This True Mission is a rare escape back to per-colonial times, and in part of Mexico known for it’s traditions, vibrancy, and exotic cuisine.
Dates: October 30th-November 5th, 2017. BOOK HERE
Geoffrey Gray, Jason Schwartzman, Alisha Bhaumik
The wisdom of the ancients can still be taught, and we have an appointment with the masters in Ixtenco, a traditional village on the altaplana or colonial highlands of Central Mexico.
Ixtenco is home to the Otomi, a tribe known for their practice of nagualism, a shamanistic belief that humans can transform into animal spirits (typically puma and jaguar) and vice versa.
We’ll be visiting with Don Mateo, an Otomi elder who has agreed to teach us his language and customs during the holiest time of the year: Dios De Los Muertos or Days of the Dead.
Learn the art of and experience temezcal, the Mexican sweat lodge
Learn to brew pulque, a fermented agave drink favored by the gods
Learn to cook mole, hualumbo and gusanos (larvae) with local chefs
Sleep in a 19th century hacienda
Learn to bullfight at a working bullranch
Attend fairs and cemetery parties during the Day of the Dead
Hang with our True.Ink operatives in Tlaxcala and Mexico City
All gusanos, mezcal, molotes, haulambo, all other drink and food, all transportation; all lodging at unique destinations (1 hacienda; 1 top hotel; 1 destination lodge), all cooking classes, pulque classes, matador capes (capote and muleta and practice horns); access to old cemeteries, top restaurants, roadside attractions and other esoterica.
We’ll be flying in to Puebla, an airport that receives daily flights from the U.S., and a short drive from Hostal San Postal, our hotel in Tlaxcala. We’ll gather for a welcome dinner, and head out to see the pre-colonial city as locals prep for Day of the Dead.
After a dip in the hotel pool and breakfast, we’ll had off to a local bull ranch for a country lunch and caping of cows (participation voluntary!) We’ll then return for a siesta, and rest up for a festive night. Halloween will never be the same. On this, the first day of Dia de los Muertos, we’ll take part in a tradition that spans back thousands of years. With a spiritual guide, we’ll participate in a night full of light, food, and mystery.
After a morning swim at the hotel and breakfast nosh, we’ll journey out into Tlaxcala with our True.Ink operative to explore the colonial’s 16th century architecture and artisan markets. We’ll stop for lunch at a traditional restaurant, learn to cook a few local dishes, feast and then wander back to the hotel for a siesta. Another big night during the Day of the Dead awaits, with a bullfight in the plaza located in the local town square.
This morning, we’ll be saying adios to Tlaxcala City as we head to Huamantla, a nearby village. We’ll check in to a 19th century Hacienda, and meet our hosts for a traditional lunch. After siesta, we’ll catch up with Don Mateo, the Otomi tribal elder, who will teach us about his culture and land. We’ll enjoy a traditional meal in Ixtenco, and linger with Don Mateo as we experience the third and final night of the Day of the Dead celebration.
After a traditional breakfast, we’ll venture off to visit local Otomi artisans to explore their art and crafts at local markets then fade into a traditional lunch. After, we’ll go to meet True pulque master Don Abram, who will show us the delicate practice of turning a maguey cactus into the nectar of the gods. We’ll venture back to his casa, and taste his latest batch. We’ll have siesta back at the hacienda, and the learn to cook gusanos or bugs and other local cuisine with a cooking class from the hacienda chef.
After a morning hike around Malinche, the local volcano, and hacienda lunch, we’ll head off with Galo Hernandez, a local temazcalero and expert in the art of the sweat lodge. He’ll show us how to construct the lodge, teach us the rituals, and then heat up his own personal temazcal for a ceremonial sweat. After, we’ll limp back to the hacienda for a final farewell barbecue, feasting on a slow-roasted delicacies wrapped in cactus leaves.