Hola a todas y todos, estudiantes y padres!
It is with great excitement that we share with you the tentative itinerary for our Summer course in Guatemala. We, the instructors, along with our great program director, have been working together to create this journey through Guatemala.
We are using the word “tentative” because traveling in a country like Guatemala can bring unexpected changes, due to the nature and geography of this beautiful country. It is important that we all remain flexible throughout the course. This itinerary will help you in planning for the trip and getting a sense of where we will be when.
This program is jam-packed with adventures, rugged travel, and time spent in diverse communities with incredibly beautiful climates and landscapes and mucho español, so prepare yourself for an unforgettable and inspiring journey of cultural immersion and learning experiences.
Tentative Course Itinerary:
June 28th >>> Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez.
We will spend our first night in Antigua Guatemala and enjoy our first Guatemalan dinner. We will rest and be ready for our trip to Lake Atitlan the next day.
June 29th to July 1st >>> San Lucas Tóliman, Atitlán Lake
After around 3 hours traveling we will get to the beautiful highlands oh Guatemala, The Mayan Territory. Lake Atitlan will welcome us with its beautiful 3 volcanos and great weather in the town of San Lucas Tóliman. Here we will be together for 2 and a half days getting to know each other, setting personal and group goals for this journey and learning more about our Focus of Inquiry for this course and what we can expect in general. We will be staying in the town of San Lucas Tóliman, where we will have the chance to explore this beautiful community a bit. We will be working with the Mesoamerican Institute of Permaculture (IMAP), located some minutes outside of town, a project founded and led by Mayan Kaqchikel farmers and academics, a great example of community and team work.
July 1st to July 7th >>> San Juan La Laguna, Lake Atitlan
After our Orientation time we will go to a Mayan T’zutujil Community in San Juan La Laguna, to live for one week on the shores of the most beautiful lake in the world. The community of San Juan La Laguna and its families will receive us in their homes, for our first homestay experience during this course. You will live with a Maya T’zutujil family. This Maya community has been holding their Maya traditions and cosmovision for thousands of years. Spirituality, deep respect and connection with nature, love and care for the lake, arts and happiness drive this community. You will have Spanish lessons with Eco Spanish School, a beautiful school by the lake, with great teachers and a lot of cultural and hands on activities.
July 8th to 10th >>> San Juan Cotzal, Quiché
San Juan Cotzal is a community in the Department of Quiché. This community was heavily attacked during the civil war in Guatemala. The Ixil community was strong and united in fighting to defend their life and culture against the Guatemalan Army. We will spend two days and two nights here to get to know the “Cooperativa de Tejidos Cotzal”, a group of strong women who survived the war, and after that dark phase of Guatemalan history they rose up with a lot of ideas and proposals to repair and rebuild their community. Their art and ancestral knowledge are reflected in their Wipiles (tradition clothes) and Cultural Center that has been developed in recentyears. We will be staying in homestays here too and doing two full days of hand on activities with the women related to agriculture, weaving, cooking and building projects.
July 11th to 14th >>> Pachaj community, Quetzaltenango
From Quiché we will be traveling to the Department of Quetzaltenango (Land of the Quetzal) to learn about a great Reforestation Project called Chico Mendez in the small community of Pachaj. It is a family-run project which is working every day to bring back to their community forest native and heirloom tree species and to fight against a mining and hydroelectric project around the community. Homestays will be hosting us here as well. We will be immersing ourselves in the work of Chico Mendez, learning the importance of reforestation processes and actions, while we work with soil, seeds and trees!
July 15th to 17th >>> Trek: Xela to Lake Atitlan
From Quetzaltenango we will start our trek going back toLakeAtitlan in a journey of two nights and three days. This trek will take us through beautiful small communities with a variety of micro climates, biodiversity, muddy paths and great people who will join us on our journey to share their work, histories, families and food. We will be hosted and fed by local people every day. This is a trek full of nature and cultural learning experiences.
July 17th to 23rd >>> San Antonio Palopó, Atitlan Lake.
Our second full week of homestays and language classes will be at San Antonio Palopó, a small Kaqchikel Mayan community that will open their homes to host us. Here we will explore how Mayan communities are still maintaining their culture and cosmovision even within a fast changing world that is being globalized and standardized by the western market culture. You will get to know the beautiful families here that have been hosting Dragons students for more than 5 years, and every day you will attend Spanish lessons in the morning with the professional teachers of “Tecun Uman Spanish School”.
July 23rd to 25th >>> Expedition Phase
This is your time! The students will be organizing where we go and what we will be doing for two full days. We will give you options and ideas about communities and projects to visit and you will lead us in this adventure!
25th to 27th >>> Transference at Las Hortencias, San Lucas Sacatepequez
Las Hortencias is a comfortable big house in the middle of a cloud forest near Antigua Guatemala, where we will spend the last days of our course debriefing and reflecting on our journey. This will be a time to reconnect with the outside world and share ideas of how to take this experience, in the best way, to our homes, communities, countries and our daily lives back home.
We, the Instructors Team (I-Team) are so excited about this time we will be traveling and living together as a Dragons Community, as visitors, students, brothers, sisters and human beings in this magical part of the world.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:
Saludos y abrazos!
Erick, Lauren y Randall.