Update from EnVia Tour – Please Support Their Work!

Jun 20 - Productos de Emma Alonzo - mayo de 2013

Here’s a note I received from EnVia today. Please consider supporting their work. Any amount will make a BIG difference.

We wanted to share some photos with you of a few of the women we met during our day together. After a woman receives a loan we stop by her home to take a photo of the products she purchased. Your tour donation provided these women with the opportunity to do things like increase inventory, buy new equipment, or sell new products. These loans support them as they work, improve, and expand their businesses. Thank you for making this possible, and contributing to the empowerment of these incredible women, and their families.

If you would like to continue helping us provide interest-free loans to women in Oaxaca, consider contributing to our campaign to buy our very own van. As of now, renting the van for the tours accounts for 20% of our overhead costs; by helping us to buy a van, you are enabling us to supply even more loans to the inspiring women we get to work with. There’s 5 days left in our fundraising campaign – you can help us reach our goal!
We really appreciate your support of the program. Please do keep in touch!

All our best,
The En Vía team

Julia Hernández, Nov 2012

Estela Isabel Jiménez López, Nov 2012

Tic Tac


The kids in Tlacochahuaya call Spider Man Speeder Man because the “I” sounds like an “e” in Spanish. I mentioned that when I went to see The Guardians, it took me a half an hout to figure out that “Peach” was “Pitch.” I only got it when they said “Peach’s” last name. So, of course animal sounds and other onomatopoetic sounds are going to vary. I already know animal sounds do, depending on the language the animal lives in… Dogs in the US say, “bow-wow, arf, ruff;” they bark. Dogs in Spanish say, “guau guau.” Baby chickens peep. In Spanish they chirp, “pio pio.” Roosters “cock-a-doodle-doo” while their Spanish-speaking cousins: “kikiriki, ki-kiri-ki.”

This is why I was so delighted to see that the watch shop is not called Tick Tock as it would be in the US. It is called Tic Tac, and the Tic sounds more like teak. Next trip, I’m going to spend more time looking for more of these sounds and how they are translated.

City Map


This is a map of what Mexico City used to look like. A very tiny man approached me as I was peering over the railing. He asked me if I spoke Spanish, and when I said yes, he became an impromptu docent and started a spiel about El Templo Mayor de Mexico-Tenochtitlan. He explained about this mythical place and archaeological zone we were standing on, how it was founded in 1325 by the Aztecs on the lake Texcoco. He told me about the Museo del Templo Mayor and its eight rooms dedicated to showcasing the history of the archaeology, ritual and sacrifice, ceremony and commerce, gods, goddesses and art, flora and fauna, agriculture, history, and excavations of the Cathedral (which is sinking).

After his dazzling presentation, he extracted a promise from me that, on a future trip, I will visit this impressive museum and learn more about his city.




Walking the streets in Mexico City, I couldn’t help but notice that there were no tlayudas, no chapulines, no corn carts and no hamburger stands in the streets. I found roasted chickens at this paella place and the candied apples (in a department store!). I saw tortas and moles and aguas. I went to the panaderia, and I had an agua de limon, but it was clear that I was six hours away from Oaxaca in a place that still put beans on a sandwich, but there was no sign of epazote!


Sidewalk Sale


Most Fridays and during some special events, the zocalo in Oaxaca turns—like Alcala, the steps leading to Monte Alban, the area surrounding Tule, etc.—into a marketplace where vendors display loads of jewelry, clothing, bags, and knickknacks. Those hawking their wares often call out that the items are handmade and/or almost free. I wander through stealing pictures as I go, capturing the incredible abundance and color.



Raices de Mi Tierra (Roots of My Earth)


Oaxaca has new boutique featuring the work of outstanding local artisans. Located at 800 Alcala, just up the street from the restaurant El Quinque, Raices de mi Tierra offers a colorful collection of traditional art forms with often delightfully modern twists.

In this welcoming space, browsers will find a high-quality selection of alebrijes (intricately wooden crafts, including jewelry, made from copal trees), metal work, pottery (including pitchers and sconces), traditional textiles from Oaxaca’s eight regions, and woven bags, among other treasures. It is like visiting more than a dozen of Oaxaca’s pueblos in one place.

Not only does the collective feature internationally-known artists, but it is still way more affordably priced than some of the other collectives in town, and the artists themselves staff the place, so you have the opportunity to get to know them and to know more about their work.




Pide Tus Deseos (State Your Desires)


This is the sign at Café Brujula in Oaxaca. Although my mother has warned me (throughout my life, even as I was blowing out birthday candles) to be careful what I wish for, I want to approach the counter with a roll of all of the injustices I want to see made just in this world. My list begins with education for the Little Businessman and Co., and it extends to all other children who deserve the opportunity to learn about our world.

I have practiced stating these desires out loud in my politest Spanish. But usually I just ask for a latte.