Huaracheria Aquino in Yalalag, Oaxaca

Nestled into the Sierra Norte mountains of Oaxaca is the small town of Yalalag.

Yalalag is very precious town, not only for it’s strong Pre-Hispanic traditions, but also because like only a handful of other small towns in Mexico, most of the Yalalag population is still dedicated to the traditional craft of Huarache making.

Huaracheria Aquino is the largest ‘Taller’ workshop in Yalalag and they are well known for their high quality Zapotec Huaraches.

What also sets this family run business apart from most other Huarache makers in Mexico is that their crafting process begins at their in-house tannery, where they vegetable tan all their leathers to their precise specifications.

Huaracheria Aquino is famous for their traditional women’s Zapotec Yalalag sandals (the only existing traditional women’s leather sandal/huarache style in Mexico).

Photo of young Zapotec Woman in Mitla, by Guy Stresser-Péan, 1957

Their ‘Tejido’ Huarache also stands out for the fine attention to detail.

And the ‘Cincho Forado’ Huarache is the finest of its kind.

Interestingly the seemingly modern thermoplastic coated “Oscaria” leather which is very popular in this area of Mexico has been used for over 40 years.

Inside the Aquino ‘Taller’ workshop hangs a framed picture of the Aquino Great-grandfather and founder of Huaracheria Aquino.

It’s not uncommon for Huaracheros to still use lasts that are over 80 years old. The wooden lasts are made of Mesquite not only because it was once the most readily available material with which to make lasts, but because the Mesquite does not expand very much from contact with the wet leather.

Most Huaracheros still prefer using wooden lasts to plastic because they say there is reduced bounce when ‘asentando’ (hammering to flatten the leather upper to the last) .

To contact Huaracheria Aquino directly please visit their Facebook page, or email them at

4 Comments on “Huaracheria Aquino in Yalalag, Oaxaca”

  1. Benjamin says:

    Oh, he’s the real deal, a huarachero that actually wears huaraches lol.

  2. Paleotool says:

    Great post! I would love to see more information about the tanning if you ever come across it. What species of bark do they use? What are there specifications for good leather, etc. I appreciate you keeping this information alive on the web.

  3. Paleotool says:

    Reblogged this on Paleotool's Weblog and commented:
    This is a great series of photos of a surviving craft still producing their own leather. This maintains an economy (for them) that could have very little cash outflow, replacing the cost of raw materials with labor. I hope these “industries” survive.

  4. aquinos are from oaxaca yalagh they make dope wuaraches they are known for that all regione sierra juarez..i love it out there so natural weather

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