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Alvin Starkman


Can: The State of Oaxaca, and in particular the city and its central valleys including questions regarding sites and touring, current social and political climate, transportation, and all other matters relating to tourism in and around the city of Oaxaca and its central valleys with an emphasis on mescal, pulque and fermented pre-Hispanic beverages. Can't: Everything else.

Experience in the area

First visited Oaxaca in 1969. Began vacationing exclusively in Oaxaca in 1991. Permanent resident of Oaxaca since 2004. Written over 280 articles about Oaxaca. Master Mezcalier certification by the federal government. Author of Mezcal in the World Spirits Market: Unrivalled Complexity, Innumerable Nuances Co-author of the first bilingual full color mescal tasting wheel. Owner of Mezcal Educational Excursions of Oaxaca. Fixer for several international documentary film companies as well as for photographers.


Law Society of Upper Canada


Interweave Transitions Abroad The Eye Korean Air Ensamble Vacations Crime & Justice International The Upper Canadian Antiques Showcase Oaxaca Times The Etobicoke Guardian York University archives (M.A. thesis)


Specialized Honors B.A. (social anthropology) 1974 M.A. (social anthropology) 1978 LL.B. (law degree) 1984 Master Mezcalier and various other courses on educating given by the federal government.

Awards and Honors

Tory Research and Writing Award

Past/Present Clients

Please inquire for references.

What do you like about this subject?

Mezcal? It's my passion.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I'm still learning every day.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Read my book on the subject.

Average Ratings

Recent Answers from Alvin Starkman

2015-10-26 cell phone advice:

For cooking schools, Chef Pilar Cabrera of Casa de los Sabores Cooking School is the best (  If you want a second one, then Reyna Mendoza of Teotitlán de Valle nicely complements

2015-04-20 time in Oaxaca:

Yes of course you will find enough to do here.  We have been here as visitors and residents for 24 years and are still exploring the state.  If interested there is a vibrant expat community via the Oaxaca

2012-12-27 SMA to Oaxaca by bus:

I would be inclined to take the bus to the TAPO station in Mexico City, and then switching to a bus from there to Oaxaca.  There's another station in Mexico City, but I always use TAPO because of it's

2012-03-02 buses to PV:

I cannot comment about getting to the border, but in Mexico the best line with the greatest number of options for class of bus is ADO.  I have never had issues with it.  Look here:     http://alvinstarkman

2011-10-09 mailing a letter:

You have to ask your post office how it handles COD from Mexico.  But he CAN send important documents, via FEDEX, DHL, MEXPOST, using pesos.  Is this an issue relating to support / alimony?  Sure sounds


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