Virgin of Guadalupe Art Workshop & Tour in Mexico

by Lisa Sonora

Creative Passport: Virgin of Guadalupe Art Workshop & Tour in Mexico

Create a unique visual travel journal while experiencing the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca as an artist during the weeklong celebration of Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe. Artist Lisa Sonora shows you how to create a richly textured and layered visual travel journal that documents your journey during the Creative Passport: Virgin of Guadalupe Art Workshop & Tour in Mexico.

Virgin of Guadalupe Art Workshop Dates: December 10-16, 2018
Location: Oaxaca City, Oaxaca Mexico

(Oaxaca is pronounced Wa-Ha-Ka, and is both a city and a state (like New York, NY) in Southern Mexico) at Art House Oaxaca, an artist residency workshop and lodging space in the historic center of Oaxaca City.

We’ll be lodging just one block away from Oaxaca’s own Virgin of Guadalupe Church Shrine, where all of the Feast Day of Guadalupe celebrations take place.

Procession into the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe Church in Oaxaca City, Mexico

The Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Patron Saint of Mexico

During and after December 12, the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day, pilgrims pay tribute to Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico and all of the Americas.

We’ll visit the celebrations, where the plaza and park next to the Shrine of Guadalupe are set up with a carnival, food stands, flower and candle stalls.

Children are dressed up as Guadalupe and Juan Diego, and get their portraits taken in shrines featuring the Virgin of Guadalupe decorated with flowers, baskets, textiles, and even burros decorated for the occasion.

Lisa Sonora with her rescue dogs get portraits taken during the Feast Day of Guadalupe in Mexico

Even though the photo stalls are for kids and families, you can get your portrait taken, too (a wonderful addition to your travel journal).

Travel & Art-Making in Oaxaca, Mexico

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.

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.

Travel journal from Mexico art and textile tour

A page from Lisa’s travel journal.

We’ll visit ancient villages off the beaten path, where master weavers still spin and dye their own wool using all natural pigments.

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 wall and doorway.

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

Creating handmade travel journals during studio time

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 people who come to my international workshops are getting their very first passport and passport stamp on the way!

Handmade, embroidered aprons made in Oaxaca, Mexico. So great for the studio and kitchen!

If 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 pages — even if you have no experience in painting, drawing or collage.
  • 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.
  • Textiles and traditional Mexican folk art. The traditional art and craft of Oaxaca is some of the best you’ll find in Mexico. If you care to do some shopping… I’ll take you to some of my favorite artisans and shops. Pack light so you can take home your treasures.

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
  • Visit the Guadalupe Shrine in Oaxaca City, Mexico
  • Visit the Feast Day of Guadalupe celebrations (wonderful photo opportunities)
  • 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 artisans studios, learn their techniques, and shop in Oaxaca’s indigenous craft villages
  • Shop and eat at a bustling local market – where people have been gathering for centuries
  • Go on treasure hunts around town for fun stuff to add to your travel journal
  • Collect Virgin of Guadalupe and other Mexican art and images to use in your own art, travel journal or for your collection

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


Creative Passport: Virgin of Guadalupe Art Workshop & Tour in Mexico with Lisa Sonora

Dates: Monday, December 10 (arrival day) – Sunday, December 16 (departure day), 2019
Location: Art House Oaxaca, in the historic center of Oaxaca City, Mexico


Double Occupancy Registration: $2175

$500 deposit to hold your space. The balance is due by October 15, 2018.

Register Now with Double Room Deposit

Register Now to reserve your space with a $500 Deposit. 

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.

Single Occupancy Early Registration: $2,650

Register Now Single Room Deposit

Register Now to reserve your space with a $600 Deposit. 

$600 deposit to hold your space. The balance is due by October 15 , 2018.

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

Registration includes:

  • Workshop instruction
  • Pre-trip notes and guidelines
  • Six nights lodging
  • Six breakfasts
  • Five lunches
  • Visits to ancient villages where whole families do weaving, embroidery,  sewing, painting and pottery
  • Indigenous market visits
  • Feast Day of Guadalupe tours
  • Guides and transport for our outings
  • Advice on travel plans before or after the trip, if desired
  • Option to arrive early or stay on later here at Art House Oaxaca, if you’d like to extend your stay. The rate is $40 per night Double, or $80 per night single, including breakfast.


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.

Cancellation, Refunds, Payment  Schedule…

A deposit of $500 USD will hold you space for a double room, $600 USD for single room.

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.

Deposit is fully refundable until July 1, 2018. On or after July 1, 2018, your deposit is non-refundable.

The balance is due by October 15, 2018.

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.

Cancellation Before July 1, 2018: 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 September 1, 2018 ALL SALES FINAL.

Cancellations on and after September 1, 2018: Registration is non-refundable, but transferable to another woman if you find someone to take your place.

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! Lodging on site is limited to 10 maximum, double occupancy, or 5 Single 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.

Most people pair up or go to dinner in groups, so don’t worry about dining alone.

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

From the Oaxaca airport, you’ll take a taxi to the lodging and workshop location. 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

Lisa Sonora with her rescue dogs get portraits taken during the Feast Day of Guadalupe in Mexico

About 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!

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.