Your Tour GuideS
Owner/Founder of Open Heart Tours
I’m Janie Cravens and my body lives in the Santa Fe, USA, most of the time, while a big part of my heart lives in Mexico all of the time. For those who are curious about such things: I was born and raised in San Antonio and lived most of my adult life in Austin. By profession, I am a clinical social worker with a specialized private practice, consulting to agencies and government entities on matters of child welfare. A few years ago, I gave myself a "geezer gap year" and one of the consequences of that precious time was the birth of this tour company.
I’ve traveled in Mexico literally all my life and am inexplicably drawn there -- something tight in my shoulders relaxes, my heart opens, my mind expands/questions/delights, hurts lessen, and longings gets requited.
When I’m not working or traveling, I like to contribute to my community, read books, dance, volunteer, hike, practice my foodie habits, and plan my next Mexico sojourn.
After hosting dozens of groups in Mexico I decided to create Open Heart Tours and offer socially conscious travel that contributes in equal measure to the consuming that takes place on vacations. Come and join me!
Pablo Gonzalez Marsch
Retired Professor/ Tour Guide
Pablo Gonzalez Marsch was born and raised in Oaxaca de Juarez and educated at the Technological Institute for Engineering. Along with his long career as a professional educator he became a licensed guide and has enjoyed showing visitors “his Oaxaca” over the past 30 years. Pablo's love of the pre-Hispanic cultures, the architecture and archaeology of his homeland, and his prodigious recall of fascinating facts make him a perfect tour guide.
For icing on the cake, he also happens to be an avid birder, mushroom hound, poet and gastronome.
I found the Oaxaca area full of life and color from its array of people to its gorgeous flowers, dramatic arts, spiritual /ornate churches and delicious food. It was enchanting and a place I hope to experience over and over in coming years.
It was obvious Janie loves the Oaxaca area and it's people. Her personal relationships with local Oaxacans made our trip so much richer. She believes strongly in culturally sensitive tourism and models respect and shared learning between tourists and local citizens. Her genuine enthusiasm to help me experience multi facets of this beautiful area made my trip one of the best I have ever had!
North Carolina, USA
Janie's knowledge, experience and know how helped to take the guessing out of what kind of experience I wanted to have.
There is an ease about which she approaches travel. She has a gift of pursuing rich and rewarding experiences daily. She's the master of truly savoring moments while traveling. She's also never met a stranger, a "people magnet" which always adds to the experience.
Pat Texas, USA (three tours)
Everywhere we went was the best and a week was not enough! I can't wait to go back and see more. I feel that Oaxaca could have something new and wonderful to offer over a lifetime of visits!
Angie New Mexico, USA (2 tours)
Janie is warm, witty, fun, kind, generous and amazingly well informed and connected to all things Oaxacan! I wouldn't have been able to visit local artisans in their homes, find the wonderful guide who taught us history, art and archaeology or eaten at delicious and inexpensive restaurants!
Sandy Texas 2016
You will not be disappointed! My life was truly enriched by the people and activities I experienced on this tour . It was positively unforgettable. I will definitely be coming back on more Open Heart Tours!!