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Supplier: M16553

InfoHub supplier since May 2007!
Base of operations: USA
M16553 are specialty trips - small groups of friendly folks with common interests in traditional festivals and celebrations, ethnic textiles and indigneous costume, cuisine, archaeology, art and architecture. Every trip is planned around an exciting festival, a world-class historical monument, or an indigenous art form-or a combination thereof.

To add to our knowledge and broaden the experiences, renowned experts and excellent English-speaking translators and guides accompany BTSA groups. Everywhere, fellow travelers will experience fascinating encounters that are not available to the ordinary tourist. You will see knitters and weavers work their magic with yarn, meet artists as they carve golden wax float figures, visit costume embroidery workshops, or watch maskmakers solder and paint their wild new creations.

M16553 was started almost twenty years ago by Cynthia LeCount Samake as a result of her positive experiences leading groups on a dozen research trips to South America and Southeast Asia for the University of California. In the 1980s, before her association with UC, Cynthia traveled extensively by herself in Peru and Bolivia doing research for her book on Andean folk knitting. Then she continued to travel while documenting Bolivian Carnival costumes for her Master's thesis in the UC Davis Art History Department. Often during this time, friends and acquaintances begged to accompany her on her travels, so she began M16553.
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Questions and Answers
Small groups of friendly people with similar interests, exploring the world of indigenous textiles, cuisine, festivals, arts, crafts and music.

1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?

We have been taking people to our favorite destinations for the past 20 years. Cynthia taught in the Design Department of the University of California, and was the director of their research expedition program similar to Earthwatch. When the University discontinued the program, she began her own textile and festival tours.

2. What is your company's mission?

To show travelers with us the positive side of other cultures, how most people all over the world hold dear the same values of family, human warmth, trust, self-respect, self sufficiency, honesty, and so forth. Also to share the talents and creativity of artisans where we travel.

3. What does your company specialize in?

Traveling with groups of people who feel like they are with friends, going "behind-the -scenes" to meet musicians, knitters, weavers, dyers, designers, etc. Many of our customers are repeat travelers with us.

4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?

Cynthia and Barou Samake are owners and founders of Behind the Scenes. Cynthia taught in the Environmental Design program at the University of CA, Davis, and Barou is a native Malian, living in California and speaking Bambara, French and English.

5. What is your most popular travel package and why?

The trips to India and Peru are the most popular because of the many opportunities for meeting local artists and craftspeople. But we do that in all the countries we visit!

6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?

In praising a trip to Peru, Sammy Vilks said "Travel with Cynthia is my dream come true!"

Vacation Packages offered by supplier M16553
Textiles Tour in Peru with Machu Picchu
Meet weavers, knitters, spinners! Visit charming Cuzco and mystical Machu Picchu, fabulous north coast pyramids of Sipan with this two weeks long tour of Peru!

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USD 3595 / Per person
Tour Package
Textile Arts
Duration: 14 days
Season: November - December

Festival and Textiles of the Andes: Peru
On this classic Peruvian adventure, you will visit highland textile villages, see ancient coastal archaeological sites, magical Machu Picchu, meet knitters and weavers!

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USD 3495 / Per person
Tour Package
Textile Arts
Cultural Journey
Duration: 15 days
Season: March - April

Textiles and Festival Tour in Laos and Cambodia
Great trip to Laos and Cambodia! You will visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Angkor Wat, Khmer temples, markets and experience a whole different local culture.

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USD 4095 / Per person
Tour Package
Textile Arts
Festival Tours
Duration: 17 days
Season: July

Textiles and Taj Mahal Tour, India
The best of Indian textiles and culture! From the Taj and Kutchi areas in the north to backwater lagoons of Kerala, this fabulous tour will give you an exciting taste of India!

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USD 4960 / Per person
Tour Package
Textile Arts
Cultural Journey
Duration: 17 days
Season: September - October

Reviews and Comments
No. Rating By / Subject

 1  Denise Carey / Wonderful Mali
I have enjoyed a unique experience with BTSA who have a genuine connection to the country. So much to see and do from the ancient city of Djenne with its mud brick mosque, the Niger River bustling ports, Dogon country, stunning textile patterns in clothing worn by men and women, bustling markets, to Timbuktu and beyond, recommend to anyone who has a desire to experience another culture with caring guides.