CULtural partnership with the state of oaxaca | 2018

During our 2018 edition, Ondalinda shared the art and culture of Oaxaca. In partnership with the Gobierno del Estado de Oaxaca, this year’s art gallery exhibition, “Tonas – Nahuales, Fusión de Mundos” exhibited masterpieces by some renowned Oaxacan artists, including Sergio HernándezAmador Montes, and Alejandro Filio, as well as young upcoming artists Sabino Guisu, and el colectivo, LaPiztola.

We also introduced exceptional artisans’ crafts work, bringing together a collection of the finest crafts from Oaxaca. Revisiting the roads of the amazing native cultures from the Barro Negro of San Bartolo Coyotepecto the towns of the original Alebrijes of Tilcajete and Arrazola, as well as the exceptional Telares and Bordados work of Jalieza and Mitla.

In Mexican culture, the nahual is an animal fused with a human. The nahual is a protector who defines your personality depending on the year and day you are born. Tonas, of which there are twenty, are animals which represent the Zapotec calendar. Throughout the state of Oaxaca, many families produce Alebrijes, but the towns of San Martín Tilcajete and San Antonio Arrazola are the principal producers of these fantastical creatures. In essence, the original carved figurines of wood and stone were produced by our Oaxacan ancestors, who made tonas.

Alebrijes are made with different types of paper or wood carved and painted with cheerful and vibrant colors, represented by jaguars, tigers, sirens, cats, and nahuales. Although they can now be elaborated by several techniques, this community stands out for using wood carving, a skill transmitted from generation to generation.

Oaxaca state is best known for its indigenous peoples and cultures. The most numerous and best known are the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, but there are sixteen that are officially recognized. These cultures have survived better than most others in Mexico due to the state’s rugged and isolating terrain. Most live in the Central Valleys region, which is also an economically important area for tourism, with people attracted for its archeological sites such as Monte Albán and Mitla, as well as its various native cultures and crafts.

The Zapotecs call themselves Ben ‘Zaa, which means “the Cloud People”, since they believed their ancestors came from the sky and merged with animals and human shapes. They dwelt in the southernhighlands of central Mesoamerica, speci cally in the Valley of Oaxaca,which they inhabited from the late Preclassic period to the end of the Classic period (500 BCE - 900 CE).

Gallery Exhibition at Plaza de los Caballeros | 11 AM - 7 PM
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

For more information on our gallery exhibition, please contact Thomas Mendes-France at +52 1 33 1223 3535

Official Ondalinda Opening Ceremony at Plaza de los Caballeros del Sol | 6 PM - 8 PM
Thursday, November 8

On Thursday evening, we hosted the official opening of Ondalinda and our cultural experience at the Plaza. Following an introduction by Filippo Brignone and Lulu Luchaire, guests enjoyed a performance by the choirs of the Careyes Foundation Music School, as well as a live painting performance by artist, Sabino Guisu. Champagne cocktails were served by our partner, Veuve Clicquot.

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The Ondalinda FoundatiON

Ondalinda was founded with the mission of celebrating the vibrant and modern indigenous cultures from around the world through music, art, culinary delights, spiritual ceremonies and sustainability. Our non-profit arm, The Ondalinda Foundation (under the Umbrella of the Many Hats Institute, a registered 501C-3 nonprofit organization), assists indigenous communities throughout Mexico in preserving their cultural heritage and cultivating a new generation of interdisciplinary artists. A portion of the proceeds from sales generated through the art exhibitions at the annual Ondalinda x Careyes events go towards supporting indigenous communities from throughout Mexico including the Huichol and Purépecha peoples. The funds generated have enabled these communities to invest in basic infrastructure and resources, educating and raising awareness for their causes, and achieving sustainability on a long-term basis.

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Join us and be a part of this mission here.

Members of the Ondalinda team in Takei Kei visiting the Huichol community that was supported  through our Ondalinda x Careyes 2016 edition.

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In 2017, at our second edition of Ondalinda x Careyes, The Ondalinda Foundation presented, "Las Rutas de Nana Echeri"  (The Roads of Mother Earth). This exclusive Purépecha art collection, gathered multi-disciplinary master pieces by several artists from the indigenous communities of Michoacán.  Most of the art pieces collected reflected the essence of the traditional Purépecha culture as well as the evolving contemporary art inspired by the aspect of a new generation of indigenous artists. Using techniques of hyperrealism mixed with abstract concepts, their art reflects mainly the preservation of their indigenous roots and culture. For the first time, Ondalinda had the privilege to display an exclusive collection of art work from this new generation of artists merged with classic master pieces.  

Through our 2017 edition, the Purépecha community received over 200,000 pesos through the sales of their artwork. These funds have allowed them to invest directly in the development of their communities, including educational programs, culture & art workshop for children, as well as a massive reforestation of their environment which has been illegally drilled throughout the years.

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In 2016, at our inaugural edition, we showcased “NAVEGANTES DEL SUEÑO,” an exclusive collection of Wixarica (Huichol) art that gathered unprecedentedworks, reflecting the cosmovision of this mystic community. For the first time, authentic Huichol masterpieces were exhibited at Ondalinda, including works by some of the most esteemed Huichol artists. Thanks to your generous support, we sold over 85% of the exhibited works, resulting in over 300,000 pesos in sales. The money raised had a direct and highly effective impact on their communities. The Ondalinda Foundation was also able to target social and cultural impact as the Huichols had an opportunity to share and promote their culture and traditions on a worldwide level throughout the event.


At our Inaugural edition, Ondalinda was honored to support the mission and efforts of the Conservación Humana AC. For over 20 years, they have been working together with the Huichol in the mapping, analysis and description of the Huichol Route to Huiricuta in order to ensure its greatest recognition and legal protection. This Mexican, independent and non-profit organization, works to implement a variety of initiatives ensuring the fundamental human rights of the Huichol people, including their right to natural resources management, sustainable development, environmental conservation and cultural heritage preservation. 

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The ?! Careyes Foundation catalyzes innovative programs in education, sports, ecology, and the arts to improve the wellbeing of local communities.

  • English Lessons Program, delivering weekly classes to 1,200 children in eleven local elementary schools

  • Sports & Recreation Programs, organizing weekend bicycle rides and providing weekly bike polo lessons

  • Art Programs, exposing children to arts education through workshops with internationally-renown artists

  • Cinema & Community Program, presenting fun and educational screenings for children in our movie theater

  • Ecology Programs, protecting 2,000 sea turtle nests each year and providing hands-on ecology education for children


By providing a holistic range of services while focusing on community engagement and collaboration in the ten villages surrounding Careyes, these programs offer a bright future for the local children and their families.