General Trip Information
Cash and Money Exchange
Traditions Mexico takes you beyond the standard sites visited by tourists and travelers and into the wonderful and authentic wilds of backcactus Mexico. As a result we will see things that other visitors seldom or never see, and in the process we will be subject to some jolting, dust and other strains that come with the wonder of adventure. We never go anywhere that doesn’t have a decent hotel and good food, but this certainly isn’t Kansas anymore, Toto. Our travelers should bring with them a willingness to get off the beaten track, a curiosity to see the real world in its true and wondrous colors, and the patience to bear the occasional discomfort that this can imply.
Specific information for your trip, including details of first meeting and how to get there, contact information for hotels and guides, climate and travel conditions, etc, will be provided to you in an email package upon registration.
Knowledge of Spanish is not necessary; a translator is always on hand. If you speak a little Spanish it will enhance your visit. If you speak a little Zapotec or Mixe it will enhance your visit even more. Mexicans are extremely hospitable and patient. This is a great place to work on your Spanish.
Some of the villages and homes we will be visiting are very traditional. As respectful guests it is very important to dress conservatively. Shorts, short dresses, sleeveless shirts, tank tops and tight fitting clothing shouldn’t be worn in the villages. Dress in larger cities is less conservative. A sun hat is highly recommended.
Unless a specific accommodation is requested, we reserve or recommend the best available, reasonably priced, charming hotels/lodges with private bath, hot water and good service. Prices are based on two persons sharing a twin-bedded room. Traditions Mexico reserves the right to substitute equivalent or superior hotels.
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy. If you request single accommodations you will be charged the single supplement. If you are willing to share a room, we will attempt to match you with another traveler of the same gender, in which case the single supplement will be waived. However, if we are unable to find another traveler with whom you can share a room, a single room option will be offered to all tour participants and if no one requests the single room, Traditions Mexico will supply a single room to be traded off among interested clients at no charge.
U.S. Citizens traveling to Mexico are required to carry a current passport, valid for three months after your reentry to the U.S. It is your responsibility to obtain proper documentation. If you are not a U.S. Citizen, contact the embassy, consulate or national airline of the country you are traveling to for entry requirements
Some of the places we will be visiting are rural, indigenous, peasant communities. The court yards of the houses are filled with pooping chickens, turkeys, donkeys, oxen, dogs, cats, pigs, goats, etc. Tap water is not safe. Hygiene conditions are far from what you are accustomed to. We take all the precautions possible to keep our food clean and have purified water available at all times, but DIARRHEA is a real concern in Mexico. We’ll talk about what to avoid on your first day here. It is a good idea to bring hand wipes or no-water soap. A drug now being used to treat diarrhea as well as being used as a preventative is the antibiotic, rifaximin (http://www.pharmacist.com/articles/h_ts_0549.cfm). Also recommended by travelers are colloidal silver, www.sovereignsilver.com, and Jarro-dophilus EPS "for intestinal and immune health" www.jarrow.com. Dehydration is a common problem with diarrhea. Gatorade is a decent rehydration drink and is readily available in Mexico. For a better quality rehydrant consider traveling with powdered Hydralite, see- www.gookinaid.com.
If you are taking prescription medicine, bring your own supply. (Though there generally pharmacies and medical facilities available.) Bring an extra pair of glasses if you use them. No vaccinations are necessary for travel in Mexico, however it is advisable to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A.
Coastal travel runs a very small risk of malaria. Mosquito repellent is advised. You may want to consult your doctor about your travel plans.
In case of accident, injury or theft, you may want to consider taking out travelers insurance if your policy doesn’t cover such things.
Good physical and mental health are essential for the enjoyment of these rural workshops and trips. You may travel in rugged areas removed from modern medical facilities. Good physical conditioning is recommended as preparation for all trips. By forwarding the deposit and signed Reservation Form, the passenger certifies that he/she does not have any physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other passengers. It is essential that any participant with a medical condition requiring regular treatment or which may be affected by moderate physical activity, high altitude, heat, cold, humidity, dust, other natural phenomenon, unsanitary conditions or particular foods, notifies Traditions Mexico and the trip leaders, in writing in advance of travel. Traditions Mexico assumes no liability for medical care nor for special dietary requirements. Participants may be required to furnish a doctor’s statement of good health. The judgment of Traditions Mexico or the local operator or guide, shall make the ultimate determination of an individual trip participant's fitness to embark upon, or to continue a trip. Any clients 60 years of age and over or with preexisting medical conditions are required to complete a Traditions Mexico medical form which must be signed and dated by a physician.
Medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. All participants must be covered by a current medical insurance policy applicable for overseas travel for the duration of their trip. Proof of coverage may be required.
Cash and Money Exchange
Bring travelers checks, cash, credit cards or ATM cards. ATM machines are ample and modern. There are also plenty of places to exchange dollars for pesos. Personal checks are useless down here. Most places won’t accept credit cards for purchases, though you can use them at an ATM machine or bank to get cash.
In your workshop or journey we will be seeing and doing things that tourists never get to do, but you might also want to take some time to do what tourists do: see the ruins and golden churches, wander the museums, galleries and markets, stroll aimlessly in the amazing central park, visit the woodcarvers, weavers, tinkers, tanners, basket makers, hatters, peddlers, head for the quiet Pacific coast...I highly recommend making the most of your trip and scheduling some extra time here before or after your workshop or tour.
I look forward to seeing you and introducing
you to the artisans of rural Mexico.