San Antonino Castillo Velasco
Two things to look for in San Antonino Castillo Velasco are the wonderful breads, fresh and yummy (in the morning, sold out by afternoon) as you come into town, and the famous vestidos de San Antonino, sometimes known as “Oaxaca wedding dresses,” marked by their elaborately fancy and colorful animal and floral embroidery.
First stop for the vestidos de San Antonino should be the small Artesanías de Castillo Velasco (on the San Antonino entrance road, Av. Castillo Velalsco, on the right, two blocks from the highway, tel. 951/571-0623). Your hosts will be friendly Enrique Lucas G. and his wife Maria Luisa Amador H., who manufacture and offer lovely embroidered vestidos, blusas, and servilletas (dresses, blouses, and napkins), and much more.
Their finest vestidos, elaborately adorned with fetchingly colorful floral and animal designs, sell for $100 and up. Besides the goods they display up front, they also can show you much more, including men’s wedding shirts, from their rear storeroom.
For more embroidery options, a few women sell dresses and blouses in the regular market on Friday (turn left at the first block after the bread stalls). If you arrive and no one seems to be selling any dresses, mention vestidos de San Antonino, and someone will lead you to a woman who makes them. Alternatively, ask for friendly Rosa Canseco Godines (go-DEE-nays, Calle Guerrero 33), one of the local maestras of the craft. If she’s home, she’ll gladly show you examples of her beautiful work.
Bus passengers, take a taxi or walk the mile (1.6 km) from Ocotlán. Drivers, turn west at the San Antonino sign just at the northern (Oaxaca) edge of Ocotlán.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition