Huatulco Life was inspired by people with a passion for Huatulco and the Mexican lifestyle. It is a place to find out more information about the region and enjoy the beauty of the Oaxacan coastline through the photo gallery. From time to time, other interesting tidbits about Mexico make their way into the pages of this blog. Enjoy!

View The Paradise of Huatulco Video

Friday, August 5, 2011

5 Days in Oaxaca - Day Five

Oaxaca Diary by Renée Netzel

It was our last full day in Oaxaca...and we were already sad at the thought of leaving. We spent a very unadventurous morning in the shopping mall and Sears...not normally a must-see on our vacations, but we live in a small beach town and it's hard to buy certain things like underwear and perfume! So, we stocked up on the necessities that we have grown to depend on, had a quick bite of lunch at McDonald's in the foodcourt. It had been over one year with no fast food...we felt an urge and then we felt sick! What were we thinking...

Our afternoon was devoted to the artisans of Oaxaca. Our first stop was to the Casa de las Artesanias (House of the Artisans). Oaxaca is synonymous with Mexican folk art. Whether you are seeking jewelry, woven rugs, shawls, ceramics or elaborate wooden figures (called alebrijes) you could be overwhelmed by the variety and quality of local crafts. Some would argue that the best place to find these items would be in the small villages outside of Oaxaca where they are handcrafted. However, if you are not able to make the short journey outside of the city, the Casa de las Artesanias is a great alternative. Consisting of six ethnic groups, 27 indigenous communities, 70 family workshops and 10 craftsmen organizations, together as a co-operative they aim to improve and enhance the quality, design, and production techniques of their handicrafts. Here you will find a huge building filled with all sorts of artisan work and very often the artists themselves are on hand to give you a personal demonstration of their skills.

Of course, we found some very unique black pottery that we absolutely had to have. Not surprisingly, we were enticed by a small "urn" made for pouring mezcal or other beverages. But what made it unique was the style...we learned from the artist himself that it was modeled after a Zapotec drinking vessel and he attempted to create it using ancient techniques. As you may have learned about us from our past blogs, we are suckers for great art that has a story behind it. So you can imagine that we snatched up this piece right away!

From there we visited what is commonly referred to as simply MARO - Mujeres Artesanas de las Regiones de Oaxaca (Women Artisans from the Regions of Oaxaca). MARO is also run as a co-operative, where over 400 women are involved in all stages of the production of the handicrafts - from the purchase of raw materials to selling their own products. They offer the complete range of Oaxacan arts and crafts and the quality of the goods is high. Plus, prices here are usually lower than other shops offering items of similar quality because they sell directly to the customer. The cooperative occupies a two-story building, with an inner courtyard and multiple rooms stacked to the ceiling with various handicrafts. Here I found a great deal on a long, flowing "maxi-skirt"- so of the moment in fashion this summer - for only $12 USD!

And after all that shopping and all those great finds, we were ready for a rest and a little snack. On the way back to our B&B we stumbled upon a tapas bar called El Olivo. Serving tasty, upscale pinchos (skewers) and tapas, this must be Oaxaca’s best cocktail bar. They offer a variety of great drinks and even artesanal beers from Oaxaca -how appropriate!

The minimalist decor offers a great atmosphere to relax with lounge music in the background, dark wood tables and cozy seating. For a mere $100 pesos each ($8 USD) we had our choice of an artesanal beer or a glass of wine plus four tapas each - featuring a variety of meats, cheeses, and pates. You would swear you were in Spain and we were in heaven!

And so, unfortunately, our Oaxaca adventure comes to a close....we fell in love with the city and we were sad to say goodbye. But, we know we will be back again. Afterall, it's only a short 35 minute flight from Huatulco!

Here are some people who made our trip so wonderful...
Casa de Las Bungambilias
Discover Oaxaca Tours
La Olla
Los Danzantes
Los Pacos
Casa Crespo
El Olivo

Be sure to visit our gallery for more photos of Oaxaca...

No comments:

Post a Comment