So you’re planning a trip to Oaxaca…
Great, GO. I recently returned from a 2 week vacation in Mexico where I visited Mexico City and Oaxaca – each absolutely beautiful and enriched in culture. If you haven’t been to Oaxaca than you may not know it is quite smaller than Mexico City…roughly 8 million people smaller. The town center is about a 6 x 6 block radius and filled with vibrant architecture and many artesanias (cooperative craft shops). So with six days in a small town known for its crafts…we had time to shop. As a Chicana and the first in my family to return to Mexico, I had a list of demands on what souvenirs to bring back for my Tias, Grandma, Mama, etc. Here is my suggestions on where you’ll find the best souvenirs to splurge on your family or to treat yoself.
The place where I purchased 4/6 of the traditional Mexican blouses I brought home is La Casa de las Artesanías de Oaxaca The employees in this shop are not only willing to help you find whatever you are looking for, but do it with a smile. Not to mention the quality of the blouses I chose for my family were higher than most I had seen in Oaxaca – and the prices were extremely reasonable, with prices ranging all the way from $200 pesos (roughly $10) to $2,000 pesos (roughly $100). Don’t be fooled by the $100 blouses being sold on the Zocalo – while they are appealing, the quality of these are not as high as some you’ll find at a bit higher price.
One of my favorite artesanias to shop in Oaxaca, Huizache Here you will find, in my opinion, the best priced and most unique crafts in Oaxaca. This co-op is two stories and filled to the brim with beautiful items to bring home. We came here three times and each time I discovered something different. My boyfriend bought me a beautiful red, tooled-leather wallet, I bought myself two pairs of earrings, and pottery for my in-laws, all for under $40 US dollars. While in Oaxaca, don’t forget to purchase their famous, silky smooth black clay pottery (barro negro)! Not only is it sleek and modern, bound to make any room look hip, but its one of the things the region is known for!
Oaxaca is an artist’s dreamland. With picturesque streets and inspirational culture, it’s no wonder artists from all over the world flock to these colorful, cobblestone streets. My suggestion for purchasing any art in Oaxaca is support local artists. You can find local artists selling original, one of a kind pieces in Parque Labastida on any given day, each with a different style. You’ll also find artists selling in the Zocalo – that’s where I purchased two prints for my cousin and I, each for only $100 pesos (roughly $5 dollars). Additionally, when exploring the quaint town, you’ll probably come across small screen printing shops where they’ll invite you in with a smile. Go in, you wont regret it.
I hope you found these suggestions helpful but above all I urge you to explore for yourself! Get lost in the streets and find your own beautiful souvenirs. Have a suggestion? Please comment below ~ xoxo