We are a tight-knit group, each coming from distinct times and places, cultures and creeds. Embracing that diversity, we proceed informally as a collective, with major decisions in curricula, teaching style, and logistics being tended to as a group. Each of us has fallen in love with Oaxaca, with a lineage that seeks to regenerate the grassroots of southern Mexico. It is that which binds us together in this labour of love.
Founder & Storyteller
Chris was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. In 2015, he moved to Oaxaca to continue his work in the world of cacao/chocolate. Soon after he founded Oaxaca Profundo Sessions, with a mandate to honour the often neglected or unheard stories of Oaxaca’s gastonomical culture. He is a writer, curator, and activist. You can read his short works on his Medium page. Chris also has a forthcoming book detailing the unauthorized history and consequences of modern tourism.
Vinik Juré Osés Sulvarán
Storyteller and Investigator
Vinik was born and raised in Mexico City. He is an independent, social researcher focused on agriculture and food studies since 2012. Since 2014, Vinik founded and coordinated a project on the anthropology and social studies of maguey and mezcal called Expresiones del Mezcal.
He is a collaborator of the international Slow Food network with who has participated in exchanges of experiences and national and international talks. In 2018, he spoke on “Ecología cultural del maguey y el mezcal” in Turin, Italy at the Slow Food Symposium. His main interests are ecological and knowledge mapping, knowledge transmission, ethnoecology, rural management of resources, food studies and multiculturalism.
Sergio Beltrán Arruti (Yeyo)
Storyteller and Investigator
Yeyo was born and raised in México City. He moved to Oaxaca in 1997 to support and learn from indigenous communities. Sergio is Co-founder of Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca (Unitierra) and Herramientas para el Buen Vivir, AC. Through his work in the non-profit sector he has developed a deep respect for the capacity people have to make a good life (buen vivir) for themselves when they are able to freely take responsibility for their own communities.
He studied and walked out from Latin American Studies at Mexico’s national university, UNAM. From 2004 to 2005 he was a grantee of the UNESCO program Search and Research.
In 2010 he was part of the pioneering team of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations in Spanish, and has hosted and organized multiple intercultural encounters around the world using these tools for dialogue.
Investigator / Collaborator
Sebastian was born in Littleton Massachusetts. He is an environmentalist by training and moved to Oaxaca in 2014 to work with a Oaxacan organization on constructing a shared interdisciplinary knowledge of the Atoyac-Verde River watershed in order to be better stewards of it. Currently he works with a US based organization called Riverkeeper which advocates on behalf of the Hudson River and the communities it supports. Sebastian leads students in Oaxaca where students learn from communities about buen vivir, local governance, and communal land ownership. To reciprocate, the masters students collaborate with community members and provide support for their endeavors.
Sebastian puts into practice elements of his ideals through municipal and local governance structures, building in reciprocity and care into the J-Term for all, and aspires to be a more active member of his local Democratic Socialists of America eco-socialist working group, to, in the words of Nick Estes, free the world from capital.
He currently calls home Kingston, New York, and will hopefully will be back in Oaxaca soon.