Creative Passport to Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Travel Journal workshop in Mexico during Day of the Dead week celebrations

Creative Passport Workshop in Mexico with Lisa Sonora

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Week 

October 27 – November 3, 2017 

For 10 women who crave creative adventure.

UPDATE: This workshop is SOLD out.  

There is still space in the Creative Passport Mexico MARCH 2018 workshop. You can also get on the waitlist for Mexico workshops after March 2018 and be the first to know when registration opens.

Oaxaca, Mexico (Oaxaca is pronounced Wa-Ha-Ka, and is both a city and a state (like New York, NY) in Southern Mexico)

In the Creative Passport to Mexico workshop you’ll experience the rich and colorful Day of the Dead festivities in the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca like an artist, and create a beautiful, richly textured and layered visual travel journal that documents your journey.

Traditional dancers during a Day of the Dead procession in Oaxaca's historic center.

Traditional dancers during a Day of the Dead procession in Oaxaca’s historic center.

Oaxaca, Mexico is a land of magic, mythos, and art. You’ll find traditional weavers, sculptors, potters, dancers, musicians, storytellers and curanderas (indigenous healers) mixing it up with modern painters, photographers, writers, and poets.

We’ll go on artistic treasure hunts in Oaxaca City and in the nearby old villages in search of the images, collage elements, stories and inspiration that we’ll use to embellish our travel journals.


We’ll visit a cemetery celebration on Day of the Dead, bedecked with flowers and food for the spirits, and learn about the rituals that celebrate life and  honor our ancestors.

The whole city is bursting with altars!

We’ll also visit Oaxacan artists in their studios, and shop and eat in the bustling Mercados, right alongside the locals.

Did you know that Oaxaca has one of the most beautiful zocalo’s (town centers) in all of Mexico?

Oaxaca is a Unesco world heritage site, with no less than 21 cathedrals within the historic center, towering limestone walls, and secret gardens behind every adobe walls and doorway.

During our travels, I’ll help you experience Oaxaca, Mexico as an artist, with tips on getting great travel photos, sketching in public (even if you can’t draw!), collecting stories to remember, and finding symbols and signs that support your creative journey.

Mixed-media travel journal by Lisa Sonora

Mixed-media travel journal by Lisa Sonora

During studio time, I’ll show you how to create your own, one-of-a-kind, portable and expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera we find in Mexico.

You’ll get plenty of instruction in mixed-media techniques, plus guidance on how to use the experience of travel to increase your own creativity, including how to break through creative blocks.

Travel is the perfect way to awaken and enliven your creative spirit. Being in a foreign land awakens our curiosity, brings our senses alive, and requires us to navigate the unfamiliar. These are just a few of the qualities that play a part in artistic expression, and you’ll learn how to harness these qualities as you craft your travel journal.

tales of adventure - creative passport workshop

Everything you learn in the workshop can be applied to any journey you are on in life – whether it’s a travel journey, or a life journey.

All you need to participate is a willingness to explore, curiosity, and your passport!

Everyone can travel artfully, and anyone can make a beautiful travel journal that captures their experience.

No prior experience in art, writing — or even travel — is required! Absolute beginners are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Fact: Many women who come to my international workshops are getting their very first passport and passport stamp on the way!

day-of-the-dead-mexico-art-tour-3If you are a creative soul who yearns to combine meaningful art-making with foreign travel, then you’ll love this experience.

In this workshop you’ll learn how to:

  • Create your own portable, expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera that we find in Mexico.
  • See with the eyes of an artist, and find ephemera and stories for your journal.
  • Make fantastic use of the stuff we find on our treasure hunts through Oaxaca’s magical streets, shops, cafes, artistic haunts, and historic monuments.
  • Use paint, drawing, and collage to create richly textured pageseven if you have no experience in painting, drawing or collage.
  • Make your own stencils, stamps, maps, envelopes and other mixed-media techniques that make your travel journal uniquely yours.
  • Take better photos with your smart phone or portable digital camera, the apps you can use to create compelling travel photos, and how to weave them into your travel journal.
  • Capture your own meaningful travel stories to add to your journal, even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer or are afraid to write.
  • Find and work with unlikely materials. No matter where you go, even without traditional art supplies, you can create a wonderful artifacts of your journey.

No matter what level of experience, you’ll absolutely fall in love with your own creative work. Even if you are an absolute beginner or have old hangups about not being creative.

P.S. Everyone pretty much has some kind of creative hangup at some time – so don’t let that stop you.


You’ll take away:

  • A magnificent, one-of-a-kind handmade travel journal, brimming with color, texture, images and stories of your time in Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Your own Creative Passport Kit, with Lisa’s favorite travel journal supplies, packed inside a unique, lightweight, colorful tote. Your supplies will always be at the ready for any spontaneous adventure!

Outside of the studio, our group will:

  • Take a walking / photo tour of Oaxaca’s historic center, (where we will be lodging!) with the best cafes, restaurants, and textile and crafts shops identified
  • Enjoy tasting Oaxaca’s famous mescal, chocolate and moles, with the makers and chefs that make Oaxaca’s cuisine world-famous and a destination in itself.
  • Tour Oaxaca’s indigenous craft villages
  • Eat at a traditional Hacienda
  • Explore 1600’s Dominican monastery ruins for wonderful photo ops and writing, sketching time
  • Shop and eat at a bustling local market – where people have been gathering for centuries
  • Visit a village cemetery on Day of the Dead
  • Go on treasure hunts around town for fun stuff to add to your travel journal

This is an experiential travel workshop in the company of kindreds who also love art and travel.

Creative adventures await you! Get your passport and start packing!


Creative Passport to Mexico Workshop with Lisa Sonora

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Week

Dates: October 27 – November 3, 2017

Double Occupancy: $1975  

$500 deposit to hold your space. The balance is due by August 1, 2017.

This workshop is SOLD OUT.

Location: Art House Oaxaca, in the historic center of Oaxaca City, Mexico

Please make sure you’re OK with the policies, below, before you register.

Your registration deposit confirms you’ve read and accepted the policies.

Registration includes:

  • Workshop instruction and kit
  • Pre-trip notes and guidelines
  • Seven nights double occupancy lodging –  Check-in on Friday, Nov. 27 — Check-Out on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.
  • Seven breakfasts
  • Five lunches
  • Mescal, agave honey, chocolate and traditional beverage tastings
  • Visit to a local cemetery for Day of the Dead celebrations
  • Craft Village visits and indigenous market tours
  • visit to 1600’s Dominican monastery ruins for wonderful photo ops
  • Advice on travel plans before or after the trip, if desired


By registering, you agree to these terms.

Confirmation: You’ll receive an email after you make your deposit. This is your registration confirmation, and contains helpful info to get you started planning your trip to Oaxaca. Please keep this email in a safe place. It’s recommended that you print it out.

Important: All retreat information will be emailed to the email addresses you used when registering. If you require the materials be sent to an alternate email address,  please email Lisa’s assistant, Jen (jen @ lisa sonora (dot) com) and let her know right away.

We’ll email you important travel and workshop information, as we get closer to the trip, and don’t want you to miss anything.

Cancellation, Refunds, Payment  Schedule…

A deposit of $500 USD will hold you space.

Deposit is fully refundable until June 1, 2017. On or after August 1, 2017, your deposit and any balance paid is non-refundable.

The balance is due by August 1, 2017.

You’ll receive an invoice from us for the balance. If you’d like to pay the balance in smaller payments over time, no problem. We’ll set up a payment plan that works for you at no additional charge.

For Double Occupancy rooms, you’ll be assigned a roommate, or you can let us know who you’ll be rooming with if you are attending with a friend.

Cancellation Before June 1, 2017: full refunds will be issued to those that cancel their registration by emailing Jennifer at Jen(at)LisaSonora(dot)com. Please include Cancellation Request in the subject line, and in the message, include the name and PayPal email address you used to purchase your registration.  A full refund will be made to you via Pay Pal within 72 hours of receiving your cancellation email.

On and after August 1, 2017 ALL SALES FINAL.

Cancellations on and after August 1, 2017: Registration is non-refundable.

Got Questions?

Please feel free to email us with any questions or concerns about the workshop. Not sure if this is the right workshop / retreat for you? Got travel questions? Please do get in touch.

Hurry! Workshop is limited to 10 people, double occupancy.

Because Oaxacan cuisine is so wonderful, dinners are not prearranged to give you freedom to choose where and what to eat. We will point you to our favorite restaurants and even make reservations for you.

Everything is an easy walk from Art House Oaxaca (where you’ll be lodging and enjoying studio time). Taxi’s are abundant and affordable if you prefer not to walk.

We also have a lovely cafe on site. Most people pair up or go to dinner in groups, so don’t worry about dining alone. Travel costs are not included.

Travel Tips:

You DO need a passport that doesn’t expire for six months from your date of entry to Mexico.

You’ll fly into the Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca airport.

Airport code is: OAX

Oaxaca does have a direct flight from the USA from Houston, on United Airlines. I love this flight, as it’s a small jet with really comfy seats.

Otherwise, you likely change planes in Mexico City (really easy) from your city of origin.

From the Oaxaca airport, you’ll take a taxi to the lodging and workshop location, or your own lodging. We’ll give detailed instructions and the address with your trip welcome info.

Taxi fare is about $7 per person, and there is just one taxi counter inside the airport. Easy and stress free!

I like to search for airfares on

You can see recommended travel routes by train, plane, ferry and car to and from any destination on the Rome2Rio website.

Lisa with paintbrushesAbout Lisa Sonora, your hostess and guide (guidess!)

Lisa Sonora is an American artist, author, and intrepid traveler, based in Oaxaca, Mexico, who wants to live in a world where everyone remembers that they are an artist.

Originally trained as an art therapist, and a long-time student of meditation, Lisa brings a compassionate and contemplative approach to her teaching.  

Her first book, The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Guidebook to Making Business Ideas Real (Quarry, 2008) launched a movement that has helped thousands to live their creative dreams.

A sought after facilitator, she’s led international writing and creativity workshops on five continents for more than 20 years: at schools in Africa, inside tech companies, coach training programs, churches and zendos, and at retreat centers and in universities.

She trains others to lead creativity workshops in her Creative Journey Facilitator Training program.

Lisa is passionate about demystifying the creative process, and takes a practical approach to getting creative work done. If you’ve got resistance, bring it!

Her 30 Day Journal Project brings together a global audience online twice a year to celebrate the power and magic of regular daily writing.

She loves guiding creative souls in making their own art and magic in the world’s most inspiring places.


Image credits: All images taken by Lisa Sonora in Oaxaca, snapped with an iPhone.

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