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Hola Dragones!

Hello [email protected] Dragones ¡

My name is Erick Torres, one of your three instructors for this Summer Course in Guatemala. I’m from Guatemala City but have been living on Atitlan Lake since 13 years ago, so it’s basically my home and community since then. I studied graphic design in College but I work in environmental education and farming projects because life took me on this path and I love it so much.  I have been working with Dragons since 2014, and I love the educational and adventure aspects of our courses. Dragons is an experience that few people have the chance to live, so it’s also a great privilege and opportunity for us to be traveling as a part of this great community of students and educators.

My passion and my work is focused on working with native and heirloom seeds from Mesoamerica, the Mayan region; environmental awareness; Native Spiritual Knowledge and designing spaces to grow food for family and community sustainability.

I’m more than happy to be traveling through some of the amazing communities of Guatemala with you all. I’m honored to be leading this course with my two co instructors; Lauren from the U.S. and Randall from Australia, amazing people, travelers and educators who will be adding a lot of great experiences to this course.

Guatemala has great opportunities to explore nature, it has the most beautiful lake in the world (according to Nat Geo last year, and to Guatemalans since forever) called Atitlan Lake, or T’zunun Ya’ in Maya T’zutujil language, which means: “House of Birds”. There are 3 volcanoes that are active every day in Guatemala and it’s incredible to see them in action. There are about 32 volcanoes in the whole country. A lot of green mountains, rivers and wildlife are also part of this beautiful country. Guatemala has some of the largest indigenous populations in the American Continent which makes it a very special and powerful place, you will be able to experience and constantly interact and learn from the Mayan people and culture every day. There are about 23 Mayan languages around the country and every Mayan community has its own traditional clothes, their own special dishes and celebrations throughout the year. It’s definitely an amazing country to spend at least a summer in your life.

With all that diversity, cultural richness, beautiful people and nature also comes different realities and ways to see and understand life. If something makes Dragons different from other types of programs abroad it’s that our programs will challenge you in many ways, from not having the same comfortability that you maybe are used to, to challenging your ways to see and understand life as a whole. We always try to travel, eat, move and sleep as locals do, we want to learn from local guides, spiritual leaders, teachers, homestay families, farmers and friends who can share their different perspectives, who can awaken us to topics that we are not yet aware of, people who will inspire a change in us as individuals and as members of a society. So, bring your best energy, your openness to get in to the unknown, open your heart and mind, and come ready to learn and unlearn as much as you can, because after this month in Guatemala you won’t be the same. This is a deep, spiritual, educational, fun and beautiful type of trip.

We, the Instructors, are getting everything ready for you all, so you can start doing the same. Start practicing some basic Spanish, go on walks, read about Guatemala and get so excited as we are for this trip!  And if you have any questions or comments about the trip please don’t hesitate to send me a email to my personal email address: [email protected]

More information about packing, itinerary and some general info about the country are coming in the next weeks, so stay tuned to the Yak Board.

Un abrazo grande desde Lago de Atitlan!

Erick Torres

Picture: that’s me and my Lama friend in Perú, where I just finished leading the Andes & Amazon semester program with Dragons.