san antonino oaxaca town

San Antonino Castillo Velasco, about 25 miles south of Oaxaca's capital, is the cradle of Jarabe del Valle, a town of market gardeners and flower growers.

Oaxaca's picturesque town is known for its talented artisans who create one of the most distinguished regional costumes. This textile is characterized by fine multicolored embroidery called San Antonino, whose origin comes from the indigenous costume of the Ocotlán Valley woman. It was founded in 1694 by Nicolás Hernández, Martin Angel Toledo, Manuel Salmerón, and received its name after the illustrious liberal politician Don José Mara Castillo Velasco. Also, you may wonder where the name San Antonino came from. Well, it was named after San Antonio de Padua, a preacher and miracle worker of this beautiful town.


pan de yema 

 The Spectacular Cuisine

The gastronomy of San Antonino Castillo Velasco offers a wide variety of dishes. The yema bread and its famous amarillito empanadas stand out the most. During its parties and celebrations, we can enjoy its traditional chocolate atole (a drink made primarily from yellow corn, cinnamon, cocoa, and pinole), enchiladas de coloradito, stew, and bitter black mole. Below we shared a brief description of each dish:

Chocolate Atole: The towns of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca keep within their gastronomic treasure a drink considered sacred, based on corn, cocoa, cinnamon, wheat and more ingredients. 

Yema (Yolk) Bread: You can recognize it from a distance! Both by its sweet smell that overflows with butter, and by its fluffy appearance and its surface covered in toasted sesame seeds. Yema bread is well known all over Oaxaca, both by locals and by foreigners.

Amarillito Empanadas: These empanadas are a gastronomic product of the native Oaxacan peoples, they are made with the always noble corn, and although they are currently filled with any salty dish, they are traditionally made of amarillito.


San antonino embroidery

San Antonino Embroidery

 “San Antonino because it is called 'the land of flowers' and that is where the artisans are inspired to do embroidery, because flowers are grown here, it is a town of market gardeners and that is where traditional embroidery comes from, from the field flowers: there are roses, carnations, pansies, among others” 

- Erika Santiago, Artisan

The “San Antonino” embroidery is characterized by the creation of the immortal flower, the “Hazme si puedes” or the flower that never dies, like a memory. Each flower on the garments represents a life story and memories ready to be shared. Embroidery and weaving techniques are used for the embroidery and weaving of the figures, images or elements that the dress or blouse will carry, as well as their different meanings and interpretations. Learn about different San Antonino embroidery techniques that symbolize different traditions and stories:

The "tejido tradicional" is used for weaving flowers, such as carnations, which extend along the neckline of the chest, back and sleeves of the clothing. Representing the main economic activity of the Zapotec people.

As with flowers, the "pensamientos" technique is also used here, which involves the combination of threads of different colors and gives the impression of a painting. There are some crafts that involve embroidering butterflies or hummingbirds.

The hazme si puedes technique consists of the embroidery of figures of men and women, interspersed and holding hands, representing a united, hard-working people, with customs and traditions.

The punto de semilla, in addition, is a technique to weave seed like figures that symbolizes the efforts of the community to obtain a good harvest.


On your next trip to Oaxaca, would you like to visit the small town of San Antonino? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think! 

Interested in traveling to Oaxaca? Click here to Travel Guide to Oaxaca, Mexico. 

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