LEAH / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
Where do I begin?! This workshop exceeded my expectations times ten. Our group got an extensive, hands-on education in natural dyeing with numerous locally-sourced materials (including some wild botanicals we got to forage ourselves!) and weaving on backstrap looms, partnered with artisans whose expertise was consistently matched with welcoming warmth. We were invited to participate in some unforgettable cultural traditions, from a pachamanca meal (the best lunch of my life, with no exaggeration) to a private mountaintop ceremony, complete with an alpaca wedding, an altar offering to Mother Nature, traditional dancing and more. All in all, I can't say enough good things about this retreat and its balance of learning and play -- it was so unique and so memorable, with so many profound "holy sh*t, is this real?!" moments. I'd recommend it to just about anyone, whether you're a practicing weaver/textile artist yourself or just looking for an intimate look into Peruvian life.
ALLISON / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
As an avid traveler, I feel pretty confident in my ability to seek out really special experiences on the road. But there is absolutely no way I would ever be able to curate a trip like this alone. The access to centuries old practices and traditions, via remote communities and seasoned was a constant throughout the week.
Beautiful accommodations were selected, and we were very well fed. (I participated while on a restricted diet, and I felt really taken care of!)Highly recommend for anyone seeking a truly immersive experience in the artisan culture of the Sacred Valley.
EMILY / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
Wow, this week long trip went waayyyy beyond over my expectations - A inspiring group of women, a week long of hands-on, authentic workshops and activities, PLUS beautiful hotels and delicious meals, I couldn't recommend a workshop or tour with Aula more.
From the beginning, Sonya and Steph were very careful to consider my travel plans and needs. They were so informative, kind and simply genuine people to spend the week with. Not to mention, their team of guides, drivers and hotel partners were amazing, too.
I've traveled quite a bit all over the world, and Peru, and there was no way I could find these sort of activities and artisan groups on my own. If you are looking for an off-the-grid, authentic and inspiring trip through the Sacred Valley all I can say is GO WITH AULA!!!
MATT / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
Sonya and Steph are master facilitators, educators, communicators, and overall badass women that make me want to become a better human. I learned so much being around them, and from the beginning was made to feel like family. Peru felt like a second home to me.
What we learned during our workshop was unique and intimate in a way that I've never encountered before in an immersion program. I learned so much about the communities we visited, and I feel strongly that we made an actually meaningful connection across cultures. From my experience traveling, this is exceedingly rare in a globalized travel industry that obsesses over curated "experiences". Aula is the antidote to what is wrong with much of the travel industry, and in my future travels I intend to seek out organizations like Aula to ensure that my time is spent wisely and ethically.
MARIANA / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
I had the best experience with Aula Artesana, Sonya and Steph really have created an amazing tour. They were communicative prior to and during the trip, making me feel cared for and very comfortable. The whole experience was wonderful and the organization very detail-oriented. As a fiber artist from Peru, I was looking to gain some knowledge of traditional techniques from communities in Cusco, and they didn't disappoint. We were introduced to local dyeing and weaving techniques, experiences that I couldn't have planned on my own being from Peru. We also stayed at some amazing hotels, with beautiful views, and overall excellent service. I would recommend this trip for anyone interested in unique experiences! and also delicious food!!! We went to some amazing restaurants and had my favorite food of all, Pachamanca (a dish prepared by a local weaving community in an earth oven, just delicious!)
ALISHA / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
Sonya and Steph of Aula Artesana have done an incredible job creating the perfect experience for immersing yourself in the Andean culture of textiles. We spent 6 wonderful days in the Sacred Valley at beautiful hotels, eating the best food I've had in my life, and working with local artisans on how to spin, dye and weave - the traditional ways of creating fabric. As a fiber artist myself, I walked away with a full heart, crazy inspiration, and a greater connection and respect for one of the original forms of textiles in South America. We were given an opportunity and invited in to a very special tradition that I am forever grateful!
BUCKLEY / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
I did the first trip Aula offered and I was blown away with how special it was. Far more than I expected to see and try. We had everything from connecting to the land and indigenous people to staying and eating in luxurious places. We were always so well supported and everywhere they took us was mind-blowing!!! So much more than a weaving trip. I will truly cherish the memories of this experience forever.
WHITNEY / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
I returned from my week-long experience with Aula Artesana last week and still can't believe it was real. I am a weaver and a dyer myself and was thrilled about the prospect of getting to learn more about these traditions through the artisan workshops included in this experience. But Steph and Sonya went well above and beyond any expectations I could have had for both of the workshops, as well as all of the other accommodations provided during the week. They thoughtfully organized the week to focus on true cultural exchange. They facilitated seamless travel/transfer for each member of our group throughout the week. They partnered with the most welcoming of artisan partners and the most professional and helpful guide. Each place we stayed was special, stunning, and immaculate. Our meals were outstanding. Steph and Sonya were incredibly helpful in answering any questions before, during, and after the trip, and were even willing to advise and offer recommendations for the few days of the trip that I had planned to travel alone. I could not recommend Aula enough.
TARA / TINTES & TEXTILES CUSCO
From our traditional natural dyes workshop in Lamay with the women of Pichinku Yarn, to an alpaca shearing ceremony over 13,000 feet up in the clouds with the families of Patacancha, each day we felt more and more honored to be in this majestic, ancient land.
If you are looking to immerse yourself within the Andean culture, make meaningful connections, try your hand at the traditional ways of creating fabric, see lots of alpacas, AND try the best foods of your life; look no further. Aula Artesana has thought of it all, and will give you an experience that you’ll never forget.