THE HACIENDA IS DEDICATED TO PROMOTING DESIGN, LITERATURE, JOURNALISM AND GASTRONOMY, SUPPORTING PROJECTS WITH A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL END. OUR GOAL IS TO NURTURE LOCAL TRADITIONS THROUGH PROGRAMS, WORKSHOPS, LODGING, AND EVENTS.
After many years running a design studio in San Francisco and teaching at Calfornia College of the Arts, Raul proposed a summer studio in Oaxaca, called Oax-i-fornia. With his partner Michael, Raul discovered the hacienda, abandoned for thirty years, and realized it was the perfect home for the Oax-i-fornia project. Now over ten years old, Oax-i-fornia continues to offer a space of creative intersection and cultural interaction, bringing together foreign students and Oaxacan artisans, and has benefited over 50 families of local artisans.
Michael is the author of a memoir Mother and Son and the novel The More I Owe You, and is the co-founder of Oax-i-fornia. However, writing often takes second place to the demands of hacienda life—particularly taking care of the six dogs, three donkeys, two horses, numerous chickens, and one malicious rabbit that also make it their home.
Visiting Mexico for the first time from his native Venezuela to attend the MESAMERICA 2013 meeting, everyone he met spoke about the culinary wealth of Oaxaca, so he decided to head south from Mexico City to the Oaxacan capital. With a degree in Social Communication, and a diploma in Gastronomic Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid, he not only cooks but also writes about it, having contributed to several Spanish and Venezuelan print and digital media. He is Head Chef at the Ex-Hacienda Guadalupe, where he teaches workshops and also likes to cook for friends and for events, explore the nearby markets, and create new delicacies from the hacienda’s own garden.