Handcrafted Textiles and Folk Art Straight From the Makers

Everything here is made by hand using traditional methods. We buy directly from small family businesses and co-ops we trust, paying what they ask because their work is exceptional. Some pieces take weeks or even months to complete. When you buy from us you don’t just take home a piece of Mexican culture, you support these artisans and keep their traditions alive. 


Shop Handmade

Sustainable + Ethical

We believe that the only way to preserve indigenous artisanry and craft is to support the people who are makers. We buy directly from artisan friends whom we have known for years. We trust their quality and commitment to excellence. We pay them in advance what they ask for their work, never negotiating price. We know how much time, effort and skill goes into creating a handmade textile or piece of folk art. It can often take months to prepare the cotton thread and weave a huipil made with natural dyes on a backstrap loom, for example.
First and foremost, we are educators who share native traditions and respect the cultural patrimony of ancient designs and processes. Our goal is to disseminate knowledge, create meaningful experiences and personal connections between maker and collector. Our greatest joy is to introduce you to the people whom we respect and admire.


Travel With Us!

Check out our upcoming tours in Oaxaca, Chiapas, Mexico City and Michoacán!
manos que ven

About Us

Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC was established in 2007. We have been writing, publishing, offering workshops and tours since then. Over 63% of our clients return to attend tours, workshops, and to shop for outstanding artisanry. Norma Schafer, founder, first arrived in Oaxaca in 2005 and immediately met the Chavez Santiago family who operates Galeria Fe y Lola rug weaving gallery and studio. Eric Chavez Santiago, managing partner, joined Oaxaca Cultural Navigator in 2021. He was born and raised in Teotitlan del Valle, speaks Spanish, Zapotec and English, is a weaver and natural dyer, was founding education director of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, and then managing director of Andares del Arte Popular folk-art gallery in Oaxaca City before pursuing current entrepreneurial interests that include Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio.

Both Norma and Eric are committed to preserving cultural integrity, supporting economic development, and providing expanded opportunities for artisans to market their work. Through their work, women are able to supplement subsistence farming, the labor of men, with cash income that helps provide food, clothing, health care for elderly, school expenses for children, and other necessary items for extended family groups.

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