Asociación de Mujeres Artesanas Zoológico Mágico

San Martin de Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico


This newly formed cooperative was founded by 13 women who aspire to foster growth and generate employment opportunities for women and youth through art. Their primary objective is to preserve the Zapotec culture and the cherished artisanal process of creating alebrijes, a local cultural heritage.

Their workshop is a haven of fantasy and art, where they breathe life into various animal creatures they can imagine. Each piece is meticulously crafted with their own hands, skillfully combining vibrant colors that enhance the beauty of the wood.


people directly impacted


women indirectly benefitting
Zoológico Mágico

Critical Need

San Martín Tilcajete is a town located in Oaxaca famous for the woodwork created by local artisans. The main piece of Art in the wood workshops is the famous Alebrijes, which are wooden figures that represent different animals of the Zapoteca culture and some of their legends, there are approximately 150 alebrijes artisans.

The alebrijes are a big part of the Oaxacan culture and preservation from generation to generation is very important. Nowadays a lot of different people around Mexico create copies of the original alebrijes and they are sold everywhere, the artisans in San Martin are having a hard time generating enough income and the value of their art has gone down according to the market prices.

Our Involvement

Planeterra has been working together with the women of the Zoologico Mágico association to find out what are the most pressing needs to be able to host travellers. They needed a bathroom for visitors, as well as to finalize the process of registering their business. Now they are fully registered and have brand-new bathrooms.

Through this partnership, we also connected Asociación de Mujeres Artesanas Zoológico Mágico to travellers who are now able to experience the Zapoteca culture and the making of alebrijes. This additional revenue will increase their income so they are able to grow as a community.


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