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Judaica Tour to Guatemala (January 29 - February 7, 2019) with Poet and Prominent Jewish Educator, Danny Siegel

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Itinerary

 



Tour

Tuesday, January 29,  ¡Bienvenido a Guatemala!

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: Hotel Las Americas
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Phone: 011-502-2422-5000

 


 

Colonial church threshold in Antigua, Guatemala

Colonial church threshold in Antigua, Guatemala

Wednesday, January 30,  Social Justice Tour of Guatemala City

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.  We will visit the police archives and visit an interactive exhibit called Why Are We the Way We Are.  In the evening Danny Siegel will lead us in discussion about Mitzvahs, Tzedek, Tikkun Olam and Why as Jews We are Here in Guatemala.

Dinner on your own.

Overnight:  Hotel Las Americas

 


 

Colonial garden at La Posada de Don Rodrigo

Typical colonial style garden see all over Guatemala

Thursday, January 31,  Violence and the Toll on the Central Highlands

Visit the MayaWorks office en route to the village of Agua Caliente high in the mountains.  Meet the weavers who make MayaWorks new lightweight tallit, challah cover and tallit bag as well as our Peace Salaam Shalom tapestries.  Hear the story of the violence they encountered during the 36 year civil war and witeness the effects the war still has on this community of widows. We will eat lunch with the artisans and then head to MayaWorks educational center in San Juan Comalapa.  Later, we will visit our master tallit weaver, Lila. Dinner together at the hotel.

Overnight:  


 

Artisans of Tzanjuyu

Lila, master tallit weaver

Friday, February 1, A Day in the Campo

A day in the rich valley of Xetonox.  We'll visit the village school and meet with the women of the MayaWorks group who create cornhusk angels, kitchen towels and other products. They are also learning to weave tallit!  Learn about their microcredit projects.  Lunch will be at Doña Vicenta's home.  On our way back to Guatemala City, we will visit the Iximché Archaeological Site.  iximché was the first Guatemalan capital and the center of the Cakchiquel EmpireWe arrive back at the hotel for much needed rest and relaxation before Shabbat!  We will spend Shabbat with Adat Israel, Guatemala's Reform Congregation.

Overnight:

 Caprizzo Hotel


 


 

Learn how to weave with the pros!

Learn how to weave with the pros!

Saturday, February 2, A Day with Adat Israel

Morning prayers at Adat Israel.  Lunch with the congregation.  Return to the hotel to rest.  Kosher dinner at hotel with the group

Overnight:
Hotel Caprizzo

 


 

Tour participants at Iximché

Tour participants at Iximché

Sunday, February 3, Chichicastenango Artisan Market

Transfer to Santiago Atitlán, situated on the shores of breathtaking Lago Atitlán, an ancient lake surrounded by volcanoes. En route, we will detour to visit Chichicastenango Market which is the largest artisan market in Guatemala.  Lunch in Chichi.  Boat ride across Lake Atitlán to Santiago.  Free time to take in the amenities of the hotel.

Dinner on your own.

Overnight:  
Posada de Santiago
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala

 


 

Stole weaver of Santiago

Weaver of Santiago

Monday, February 4, A Day on Lake Atitlán

We will spend the day on Lake Atitlán visiting MayaWorks  artisans who make our best selling product -- kippot!  We will also visit our mezuzzot beaders.  Before dinner discussion led by Danny Siegel:  Here we are in God's Country -- Just What is it that is Stirring our Jewish Kishkas so Mightily?

Dinner on your own.

Overnight:  
Posada  de Santiago

 


 

A breathtaking Atitlán morning

A breathtaking Atitlán morning

Tuesday, February 5, Coffee Farm Visit

After breakfast we take a pleasant morning boat trip across Lake Atitlán to Panajachel where we will meet our driver who will take us to Antigua via the southern coastal plains.  You will notice the difference between the temperate highland climate and the balmy coastal plains.  En route we will visit a coffee plantation at Los Tarales Reserve.  Hike, relax, enjoy wonderful coffee.  Lunch on the farm.  

Dinner on your own in Antigua.

Overnight:  
Hotel Las Farolas

 


 

Coffee berries ready for harvest

Coffee berries ready for harvest

Wednesday, February 6, A Day in Antigua, Guatemala's Colonial City

Antigua is Guatemala's only surviving Spanish colonial city.  Group breakfast in the hotel restaurant followed by a guided walking tour of Antigua.  We will visit many famous landmarks.  Free time after lunch for exploring Antigua on your own.  Shop, relax, reflect!  Before dinner discussion led by Danny Siegel:  There is no Such Thing as a Small Mitzvah.  Farewell dinner as a group.

Overnight:  
Hotel Las Farolas

 


 

We say goodbye to new found friends

We say goodbye to new found friends

Thursday, February 7, Shalom and Kol Tuv

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.  Special guest: Danny Siegel, poet and Jewish educator

 

Cost


$1,850 per traveler for double occupancy and includes all ground transportation, most meals, accommodations, attractions, and bilingual guide. There is an additional $400 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.