Yola Mezcal

Founded by women who are fighting for fair wages for Oaxacan women

Led by three women—Yola Jimenez, Gina Correll Aglietti and Lykke Li—Yola Mezcal offers more than just a clean, balanced taste with that familiar smoky kick (akin to tequila’s more sophisticated, older cousin). It’s dedicated to traditional making methods and not only paying the workers in Mexico a fair wage, but furthermore, Yola’s bottling facility in Oaxaca employs only women—creating more opportunities for economic independence in …

Oaxacan Stonecutter and Dressmaker Tiburcio Sánchez

Exploring the dual crafts of a master maker in light of the city's wild Carnival of Teitipac

by Max La Frenais Maestro Tiburcio Sánchez was born in San Juan Teitipac in 1945 and has been stonecutting metates and molcajetes for the past 55 years. (A metate is a large, carved stone with a curved surface used to grind maize; a molcajete is the Mexican version of a mortar and pestle used to make salsas.) Outside in his yard, the 71-year-old sits on …

Hotel Azul, Oaxaca

A labyrinthian oasis from Mexico's buzzing, carnivalesque city

by Max La Frenais When arriving at Oaxaca‘s Hotel Azul, its soft blue facade is lit up by overhanging, fluorescent pink bougainvilleas. It exists as a welcome oasis, away from the buzzing, wired-up carnivalesque city. Constructed in 1874 as a large colonial house, the hotel was a family home and then (from 1940 to 1980) it was transformed into a vecindad—a group of small houses …

Hotel Cosijo, Oaxaca

A labyrinth-like oasis off the beaten path in the central Mexican valleys

by Max La Frenais It’s hard to imagine that the luxury Hotel Cosijo actually exists in the small town of San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, which although home to a stunning 16th century convent (with accompanying 16th organ) is most definitely off the well-beaten tourist routes of the central valleys of Oaxaca in Mexico. The unassuming facade of the hotel blends in perfectly with the colonial architecture …

Colectivo 1050° Ceramics

An industrial designer’s mission to save Mexico's traditional clay-making process arms and empowers Oaxacan artisans

“For designers, problems are possibilities: the source for innovation,” says Kythzia Barrera. The problem? The rapid disappearance of Oaxacan pottery workshops and with it, the eradication of traditional Mexican clay-making processes that stem back more than 3,000 years. The determined industrial designer has been working tirelessly for over 10 years to create a legitimate place for artisanal Mexican crafts within our globalized economy, and the …