Caitlin Garcia-Ahern | Founder + TRIP LEADER
Fusing her backgrounds in artistic design, sociology and education with her love for travel and human connection, Thread Caravan was a natural evolution in Caitlin’s path.
While she has experience with various mediums (ceramics, painting and glass blowing to name a few), textiles remain her primary source of creative inspiration.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Caitlin has also called New Orleans, New York, Maui, Cambodia, Guatemala and now Mexico home. She believes people are the key to getting to know a place and seeks to create authentic connection wherever she is.
MARíA JOSé GOMEZ | GUATEMALA + COLOMBIA GUIDE
María José, “Majo” for short, was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, where her mother, a textile designer, taught her how to weave.
Majo studied textiles with social application at the University of the Andes in Colombia, simultaneously working closely with a rural community of artisan weavers. She moved to Guatemala in 2016, where she has been living ever since, diving into the textile techniques specific to Guatemalan culture.
Majo is passionate about editorial design, natural dyes and experimentation with new materials. She weaves as a hobby, and creates mixed media pieces combining cotton threads and photography. She believes that the best way to know yourself and others is through travel.
Lisa Jennings | Guatemala Guide
Environmental educator, adventure guide, dancer, nature freak, culture junkie, and new mother: Lisa's titles are expansive. Originally from Canada, Lisa's love for travel is long-standing. She's now been living in Guatemala for 7 years, consciously connecting to the country's land and people. Her newest endeavor: starting a family here with her Guatemalan partner and fellow guide.
As a past performer, Lisa knows how to captivate a crowd. She will keep you entertained on our Guatemala trip with information about indigenous histories and environmental projects, plus lots of laughs!
ILáN Sánchez | Oaxaca GUIDE
Ilán was born in San Diego, California, where he spent the first 5 years of his life. At the age of 5, his family decided to return to their home, Oaxaca city, where Ilán lived until he was 18. He then moved to México City, to study Social Communications in university. Upon graduating, he began work in reputed Mexican museums such as MUCA Roma and Centro de las Artes de San Agustin, developing his photography career in tandem, assisting photography workshops for world class photographers such as Mary Ellen Mark and Alex Webb. In 2014, Ilán returned to school, this time at University of Connecticut, to receive a graduate degree in Arts and Latin American Studies. Following his studies, he worked for several years as a Spanish teacher in Oakland, California.
He has since returned to his home of Oaxaca, México, where he explores his photography interest, and combines his passions for México, art, and language by facilitating Thread Caravan workshops.
GOYO DESGARENNES-GARZÓN | OAXACA GUIDE
Goyo was born and raised in Oaxaca, México and spent his childhood traveling around much of the state with his father.
Goyo is a self-taught researcher with emphasis on topics such as art, food and innovation. He is a connector and catalyst for art and believes collaborative processes are a light for the future. He is a deep thinker and brings his unique perspective and sincere laugh to each workshop he hosts.
Goyo also loves cumbia and food!
OJAS AKOLKAR | INDIA GUIDE
Ojas Akolkar was born and raised in the bustling city of Mumbai, India. She has lived in the USA for 20+ years and has had the pleasure of living in China and Mexico through her family’s expat relocations. She is the founder of Tribalfare, a small business which curates artisan treasures from India, Mexico and Guatemala for her soon to be launched retail store in metro Detroit.
Ojas visits India every year to to reconnect with her roots, extended family and to create new relationships with the diverse artisan communities.
She lives in Detroit with her husband and 11 year old son while her oldest son is a college sophomore. She loves to travel, meet people from diverse backgrounds, cook, dance and just can’t get enough avocados and spicy treats.
Estefania Gamarra | Panama Guide
Originally from Bolivia, but having called Denver, Colorado home for several years, Stef decided to embark on a backpacking journey through South and Central America en route to Mexico. When she arrived in Guna Yala, Panama, she effortlessly decided to stay. Nine months living with a Guna community has since turned into buying her own sailboat, starting a charter company and living the island life for several years and counting.
Stef's laid back and positive attitude is infectious. When spending time with Stef during our Panama trip, you'll quickly adapt to the island lifestyle yourself.
Kandra Ehrman | Panama Artisan Coordinator
Kandra is part of the Guna indigenous group and spent her childhood living on the Guna Yala islands. When she was of age, she got permission from the community elders to venture to Panama City to study sustainable tourism at university.
Kandra frequently returns to Guna Yala, facilitating small-scale tours in the area. She speaks Spanish and Guna. In addition to acting as our Guna language translator and artisan liaison, she has a wealth of knowledge to offer about her culture and heritage.
a full list of partners and collaborators can be found here.
proud member of the Female Founder Collective and Artisan Alliance.