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Tour to Guatemala (February 12 - 21, 2016)

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Itinerary

 



Tour

Friday, February 12

Arrive in Guatemala (preferably by late afternoon).  Four Directions tour operator will shuttle you to the hotel from the airport.  At 6:00 PM meet in the hotel lobby for a MayaWorks tour orientation followed by a welcome dinner in Guatemala City!

Overnight:
Crowne Plaza
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-2422-5000

 


 

Colonial church threshold in Antigua, Guatemala

Colonial church threshold in Antigua, Guatemala

Saturday, February 13

Guided tour of Guatemala City beginning with a visit to Ixchel Textile Museum to learn about the importance of weaving in the Mayan culture.  From there we proceed to Guatemala’s Central Square to see the Cathedral and Presidential Palace.  Next, we’re off to the Relief Map of Guatemala, an outdoor scale model of the country’s topography.  After lunch we transfer to Antigua, Guatemala, the country’s only surviving Spanish colonial city recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO.  Free time in the afternoon until dinner.

Overnight:  
La Posada de Don Rodrigo
Antigua, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-832-0291

 


 

Colonial garden at La Posada de Don Rodrigo

Colonial garden at La Posada de Don Rodrigo

Sunday, February 14

Group breakfast in the hotel restaurant and guided walking tour of Antigua.   We visit famous landmarks including the San Francisco Church where Hermano Pedro is buried.  Hermano Pedro was a beloved Franciscan brother who created many charitable programs for the people of Guatemala.  Hermano Pedro was canonized in 2002.  Free time after lunch for exploring Antigua on your own.

Overnight:  
La Posada de Don Rodrigo 
Antigua, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-832-0291

 


 

Artisans of Tzanjuyu

Artisans of Tzanjuyu

Monday, February 15

After breakfast we drive into the Central Highlands to the town of San Juan Comalapa for a weaving demonstration by the Tzanjuyu group.  Here you will meet the artisans who create many of our baby products and our beloved Maya Doll.  You can also try your skill with the back strap loom.  We will eat lunch at Doña Natalia’s who is famous for her Pepian, a delicious typical Guatemalan dish.  After lunch we transfer to the hamlet of Xetonox.  We visit the village school and meet with the women of the MayaWorks group who create cornhusk angels, kitchen towels and other products.  We arrive back at the hotel for much needed rest and relaxation!  The hotel is comprised of cabins situated on a large property that you can stroll.  On your walk you might run into the hotel’s petting zoo!

Overnight:
Albergues de Tecpán
Tecpán, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-7840-3864

 


 

Learn how to weave with the pros!

Learn how to weave with the pros!

Tuesday, February 16

Travel to the remote village of Agua Caliente. Visit with the talented weavers of MayaWorks who make intricate runners and weave the fabric for our Florecita Baby line. We will eat lunch in an artisan’s home. In the afternoon, we will visit the Rosa Moya Center, one of the academic centers MayaWorks supports. There you will meet scholarship recipients and talk with their parents about the impact MayaWorks scholarships have on the young girls who attend the center.

Overnight:
Albergues de Tecpán
Tecpán, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-7840-3864

 


 

Tour participants at Iximché

Tour participants at Iximché

Wednesday, February 17

Leisurely morning with a self-guided tour of the Iximché Archeological Site. Iximché was the first Guatemalan capital and the center of the Cakchiquel Empire. After lunch we transfer to Santiago Atitlán, situated on the shores of breathtaking Lago Atitlán, an ancient lake surrounded by volcanoes. Free time until dinner.

Overnight:  
Hotel Bamboo
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-7721-7331

 


 

Stole weaver of Santiago

Stole weaver of Santiago

Thursday, February 18

We begin the day with Diego Chavez, a long-time MayaWorks artisan and Santiago native. With Diego we visit Santiago’s Catholic Church to see beautiful wood work carvings that he and his family restored as well as visit the grave site of Father Stanley Rother, a beloved Oklahoman priest martyred during Guatemala’s 36 year civil war. Padre A’plas, as he was affectionately known, is revered by the people of Santiago for his big heart and love of the Tzutujil people. Next, we visit MayaWorks bead workers and stole weavers. If time permits, we will visit Maximon, the indigenous saint, who travels from home to home in Santiago. We end the day by visiting the Peace Park and hear the story of the events that led up to the massacre in 1990.

Overnight:  
Hotel Bamboo
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-7721-7331

 


 

A breathtaking Atitlán morning

A breathtaking Atitlán morning

Friday, February 19

After breakfast we take a pleasant morning boat trip across Lake Atitlán to San Marcos La Laguna to meet the women who crochet MayaWorks best selling product, kippot or yarmulkes. These artisans also make hacky sacks and MayaWorks crocheted baby items. We return to Santiago just before lunch time. Free time in the afternoon to explore Santiago on your own.

Overnight:  
Hotel Bamboo
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-7721-7331

 


 

Coffee berries ready for harvest

Coffee berries ready for harvest

Saturday, February 20

After breakfast we travel back to Antigua via the lush southern coastal plains. You will notice the vast difference between the temperate highland climate and the balmy coastal plains. Once back in Antigua we take a guided tour of a working coffee plantation and learn about the coffee industry. If time permits, we visit the music museum adjacent to the plantation where we will learn about native Guatemalan instruments and the importance of music in the Mayan culture.

Overnight:  
La Posada de Don Rodrigo 
Antigua, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-832-0291

 


 

We say goodbye to new found friends

We say goodbye to new found friends

Sunday, February 21

We meet as a group for a farewell breakfast before departures begin. Shuttles will leave from the hotel in Antigua to take travelers to the Guatemala City International Airport according to flight times. We say goodbye to new found friends!

 

 

TOUR OPERATOR (in Guatemala)


 

Four Directions tour guides, Diana and Alfonso

Four Directions tour guides, Diana and Alfonso

The tour is led by MayaWorks Executive Director, Jeannie Balanda in collaboration with Guatemalan tour company, Four Directions.

 

Cost


$1,650 per traveler for double occupancy and includes all ground transportation, meals and accommodations, attractions, and bilingual guide. There is an additional $350 charge for single accommodations. Airfare is not included. A $200 tax deductible donation is included in the tour price.


Registration/Payment


To reserve your spot, please send a $350 non-refundable deposit.  Payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard or Discover or by check.  Refunds (tour cost minus deposit) issued only up to 35 days before the start of the tour. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.

Register now!

To pay by check or money order, send registration and payment to:

MayaWorks
1937 Maple Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402

Please note: Payment balance is due 45 days before the start of the trip.
Once we receive your deposit, we will send you a reading list to help you prepare for you trip.  As we get closer to the trip date, we will send more information including a packing list, airport instructions, and emergency contact information.

Contact Jeannie Balanda at (312) 243-8050 for more information.