Artists in Pueblos South of Oaxaca City

San Agustin De Las Juntas
Decoratively-Painted, Woodcarved Toys

Unlike the other pueblos listed, San Agustín de las Juntas is not a craft village. As far as we know, only one artist and his family works and lives here—at the very end of a remote and extremely rocky road in a purely residential “colonia” (a neighborhood just outside) of Oaxaca. Although not all a scenic route, and one that must be navigated in a vehicle sufficiently elevated to tolerate the unpaved roads full of recesses, this is a worthwhile destination to find a true treasure trove of finely-crafted, painted wooden creations.

As one proceeds from the center of the city of Oaxaca toward the airport, there is a turn off to the left marked by a prominent sign reading “San Agustín de las Juntas.” The archaeological site of Monté Alban can be seen in the distance. Passing through the main street of the town, lined on either side by shops selling fruit and other essentials, follow a winding road. As you pass many homes in the yards of which vociferous roosters and turkeys strut, it is easy to imagine that you have made a mistake. When you can go no further, you have arrived.

Agustín Cruz Tinoco
[Calle Colosio #9, Barrio el Cuajilote]


San Bartolo Coyotepec
Black Ceramics

This village, approximately 12 kilometers (20 minutes) from Oaxaca, is known for its black pottery. The majority of the trip is on a level, pleasantly re-paved highway. Prominent signs announce your arrival: “Coyotepec” and “Welcome to the Artisans’ Market. San Bartolo Coyotepec.” A large white church also marks the spot. It is estimated that approximately thirty families work in the typical ceramics of this pueblo, about five of them creating work of outstanding quality. We feature two of these families.

The Oaxaca State Museum of Popular Art (Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca—MEAPO, for short) is a must for folk art lovers. It is one-half block to the right off the main highway, as is the pueblo’s small market with a neatly-arranged collection of stalls in which rather commercial, but attractive, pieces are sold. The market is adjacent to a manicured and picturesque park, complete with gazebo.

Sampler of excellent artists:

The Pedro Martínez Family
(unique figural and sculptural pieces) [family showroom Guerrero #1]

  • Antonio Eleazar Pedro Carreno [Matamoros #17]
  • Glafira Martínez Barranco (wife of Antonio) [Matamoros #17]
  • Carlomagno Pedro Martínez (son of Antonio & Glafira) [Guerrero #1]
  • Adelina Pedro Martínez (daughter of Antonio & Glafira) [Zaragoza #3]
  • Magdalena Pedro Martínez (daughter of Antonio & Glafira) [Calle Morelos #42]
  • Antonio Eurípides Pedro González grandson of Antonio & Glafira

The Nieto Family
(decorative jugs, vases, figures, trees of life)
[all members of the family work and sell out of Benito Juárez #24]

  • (The late) Don Valente Nieto Real
  • Doña Rafaela Castillo Cardozo
  • Javier Nieto Castillo & wife María Mota
  • Jorge Nieto Castillo & wife Alejandrina Galán Morga
  • Fernando Nieto Castillo
  • Erasmo Nieto Castillo & wife Rita Rocío Andres

Juan Galán López (jugs) [Independencia #12]

Ana Karen López González (jugs) [Calle Morelos #24]

Floriberta Reyes Gómez & husband Andrés Cruz
(miniature pots, jugs) [Independencia #2]

Eustolia González Mateos (miniature animals) [Zaragoza #4]

San Martin Tilcajete
Decoratively-Painted Woodcarving

This pueblo is approximately 26 kilometers (35 minutes) from Oaxaca. The approach by highway consists of a winding road from which you look down at a wide-open expanse of cultivated fields on the right and up at hills and stupendous land formations on the left. Along the road leading into the pueblo, one sees frequent signs created by some of the more commercial artists, sporting the English words “Wooden Handicrafts.” In contrast to the smooth stretch of road leading into its center, most of the streets within San Martín are unpaved and bumpy. Many of the finer artists live in homes that are more difficult to find, but well worth the effort.

Sampler of excellent artists:

The Calvo Family


  • Francisca Calvo (sister of Jesús) [although usually in Oaxaca City at Quijxi #101 Departamento 121 Fraccionamiento Los Alamos, Montoya, Infonavit, she is sometimes in Avenida Progreso #44. By arrangement, call her cell phone: 044-951-101-7897]

  • Emigdio Calvo (brother of Jesús) [Avenida Progreso #44]


The Fuentes Family

  • Epifanio Fuentes Vázquez & wife Laurencia Santiago Hernández [Avenida Hidalgo #38]
  • Zeni Fuentes Santiago (son of Epifanio & Laurencia) [Carretera Federal junction Avenida Oriente]
  • Efraín Fuentes Santiago (son of Epifanio & Laurencia) [Avenida Oriente 9]
  • Iván Fuentes Santiago (son of Epifanio & Laurencia) [Avenida Hidalgo #38]
  • Rubi Perla Fuentes Santiago (daughter of Epifanio & Laurencia & husband Efraín Broa Vergara) [Avenida Hidalgo #38]


Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda & wife María del Carmen Mendoza Méndez
[Callejón del Olvido #9]

The Xuana Family
(specialize in miniature woodcarved figures)

  • Justo Xuana Luis [Avenida Galeana #6]
  • Justina Xuana Fabián (daughter of Justo) [Avenida Galeana #6]
  • Ana Xuana Velasco (niece of Justo) [Avenida Galeana #8]

Maria Jiménez Ojeda [Calle Allende #10]

Raymundo Fabián Melchor [Avenida Hidalgo #6]

Inocencio Vásquez Melchor [Calle Allende #1]

Ventura Fabián [Avenida Hidalgo S/N]

Martín Melchor [Andrés Portillo #2]

Gaspar Calvo Fabián [Constitución #2]

Norberto Fabián Xuana [Reforma #13]

Isidoro Cruz Hernández (specializes in masks) [Domicilio Privada del Olvido #1]


Santo Tomas Jalieza
Backstrap Loom Cotton Weaving of Belts, Bags, Table Runners & Placemats

In this pueblo, approximately 25 kilometers (35 minutes) from Oaxaca, spinning and weaving of cotton are carried out entirely by hand. The sign “Textiles de algodón hecho a mano” (cotton textiles made by hand) announces your arrival. Belts are created with the use of the back strap loom that dates back to 900-500 B.C. A left turn takes the visitor into the center of town. Neatly trimmed flowering bougainvilleas, many in brilliant shades of magenta and rose, decorate the street.

Almost immediately to the left is a small market in front of which there are always several women and young girls demonstrating their techniques. Most tourists purchase woven crafts of Santo Tomás here, especially on Fridays when the maximum number of artisans is present (about thirty women sell their products, as compared with ten, on other days of the week). We recommend that you visit at least one or two families in their homes.

Sampler of excellent artists:

The Navarro Gómez Family [Benito Juarez #42]

  • María Gómez Jiménez
  • Margarita Navarro Gómez (daughter of María)
  • Crispina Navarro Gómez (daughter of María who specializes in especially fine weaving)
  • Inés Navarro Gómez (daughter of María)
  • Gerardo Navarro Gómez (son of María who is an excellent oil and water color painter)

The Chávez Family

  • Cirila & Patricia Chávez [Matamoros #2]
  • Agustín Chávez & wife Asela Valentín Mendoza [Zaragoza #4]

Verónica Esther Mendoza Antonio (especially fine weaving) [Nicolás Bravo #1]

Angélica María López Antonio (especially fine weaving) [Progreso #9]

Faustina Aragón Mendoza & daughter Leonora Mendoza Aragón [Benito Juárez #22]


San Antonino Castillo Velasco
Embroidery, Terracotta, Ceramics, Painted Red Ceramics & Dried Flower Crafts

San Antonino, approximately 30 kilometers (40 minutes) from Oaxaca, is situated on the same highway that one travels to Ocotlán de Morelos. A right turn off the highway takes the visitor into a pueblo not noteworthy for its beauty. Nevertheless the pride of its dwellers is evident in their custom of artfully trimming the trees that border its main cement-surfaced street. A sign announces the pueblo’s most prominent types of folk art: “ropa bordado y flor inmortal” (embroidered clothing and dried flowers).

Sampler of excellent artists:


Virginia Sanchez de Cornelio & her Five Daughters [Libertad #1]

Terracotta Ceramic Figures

The García Family (Terracotta Sculptural Figures) [Calle Libertad #24]


  • José García Antonio & wife Teresita Mendoza Reyna Sánchez
  • José Miguel García Mendoza (son of José & Teresita)

  • Sara Ernestina García Mendoza (daughter of José & Teresita)

Painted Red Ceramic Figures

The Valencia Family [Macedonio Alcalá #8]


  • Luis Valencia Mendoza


  • Jorge Valencia García (son of Luis)
  • Jonathan Valencia García (son of Luis)
  • Fernando Valencia García (son of Luis)


Dried Flower Crafts

Israel Raymundo Cornelio & wife Liliana Sánchez Mateos [Independencia sin número]


San Juan Chilateca

This pueblo, approximately 33 kilometers (slightly over 40 minutes) from Oaxaca, is on the right just beyond San Antonino Castillo Velasco. Our one recommended artist is located in a lovely alley that affords picturesque views of farmers cultivating corn and beans using oxen-drawn ploughs of olden times rather than tractors.

Faustina Sumano García [Cuauhtemoc #11]





Octlan De Morelos
Painted Red Figural Ceramics & Decorative Knives & Swords

Approximately 30 kilometers (45 minutes) due south of Oaxaca, this pueblo is home to the extraordinary Aguilar ceramic family. Their charming ceramic works and the impressive knives and swords of another (unrelated) Aguilar family are the major types of art produced here. This is both a thrilling destination and a memorable trip. En route to Ocotlán a winding road ascends through the mountains, from which one looks down upon the verdant valley below on the right and up at hills on the left. The terrain is dotted with cacti and cultivated fields. Passing many other significant pueblos along the way, flat land gives way to lush vistas, with low lying puffy white clouds, so beautiful that they hardly seem real.

Your arrival is signaled by a bold sign bearing the words, “Bienvenidos a Ocotlán” (Welcome to Ocotlán). Four Aguilar sisters live and work on the main street, which also leads to the Ocotlán market. The homes of Irene, Guillermina and Josefina (in that order) come up very quickly on the right. Their ceramic pieces, some very large, mounted on their exterior of their homes serve as a landmark. The fourth sister, Concepción’s, home is harder to find, on the left side of the road well before that of her sisters. On Fridays a wonderful indigenous market flows through this area, although a smaller version takes place daily. Two other sights are worth seeing in Ocotlan: a museum housing a fantastic ceramic collection, featuring most prominently the work of all members of the Aguilar family, and the home of (the late) graphic artist Rodolfo Morales, which is open to the public during specific hours.


Painted Ceramic Sculptural Figures

The Aguilar Family

  • Guillermina Aguilar Alcántara [Prolongación de Morelos #430]

  • Josefina Aguilar Alcántara (sister of Guillermina) [Prolongación de Morelos #428]
  • Irene Aguilar Alcántara (sister of Guillermina) [Prolongación de Morelos 432]
  • Concepción Aguilar Alcántara (sister of Guillermina) [Carretera Oaxaca Puerto Angel Km. 29]
  • Demetrio García Aguilar (son of Josefina) [Prolongación de Morelos #428]
  • José Francisco García Vásquez [Prolongación de Morelos #428]

Ornately Decorated Handcrafted Cutlery & Swords

Apolinar Aguilar Velasco [Callejón Victoria S/N]


Papier Mache (recycling)

Elizabeth Ruíz González (Note: San Sebastián, Ocotlán is near, but not identical to Ocotlán de Morelos) [Unión #2]

Sign up for our E-News
The PBS Peabody award winning documentary series "Craft in America" filmed portions of two excellent programs in Oaxaca, one -- "Neighbors" -- partially in collaboration with FOFA. These programs explore connections through craft between Mexico and the United States.

>> Click Here to Read More


Oaxacan Popular Arts in the New Millennium, Nurturing Young Artists

Friends of FOFA