Thoroughly Oaxaca Art Experience

Thoroughly Oaxaca Art Experience: watercolor, natural pigments, symbols & talismans

watercolor workshop with Oaxacan artist Pedro Cruz Pacheco
Friday, March 18 – Sunday, March 27, 2022 – SOLD OUT
Oaxaca City, OAX, Mexico

Experience the sights, sounds, moles and mezcals of vibrant Oaxaca with us! Immerse yourself in the soulful art scene, indigenous culture, rich culinary and artisanal traditions of this magical 16th century colonial city. Our adventures include field trips to the Sunday open air mercado (one of the oldest/largest continuous markets in Mesoamerica), and studio visits in a weaving village and alebrije village. We’ll spend an afternoon exploring the World Heritage archaeological ruins of Monte Albán, looking for Zapotec and Mixtec symbols to include in our painting. We’ll add natural pigments (cochineal, indigo, marigold) to our art toolkits, and make uniquely Oaxacan memories on paper.

Trip includes:
  All levels, 4-1/2 day watercolor workshop in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico
  Additional group field trips for all (with or without the art workshop)
  Maximum 9 art students + 7 non-workshop participants
  beautiful location – apartment complex, a 15-walk from downtown (unpretentious lodging in a peaceful walled compound with lush gardens)
  apartments equipped with wifi, functional kitchens, hot water, weekly cleaning service
  large supermarket, mercado, restaurants, taxis/busses all within walking distance
  list provided of restaurants, museums & galleries, cool places to visit on your own

Workshop itinerary:
Fri 3/18: arrival, mojitos & snacks together in the late afternoon, informal dinner in the neighborhood
Sat 3/19: morning painting class, afternoon walking tour downtown, welcome dinner
Sun 3/20: field trip to Sunday market; afternoon studio visit of weavers
Mon 3/21: morning field trip to natural pigments demo, afternoon painting class
Tue 3/22: day off to explore on your own
Wed 3/23: 10-4 painting class
Thu 3/24: field trip to Monte Albán archaeological ruins, lunch, afternoon studio visit of alebrijes artisan
Fri 3/25: 10-4 painting class
Sat 3/26: 10-4 painting class, art show, farewell dinner
Sun 3/27: departure, check-out time is 11 am

Pedro’s zone of genius is watercolor and he’ll reveal his extensive repertoire of personal symbols and talismans that are incorporated into his art – and offer you the opportunity to discover and paint your own in this intimate setting. Personal symbols can help you express deeply held cultural connections and communication with the natural world. This is a chance to consider the “secret soul” of things that matter to you and bring them into your painting. There will be demonstrations in Pedro’s techniques, but participants primarily will be encouraged to create using their own personal approach.

Pedro Cruz Pacheco is a painter from Santa Cruz Amilpas, Oaxaca, Mexico who works in watercolor, oil, and mixed media. He left his job in a brickyard in 1999 and initially began his career as a self-taught artist. He spent 8 years apprenticing in the studio of master Oaxacan painter Felipe Morales, and has shown and sold his work for years in Labastida Plaza in downtown Oaxaca (by Santo Domingo church). Pedro has exhibited in Mexico (Oaxaca, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Merida, Monterrey), Texas, and California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sonoma County, Eureka). Pedro’s style is very Oaxaca-influenced, with magic realism as an artistic point of view – a Mexican version of surrealism. His work is intimate, private, and incorporates personal symbols and talismans that reflect his own life experiences as well as the history and customs of Oaxaqueños. His work features bright, vivid colors and his own deeply personal and heart-felt spiritual view of the world around him.

Workshop location & apartments:
Villas in La Noria district

Our unpretentious, comfortable & affordable lodging is just a quick 20-minute walk to the zocalo, the main center of the city. This villa is a peaceful walled compound with lush gardens; the owner is an Airbnb Superhost (with 560+ reviews and a 5-star rating). Our art workshop will be at the large home on the property, out on the beautiful terrace.
We have reserved several individual apartments, all with kitchens. And at the large house, there is a big kitchen, beautiful living rooms on both floors, 2 private upstairs bedrooms with shared bathroom, and 1 downstairs bedroom with several beds (for a group traveling together) + bathroom. Lodging will be assigned to participants on a first-come, first-serve basis when they register and pay the trip deposit.

Friday, Mar 18
art class: Mar 19, 21, 23, 25, 26
field trips for all: Mar 20, 24
day off: (no class or scheduled field trips) Mar 22
departure: Sunday, Mar 27
airport: Oaxaca Xoxocotlan International airport (OAX)

Trip fee, deadline & cancellation:
$1200 for art workshop participants
$1000 for non-workshop participants

  • 50% deposit holds your space – deadline to register & pay deposit is 6/1/21. (Deposits, reservations, and arrangements are made in advance of the trip, so we need to receive your registration + deposit on time.)
  • Balance is due by 12/1/21, or you can pay in full upon registration (deposit + trip fee).
  • Deadline to register in class is 6/1/21; no deposit or trip fee refund will be given after 6/1/21. No exceptions.
  • If you must cancel, contact Corrie immediately. You can transfer your deposit & trip fee to another person, at no charge. If there is a wait list, we will give you the first name on the list to whom you can offer your spot. Another option is to transfer your fees to another workshop with Pedro within 12 months. Otherwise, no refunds will be issued under any circumstances.

Price includes:

  • apartment rental
  • private van transportation (for all field trips)
  • field trips to Sunday market, weaving & alebrije villages, Monte Albán
  • admission fee to Monte Albán Ruins, private tour guide

Not included in price:

  • airfare
  • food & drinks
  • required trip insurance

Required travel insurance:
Why you need it: Oaxaca doesn’t have a robust healthcare system like you’re used to, so if you have a serious fall (sidewalks can be treacherous here), get sick, or the taxi you’re in has an accident, it could be very pricey to get you home for treatment. Therefore, we’re requiring everyone to purchase travel insurance for this trip (include medical evacuation and primary medical coverage, and trip cancellation coverage if you’re concerned). There are also trip policies that include COVID cancellations. We recommend that you get PRIMARY medical coverage, not secondary.

suggested provider: Squaremouth –
More COVID policy info:
best choices on Squaremouth:
– HTH Worldwide, TripProtector Preferred, includes COVID cancellation
– Trawick Intl, Safe Travels Voyager, includes COVID cancellation
– TinLeg Gold, includes COVID cancellation
another provider:

Recommended flight options:
Here is the latest list of recommended airlines and options – click HERE.

You are required to send proof of vaccination to participate. You must send a photo or PDF of the documentation and forward it to us. Depending on COVID and the health circumstances in 2022 in Oaxaca, participants may be required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing while we’re together.

Health & walking:
Oaxaca is high altitude, at 5100 feet – some people need a few days to acclimate if they are coming from sea level. Can you walk 6,000 steps a day unassisted at 5100 ft? If not, you will be unhappy on this trip, and we only accept travelers who are in good health and can walk uneven cobblestone streets (narrow, with high curbs) and don’t have mobility or breathing issues. Also, dietary restrictions could be tricky, although there are restaurants that have gluten free and vegan options. Travelers will need to make personal accommodations and adjustments to meet group needs and schedule.

Valid passport:
Also, be certain that your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico – if not, you won’t be allowed entry into the country.


  • The preferred payment method (to avoid extra fees) is by check. See section below for the registration form.
  • If you wish to pay by credit card or PayPal, please contact Corrie McCluskey at 707-575-6801 or to make arrangements. You will need to pay a 3.49% credit card transaction fee in addition to the trip fee.

Registration form:
Print out registration form HERE and follow instructions for mailing. Arrangements can be made to accept credit card payments, with a small c/c transaction fee.

NOTE: we are currently SOLD OUT and are taking names for the wait list.

Flights & getting to/from the airport:
: Oaxaca Xoxocotlán Intl airport (OAX)
Oaxaca City (OAX) is a 45-minute flight from Mexico City (MEX), with many available connecting flights on AeroMexico and Volaris. There are also United flights that go thru Houston, then direct to Oaxaca (bypassing MEX).
Here is the latest list of recommended airlines and options – click HERE.
NOTE: if you fly thru Mexico City, book flights that allow at least a 3-hr layover going TO Oaxaca (the line for passport control can be long and you’ll miss your flight), and 1-hr layover coming FROM Oaxaca.

Upon your arrival at the Oaxaca airport, you’ll find one main taxi stand inside the airport as you walk out of the arrival gate to your left, where you’ll purchase a shared or private taxi (van) direct to our apts. Bring some pesos with you to pay for this – there are also a couple of ATM machines at the airport. This is a very safe and economical way to travel to our location, and will cost approximately $250 pesos (about $12 USD) door-to-door.

Print out a workshop flyer HERE.

Materials & suggestions:

  • We don’t supply materials for participants, please bring your own – we offer 2 lists of suggestions, watercolor or mixed media
  • For mixed media / creative journaling materials: materials list here
  • For watercolor – you can bring your favorite quality watercolor paints, brushes and paper. Here is an optional list with suggestions for those undecided about materials: materials list here
  • We suggest that you familiarize yourself with Pedro’s website and take a look at his artwork for inspiration as you begin to think about your own personal symbols and talismans.

If you have questions:
For questions regarding the workshop, lodging or transportation, contact the workshop coordinator:
Corrie McCluskey at 707-575-6801 or