Make Your Own Istmo-Style Embroidery

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Rocío is a vibrant Oaxacan handcraft clothing workshop owner, and her project is called Pacha Nantli (from Quechua “pacha ” which means earth and from
Nahuatl “Nantli” which means mother). Like many women in Oaxaca, she learned the art of embroidery when she was very young. Over the course of her career she has had the opportunity to travel to other Latin American countries, and through teaching embroidery to local women she has left a legacy of contributing to those communities. Now she is back in Oaxaca and ready to share this intricate artform with visitors.

In this experience, you can learn one of the two embroidery techniques from the Istmo, either “aguja chica” (small hook), or hook/chain embroidery, both of which are popular in the “tehuana” dress. This embroidery is usually done on lush fabric such as velvet or satin, with
cotton or silk threads. The clothing that boasts these techniques is well-known for its elegant style, the notable amount of time and creative work behind its creation, and its roots stemming from the cultural interplay between indigenous communities and the colonization that took place in Mexico.

In this experience you can either embroider directly on a piece of clothing that you provide, or you can begin by embroidering a flowered patch that you can later attach to the fabric of your choice. As a third option, you can embroider fabric that Rocio can later convert into a fashionable piece of clothing tailored specifically for you (at an additional cost). The sky is the limit with your creative process and Rocio’s honed tailoring abilities!

This experience follows our Covid Protocol. Please make sure to go over our protocol and to only reserve the experience if you’re in complete agreement with the terms. We are working hard to keep everyone in our community safe, from our visitors to our translators and hosts, to family members and other people on-site at our experiences. Rocio’s workshop consists of three walls, with the front open to the street.

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What to Expect

Step One: Read our Covid Protocol. If you agree with these terms and practices, write to us and request this experience, telling us how many people are in your small group and what your dates of availability are. This experience is easiest to arrange within the host’s availability, which is generally Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays (exceptions can be made for larger groups or with advanced notice). Let us know where we’re staying so that we can arrange to pick you up on the agreed-upon date.

Step Two: Once we’ve found a date that works for our hosts and for your group, we will send you a Paypal request for a deposit for your experience. This deposit is non-refundable. In case of an emergency with our hosts, we will do our best to reschedule with you at a mutually-convenient time. If that is not possible, we will refund your deposit.

Step Three: We will meet you at 8:30 a.m. at Tlayudona (210 C on M. Bravo street in the historic center) and take you to Rocio’s workshop, about 15 minutes away.

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Experience Includes

  • Instruction on how to embroider within the Isthmus tradition.

  • All materials required.

  • The menu of the day at either a neighboring Oaxcan restaurant or Indian restaurant. (Both are delicious). 

  • Round trip transportation leaving from/returning to Tlayudona and following our Covid Protocol.

  • Experience Timeframe: 8:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.


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Logistics and Cost

Time Involvement – 4.5 Hours

Transportation – Round trip from/to Tlayudona (210 C , M. Bravo Street in the Centro district)

Costs and Minimums – 1,500 MXN per person if you are signing up two people. 1,300 MXN per person if you are signing up 2 or more people.


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