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Oaxaca Options

Photo: Papel Oaxaca

From the archives:
Oaxaca Options was a series of panel discussions, lectures and small fairs organized by Amigos del Sol Language School and Planeta.com from 2001-2013. Launched in 2001, the series encouraged colleagues to share lessons learned in developing travel and tourism options that supports natural and cultural diversity in Oaxcaca, Mexico.

2001
SIERRA NORTE — Pablo Ruiz from Expediciones Sierra Norte gave a presentation on mountain-based tourism in the Sierra Juárez. Pablo said that this was his first opportunity to speak to an audience in Oaxaca!
April 19, 2001

STARTING A BUSINESS — Livingston Monteverde talked about rock climbing in Oaxaca. Livingston was quite frank on the challenges of staring a new business (which since closed).
May 3, 2001

FLYING IN OAXACA — Sten Maldonado from Eco-X-Plore showed how hang gliding (paragliding) has literally taken off in Mexico. He talked about the education needed to launch a new sport as well as safety considerations.
May 31, 2001

COMMUNITY MUSEUMS — Teresa Morales and Patricia Ramirez from the Community Museums of Oaxaca explained how the organization assists rural communities in establishing their own museums and their own community tours.
June 28, 2001

STATE TOURISM — Gabriela Meixueiro from the state government’s tourism office — SEDETUR — showed how Oaxaca perceives the alternative tourism market and how the state stands at the forefront of ecotourism development in Mexico. She also announced that October 30th the state is co-sponsoring an “alternative tourism market” with Planeta.com and local operators to complement Day of the Dead celebrations.
July 26, 2001

TOURISM FAIR — Our largest presentation of 2001 took the form of a Tourism Fair — held during Day of the Dead Week.
October 31, 2001

BIRD WATCHING — Noted guide Manuel Grosselet presented slides and an insider’s knowledge of Birdwatching in Mexico.
December 13, 2001

2002
CELEBRATING THE TULE TREE — Jorge Velasco, director of the environmental group Mi Amigo el Arbol gave a presentation about conservation efforts and the Arbol del Tule.
January 17, 2002

ECO PRODUCTS — Clarisa Jimenez, Carolina Peña and Maricarmen Vazquez, representatives from Servicios Ambientales de Oaxaca showed the development of community-developed artesania, such as a children’s rocking horse, copal incense and soaps — all certified as eco-friendly. These products are brand new to the local tourism market.
January 31, 2002

WHERE TO GO — Members of the group participated in a roundtable discussion reviewing where this series has taken us in the past year and brainstorming about the programs for 2002, the International Year of Ecotourism.
March 21, 2002

IMPROVING TRAVELER SAFETY — Our group discussed the a number of topics related to safety — what travelers need to know, insurance needs of companies and what the community can do to lessen the chances of muggings and robberies.
June 6, 2002

EXPLORING CHIAPAS — This program was the first to look outside Oaxaca and featured a chat with special guest Fernando Ochoa, who has worked toward developing ecotourism in rural Chiapas.
June 27, 2002

NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS — University of Tokyo’s Maki Komatsu presented a talk on “Politica Cultural, ONGs y Proyectos con la Comunidad” based on her recent talk at the Welte Institute for Oaxacan Studies.
July 25, 2002

FINE DINING — Karen Hursh Graber and Bill Cross presented details about the International Food and Wine Festival of Oaxaca.
August 1, 2002

ECOTOURISM FAIR — Oaxaca celebrated the International Year of Ecotourism with a big fair held at the Mufi
October 30, 2002

THE FORESTS AND THE TREES — Canadian researcher Ross Mitchell talked about forest management and tourism with examples from Oaxaca’s Sierra Norte, northern British Columbia (Canada) and the Andes in Peru. Related article — Democracy and the Trees
November 13, 2002

2003
FOOTPRINTS — Our first meeting of 2003 was a breakfast talk at the Marco Polo restaurant, across from El Llano Park. New Zealand Journalist and author Boz Smith discussed the challenges of writing the Footprint Mexico and Central America travel guide. He also discussed how ecotourism has developed in Ecuador and New Zealand.
February 20, 2003

MEET MEXICANWAVE — Our meet-the-authors breakfast featured the directors of Mexicanwave — Gicela Morales and Steve Bridger who created “No.1 website about Mexico in the UK.” Mexicanwave and Planeta.com are both members of The Mexico Network.
February 27, 2003

ARTESANIA, TOURISM & THE WEB — Featured speakers Carlos Ortega, Eric Mindling and David Sutherland were joined by Primo Aquino Cruz and Jorge Hernanzez in talking about the connections among artesania, tourism and the internet. As a result of the presentation, Planetacom is updating our guide to Buying Crafts in Oaxaca City and developing a guide to crafts throughout the state.
February 27, 2003

RURAL TOURISM FAIR — More than 100 people attended the one-day event. Four rooms were organized to provide information on artesania, adventure travel, ecotourism, and culture and health.
July 5, 2003

HUAUTLA PILGRIMS — Author Ben Feinberg announced publication of his book, Devil’s Book of Culture and discussed tourism development in the Sierra Mazateca’s Huautla de Jimenez.
August 27, 2003

2004
RURAL TOURISM FAIR
January 31, 2004

On January 31st Oaxaca hosted the 2004 Rural Tourism Fair. More than 200 people participated and we had a follow-up chat via the Ecoclub website.

URBAN ECOTOURISM — We held a review of upcoming Urban Ecotourism Fair and its application to cities in Mexico
September 15, 2004

Participants visited Cerro Fortin.

2005
RURAL TOURISM FAIR — More than 300 people took part in the 2005 Rural Tourism Fair, making this our largest event yet in Oaxaca, Mexico. The fair provided ample opportunity for dialogue and information sharing as preparation is important for travelers and locals alike.
February 12, 2005

BIKING IN OAXACA — Robert and Theresa Russell, co-authors of Bed, Breakfast & Bike Midwest and the Planeta feature on Biking in the Yucatan were featured guests have cycled the length of the Baja Peninsula, traversed the Yucatan Peninsula and volunteered in Querétaro. They shared their thoughts on improving options for travelers interested in biking.
February 24, 2005

RUTA DOMINICA — Richard Perry, webhost of Colonial Mexico and the author of numerous books presented his slide show of Oaxaca’s Dominican monasteries.
March 17, 2005

WESTON LEGACY — Kim and Gina Weston discussed the Weston Legacy Mexico Workshop which retraced the steps of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti’s 1920s sojourn.
September 7, 2005

REAL OAXACA — Stan Gotlieb and Diana Ricci presented an overview of their 10-year-old website, Real Oaxaca: An Expatriate Life
November 16, 2005

2006
ESPACIOS DINAMICOS — Jack Corbett lectured on dynamic public spaces in Mexico.
January 19, 2006

RURAL TOURISM FAIR –The 2006 Rural Tourism Fair was our biggest event yet! Photo gallery
January 28, 2006

GRASSHOPPERSJeffrey Cohen lectured on migration, development and nutrition. His current project, supported by the National Geographic Society, focuses on the use and value of grasshoppers (chapulines).
February 15, 2006

PAPEL OAXACA — Alberto Valenzuela and Ana Laura Alcocer showed off the work of Papel Oaxaca, a natural paper factory based in San Agustin Etla. They also previewed a green-building workshop. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4
March 15, 2006

WALK WITH THE WEAVERS — The Community Museum of Teotitlán del Valle organized a weaver-guided tour of the town.
April 1, 2006

THE VALUE OF LOCAL CULTURE — Martha Sorensen spoke about the art and cultural industries, comparing Santa Fe, New Mexico and Oaxaca City.
July 12, 2006

2007
RURAL TOURISM FAIR –The 2007 Rural Tourism Fair took place on January 27.
January 27, 2007

2008
RURAL TOURISM FAIR –The 2008 Rural Tourism Fair took place over ten days in January.
January 2008

2009
RURAL TOURISM FAIR –The 2009 Rural Tourism Fair took place over ten days in January.
January 2009

Photos
Flickr Album
Jack Corbett, Oaxaca Options

Artwork
Oaxaca, Oaxaca: Aqui Está Usted (Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License)

Presenters
Jack Corbett
Jeffrey Cohen
Ben Feinberg
Stan Gotlieb and Diana Ricci
Manuel Grosselet
Clarisa Jimenez, Carolina Peña and Maricarmen Vazquez
Maki Komatsu
Livingston Monteverde
Sten Maldonado
Teresa Morales and Patricia Ramirez
Gabriela Meixueiro
Fernando Ochoa
Ross Mitchell
Boz Smith
Gicela Morales and Steve Bridger
Carlos Ortega, Eric Mindling and David Sutherland, Primo Aquino Cruz and Jorge Hernandez
Richard Perry
Pablo Ruiz
Robert and Theresa Russell
Martha Sorensen
Alberto Valenzuela and Ana Laura Alcocer
Jorge Velasco
Kim and Gina Weston

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