I would never have thought that would be the case. We got to see what I thought was the coolest part. When they were doing research for the movie “Coco”, Disney Pixar actually came to this exact location. We thought we’re done being surprised for the day, but boy! Were we wrong when we got here. In all of our travels through Mexico, I’ve never seen something like this. There is so so much to love about Oaxaca in the daytime but I think it gets this whole other vibe at night. Hello Tangerinees, hello from Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. It is a gorgeous Sunday morning here, something like 70. I think it’s like 70. 70, okay. Well, it always starts out really cool in the morning, at least for the past like couple days that we’ve been here, and then it warms up in the afternoon to like 80, So I’ve been really enjoying the cooler, not so humid temperatures compared to where we’re living now in Quintana Roo. Yeah, it’s been really nice to be able to walk around and walk places. Yeah, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying that. (Laughs) Yeah, me too. So, what are we doing today? We are going to a few nearby towns that were highly recommended to us. Towns filled with some of the richest culture of Oaxaca, so I’m super excited! And by the end of this video, I also hope to be able to pronounce them all correctly. Not even gonna bother right now. I’d probably butcher the crap out of them. So you’re just gonna have to see for yourself. Let’s go. We just got to San Bartolo Coyotepec, which is our first stop on today’s tour and this is where all the black pottery in Oaxaca that you see is made. So we’re about to see a demonstration of the process and what makes some blacker or shinier than others versus the brown type of pottery. I’m really excited because this is like, I feel like it’s too big part of Oaxacan culture. Learning about Oaxaca’s pottery making process was totally eye-opening. I never would have imagined how much goes into just harvesting the clay and refining it and that’s all before they start working with it to turn it into pottery items. Here in this village there are some mines. We they are able to extract the clay. Only men can visit the mines. Women are not allowed to visit. We quickly learned that it takes way more skill than you probably think to create each of these pottery items. It is a tedious process and they use the traditional method to spin the piece on two disks by hand. There are no mechanical tools involved whatsoever. We watched this woman turn a literal hunk of clay into an almost finished work of art. Depending on the items, shape and intended purpose, it will undergo many steps of smoothing, and drying, and refining before it’s ready to cook. And finally, we got to see what I personally thought was the coolest part where she took a very sharp tool, a lot of patience, and a very steady hand, to carve out these extremely intricate designs into the almost ready to cook cantarito, or maybe cantaro in this case. Around Oaxaca you’ll see a lot of black pottery and then there’s also brown. Well, as it turns out, for the brown stuff, they use a kiln like this and they leave the top uncovered but when they cover the top, it keeps all the ashes in there and it turns all the pottery black, which I would never have thought that would be the case. I thought for sure it was just black clay that they were using. Many pieces get broken in the process. That is useless anymore. They cannot reuse. So we don’t have much space – we can never buy much stuff at all. So we’re getting a little dolphin. (In Spanish) A little dolphin. The tiniest little fat dolphin. So cute. Stop number two. So, about a hundred years ago plastic came around and it totally decimated this town that made its living off of making pottery. And everyone wanted the cheaper plastic containers. And by the way to hold water because originally these containers were all meant to store water. So, when plastic came around, that became probably cheaper and maybe more long-lasting option. Yeah, but then In about 1940, this lady named Doña Rosa found a way to polish this and it made the demand go way up for it. Because instead of just being a utility item to hold water, then all of a sudden it was for decoration. And I mean these pieces are just beautiful, the kind of thing that you would want sitting around your house. Yeah, so that revitalized the town and made the sales go way up. Every one of these little notches was carved out by hand. So much work went into that and then to polish it, they have to go over it with a stone, three times in every little small place. It’s a lot of work. We just left the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec and now we are headed to the home of the Alebrijes… Where we will learn to pronounce that town’s name. (Laughter) Or attempt to. We’ll get right back to the video in a moment, but we just wanted to let you guys know that if you’ve been wanting to learn Spanish, right now is a great time to start because our favorite Spanish language program is on sale right now – (only the first 1,000 courses sold) Rocket languages is running their Labor Day sale. We’ll link to that below in the description and you can even start a free trial before you decide whether it’s for you or not. If you purchase it through our link, it won’t cost you anything more than what it would just going directly to the website but we will get a nice chunk of change from that which helps us make more trips like this one to Oaxaca. I’m going to be a little bit disappointing if we don’t see real-life Alebrijes here, real life. [Laughter] Like from the movie Coco. Where they were flying around. We would have to die first though. Oh shit. [Laughter] Oh, okay. Let’s not do that. After arriving at the workshop of Jacobo and Maria Angeles, we got a demonstration about how they hand mix all the colors using parts of the sacred copal tree. (Explaining the process) Its wood goes for the pieces, its bark, for example, to make colors. We use its sap to make incense and we use the sawdust to fix the pieces. With white zinc, lime juice, and other natural elements, they can change the color of the copal bark to create an entire rainbow of colors. When they were doing research for the movie Coco, Disney Pixar actually came to this exact location, to learn about the history, and learn about the Alebrijes. And one of the characters from that movie was actually the chef here. Seeing all the steps to making these Alebrijes really makes you appreciate them even more. Because not only do they have all these details but it goes through so many steps to get where it is. They have to dry out the wood, put it through the oven to kill any bugs or anything that might be on it. Then from there they go to a carving station where they carve all these intricate details of whatever animal it’s going to be and after the carving station, it goes to people who train for years and years and years to paint these Alebrijes and with these Incredibly minute details. We got to see steps starting at beginner painters all the way up to their masters. Pictured here: The Beginners (0-1 year training) Here, we are going to show them how to decorate for the first time. We are divided in 3 levels. One, for example, this first table which is beginners. The maximum amount of time someone can take is one year to pass from level 1 to level 2. Seeing the shop they have in here, there’s just so much detail. It’s absolutely incredible. The prices are higher than most places around but you can tell they’re artists and it really takes a lot of skill to get where they’ve gotten and so many hours put into every single one of these pieces. This tour was probably my favorite thing that we’ve done in Oaxaca. This was a blast and we learned so much. So now, we’re in town looking at various shops of different artists who have made their own Alebrijes and I love these – we’ve got like sassy owl… [Maddie imitating the owl] We’ve got sassy crab [Maddie imitating the crab] (Laughs) I love this Fox here And this one, oh! Just the detail on all of these! Wow! What’s your favorite? Choose a favorite now! I can’t. I can’t. We saw some more Alebrijes at the park over here, so we’re going to check those out. I just can’t get enough of these. This whole town is all Alebrijes. One thing I really love about looking at these Alebrijes is that, not only are each one different, like the wood, is carved in a different way, but each artist has basically their own handwriting that they’re painting. So, some of them are more floral, some of them have more patterns on them based on the way probably that they’ve been taught – passed down from generation to generation. We’re just about to leave the town of Alebrijes – is what I’m gonna call it right now. But before we head to the next destination where they make textiles, We’re going to have a mezcal tasting because our tour guides have their own mezcal that they produce. Mezcal is pretty common here in Oaxaca. It’s a very artisanal thing. Lots of families produce it on a small scale. Here in Oaxaca there are more than 20 different kinds of wild agaves. The only one we cultivate is called espadín. This is a rare one, it’s very different. It’s a small agave. It’s called tobalá. The characteristics of Tobalá – it’s a little bit sweeter at the end. Also, it is distilled in clay pots, not in copper pots. So that has a smoother flavor and also it’s amber color because it has spent six months in barrels – in oak barrels So it’s a reposado mezcal. So please, come here. Thank you, thank you. Drink slowly, please. It’s not a shot, drink. And what is this that it’s in, is it like a seed pod? It’s a seedpod from morrón seed. We use morrón for drinking mezcal because it doesn’t have a smell. And also, it is open wide so You can smell it first. If you see me going like this [waving arms] it’s because these little bugs Love this wood that the alebrijes are made out of. And they’re flying all over us. And they love me! (Trying the classic Mezcal) Very smooth. Get it off! (Laughter) They keep wanting to land on my eyes! It is really sweet. Oh, I like this! I like this, a lot. It’s good. And you didn’t make any faces. No. Which if you know me, that means it’s smooth. Here in Mexico, traditional medicine, cedrón leaves are really good for stomach aches. It’s very digestive. I really like it. How about you? I love this. It definitely has a lot of herbal notes, like maybe lemongrass, mint – both in taste and smell. This one is a lemon verbena or cedrón, right? Yeah Where they put this – the lemon verbena plant in there, to like infuse the herbal essences and oh my gosh! It’s one of the best, if not the best flavored, infused mezcal I’ve ever had. I really enjoyed it! Yeah. Now that we finish up with the mezcal tasting, we are headed just down the road to this town called Santo Tomas Jalieza. Santo Tomas Jalieza. Santo Tomas Jalieza Where they use looms and they make lots of textiles. We thought we were done being surprised for the day but boy were we wrong, when we got here and learned about how these textiles are made. Get ready to have your mind blown by this craft. These women fasten a tie around their waist and weave intricate designs to create these incredibly intricate and amazing looking textiles. One piece takes an average of seven hours a day for three days to complete and then, they only charge 300 pesos ($15.06 USD) which just seems absolutely bonkers to me for 21 hours of work. And of course, that includes the materials as well. So naturally, we had to go exploring and see what we might like to take home. So we’ve seen many things like this in our travels through Mexico, and these are definitely the cheapest prices we’ve ever seen. But you have to endure the bugs, to get here, to look at them, to enjoy them and I am enjoying this. This type of stuff is like my favorite thing in the world. Just looking at all these artesanías. Oh! Does this remind you of anywhere? We’ve seen something similar to this in Ajijic. Chapala to be exact. Chapala, uh-huh. And what price are those bags? Which? Ma’am, signal to me (Which bag) 300 (pesos=$15.09 USD) 300? Would you like to see it? Yes, thank you! Oh, this is a nice tote! I like this. Oh yeah, the little dolls. Female doll, male doll. Oh yes, male doll, female doll. For the beach. I don’t know. Groceries. Thank you! Yes, and you too. In all of our travels through Mexico, I’ve never seen something like this on end of a belt or in this case. It’s to tie the bag. I love this! Oh, so happy! She’s distracted right now and I’m gonna go do something without her. [Maddie] Oh no! You know what time it is! El Centro of El Centro! Oh theres a nice echo in here! Alright, let’s go see what Maddie’s up to. [Jordan imitating a bird] Total betrayal! We’re done! I don’t know if she’s serious or not. (Laughter). So, this is a tour that we found off of Airbnb and I think this might be one of the best tours we’ve taken in Mexico. The transportation was taken care of, every little detail went so smoothly, and we learned so much along the way! I think this is my favorite thing that we’ve done in Oaxaca. What do you think? Yeah, for me, particularly, the Alebrijes part of it. I thought that was so cool. Yeah, I don’t know if I can pick a favorite part because I liked it all a lot! Hopefully you guys had fun coming along with us and seeing some of the culture, and history, and the background behind the scenes of what makes Oaxaca so special. The more I see of it, the more I love the state and city. So we paid about 50 bucks a person for that tour. Just not having to deal with the transportation and getting driven around in a nice SUV all day long… Air conditioned SUV by the way. Yeah, I think that alone could make the tour worthwhile, but it was so much more than that. Oh, yeah! I mean that’s just one element of what made this such a great experience. Oh gosh! (Laughter) So, our guide from today recommended that we check out this place called Mayordomo, “Casa Mayordomo” for some traditional and authentic Oaxacan food, so I’m very excited. This has been a fun-filled day but long and we have eaten anything. Above me is some of the most, probably the most impressive “Papel Picado” or Cut paper that I’ve ever seen – in so many different colors, completely covering the ceiling. So, with this dish, I got chicken and mole and I could choose between red mole and black mole. When they brought this out, I thought for sure it was black mole, so I asked, but it is indeed red mole. And it is so flavourful, I love it. It’s really, really good! I’m surprised you’ve been loving moly so much because you tried it somewhere and you really did not like it. Yeah, I’ve tried it a couple times before and I didn’t like it at all! So Oaxaca just does their mole well. They know how to do it! And I got memelitas, which I am really diggin’ here. They are somewhat like sopes which I also really love. But I think the difference might be that they have a base of beans instead of like a red sauce or something. And then probably some type of crumbly Oaxacan cheese on them. Very good! Made with a corn base. And I got crema de elote (cream of corn) because that’s just what I’m all about. I love corn, I guess. Is it good? Yeah. So, we made it back to the zocalo at night and there are so many people here, as many vendors as one’s heart could ever desire. It’s a Sunday night, so probably as busy as it gets. Unless of course, last night was busier. There’s like a concert going on, tents set up of some kind, Everyone’s selling anything that you could possibly think of. Tons of people came out along the big walking street here. [Saxophone music playing] Oh yes, and of course beyond all the vendors, and tons of people walking around, and the lively atmosphere, Of the nighttime here, you have tons of people doing street performances with musical instruments. I’ve seen quite a few Still artists? I don’t know what you call them. They paint themselves up and then they sit there. Oh, yeah, I don’t know what they’re called either. I don’t know what you call that. [Laughter] Here’s what Maddie called a “still artist.” Thank you. What did we win? I don’t know! There is so much to love about Oaxaca in the daytime. But I think it just gets this whole other vibe at night. Like you would not… I would not expect a city like this that’s so rich in culture to have a nightlife. Like you go walking up and down the streets. There are quite a few bars and kind of like club-looking places. And then of course, all this stuff, that people just come out at night and sell anything they can think of. Anything they have to sell and then performers like this as well. It’s just like whoa! You wouldn’t expect that. I want “corn in a cup”, please. Anyone knows the number for Esquites Addicts Anonymous? lol With chili, lime, mayo, and Salt. Mayonnaise? Cheese? Yes. With everything? Mayonnaise, Cheese, Spicy? A little bit of mayonnaise, not spicy, lime. Cheese? And Cheese, please. How much are they? The two? 55 Pesos ($2.76 USD) Like this is okay or more lime? More lime, please. Thanks a lot! So you got something to the effect of chips in a bag plus awesome esquites. Yeah This is like taco and bag or what do we call that growing up? Um… walking tacos. Yeah, I’ve never had this before. It looks awesome! It is! Mmm. Doggy! Where are you going? Before you go, we have linked two things on the end screen, One is our first Oaxaca video if you haven’t seen it yet, please go check that out. And the other is our binge-watch everything playlist where you can see all the videos we’ve ever made, And join the hundreds, if not thousands of people who have gone down that rabbit hole. No, let me rephrase that. If you want to binge-watch everything, you’re joining the tangerine elite. Oh, yes the tangerineys! [Laughter] Anyway, though. Thank you for watching this video. Please consider subscribing to our channel to see more videos we’re putting out about our travels in Mexico and the world. Oh, and also, if you want to see this cute little lady with her tongue sticking out the side of her mouth. And one more very important thing… Laska! Laska. Laska, we gotta gong the bell! [Bell ringing] And gong that bell! So you get notified the next time we put out our next Oaxaca video. AH Mosquitoes!! And we’ll see you there.