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I just returned from the most amazing visit to Mexico and I believe the adventure that we had may provide a new “news” lens for travel to Mexico. A group of us were traveling to Mexico to look at the African Presence in Mexico. We spent 10 days visiting iconic sites across Mexico from Mexico City’s Anthropology Museum and Palace of Arts; Xalapa’s Anthropology and a noted Hacienda in the region; the Fort of Veracruz and the City of Yanga; the Museum of Cordoba and its various Diego Rivera paintings and drawings; Puebla and its ceramic houses and restaurants; the Costa Chica region at Playa de Ventura, Collantes and Cuajinicuilapa; ending our trip in the vibrant city of Acapulco. While we went to look at African culture we were also overjoyed to have been awash in information about Mexican history, culture and food. And, we were awed at the majesty of Mexico’s landscape and the spirit of the people in each community. The trip was glorious and I want to let the world know about it. R. Southall, Obsidian Arts, Minneapolis, 2011
Stephanie’s trip was beautifully engineered to take us through an entire process from beginning to end. On the first day, for example, we visited Oaxaca’s Botanical Garden where we were taken through a tour that pointed out all the plants that were utilized for food and medicine and for dyeing and papermaking! After having seen all of the plants, we visited a papermaker’s studio called Papel Oaxaca in Etla, Oaxaca. There we were given a demonstration on the process of papermaking and then looked at a collection of hand-made papers that utilized the plants that are indigenous to Oaxaca. And while visiting Alberto’s studio was an amazing experience, we were only just beginning our journey. During the hands-on workshop we were to be spending three days learning immersion dyeing through natural dye methods. It is an incredible experience to be able to connect with fellow human beings on a different level, but it is all together a truly remarkable feeling to have been able to connect with fellow artist through our textiles and our visions. And I am especially grateful to our tour leader Stephanie Scheiderman, who took the time to learn what we hoped to gain from the trip in order to provide us with the most remarkable journey. She made it her job to introduce to us a side of Mexico that ventured outside of tourist destinations in order to show us a side that is rarely seen and appreciated. Just like the co-op, Stephanie’s goal is to share her knowledge of the beauty of a culture she loves while at the same time providing opportunities to organizations and communities that make crafts for the love of the art and not the money. Thank You, Christian Ortiz, Chicago
Thank you for organizing such an incredible trip to Mexico City. I had a fabulous time and returned home with good memories, more knowledge, and a desire to return back to such a spectacular city and culture. We saw so much in 8 days and our excursions were interesting, special, and relevant. Thank you again for offering such an experience and I am saving for my next trip to Mexico! C.B, Boston
We saw so much. For anyone with an interest in Frida, this was THE trip. We saw an abundance of sites; great hotel; lots of great restaurants. You have the ONLY Frida trip I have found in the 5 years of looking! K.D, Chicago
Stephanie promises: Mexico as you have never seen it! And she keeps that promise! Mexico is my favorite place in this world. I have been going to Mexico for years … not just beach resorts but big cities like Guadalajara and Mexico City and small towns like Tlaquepaque and Bucerías. I thought I knew Mexico well. Stephanie did indeed show me a Mexico that I had never experienced before. She wants her clients to experience a Mexico that most tourists never see. She finds people who are local experts in their fields to show you the Mexico they know. This might mean spending the day at the home of Albertina who makes amazing hand thrown pots. Laughing and joking with Albertina as she made tortillas for us that she cooked on her comal over an open fire and served with avocados and coffee grown in her yard, I truly felt like I was visiting with a friend. It might mean climbing down into the dark, mystical depths of a Maya temple ruin with legendary guide and archeologist, Alfonso Morales. It might mean walking down a path in the jungle lowlands and meeting up with two long-haired Lacandon Maya tribesmen wearing their native dress and speaking their native language. You are overcome by the feeling that you have been transported centuries back in time. Going with Stephanie is not just a trip to Mexico, it is truly a grand adventure. J. Sincic, Brighton, MI