DMS Mexico Chronicles
The Art and Soul Tours 2023 "Flavors of Mexico"
Moscaic Murals of Zacatlán de las Manzanas, Pueblo Mágico and Mexico's Gastronomy
Julia Zagar , owner of “The Eyes Gallery” of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, together with Deb Colburn of “Nomad” of Cambridge, Massachusetts are the organizers of programs designed to encourage the lovers of Mexican culture and folklore to visit special off-the-beaten-track visits uncommon among the more common vacation travelers from outside the country to Mexico.
"This year was especially unique and fascinating as they travelled initially to the “Pueblo Mágico” of Zacatlan de las Manzanas,."
This year was especially unique and fascinating as they travelled initially to the “Pueblo Mágico” of Zacatlan de las Manzanas, where in previous years, Julia´s husband Isaiah, renowned Philadelphia mosaic mural artist, was invited by the municipal authorities to supervise an incredible project of mosaic murals elaborated and carried out by literally hundreds of the local residents to commemorate the town´s 100 year anniversary celebration in 2014, an ongoing constructive work of art for which the town has become famous.
On this occasion, the itinerary began centered around members of the group visiting the town with Isaiah to see the incredible murals and to actually interact with the local community members in the continuing project the day they visited, which made a huge impression.
Other activities in which they participated – demonstrations of local embroidery and backstrop loom were equally enjoyed by all.
Then on to Puebla to eat “chiles en nogada” an unseasonal delicacy popular in Puebla during the pomegranate season in August and September coinciding with the Fiestas Patrias of September. But for this occasion, enough ingredients were previously set aside and stored especially for the group to eat for lunch during their stay in February – a traditional offering invented over a hundred years ago to celebrate Emperor Agustin de Iturbide during his visit to the city in 1821, representing the colors of Mexico´s flag.
Then the unforgettable mole (pronounced mo…lay) cooking class at Hotel Colonial, where all partipants, donning aprons and rubber gloves for the preparation, enjoyed the different stages of the preparation of this unique chocolate sauce, known as one of the best in the city.
"Then the unforgettable mole * cooking class at Hotel Colonial, where all partipants, donning aprons and rubber gloves for the preparation, enjoyed the different stages of the preparation of this unique chocolate sauce,"
"Their visit luckily coincided with a showing of the works of surrealist painter, Leonora Carrington which was just the “icing of the cake” to top off that memorable event.”
Next on the agenda, enroute to Mexico City, a special private visit to Arca Tierra – Chinampa – or “man-made island” along the channels of Xochimilco, enjoying the elaboration of a variety of “blue corn tortilla” quesadillas filled with a variety of the “home grown” organic produce.
Another exclusive and little known visit was made to “Casa Pedregal”, the first of arquitectronic contemporary Luis Barragan´s construction taking advantage of the volcanic rock common in the area and for which he became famous during the last century.
Their visit luckily coincided with a showing of the works of surrealist painter, Leonora Carrington which was just the “icing of the cake” to top off that memorable event.
Julia´s birthday happened to fall on this day, so their delectable lunch at Tetetlan Restauarant wound up with a decorative cake to commemorate that event as well as the coming to an end of one of the most memorable trips this group has ever made to Mexico.
Another unique and special visit followed- to the Franz Meyer museum to enjoy a special presentation by Marta Turok, anthrologist and Curator of the Ruth Lechuga masks and textile collection, Marta Turok.
And last but not least, a day spent experiencing the fabulous produce market of San Juan with a chance to sample cheeses and cold meats, followed by a visit to the Zocalo, main square of Mexico, and a sampling of Mexican hors d´oeuvres at Los Girasoles Restaurant, tacos al pastor at Salon Corono and winding it all up with a dessert of Mexicans´ famous churros and chocolate at the historic original location of Churros el Moro, established over 100 years ago.
All in all – a chance to see mosaic murals in the delightfully tradional (but little known) Pueblo Magico of Zacatlan de las Manzanas; time for shopping for local folk art amid the different sites visited throughout and an all-enticing culinary experience of traditional “chiles en nogada”, as well as the famous mole preparation in Puebla, the blue corn quesadillas filled with home grown organic produce, and a day of sampling typical Mexican culinary favorites to round out their knowledge of the culture and gastronomy for which Mexico has become declared by UNESCO – a “world heritage site”.
See below a few of the reactions of both the organizers as well as some of the participants…
Phrases respecting the trip
Everyone really loved the mole class! Also the organic farm… and the Barragan house tour and lunch at Tetelan was a huge success. All in all the wonderful week.
Julia Zagar - "I think all loved going to Chanapas (Chinampa - Arca Tierra, Xochimilco) and Tetetlan (Restaurant Casa Pedregal built by Luis Barragan) and meeting Marta (Turok) who showed us Ruth Lechuga´s collections at Museo Franz Meyer museum.
My birthday cake was the BEST!"
Participant impression of Zacatlan - "It was refreshing to be in a town that was still authentic and off the beaten path”
Published by DMS Mexico 2023
Know more about our Specialty Tours: Gastronomy, Cultural Travel, and Catholic Pilgrimages in Mexico:
Know more about our Gastronomy Tours in Mexico: