I had only been to Yanhuitlán (yahn-wheat-lahn’) three years ago on a Good Friday expedition, so when a friend told me about a fantastic field trip to the home studio of famous ceramic artists, I put it on my “to do” list. Wanting to do something special on the Fourth of July – not only U.S. Independence Day but the day my dad died in 2000 — I vowed to make it finally happen.
I often forget to note Mexican fiesta days, so it came as a pleasant surprise when José said he’d take a whole day off for Good Friday. I’d been wanting to explore some of the Mixtec area – the land of the “people of the clouds” in its indigenous Nahuatl language — in the area northwest of Oaxaca City, which is a Zapotec region. We packed up José’s VW bug with camp stools, picnics for both breakfast and lunch, my English guidebook and tooled off by 7 a.m. on the cuota, or toll road, towards Nochixtlán (no-cheece-tlan’).