Knowledgeable, experienced, and friendly, these folk work on the ground or behind-the-scenes to help open doors for you into another Mexico that will wonderfully broaden your horizons and deepen your understanding of Mexican traditions and culture.
Eric Mindling - Head Honcho, Guide, Photographer
Traditions Mexico was founded by Eric Mindling in 1997. Eric has lived in Southern Mexico and worked closely with hundreds of rural artisans since 1992 when he landed a job, fresh out of college, as a pottery buying agent for Jackalope Pottery in New Mexico. His job was to travel the backroads of Oaxaca, find interesting pottery and ship it to the store. It was a job offer that he describes as "my equivalent to being drafted into the NFL coming out of college. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!" Through years of travelling down remote roads to small villages in search of yet another lost pottery village, eating fresh tortillas, sipping mescal and meeting one wonderful person after another Eric learned his way through the wilds of backcactus Mexico. Traditions Mexico was created to open the door to the world of Mexico's rural people and artisans so that we can share in its wonder and broaden our understanding of this diverse and ancient country. Eric may be contacted by phone in Oaxaca at 011 52 (951) 571-3695 or via email at email@example.com
Alex was born and raised in Mexico City, left in 1983 to study art and graphic design in London and the USA, spent almost a decade abroad studying, working and traveling and returned to Mexico in 1992 to settle down and raise a family. She chose Oaxaca where she has continued working in art production and design among other projects. In the past 15 years she has had the opportunity of running her own design business, furniture store, coffee shop, and more recently has explored the “foodie” world when she worked for chef Susana Trilling in her enchanting cooking school as her assistant. Through all her endeavors she continues to learn about the amazing culture and beautiful landscapes the state of Oaxaca has to offer. She enjoys nature, painting, cooking but most of all traveling.
Chip Morris - Backcactus Guide, Anthropologist (and the encylopedia with the raunchiest sense of humor you will ever encounter)
Premiere expert on Chiapan Highland Mayan Textiles, Anthropolgist, researcher and author the gorgeous book, The Living Maya. After moving to Chiapas in 1972 Chip began working with highland textiles. Through years of study funded by grants from the Macarthur Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the Smithsonian, to name a few, Chip did ground-breaking work in rediscovering the meanings of the Mayan weaving iconography. He also mastered the Tzotzil Mayan language, spoken by many of the highland Maya and has done important work in promoting highland weaving and cultural preservation, including helping to found one of the most long-lived and successful weaving cooperatives in Latin America, Sna Jolobil. Chip has what seems to be encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Mayan, he is an often hilarious, wonderful speaker, and a superb guide.
Photo by Sean Shanahan
Miguel Angel Nuñez - Backcactus Guide and Anthropologist
Miguel Angel Núñez is a native of México City and graduated in Social Anthropology from the National School of Anthropology there and obtained his Master's from National University. He has researched and written about the
cultural history of the Totonac, Nahuatl and Tarascan native people of
México, with a focus on Tarascan Ethnobotany, oral history and folk art. He teaches history and has been a licensed tour guide in México for 15 years. For the last 28 years he has made his home in Casa
de Tierra in Erongarícuaro, Michoacán, a lake shore community in the
Patzcuaro Lake area,
where he tends a botanical garden with a collection of native Tarascan
With this background he knows the stories, both ancient and contemporary, of the people of highland Michoacan and is well versed in the history of central Mexico. Miguel brings to life ancient places with legends and myths surrounding their creation and stories about the men and women who lived and ruled here. His long standing relationships with the people of highland Michoacan gives us special access into the villages and homes of Michoacan. Good humored and well spoken, we are pleased to be joined by Miguel.
Demetrio Bautista Lazo - Master Dyer and Weaver
Demetrio Lazo has become renowned among the master weavers of the ancient Oaxacan textile town of Teotitlan del Valle by reaching back in its long weaving tradition to find the old rich hues of the natural dying techniques of his ancestors. He admits to being obsessed with dyes, and early mornings may find him in high meadowlands seeking minerals and plants in his secret spots to create new rich colors. For several years Demetrio has been sharing his passion through classes, workshops, and demonstrations. Traditions Mexico is proud to be able to have Demetrio enrich our hands-on workshop experiences. For more about Demeterio and the craft of natural dyes, make some time to explore the deep content at his web site, www.teotitlan.com.
Carlos has been a tour assistant and guide with Traditions Mexico since 1995, and continues to widen his knowledge in the field of indigenous trades and folkart. As a designer, he works with artisans in Oaxaca and Peru adapting traditional crafts to make them more salable to the contemporary consumer. He consults with NGOs focused on indigenous communities and sustainable natural resources. Carlos is working on a creative project that combines the work of rural folk artisans and electronic appliances.