Of Memories and Souvenirs

Traveling enriches the soul, fills the heart and leaves an intangible mark that stays with us forever. In some cases, though, we can actually take home a piece of those places that made us so happy, in the form of souvenirs.

If you’re the type who likes to bring home souvenirs to enrich the stories you tell about your trip, we recommend a visit to Oaxaca. But not just Oaxaca—a special route where artisans create unique pieces that vary from one community to another.

As you visit these villages, you can savor their traditional regional cuisines, admire their museums and churches, experience the pace of everyday life and be awed by the magical, colorful items produced by Oaxacan hands.

Start your day in Santa María Atzompa, where local potters create masterpieces out of glazed barro verde (green clay) that are emblematic of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca.

Then go to San Bartolo Coyotepec, where barro negro (black clay) is the star. The brilliant finishes, high-quality innovative designs and attention to detail make this some of the most beautiful pottery in the state.

The tour continues in San Martín Tilcajete, where copal wood comes to life in the expert hands of the local craftsmen, in the form of alebrijes. These imaginary beings combine features of different animals both real and fantastic, rendered in colors and shapes that push the limits of imagination and creativity.

Next, head to Santo Tomás Jalieza, where the women of the community use backstrap looms to weave colorful textiles that reflect the beauty of daily life and Zapotec heritage.

Continue on to San Antonino Castillo Velasco, whose traditional clothing is made using colorful silks and cottons; the so-called “immortal flower” (flor inmortal) is the symbol of this community.

Finish your journey in Ocotlán de Morelos, home to an unparalleled knife-making tradition. In these powerful blades you can see the intensity of the flames and the heritage from which they were forged.

Have you visited any of these towns? Upload your photos to social media and tag us, @Oaxaca_Flavors.