Category Archives: San Cristobal de Las Casas
I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently about taking buses in Oaxaca and Chiapas so I think it’s time to weigh in. First, this information isn’t necessarily true for all of Mexico, I’m just speaking from personal experience living there. I’m also not an expert on the second class buses. Hey, I’m over 50, I’m done with chicken buses!
Compared to the US, Mexico has traveling by bus totally dialed. The buses (first class) generally run regularly, service lots of cities, are clean, new (ish), and offer many levels of service to choose from.
When was the last time you were on a bus and the driver, dressed in a suit, came into the passenger compartment to give a welcome speech describing their services, itinerary, and offering to be of service if there were any concerns? (Okay, back again to the fact that I no longer ride the chicken buses.)
One bus company that I love and use regularly which I also find reasonable is ADO, http://www.ado.mx They basically control the market in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and I am guessing the rest of Mexico. You can check schedules online and if you’re lucky, buy a ticket online if their system is working (this rarely works for me). I LOVE the Platino service which is like riding business class on a plane, wellll, maybe not EXACTLY like that but for a bus, pretty darn good: personal video, cushy reclining seats, etc. The GL service is also very comfortable. Cost isn’t bad either. I can take a bus RT to Mexico City from Oaxaca for about $90.
As for safety (everyone’s concern) all I can say is that I have never had a problem, ever. This may seem like a commercial for this bus company but seriously, I have ridden the bus (different first class companies) during times of strife, even all night buses by myself during times of strife and believe me, the bus doesn’t leave the station if it’s not safe on the road…That has been my experience…
I regularly take the night bus to and from Oaxaca and San Cristobal de las Casas, and for those of you wanting to visit both cities, it is perfect. The bus leaves around 8:30 in the evening and arrives around 8 am, either way.
Something that I find wonderfully unique about the bus experience in Mexico compared to the States is that is on long trips when two drivers are required, one crawls into a little cubby under the bus next to the luggage and sleeps while the other drives. The drivers switch every 4 hours or so. When you wake up at your destination, they are there, in their suits, wishing you good travels…
Recommendations? Buy your ticket ahead of time for better seat choices (trust me, it will matter when you are at the back of the bus for hours of curvy roads and smelly toilets), dramamine, sleeping aids if it’s a long trip, long pants and a fleece jacket as they are always over air conditioned, and ear plugs/buds.(If you are on the economy first class buses, movies (often gory ones) are played constantly over the sound system so there is no escape.)
Down side? At the end of the day, it’s still THE BUS.
Do you have stories about buses in Mexico? I’d love to share them with our readers! Please comment or post on my FB page http://on.fb.me/kgQvzE
Happy New Year to our friends and supporters of ABRAZOstyle/ Latin Threads! As the year closes we’d like to thank you for your ongoing interest in our work in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico and give you a short update of what we’ve been up to.
My blogs have been painfully few his last year due to all the attention we have been giving to creating a market for our artisans’ work here in the States, but I will endeavor to post more in the coming year…A good New Year resolution, I’d say!
We are very excited to report that we’ve had a fantastic year with very positive growth in the company and in our circle of artisans. Our hand crafted , socially responsible clothing and accessories for the worldly woman are now found in boutiques, specialty gift stores, museum stores, high end garden stores, and even zoos on the west coast, parts of the southwest, the midwest and east coast, but there is still much to be done!
Plans for 2012 include continued growth in the communities we work with in Mexico as well as expanding into larger markets in the US.
The embroidery classes we started in October in our village of San Pablo Etla, Oaxaca have been going extraordinarily well. (See pictures) The group is now up to a maximum size of 15 members with our most advanced students producing hugely improved, beautiful work. Thank you Ayuda (the NGO sponsoring the classes). In the coming year we will be working with the women to help them to create their own designs and products to market through ABRAZO in the States.
We are also continuing to expand our work with families of women in small villages in the highlands of Chiapas. Look for some their new and traditional blouses this spring on our web site along with new designs and colors in our totes and scarves. Lots of surprises coming!
We appreciate your sharing what we do with others and, as always, we welcome your comments and suggestions!
If you are interested in following us on Facebook, just click on this link and you’ll get the latest updates as they happen!
Thank you once again for your interest and encouragement. Abrazos (hugs) from all of us and best wishes for a bright and successful year!
Adele and the ABRAZOstyle Team
Oh, I almost forgot. If you are interested in joining us in Oaxaca this year on a socially responsible shopping tour, please let us know.
7 weeks in Oaxaca…where did it go? I thought (ridiculously) that somehow I would have time to catch up on things I never seem to take care of in the States, and that I would have relaxed evenings to rest and recharge… what was I thinking????
We have accomplished a lot, learned a lot, and have been humbled once again by the challenges that always seem to surface at the least welcome moment. This time our stumbling block was fabric. In the midst of working out design and embroidery of our new blouses, the fabric we have been working with suddenly became unavailable. Gone. Blip, off the radar. After multiple phone calls and trips to all manner of stores and even other towns, we discovered that due to the increase in cotton costs, the purveyors in our area stopped ordering it. (Of course, the other story is that people are hoarding it until the price goes up again.) Regardless, our production came grinding to a halt. So, we have decided to produce some “limited edition” blouses in other fabrics until we get back on track.
Of course, I have been looking for some new and fabulous, light and elegant cottons but have been extremely challenged on that front as well…(Anyone reading this who knows of a great fabric factory in Mexico, PLEASE let me know!) And, unfortunately, the culture here is such that often people do not share sources, so it is kind of like reinventing the wheel every time there is something new to figure out. Fun? Not really, just part of the game…
As I sit here in Chiapas waiting for my night bus back to Oaxaca after a whirl wind two day trip, I have to admit once again that I love my job: the headaches, the challenges, the artisans and the discoveries. Most of all I love sharing this beauty and richness with our customers who realize that there is more behind a piece of clothing than the fabric.
I will try to write more soon about some of our best (and worst) moments in these last weeks…