Oaxaca Artisanal Candle Making Experience
Discover the Heart of a Unique Zapotec Tradition
|Your centrally located Oaxaca City hotel (you tell us your hotel after you reserve)
|Your centrally located Oaxaca City hotel
|Up to 6 hours (+/-)
|Low – this experience involves moderate walking through small towns
|High – a good balance of cultural interactions, and engaging with local artisans
|12+ (under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian/parent)
|Private – Max 6 people per booking
Itinerary for learning about Oaxaca Candle Making
Welcome to an extraordinary journey that will immerse you in the heart of Oaxacan culture, where ancient traditions and artistic craftsmanship come together to create an unforgettable experience in the “Land of the Gods.”
Our adventure begins as we pick you up from your hotel at 9:00 AM, setting the stage for a day filled with cultural exploration. Our destination: Teotitlán del Valle, a charming village located amidst breathtaking landscapes of the Valle de Oaxaca and known for its rich Zapotec heritage. Here, we will uncover the fascinating tradition of “La Pedida de Mano,” a Zapotec wedding ritual where the groom’s family seeks the bride’s hand in marriage. In this ceremony, offerings of fruits, flowers, bread, and the iconic “velas de concha” (scaly candles) play a pivotal role.
Arriving at “San Pascual Velas,” we will step into the fascinating world of traditional candle making. Known as “cera escamada” in Oaxaca City and “velas de concha” in Teotitlán del Valle, the craft behind these candles has been passed down through generations. Here, you’ll witness a live demonstration of candle making, and you’ll even have the chance to try crafting these exquisite candles yourself. This immersive workshop will reveal the age-old secrets behind this centuries-old art form. Here, you’ll explore the intricate techniques behind creating candles that symbolize the stages of life, from birth to death.
In the afternoon, we’ll gather for a 1.5-hour feast with the artisans themselves. It’s a unique opportunity to savor the flavors of Oaxacan cuisine while engaging in rich conversation as you connect with those who carry on these ancient traditions. Our journey continues with a 30-minute visit to Casa Viviana, where you’ll gain more insights into the significance of these local customs from the perspective of an esteemed local matriarch we’ll speak to. We’ll finally return to Oaxaca City, a 45-60 minute drive, and arrive by 4:00 PM. You will gain a heart full of cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for the beauty of Zapotec tradition.
Join us on this extraordinary journey into the heart of Oaxaca’s cultural heritage, where candles are more than just wax and wick; they are symbols of love, tradition, and the enduring spirit of the “Land of the Gods.” Reserve your spot today to be part of this enchanting experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper connection to Oaxacan culture.
Please note: There is not a Dress Code! You will be visiting some food vendors who are a bit more traditional, so dressing respectfully is appreciated. You don’t need to dress to impress – you will be getting your hands dirty (literally). It is recommended to just bring modest, comfortable clothes, and that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty in. A more detailed list of suggested clothing attire can be found below.
What to bring to the Oaxaca Artisanal Candle Making Experience?
Though this could vary seasonally, this is the basic list of what we suggest you bring with you. Keep in mind that your transport is private and secure, so you can leave some items in the vehicle when not needed:
– Jeans or long pants (this is most customary in Mexico, though shorts/dress are fine if you are most comfortable in that).
– Sneakers/comfortable shoes.
– Umbrella (for the rainy season, May-November)
– Cash. The producers do not accept credit cards if you want to buy anything after your experience. There is no pressure to buy anything. Unlike other tour companies, the producers we work with will always get paid fairly for their time, regardless if you buy some of their crafts or not.
What is included with the Oaxaca Artisanal Candle-Making Experience?
Your ancestral experience includes:
– information provided before your experience to educate you and properly prepare you
– a specially trained and licensed English-speaking guide who will facilitate your experience
– translations and demonstrations with the local food vendors
– meals (alcoholic beverages are not included with the meals)
– a special small gift to take home with you
What is not included when on your Oaxaca Artisanal Candle Making Experience?
– Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
– International flights
– Transportation (outside of the transport included in the itinerary)
– Accommodation in Oaxaca
– Alcoholic beverages
– Gratuities and tips
– Spending money if you wish to purchase additional food, souvenirs, or items.
Supporting Local Projects with our TRiP Foundation
For every TRiP that you go on with WSE Travel, we will donate 2% to an environmental or community-based project in the country you’re visiting. We want to ensure that every guest we help, in turn, supports and preserves the destination we’re experiencing together as a direct result. We live by an ethos of Travel Responsibly & Impact Positively (TRIP).
For more information on the projects this experience supports, please visit our Mexico TRIP projects.
Cancellations & Rebooking
All tours, services, and experiences booked through WSE Travel are bound to our Terms and Conditions, which were modeled after most other travel services such as flights, hotels, and other tour operators.
Should you need to cancel or change your reservation for any reason (including but not limited to missed flights, illness, or change of mind), you will still be bound to the terms and conditions agreed to at the time of booking.
Should you give us more than 14 days’ notice of a change in your reservation, we can store your payment in the ‘safety deposit box’, to be used for a future travel date, either by you or transferred to a friend or family member. Refunds are not available unless your reservation is canceled by WSE Travel for circumstances outside of our control.
Should you give us less than 14 days’ notice of a change in your reservation, a rebooking fee will be imposed. We do try to be flexible for our guests, but not at the sacrifice of the livelihoods of all locals hired for your private experiences. As these are private experiences, your guide and any other local service provider block their days off from other work to accommodate your reservation, and may not be able to fill that day again in the event of cancellation.
To be fair and responsible to them and their reliance on your reservation’s promised work, your guide will still be paid for your reservation. As such, last-minute cancellations or changes within 2 weeks of departure will be subject to a rebooking fee of the online deposit, to re-hire a guide for your future travel date.
This flexibility is a bend in our Terms and Conditions to try to be fair both to our guests, as well as the locals hired to facilitate your reservation. If you feel there is a high chance of cancellations or changes, please make sure you buy appropriate travel insurance that will reimburse you for cancellations of things such as flights, hotels, and tours.