Adventures in Mexico: Photography, Language, and Culture.

Mexico Photos

Welcome to Other Americas - At first glance, it may appear that we offer photography workshops... or that we are an adventure tour company... or that we are an educational program on the language and culture of Mexico. In fact we are all of these things rolled into one unique kind of travel experience.

Mexico Photography

ADVENTURE with us means off-the-road travel to parts of Mexico (and Texas this year) that you could not expect to find or explore on your own.

Meican Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY means hands-on photography instruction and critiques by internationally recognized photographers, who are also enthusiastic fellow travelers.

Mexican photos

LANGUAGE is an opportunity to study Spanish and/or Mexican history and culture. All this made even more enjoyable by the comfortable setting of first-rate inns, excellent meals and beautiful environments. From our home-base, the group explores surrounding areas by mini-van or jeep. Schedules for each day are flexible, with a choice of activities and/or unscheduled time for photographers and non-photographers alike. In 1979, I took a group of students to Mexico, made a lot of photographs myself, and just fell in love with the country and its people.

Mexico Photo Workshop

MEXICO is such a contrast to our country, so profoundly different in its cultural values; its landscape is so varied, mysterious, and beautiful. There are many parts of Mexico that I know intimately now. Certain towns and villages, certain roads and routes that I have found in my 15 years of poking around.

Photography Workshop

WHEN YOU GO on one of our trips, you don't go with a guide who's paid to make the trip the one hundredth time. You go with me, and I only go places I love to go. Depending on the itinerary, all trips are limited to six to 18 travelers. If you are willing to explore, to travel down some pot-holed roads, you will experience a kind of adventure and companionship that I beheve is unique to Other Americas.

Welcome to Other Americas!
At first glance, it may appear that we offer workshops in photography and art ... or that we offer adventure travel ... or that we are an educational program on the language and culture of Latin America.

In fact, we are all of these things rolled into one unique kind of travel experience, an experience that has evolved for eighteen years now, as we continue to offer new and exciting ways to see and learn about other cultures while learning new skills.

Adventure to us means travel off-the-beaten-track into villages and rural parts of Mexico and Guatemala that you could not expect to find or explore on your own. Photography and painting means hands-on instruction and critiques by internationally recognized photographers and artists who are also enthusiastic travelers. Language is an opportunity to study Spanish and/or Mexican history and culture.

All this is made even more enjoyable by the comfortable settings of first-rate inns and hotels wherever they are available, excellent meals, and beautiful environments. From our home base -- this summer in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico -- we explore surrounding villages and rural areas by minivan, Jeep, or Suburban, always in very small groups, sometimes visiting homes and renewing friendships with local artisans and other friends we've made over the years, other times striking out down new roads and finding new places to explore, photograph, and paint. Schedules are flexible, with a choice of activities for photographers, artists, and those who simply want to see the places we visit.

This year we are offering three photo workshops: two in Mexico during the summer and one to Guatemala at the end of the year. Both Mexico Photography workshops will be based in San Miguel de Allende, with travels from there to exotic places which offer unique opportunities for photography and art. The Guatemala trip will be a ten-day excursion to Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango, and the southern highlands.

Look over the workshops and trips we have planned for this summer and winter, and we hope you will join us this year in Mexico or Guatemala. If you do, you will experience a kind of adventure and companionship that is unique to Other Americas.

OTHER AMERICASGeoff Winningham, Director

For Additional Information Contact OTHER AMERICAS
call (713)526-6175 - FAX: (713)526-3551
Visit the Geoff's Website

Mexico Summer Photo Workshop
This summer we will offer two summer workshops from our base in the beautiful colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. In San Miguel we will have excellent darkroom facilities for photography, a studio for painting, and superb instruction available in Spanish. From there we will travel to some of the most exotic and beautiful sites in all of Mexico.

After sixteen years of offering travel workshops throughout Mexico, we have come to appreciate more than ever the unique advantages of San Miguel de Allende as a base for our programs. It is simply like no other place in the world. Set high in the Sierra Madre Mountains at 6,400 feet, overlooking the valley of the Caja River, the town is so unique that the federal government has declared it an Historical National Monument, preserving its historical heritage and beauty.

Most of the architecture, including over a dozen ancient churches, dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. Excellent hotels and restaurants are abundant. Arts and crafts from throughout Mexico are available in the shops of San Miguel. The altitude, the sunny but cool climate, and the crystal clean air give the town and its environs an indescribable and magnificent light for photography and painting.

ATTENTION: The information below is from 1998. Please visit the Other Americas website for the latest information. CLICK HERE

San Miguel de Allende, Real de Catorce and Mineral de Pozos
July 3-13, 1998

The first of our two Mexico workshops will be held July 3-13 in San Miguel, with travels northward into the states of San Luis Potosi and Guanajuato. Our accommodations for the first five nights of this workshop will be at one our favorite hotels in all of Mexico, the intimate and luxurious Hotel Antigua Villa Santa Monica, located on the edge of the French Park. The Villa Santa Monica, originally built as the hacienda of one of Mexico's most-loved public figures, Padre Jose Mojica, has fourteen beautiful guest rooms, most of which open onto the beautiful central garden.

We have set up a small darkroom at the back of the hotel for processing and proofing film on the spot. Across town, we will have access to a larger darkroom, complete with twelve enlargers, one for each member of our group. Darkroom work, while a must for beginners who want to learn the basics of photography, is optional for more advanced students, many of whom will prefer to use as much of their time as possible shooting, or to do work in painting, watercolor, or drawing.

I Our special guest photographer and instructor for the last seven days of this photo workshop will be Sally Gall, whose black and white photography is internationally exhibited and admired around the world. Gall will travel with the group on daily photography excursions, offering the rare opportunity for students to work alongside her and receive hands-on instruction.

Geoff Winningham will also teach photography, and Janice Freeman will teach painting, watercolor, and/or drawing, according to student interest, Participants in the workshop, strictly limited to a maximum of twelve, may work in either photography or art, or both The limited enrollment will insure close personal attention to each participant and will allow us -- with three vehicles available at all times -- to take frequent field trips in very small groups to surrounding villages and sites we've discovered over the years in the beautiful rural countryside around San Miguel de Allende.

The last five nights and six days of this Mexico photography workshop will be spent in two of the most exotic and beautiful spots in Mexico, both of which are virtually unknown to North American tourists. First, we travel approximately three hours to the north, into the state of San Luis Potosi. Thirty miles off the main highway, up a cobblestone road built in the sixteen century, we pass through a ten-mile tunnel in the Sierra de Catorce mountain and emerge in the ancient mining town of Real de Catorce.

The town, hidden away on the far side of the mountain, once possessed the largest gold mines in all of Mexico. Today it is nothing less than a waking dream. At an altitude of over 8500 feet, Catorce consists of street after street of grand adobe buildings, many of them in ruins from centuries of neglect.

Some of the old adobe buildings have been restored as homes or shops, and even couple of hotels, one featuring an Italian restaurant. But the dominant sense of the place is of the past frozen in time. There are two sixteenth century churches in Catorce, their walls covered with ancient murals and retablos, folk paintings attesting to miracles of the local saints. Horses are available for rides into the surrounding mountain landscape, but the surreal streets of Real de Catorce itself -- with evidence of its glorious past still alive today -- will be more than enough to occupy the eye of most photographers and artists for our three days there.

After Catorce, we retrace our route south through the desert to another ancient mining town, Mineral de Pozos. Pozos, like Real de Catorce, was once an opulent colonial mining town with over fifty thousand inhabitants. Today, though the town itself has been declared a Historical National Monument, protecting its elegant adobe architecture and the adjacent mining buildings, it is a near ghost town. The landscape in and around the Pozos is, like Real de Catorce, otherworldly. The greatest attraction for photographers and artists are the mining buildings and the primal landscape in which they are set. Giant mesquite trees and fields of wildflowers grow amidst the crumbling buildings. As the light changes throughout the day, new picture possibilities develop virtually every minute. Our groups visiting Pozos in the past have found it to be one of the most exciting places they've ever photographed and have longed for a couple of full days to explore and work here. This is exactly what we will have on the last two days of this workshop. The recent opening of a tiny, first-class hotel in Pozos allows us to work morning to night, then retire to the comfort of the superb restaurant and our rooms at Casa Mexicana.

Photography and art students are welcomed to this workshop at any level of skill, from beginners to advanced. Language instruction -- from two hours per day to full immersion (in San Miguel de Allende only) -- will be available at all skill levels, through either a private tutor or classes.

Group: Limited to twelve participants, plus three instructors and assistants.

Cost: Includes pick-up and return to Leon/Guanajuato airport (air fare to Leon/Guanajuato not included); all ground transportation for eleven days; lodging (double occupancy) for ten nights with breakfast; photography, art, and Spanish instruction (up to fifteen hours of Spanish in San Miguel, additional charge for full immersion Spanish): photo darkroom and art studio fees (film, paper and art supplies not included): $1,890 per person, plus $60 non-refundable application fee.

See pages 7 and 8 for the second summer workshop, July 18-28, which may be taken in conjunction with the first workshop, July 3-13, at a discounted price.

ATTENTION: The information below is from 1998. Please visit the Other Americas website for the latest information. CLICK HERE
San Miguel de Allende, Lake Pátzcuaro, Uruapan, and Pericutin
July 18-28, 1998

Our second Mexico summer workshop will also be an eleven-day, ten-night workshop based in San Miguel Allende. Again, we will have the use of darkrooms and a painting studio while in San Miguel, with daily trips to villages and to our favorite sites in the countryside outside San Miguel. We will take one day trip to the fantastic mines at Mineral de Pozos, another to the nearby city of Guanajuato, and a third to the famous sixteenth century sanctuary at Atotonilco.

After four days in San Miguel, we will set out on a trip that has become a classic Other Americas experience: to the state of Michoacan, offering some of the most beautiful landscape in all of Mexico. The first day we climb to an altitude of over 8,000 feet to the town of Pátzcuaro, center of the ancient Tarascan empire, located on the magnificent lake of the same name. We will spend two days and nights there, exploring the town, the lake, and the villages that surround it. The region is famous for many indigenous crafts, including woodcarving and mask-making We will visit some of the most famous Mexican masceros and watch them carve their own unique creations.

Leaving Pátzcuaro, we will travel forty miles south, descending to Uruapan. Our hotel there, the famous Hotel Mansion del Cupatitzio, is located on the edge of the Rio Cupatitzio, next to a beautiful national park filled with waterfalls and swimming holes.

On our first day we will visit one of the strangest, most unique villages in Mexico: Angahuan. The inhabitants of this remote village, which is set in the black lava fields below the volcano at Pericutin, have distinctly Oriental features. This, plus the narrow streets and simple homes made of pine boards, give Angahuan more the look of a village in rural China than Mexico. We can rent horses or hike across the lava fields, to the old church, buried in the black lava, except for the top of its steeple.

Our visit to Uruapan and Angalman is timed to give us still another great experience. July 25, our second day there, is the Day of Santiago, patron saint of the Spanish conquistadors and also the patron saint of the village of Angahuan. On that day we will have the opportunity to see this normally quiet village come alive with celebrations in honor of the horseback saint. All the horses of Angahuan will be decorated in festive ribbons and banners, and riders will compete to show their skills as they parade through town. The biggest market of the year the village, plus religious celebrations in the church, will round out the fiesta in Angahuan. Afterwards, we return to San Miguel de Allende for the last two days of the workshop, processing our film and making prints of our photographs.

Group: Limited to ten participants. plus instructors and assistants.

Costs: Includes pick-up and return to Leon/Guanajuato airport (air fare to Leon/Guanajuato not included); all ground transportation for eleven days, lodging (double occupancy) with breakfast; photography and art instruction; photo darkroom and studio fees (film, paper and art supplies not included): $1,690 per person, plus $60 non-refundable application fee.

Note: Participants enrolling in both 1998 Mexico Summer Workshops will be given a $100 discount.

ATTENTION: The information below is from 1998. Please visit the Other Americas website for the latest information. CLICK HERE
Guatemala Lake AtitlAn, Chichicastenango, and the Southern Highlands
December 28, 1998 - January S. 1999

Working with one of the most respected travel services in Guatemala, Kim' Arrin Travel, Other Americas will offer a ten-day excursion by four-wheel drive vehicles into the highlands of southern Guatemala, including stopovers in Santiago Atitlán, Chichicastenango, and Antigua. Like all Other Americas trips, the itinerary and logistics are planned to give participants the best opportunities for photography of the landscape and the cultures of the country.

Our guide for this trip will be one of the finest guides in Guatemala, Vinicio Pefia, who has guided photographers from National Geographic, Geo, and many other magazines and photo agencies around the world. I Lodging for the group will be in the best hotels and inns available, including five-star hotels in Antigua and Guatemala City. Other towns and villages to be visited in the southern highlands will include Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, and Todos Santos. Write, call or fax us for an itinerary and more details of this trip.

Group: Limited to ten participants, plus group I leader Geoff Winningham, guide Vinicio Pefla, and additional driver.

Cost: includes all ground transportation for eleven days; lodging (double occupancy); guide: $1,850.

For Additional Information Contact OTHER AMERICAS
call (713)526-6175 - FAX: (713)526-3551
Or visit their website CLICK HERE

All text and photos COPYRIGHT 1999-2004 Other Americas - All Right Reserved

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