoughts - whatever it is you want to remember or whatever it is you want to share.  

As on the previous studio day, lunch is on your own. We will regroup for dinner.

Day 10. Intercambio: Learning Exchange

The morning is free time to continue stitching, take a long relaxing walk, or do whatever you choose to let the experiences of the trip steep.  

In the early afternoon, we will meet in the studio and lay out our works, in whatever stages they are in. We will connect again with our artisan partners, who will join us as we discuss our experiences through our embroideries. Sharing our work with the artisans who have shared their work with us will complete the creative loop

And finally, within this beautiful space filled with our collective works, we will have an Oaxaca-style celebration with art, food, mezcal, music, and new friends.

 "I love watching talented makers see each other's work and are inspired to create something new."

"Through my time in Oaxaca, I have come to appreciate the ability of art to cross boundaries and make connections. I have watched non-Spanish-speaking students communicate with their Oaxacan teachers without a common verbal language. They speak through the art and the making. I am fascinated to see how art crosses borders, finds similarities, and creates respect for differences."

~ Carolyn Kallenborn, Tour/ Workshop Co-Leader 

  • What is Covered on Trip

    We are staying in a private residence in the colorful neighborhood of Jalatlaco with a private roof terrace with a kitchen and coffee shop in the lobby. There is a mix of single and double rooms with shared bathrooms.

    We'll have continental breakfast and coffee on the roof in the morning before we start on each day’s journey.

    All meals (except lunch on three studio days), lodging, tours, transport, activities, and workshop fees are included.  Alcohol during meals, souvenirs, and some optional activities are not included. ​Lodging is not included for local participants.

    [THE FLIGHT TO OAXACA and ground transportation ($15 each way) to & from Oaxaca International Airport (OAX) to Oaxaca City is not included. Please make travel arrangements to be able to join us in Oaxaca for dinner on Friday, June 9th.

  • Price & Payment Schedule

    The price of this trip per person* :

    • $2600.00 USD Single Occupancy (4 rooms each with 1 double bed); Shared Bed option, get $450 off each. 
    • $2300.00 USD Double Occupancy (2 rooms with 2 double beds)
    • $1750.00 USD Local, No Accomodation (limited availability)

    occupancy means your own room with one single bed.

    Double occupancy means two beds in one room each with their own bed.

    Shared Bed means two participants sign up together to share a room with one double bed. 

    Local means you live locally and do not need accommodations.

    *$750 Partner Option (limited availability) - Bring your spouse and partner along to stay and join us for breakfast and in-town group dinners.

    Payments for the trip shall be made in full, and include the NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT of $500 so we can reserve accommodations, transportation and artisan workshops.

    Refunds for cancellations will be returned on the following schedule:

    • 120+ days before the start of the trip, 80% refund (total minus deposit);
    • 90-120 days before, 60% refund (total minus $1000);
    • 60-90 days before, 40% refund (total minus $1500);
    • 30-60 days before, 20% refund (total minus $2000);
    • 30 days before, no refund available
  • How to Join


    We review each application to get to know each participant and give us insight to create the best experience for each group. Once we've reviewed your application, we'll reach out ASAP to provide more information and discuss next steps.

    We will fill the trip in the order of payments received.

    APPLY TODAY if you are interested and get your spot on the list.

    Early Bird Discount

    Sign up and send payment before April 15 & SAVE $100!!

    Payment plans are available on a case-by-case basis. Please send an e-mail to kim@travelingtradersbazaar.com an email to explore this option.

  • Miriam Campos Cornelio, Artist & Workshop Co-Leader

    Miriam Campos is a 3rd generation embroidery artist from San Antonino Castil­lo Velasco in Oaxaca. She and her family are known for their signature designs and colorful floral embroidery used in their traditional clothing. Miriam's mother Reyna Cornelio, grandmother Virginia Sanchez, and all her aunts are established designers and embroiderers. Miriam has exhibited in museums nationally and internationally including the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Oaxaca, Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, New York Botanical Garden, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

  • Carolyn Kallenborn, Artist & Workshop Co-Leader

    Carolyn Kallenborn, Professor Emerita from the University of Wisconsin, is an internationally acclaimed artist working with textiles, film, installation, and community projects. She has 25 years of university teaching experience, leading students in collaboration and developing a personal creative practice. She has traveled extensively to research traditional and contemporary textiles and artisan projects. Kallenborn has been teaching, learning, and collaborating with artisans in Oaxaca since 2004. She has been a cultural, artistic, and technical guide for students, interns, academics, artists, and artisans. Through exhibitions and her documentary films Woven Lives and La Vida y Los Muertos, she helped introduce Oaxacan artisans to the international art community.  

  • Kim Hunter, Tour Leader & Textile Lover

    Over several trips to Oaxaca, my husband and I have cultivated rich relationships with the land, people, culture, & cuisine of Oaxaca. Our passions have evolved into a business, Traveling Traders Bazaar, which offers hands-on, immersive tours into this fascinating region of the world.  Deeply curious, appreciative of cultural differences and interpersonal engagement, we believe that by experiencing different cultures, we gain a greater understanding of the world, our place in it, and the better future that we can build together. It's in this spirit that we share the Oaxaca that we know & love with you.