This post is part of the Macheteando Series. I’ll be posting about inspiring or community-oriented projects locally in Oaxaca. I would love to include more people around the world, but that will have to wait until it’s safer to travel.
Meet Betsy, the mind behind Oaxaca Street Food Tour
Betsy grew up in the markets of Oaxaca; her family has worked in them for years. After school, she spent time in the aisles and greeting the people there since she was a child. After living outside of Oaxaca and coming back. She decided to start offering Street Food Tours in the markets that saw her upbringing happen.
When she’s in markets and the street, she is in her element. Oaxaca is a city that has been becoming more popular and famous each year for tourism. She decided to start her project, offering street food tours. With her cousin’s help, sleeves and socks up, designed a logo and started using a booking platform that helped manage her guests and payments.
How we Decided to Collaborate
Oaxaca Street Food Tour started to have plenty of bookings. The nature of Betsy made her tour unique, and her clients were leaving fantastic reviews. However, the booking platform was still taking a big cut of her earnings.
After discussing this issue, we decided to analyze her competition. We discovered that many projects doing the same activity are owned by foreigners. We found out she was at a clear disadvantage compared to them. They have capital and business knowledge to set up a website, process payments, invest tons of money in marketing, print posters, ads in magazines and social media, and hiring personal.
After realizing how big the gap was, we decided to set up a website and a SEO strategy (including training her on blog posts writing). Setting up a booking system was necessary. She would still need to pay for the fees, but those were less expensive than the other previous platform. We also made a transition plan; leaving the original model was not an option.
We put everything in place, recovered her Instagram account that was hacked. We did a photo session to show her in her space, the market.
We printed posters and started promoting the brand-new website and booking system. Everything started working slowly; the whole strategy was operating. Unfortunately, the current pandemic hit hard for tourism, one of the primary sources of income in Oaxaca.
Right now, we are on hold until things come back to safety again.
When it’s safe to travel again if you come to Oaxaca -or other similar destinations- consider supporting small or personal projects like Betsy’s and always asking who runs the projects. Also, be critical of the impact they’re having locally. Remember that projects like Oaxaca Street Food Tour are competing with big companies or people with much more budget and experience in businesses. What they lack are the heart and in-depth knowledge of the local traditions and hidden gems.
Oaxaca Street Food Tour is a local solo project, ran by Betsy, who decided to make a living out of her passion for her hometown’s markets: Oaxaca City.
The tour she organizes also includes a walk around Oaxaca’s downtown area, exploring the local flavors from a real local’s perspective. Beyond the food experience, she will tell you tons of historical info and fun facts about Oaxaca and its traditions. It’s no coincidence that she has a 5-star review record from all her clients.