Traveling in the age of Covid

chiapas hammock bag market bags mexico travel

I just got back from a week long trip to Mexico - I was a little reluctant to go, with all the talk of Omicron, etc, but I decided to choose living life over living in fear! I landed in Guadalajara, and it was magic. I visited with old friends, ate chilaquiles, and visited the local tianguis (street markets). There are smaller tianguis in Guadalajara almost every day of the week, but I went to the big ones in the neighboring towns of Tonala & Tlaquepeque on Sunday.

 

Although Tonala and Tlaquepeque were fun to visit, they didn't have *quite* what I was looking for - Tlaquepeque was absolutely beautiful, but it is definitely a tourist town; Tonala had a couple of huge markets happening, but it didn't have the artisanal makers I was looking to do business with...so I went to Oaxaca for the day! 

Oaxaca is in southern Mexico, and is rich with indigenous culture, radical politics, incredible food & stunning architecture. The bags I was looking for are from Chiapas (Oaxaca's neighboring state to the south), woven by women on backstrap looms in the huipil and chiapenaca style. I didn't want to simply buy hammock bags from merchants - I wanted to exchange with the artisans that actually create the bags , and I was able to find them in Oaxaca. I arrived really early in the morning, went straight to the zocalo, and found the artisans I was looking for! 

I was really happy to trade directly with Chiapanecas, as well as vendors in the mercado who I've done business with since my first trip there in 2016. I had an amazing day trip, and when I returned to Guadalajara, my friend Ida and I went to the picturesque Zapopan to take pictures of the cool things I bought: 

Overall, I had an amazing trip, I'm so glad I went! I'm looking forward to traveling more this year - and I'll share with you all when I do.

 


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