My friends and I booked a weavers' tour to Teotitlan de Valle with Traditions Mexico that became one of the most rewarding days of my week in Oaxaca--actually, *two* of the most rewarding days, as we immediately booked a second tour to Ocatlan and nearby towns south.
Eric's depth and breadth of knowledge is astounding, reflecting his lifelong passion for the Zapotec and other indigenous cultures. His close relations with the artisans proved invaluable: with Eric's help, we discussed techniques with master weavers and dyers, shared a delicious lunch in one family's home, and learned a great detail about their politics, history, environmental efforts, and social and economic issues.
I usually don't care for tours, but through Eric I gained a much greater understanding of these people than I could have on my own. More importantly, I didn't feel like a tourist--I felt genuinely welcome in their homes, and we shared a mutual respect and appreciation for one another. It was one of those life experiences that I shall never forget.
A couple of notes:
- As a woman, I have to say I felt perfectly safe in Oaxaca, even at night, alone. As with anywhere, stay aware of your surroundings and use common sense. The Oaxacans are very proud of their city, and genuinely want you to feel welcome; if you need assistance, you'll find folks there are eager to help.
- Unlike most tour guides, Traditions Mexico guides do not receive any commission on sales of rugs, food, etc. There is no pressure to purchase the arts/crafts--although they're so beautiful you'll want to!
- Eric is very good about assessing moods and energy levels and will adjust the itinerary to fit your needs. Our tours were full-day, but at no time did I feel over-extended.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.