Mexico: Oaxaca: Agriculture and Cuisine

Traditional agriculture and ancient power foods, along with thriving culture and modern permaculture in rural Oaxaca.



This morning you will venture out on a culinary journey through the villages of the Etla valley. Sample traditional staples, unique to the Oaxaca valleys, exploring the history of the region through its traditional foods. Corn and cacao are the principle ingredients in these foods and are key players in the history of Mesoamerica and beyond. Your day revolves around tejate, an ancient power drink of Zapotec kings that is both filling and energizing.

Begin your day with a visit to Oaxaca’s biggest market, accompanied by your guide, a traditional tejate chef. Under her guidance, you’ll shop for the ingredients you will need throughout the day.

Tejate is traditionally mixed in special basins, carefully crafted for this purpose. You’ll visit a village where these bowls are made, learning the traditions and history of the craft. These large basins are found in markets all over Oaxaca, where people wait in lines for their day’s portion of “the drink of the gods.”

Making the tejate itself is truly an art. Visit the home of an expert tejatera to learn the secrets of creating this hand made brew from corn, cacao, aromatic evergreen blossoms and tropical seeds. The blossoms, rosita de cacao, rise into a soft white foam atop the thick mixture.

Today, through the window of traditional foods, you take an intimate and interactive look at ancient traditions, adapted to contemporary lives. Through this, you begin to understand, and connect with, the people or rural Oaxaca.

Return to Oaxaca City in time to freshen up before dinner. We will provide you with restaurant suggestions.



Today, you will have a unique opportunity to meet a village up-close. Travel beyond the surface of an extraordinary Zapotec village, exploring the arts and social traditions that make it hum.

Teotitlan is rightly famous for its textiles, especially woven rugs, and you will certainly have a chance to meet some of its renowned weavers, but there is so much more here. This is a thriving community with a very local, very lively daily market, your first stop.

Following a homemade lunch, you’ll meet ceremonial dancers who make a sacred commitment to their village’s well being, and visit a small women’s cooperative making big changes. At your final stop, artfully hand-crafted candles.

You will stay within the boundaries of one village today, yet we will immerse you in another world.

Return to your hotel and dine in Oaxaca City this evening.



Venture out this morning for a full day’s journey from ancient farming wisdom to inspired modern efforts at living sustainably. Your guide today is one of Southern Mexico’s permaculture pioneers and the co-founder of an inspired new center for permaculture and sustainable living.

The kingdoms of Oaxaca valley where built on agriculture starting some 3,000 years ago. Society is fast changing, but farming is still at the roots of what makes Oaxaca. Travel through that history today, learning how the first farmers cultivated the soil and how they forever changed the face of Oaxacan civilization at The Hill of the Organ Cactus or Dainzu, one of Oaxaca’s ancient cities.

Your next stop is at the homestead of an old time farmer who still carries the roots of those ancient ways. And though he doesn’t use the terminology, he exemplifies sustainable living and organic agriculture, and the timeless ways of cooperative, local, self-reliance.

On to the permaculture center, where you will view a contemporary effort based on traditional human wisdom and nature’s example, presenting a model of a simple, self sufficient and healthy future in close contact with nature. In the cooler afternoon air, join your hosts for a bicycle tour through the property, and the nearby town of Tlacochahuaya, surrounded by cactus forests and small scale agricultural fields.

Stay overnight at the ecolodge, built on-site with adobe in a charming, organic style. With traditional Oaxacan building techniques and materials that are 100% natural and local, its buildings are a beautiful blend of ethnic and modern styles. The natural textures found in its four guest rooms’ interior walls are complimented by decorative crafts to create a fine, rustic atmosphere.

Dine with your hosts tonight. Your menu of homemade soups, fresh salads, juices, handmade pastas will be prepared with organic products from the farm.



Rise early this morning for walk through the grounds, enjoying the cool early morning air and light. Later, you will return to Oaxaca City, to be transferred to the airport for your departure flight, or continue on to your next Willing Foot destination.


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