¡Hola Dragones y Dragonas!
Here is a tentative itinerary that the instructor team, Mónica, Randall, and Raquel, has put together after good quality conversations and brainstorming sessions. We are excited to share it with you all now so you can start getting familiarized with the names of some places and maybe look for them on a map, start asking questions and preparing yourselves to embark on this wonderful adventure.
We have intentionally designed this course to take you on a journey around this beautiful country where we will find and meet amazing people, discover incredible places, and learn and become part of many inspiring stories. It is important to mention that as Dragons we believe and embrace flexibility, and even though we will try to stick to the plan that we have described below, there is always room for change and small tweaks if necessary.
On June 28th, once we are all in Guatemala and walk out of the airport, we will immediately become aware of the temperature, the sounds, the colors, and smells of a new country. Upon arrival we will take private transport to the beautiful colonial town of Antigua where we will spend the first night and have our first Guatemalan meal.
We will spend our first night in Antigua and have an early departure the following day to el Lago Atitlán.
June 29th-July 2nd
We will arrive to San Lucas Tolimán on the shores of Lake Atitlán. Here we will spend the next four days getting to know each other, preparing to explore the highlands and the Maya communities that will host and welcome us with open arms. Orientation is also a time and place where instructors will deliver the essential tools and information that will help us be part of a fun, safe, and dynamic program. During our time we will be staying at IMAP, or the Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura. Alongside some orientation topics we will also be immersed in permaculture and sustainable agriculture. We will visit the community of Quixayá and learn about aquaculture. This is also a great opportunity to start talking about Guatemalan history, the current political reality and food sovereignty.
July 3rd– 9th
A different part of Lake Atitlán is our next destination, where the town of San Juan la Laguna will welcome us with colors of bright and vibrant fabrics waving in the breeze. We will be here for a week; studying Spanish, working on our ISPs (Independent Student Projects), and getting more acquainted with Guatemalan culture and history in a familiar atmosphere as this is where the Dragon’s program house is located.
July 10th – 13th
From the lake we will embark on a long journey northward to the Cuchumatanes mountains in Huehuetenango. During our three-day trek of the Ixil area we will enjoy stunning views and rest in rural lodging as we bond together as a group and with our surroundings.
July 14th– 19th
After our trek the towns of Nebaj and San Juan Cotzál will be waiting for us with their bright red textiles, Boxbol (you’ll learn what this is soon!), as well as its difficult history of civil war that is within very recent memory. After a day of midcourse activities we will participate in our second homestay in the town of Nebaj and improve our language skills further through Spanish lessons. In the mornings we will go to the nearby town of San Juan Cotzál to work alongside a women’s weaving collective on different learning service projects.
July 20th – 25th
After cold days in Huehuetenango and Quiché, we take a trip of several hours to go deep into the Guatemalan jungle. By now you will be ready and prepared to enter the Expedition phase of the course, which includes a visit to Lanquín and specifically Tuqtuquilal, a regenerative center. We will stay in a project that uses ancestral knowledge and permaculture principles to sustain itself. During this phase of our journey you will have a lot more autonomy in what we do and how we do it. You can prepare for an adventure in Semuc Champey, or “Where the river hides under the Stones,” a natural monument, with turquoise pools, waterfalls, caves, and magical nature. Let’s spend a few hot days full of tropical adventures!
July 25th – July 28th
Transference is the last portion of our wonderful journey around Guatemala. We will be staying close to Guatemala City. During this time we will reflect on our adventure and what this experience means for you as you prepare to return home. We will spend moments processing, in gratitude, in celebration, and with an eye on the future.
Thanks for reading about our adventure to come! We wish you all the best in preparation for our journey and we will be in touch soon on the yak board and through phone calls. In the meantime let us know if you have any questions.
Un abrazo grande para cada uno.
Your Instructor team,
Randall, Mónica, and Raquel