Wrapping Up 2019
As 2019 comes to a close and we embark on the transition into a new chapter, it seems important to pause and reflect on the marvelous, sometimes-convoluted, always-meaningful journey that we’ve experienced this past year as a project.
2019 marked some major milestones for Tlayudona. What had once been a mere idea had already morphed into a practice, but this past year we watered it until it grew into something bigger than that–now we are a team. Although we are in a constant state of evolving, reflecting, growing, changing, and construction; we have come to sustain a solid foundation, built from our love for Oaxaca and our community.
Thanks to Our Amazing Team and Our Evolving Project
We now have a thriving core team in our office. There, we work together to create new experiences, deliver our tried-and-true experiences in authentic ways, and brainstorm on how to innovate our industry while adhering to our guiding principles. Our core team is composed of women who are intelligent, thoughtful, creative, strong, vibrant, multilingual, multi-cultural, interesting, and fun!
We now have a network of over 40 experiences that we offer in and around Oaxaca, given by our team of more than 20 hosts! Each experience has been created with care and attention to detail, respect for our hosts and our community, and a desire to live, learn, and build memorable ties. Our hosts continuously open their hearts, their homes, and their lives to our visitors, and we could not ask for a more dedicated and passionate group.
We have all given the best of ourselves to our visitors and have formed lasting connections with many of them. We have lived and loved, cried with, and embraced our team of hosts. We have shared uncountable meals, dreams, and stories. Most of it has been so much fun. But perhaps the not-so-fun parts have been even more meaningful. People can be complex and fascinating, and we have learned so much through our experience as a portal that connects multiple worlds.
While asking a friend the other day for constructive criticism regarding our project, the friend responded that perhaps if we’re asking, it’s because something about what we’re doing is bothering us. On the contrary, I think that because our project is constantly evolving, it’s absolutely necessary to reflect on the direction we’re taking things. I hope that we never lose our desire to critique and be criticized, to reflect and to open ourselves to new ideas. We take so much pride in the fact that some of our visitors have returned to the “same” experience multiple times because they learn something new each time.
Thank you 2019 and to All of You Who Were a Part of It
This past year has gifted us so much! Faithful friendships have been born out of contact with repeated clients. New business opportunities have presented themselves as well. We were able to grow our core team to be able to provide multiple experiences concurrently throughout Oaxaca on many occasions and to foster an environment of nurturing support and growth amongst our hosts and office crew. We received the Nomad 9 MFA from Hartford University for their Oaxaca residency, which enabled us to rekindle our old flame with academia within a more flexible and autonomous framework, and we plugged away on the prep work for several other groups that we have on the horizon for the new year.
So what else will 2020 bring for Tlayudona? All we know is that we’re working hard on some new ideas, but that our next chapter remains (at least partially) unwritten. We will be expanding our experiences for children and families, because it’s important that our youngest visitors can quench their thirst for knowledge. We will be hosting several week-long groups from universities, NGO’s, other organizations, and even a restaurant! We are so excited about these longer trips, because they give us the opportunity to provide continuity, dialogue, and a more profound experience in general.We are also improving our core organization so that we can be more effective members of our surrounding community and the local economy. Exciting stuff!
So please stay tuned as the fruits of our efforts unfold in 2020! And whether you are a visitor, friend, host, or follower of our project, we send you our sincerest thanks and gratitude. You have all been an instrumental part of our story!