Elisava Horizons

Oaxaca Elisava
Oaxaca Elisava
Oaxaca Elisava
Oaxaca Elisava

Basic data

Design, people and culture in Mexico
Elisava + CADA Foundation
Programme Direction: Carmen Malvar
Duration: 2022 (TBC)
Language: Programme in English
Place: Oaxaca, Mexico
Price: 1.265 € (all included except flights), with a 15% discount for Elisava students and Alumni
The price includes insurance during the stay in Oaxaca
Registration deadline: 20 August 2021
Note: Out of respect and caution for the artisan communities that will be visited during the stay in Oaxaca, students are requested to bring a recent negative Covid-19 test result


Oaxaca is synonymous of biological and cultural diversity. It is a paradise where the shapes, colours, aromas and wisdom of the pre-Hispanic past merge with contemporary expressions, thus creating a mosaic of exchanges, dialogues and social discussions of our times that offer unique experiences to its residents and visitors. Oaxaca is currently a source of inspiration for artists, designers, and art lovers, and a space for growth and learning for creators. In Mexico, design has always existed everywhere: in the corner shop, in the markets, in the gardens and, in general, in everyday life; we are a culture that is inclined to the visual. The inspiration comes from what we know: from religion, food, nature, customs and traditions; from our Mexican universe. It is precisely that inspiration that has currently led artisans and designers to generate innovative and trendy proposals. The mixture of the knowledge of both of them, the processes that each one generates, culminates in what many call "Mexican design".

Programme in collaboration with CADA Foundation, a platform whose main aim is to foster and facilitate for local artisans and suppliers becoming part of the local and global economy. It aims to achieve, in a viral way, sustainable models from the environmental, social, and economic point of view based on a dialogue with the different communities’ artisan approach.

Structure and content

This trip will allow participants to know and reflect on the context in which this phenomenon of the intersection between crafts, design and art is developing. There will be:

  • meetings with artisans, designers and artists,
  • practical workshops to explore different materials and techniques such as wood, clay, textile, tin, engraving,
  • visits to archaeological sites, and
  • living experiences related to gastronomy and Oaxaca's biodiversity.

The trip lasts two weeks, including weekends. The schedule of activities per day is approximately 8 hours, except for two days in which the activities will be shorter to give participants the opportunity to rest and do their own activities.

Teaching Staff

Programme leader: Carmen Malvar
Professors: Ana Paula Fuentes Quintana

Student profile

Minimum: 12 students
Maximum: 22 students
Area: Design, Arts, Architecture Students or Professionals

Contact and more information


Practical information


Knowledge of Spanish is not necessary; a translator is always on hand. If you speak a little Spanish it will enhance your visit. Mexicans are extremely hospitable and patient.

Documentation/Passport & Mexican Travel Visa

Citizens traveling to Mexico are required to carry a current passport, valid for three months after your re-entry to the U.S. or your following destination. It is your responsibility to obtain proper documentation. Participants must contact  your embassy, consulate or national airline of the country you are traveling to for entry requirements.
Most travelers need a Mexican Visa to travel in Mexico. Confirm these conditions with your embassy. This document, called Forma Migratoria Múltiple will be given to you on the airplane as you fly into Mexico and stamped as you go through customs. Keep this visa safe. If you lose it you will be fined and possibly delayed as you leave the country.

Cash & Money Exchange

We recommend bringing an ATM or debit card for accessing money. ATM machines are ample and modern and available in most of the towns we stay in. You may also bring cash or travelers’ cheques to exchange for pesos at banks or exchange houses, but there will be limited access to these. Most places won’t accept credit cards for purchases, though you can use them at an ATM machine or bank to get cash if you know your pin. Non-Mexican pesos are not accepted for purchases in southern Mexico and personal cheques are worthless here.

Dress and Behaviour

Some of the villages and homes we will be visiting are very traditional. Though there are no taboos, it is respectful to dress conservatively. Shorts, short dresses, sleeveless shirts, tank tops, and tight-fitting clothing are not recommended in the villages. Dress in larger cities or in coastal towns is less conservative. A sun hat is highly recommended.
To promote your personal safety, we recommend mantaining a low profile, aside dressing discreetly, not wearing jewelry, expensive equipment,  travelling with limited amount of cash, etc. Consumption of alcohol should be in compliance with local regulations, remembering that alcohol consumption in public should be responsible and moderate to avoid vulnerability or unsafe situations. We strongly advise not to bring into the country, consume or purchase any drugs. 

Extra Time

During your we will be seeing and doing things that tourists never get to do, but you might also want to take some time to do what tourists do: see the ruins and golden churches, wander the museums, galleries, and markets, stroll aimlessly in the amazing central park, head for the quiet Pacific coast…we highly recommend making the most of your trip and scheduling some extra time here before or after your tour.

Health Concerns

Please read the U.S.A. Center for Disease Control  or your national Health Department recommendations for travel in Mexico and consider consulting your doctor about your specific needs.
The most common health issue in Mexico for tourists is traveler’s diarrhea caused by microbes our guts are not accustomed to. Washing hands before meals is an excellent preventative measure and it is a good idea to bring hand wipes or no-water soap. We generally have pure water available in the van and bottled water is readily available in stores. Dehydration is a common problem with diarrhea. Gatorade is a decent rehydration drink and is available in Mexico. For a better quality rehydrant consider traveling with powdered Hydralite or equivalent 
If you are taking prescription medicine, bring your own supply, including a copy of your prescription. Bring an extra pair of glasses if you use them.
In case of accident, injury, illness or theft, you may want to consider taking out travelers insurance if your policy doesn’t cover such things.

Medical Requirements

Good physical and mental health are essential for the enjoyment of these rural workshops and trips. You may travel in rugged areas removed from modern medical facilities. Good physical conditioning is recommended as preparation for all trips. By forwarding the deposit and signed Reservation Form, the passenger certifies that he/she does not have any physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other passengers. It is essential that any participant with a medical condition requiring regular treatment or which may be affected by moderate physical activity, high altitude, heat, cold, humidity, dust, other natural phenomena, unsanitary conditions or particular foods, notifies CADA FOUNDATION  and the trip leaders, in writing,  in advance of travel.
CADA FOUNDATION assumes no liability for medical care nor for special dietary requirements. Participants may be required to furnish a doctor’s statement of good health. The judgment of CADA FOUNDATION or the local operator or guide shall make the ultimate determination of an individual trip participant’s fitness to embark upon or to continue a trip.
Medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. All participants must be covered by a current medical insurance policy applicable for overseas travel for the duration of their trip, under their responsibility. Proof of coverage may be required.

Contact Information

All participants must fill out the participation form, which  includes personal contact information of two persons who should be notified in case of emergency, including  basical healthcare information: blood type information and specific medicine allergies (for instance: aspirin, penicillin, etc), medications, health condition.

Route Artlantique Elisava
Route Artlantique Elisava
Route Artlantique Elisava

Basic data

Dates: TBC
Place: Casamance, Senegal
Price: 1.700 € (all included except for the flights). 15% discount for Alumni, Elisava and LCC Students


Route Artlantique is the first creative workshops journey held in Senegal. An educational exchange between African and international students, teachers and professionals from all creative disciplines.

Senegal is a focus for creativity in West Africa, where ancestral knowledge and techniques coexist with current concerns. The route we propose will put participants in touch with designers, craftsmen and local communities with global notoriety.

  • Discover the potential of African creativity.
  • Build a permanent bridge of communication using the language of creativity.
  • Understand how globalization may have reduced distances, but not differences.
  • Assume nomadism as a fundamental point of future work.
  • Participate in an experience you will remember all your life.
  • Challenge the limits of design, culture and production.

The program, a two-week stage organized by Ramón Llonch, founder of the Route Artlantique, includes visits to workshops by local Senegalese designers and artists, using wood, textiles, batik or jewellery, among other materials. With the knowledge of the tools and processes linked to each designer and understanding of context and people, students will develop various projects.


Participants’ arrival to Banjul Airport in Gambia and transport to hotel. Overnight in Banjul on July 11th. Located between Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, Casamance is a culturally and geographically unique part of Senegal, with a proud heritage, an ethnical melting pot, a lush paradise of greenery, vibrant waterways guarded by bountiful mangroves, palm-trees and verdant forests.

We will be located in Edioungou, a small village near Oussouye; during these weeks we will move around different areas, from east to west, meeting local artisans, sharing techniques and discovering the beauty, the mysteries and traditions of “casamançais” people.

For more details, please write to lsaez@elisava.net or contact@routeartlantique.com.


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