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Oaxaca: Guelaguetza Festival: Art, Culture and Indigenous Resistance

  • July 19 - 27, 2022
  • Pickup: Airport
What’s included

During this 9 day trip to Oaxaca, learn about the local impacts of free trade agreements and immigration policies from community leaders while experiencing the Guelaguetza festival, an annual Zapotec tradition that celebrates the values of sharing, reciprocity, and community through traditional dances that display each region’s distinct cultural traditions.

We will explore indigenous resilience through food, art, and social movements in Oaxaca — home to one of the largest and most diverse indigenous populations in Mexico. We will taste the region’s renown gastronomic traditions rooted in farm-to-table and mezcal production; witness the preservation of pre-Columbian artifacts and practices, including a visit to the Monte Alban ruins; and partake in the Guelaguetza festival, a yearly celebration of the customs of Oaxaca’s indigenous communities.

A note on the festival: The Guelaguetza is a tradition that has survived since pre-Columbian times, evolving with the influx of Christianity. It was created to bring the community together. A Guelaguetza might be called to help with the harvest, bring food to a family with a sick relative or to gather offering for the patron saint of the town. Today, the Guelaguetza is practiced informally in communities around the region and is hosted every year in the capital, where groups performs traditional dances and share traditional foods and handicrafts with the audience. It is one of the most acclaimed events of its kind in Mexico!

Trip highlights:

+ Guelaguetza festivities, including evening processions through Oaxaca’s historic Center, the formal Guelaguetza celebration on July 22nd, and a more intimate “Guelaguetza of the people” in the community of Tlacochahuaya

+ Visit a traditional Mezcal Palenque for Mezcal tasting and talk with master Mezcal producer, Eduardo Ángeles Carreño

+ Meet with the Binational Indigenous Front for talk (FIOB) on Oaxacan Indigenous migrants in the U.S.

+ Taste Oaxaca’s famous cuisine and meet outstanding local chefs

+ Visit communal businesses and community ecotourism projects resisting mining and transgenic corn

+ Stay overnight at the Capulalpam eco cabins

+Visit Oaxaca’s Museum of Popular Art

+ Visit a temazcal, a traditional vapor bath, to learn about indigenous healing methods and receive an optional massage or spiritual cleanse

+ Visit the Monte Alban ruins, the first Mesoamerican urban center

* The first and last days of the tour are dedicated primarily to arrivals and departures – please schedule your arriving and departing flights on these days. If you prefer to arrive before or depart after the listed tour dates, we can still arrange airport transportation but keep in mind there will be an extra charge, as drivers are hired per day.

Double Rooms

Single Room Upgrade

Available for $250 extra

In country transport

Includes airport pick-up and drop-off

Prep Reading materials

Trip leader

Juan de Dios, educator and activist from Oaxaca, leading Global Exchanges’s delegations for 15 years.

Two meals a day

Admission fees

To all program activities


To organizations, speakers, communities we visit

What’s excluded
  • International airfare
  • Visa and passport fees
  • Items of personal nature
  • TipsTo guides, drivers, hotel staff, wait staff
Available options

Single Room