Travels in Chiapas – Visiting weavers in their homes…2019

I’ve wanted to add more information from Norma Schafer/Oaxaca Culture and my study tour in Chiapas, but it’s taken me many months to get to it. In fact, I’m returning to Chiapas for the 2019 tour, in February, so I wanted to share this.

I’ve had more questions from friends about ‘what I do‘ when I’m in Mexico? What immediately comes to mind is visiting the artisan in their homes. It’s honestly my favorite activity/experience and it’s always a bit of an adventure and often a surprise and very intimate.  It is a great honor to share a meal or some fresh made tortillas with a rural coop or family in the campo /country-side. There is always a fire going in the open-hearth as that’s the main cooking place. The smell of wood smoke, the busy hands over the comal / disc -platter of ceramic or metal, where tortillas are prepared; ingredients are toasted and roasted; eggs are fried; you name it and it can cooked on the comal. I love the pot resting against a burning branch, beside the comal, sending off it’s sweet scent of coffee or beans simmering. The chairs are of a very rustic, of simple wood construction, often on a scale for people much smaller than I am. The dishes are often enameled tin or simple glass soup bowls from China. The glasses have old-fashion decals on them. There is always a HUGE bottle of some sort of orange soda or Coca Cola on the table…you can pretty much count on it!

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Hanging from the rafters or walls corn is drying, baskets hold herbs and maybe onions. I love the rough adobe walls some as old as the owners great grandfather now deceased. More likely they are concrete brick construction with metal roofs elevated in the corners to let the smoke out. Oh yes, the floors are dirt and swept but smooth with many years of feet traveling back and forth. These homes are the gathering places where the family comes to eat and get out of the sun or rain, rest and sleep. During the day these humble homes are illuminated by the open doors and maybe one open window, it’s shutter thrown back.

Our tour :  Chiapas Textile Study tour...Feb 26th – March 6, 2019 is now filled but message me to be notified for next year.  We are based out of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas and if you’ve been wanting to explore Highland Mayan textiles this is the trip or you!! (This is the 4th time we done this one!!) The previous post also explores local markets and artisan centers we visit during the tour….check it out. All part of our adventures in Chiapas’ Textilandia!

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A weaving coop in Aldama, who cooked us a delicious chicken soup! The women bring their children when they come together to weave and visit.

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These images are the weavers from an out-lying Chamula community doing demonstrations of back-strap weaving techniques, carding and spinning sheep’s wool.



6 thoughts on “Travels in Chiapas – Visiting weavers in their homes…2019

  1. I just received your email and am very interested in one of the two spots you have open for the Chiapas tour. I have been collecting Mexican textiles for many years and have been to Chiapas twice. My travels were not to the incredible areas you are going. I would need a single private room. Please let me know if this is still open.

    Thank you.
    Michael Schroeder
    210 452-9671

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Michael – so happy you are enthusiastic about out tour. The leader and coordinator of the tour is Norma Schafer – – please contact her about the space on the tour….send her your information!
      Thanks, Sheri

  2. Sheri … looked for an email but couldn’t find one. I am on the Board of Feria Maestros del Arte and write the blog and newsletter. Would like to invite you to share articles or guest posts … with links to your blog, of course. Please say hi to Norma … met her last year at her house. I’m always looking for articles so would love to see something from either of you. Blog: Email:

    • Thanks for the invite…I’ll be happy to write something for your newsletter. I’m currently in Oaxaca – check out Living Textiles of Mexico on FB where I’m most active as I love to post lots of pictures of my adventures. I just went to Linda Hanna’s exhibit : Roses and Revelaciones of Guadalupe inspired textiles – maybe I’ll write something on that. Has it been covered? It’s a fabulous textile exhibit of artisan renditions of the ever popular and sacred Virgin of Guadalupe. Perhaps a story of the ‘mandiles’ de Mexico…I know they are popular with the Pure’peche but they are a REALLY important part of the traje en Oaxaca. Let me know what you might think is appropriate for your blog or newsletter.

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