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Guatemala: Land of the Mayan People at Eastertime.

March 25 – April 5/2022

Leadership: Julio Cochoy, Eduardo Elias, Doris Kizinna

Discover the Highlands of Guatemala, exploring this beautiful region of Latin America. You’ll meet inspiring people and visit projects working to better Guatemalan Society. You’ll learn about Mayan culture, traditions, music and spirituality, and visit some of the most beautiful areas of Guatemala. Be guided by and meet Guatemalans listening to their stories and struggles. You’ll spend time learning about the history of the 36 year civil war and genocide and it’s effects on Guatemala today. Share a day of joy with the children at the school in Chwitiziribal, a small Mayan village. Visit Chichicastenango’s world famous market, a volcanic hot-spring to relax, a fair trade coffee project, a weaving centre and historic Antigua, as well as other worthwhile projects and sites. Build community when travelling with a group of fellow pilgrims.  You’ll be in Guatemala during the lead up to Easter and that is an exceptional time to witness the faith and practice of virtually all of Guatemala. You’ll have chances to see the Lent/Easter processions through the streets which are incredible. Pre or post-trip, we can help you organize an optional trip unescorted to Tikal and the Mayan Biosphere. (at an additional cost and self guided)

For more information or to check in if this trip is for you please contact:  Doris Kizinna, 604.341.2724 worldpilgrims@gmail.com 

Open to all ages, however this trip is geared to those 16 and up.  We will be offering an all ages tour to Guatemala in the summer of 2023. 

Cost:  All-inclusive cost of the tour: 

$3230 Canadian Shared includes GST   $3650 Canadian Single includes GST

  • all accommodation in excellent and comfortable hotels, see websites in itinerary
  • tips for all hotels and drivers
  • all meals from dinner on March 25th until Breakfast on April 5th including non-alcoholic beverages
  • all transport in country in our Coaster 23 passenger bus with large windows with our loved driver Marco, boats on the lake, tuktuks and taxis.
  • all entrance fees for all visits: Iximche ruins, hot springs, nature reserve, etc and all honorariums paid to musicians and artists we visit.
  • group donations to organizations we visit (donation of a bed to a senior, gifts of food etc to our elder nan maria, gift to the nuns in Zacualpa for the work they do with migrants heading to the USA, and more.
  • one Canadian guide, one Guatemalan guide with the group for the whole trip, and one Guatemalan translator guide with us for half the tour
  • Does not include flight, spending money, immunizations, optional tikal journey, and alcoholic beverages. If you wish you may contribute to an extra contribution for our Guatemalan translator and driver at the end of the tour if you wish.

Itinerary:

Friday, March 25: ANTIGUA: Flight to Guatemala City from Vancouver or other locations:  Recommended flight from Vancouver: AM 695 YVR – MEX 8:01-14:45  AM 678 MEX – GUA 16:25 – 18:35  Aeromexico. Julio and Doris will pick you up at the airport for th is flight. If you wish to arrive earlier or later, we can help you arrange your own transport at your own cost. Dinner enroute, drive to Antigua, overnight in Antigua.  Los Olivos Hotel in Antigua.  https://en.hotellosolivos.com.gt/

Saturday, March 26: ANTIGUA: Breakfast at Viejo Café, a few streets from the Hotel, departing at 8:15 am.  Orientation gathering followed by Scavenger Hunt Tour in smaller groups in Antigua visiting colonial ruins, Hermano Pedro Church, café, jade, chocolate, markets, a chance to get familiar with the city.   Lunch at Coaba Farm https://www.caobafarms.com/.  Optional visit to the Market/rest/freetime.  Dinner together.  Overnight Los Olivos Hotel.

Sunday, March 27: ANTIGUA – PANAJACHEL:  Breakfast at 8:00 am.  Visit the morning Easter Procession in Antigua, watch people making the offering carpets of flowers and sawdust, watch the procession.  Gather for Lunch in Antigua.   Drive from Antigua to Lake Atitlan and Panajachel.  Stop in Solola for a visit with Tzotzil, a mayan dance and music group performance.  http://www.gruposotzil.org.gt/   Overnight at Hotel Regis.  Dinner and Freetime.  www.regisatitlan.com

Monday, March 28: PANAJACHEL: Breakfast at Hotel and morning visit the FundaMaya Project and the Elder’s lunch and day care centre.  Deliver a bed to a senior and serve lunch to the elders.    https://www.fundamaya.org/  Lunch.   Optional afternoon hike to Reserva Natura Atitlan  www.atitlanreserva.com or visit Santa Catarina, the next town on the lake.  Dinner together. Overnight at Hotel Regis

Tuesday, March 29: SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA: Breakfast at the Hotel and early morning boat over the lake to San Juan La Laguna on of the villages around the lake.   Visit the coffee project, and the artisans of San Juan, visual artists and their incredible paintings, visit the Natural Dye Weaving Centre and Chocolate Café.  Vegetarian Lunch at Alma de Colores, a labour and social inclusion project for people with disabilities.  www.almadecolores.org.  Take a hike up to the incredible lookout over the lake or relax at the coffee shop at the lake or explore on your own.  Later afternoon we will visit with Nan Maria, Mayan Spiritual Leader, for a Mayan Ceremony, giving thanks for the journey we are on.   Boat back over the lake and overnight at Hotel Regis.    

Wednesday, March 30: SANTA LUCIA/XELA: Breakfast at the Hotel, and then drive to Santa Lucia Utatlan (Julio’s community), visit with the women in his community who are part of the Mayan Skills Project.  Lunch at Julio’s.  Buy some things in the market to bring to Nan Maria, our friend and Mayan Elder, have a window into her life.  Enjoy a concert with the local Marimba group:  Marimba Utatlan.   Drive to Quezaltenango (Xela) in the later afternoon. Dinner and Overnight at Hotel Posada Catedral.  www.hotelposadacatedral.com

Thursday, March 31: CHWITZIRIBAL/XELA:  Breakfast at Hotel. Visit the Chwitiziribal Community and the school, share some time with the children and teachers in the new school. Snacks, games, a day of joy for the children, then depart for Fuentes Georginas (Hot Springs) and spend the afternoon there beginning with Lunch.  Return to Xela and Dinner and Overnight. Hotel Posada Catedral.  https://newschoolguatemala.weebly.com/  http://www.fuentesgeorginas.com/

Friday, April 1: XELA-CHICHICASTENANGO:  Breakfast at the Hotel, morning visit Trama Textiles Weaving Cooperative, https://tramatextiles.org/ visit to the market in Xela and have a walking tour with Eduardo, lunch at Pollo Campero.  After lunch depart for Chichicastenango. Overnight at The Mayan Inn, Chichicastenango. This is a beautiful heritage hotel from the 1930’s. www.mayaninn.com.gt

Saturday, April 2: CHICHICASTENANGO/ZACUALPA:  Breakfast in Chichi at the Hotel, drive to Zacualpa, visit the Genocide Memorial at the Catholic Church there and share a Mayan Ceremony with Nan Juliana a Mayan Spiritual Leader and elder.  Lunch at the Church with the Sisters, afternoon time to reflect, drive back to Chichi, visit the cemetery, free-time, watch the market setup and evening reflection at the Hotel Bar.  Dinner.  Overnight at the Mayan Inn.   

Sunday, April 3: CHICHICASTENANGO-ANTIGUA: Breakfast at the Hotel, visit to the Market in Chichicastenango.  Lunch and 1 pm drive to Antigua.  Stop in Tecpan to visit Iximche, an ancient Mayan City Archeological Site to understand the History of the Mayans.   Freetime.  Evening Easter procession viewing in Antigua.  Overnight in Antigua at Hotel Aurora.  www.hotelauroraantigua.com/en/

Monday, April 4: ANTIGUA: Breakfast in Antigua at Hotel.  Morning visit to the Hermano Pedro Hospital and a tour of the facility.   Lunch together.  Freetime for the afternoon.  5 pm Group reflection on the trip at the Hotel and final Dinner and Celebration.  Overnight: Hotel Aurora.

Tuesday, April 5 :  Breakfast at Hotel, shuttle to airport and flight to Vancouver or other destinations, or more time in Guatemala.  Recommended flight from Vancouver: Apr. 5 AM671 GUA – MEX 12:40-16:00  AM 696 MEX – YVR 17:40 – 21:55   Aeromexico

Tikal Tour Option: There is an option if you wish to stay on for 2 more nights to experience an overnight trip to TIKAL, an ancient Mayan site in northern Guatemala. The costs for this optional tour are extra and can be added on to your costs. In the past people have paid app. $600 USD for a one hour flight return, shuttle to the airport, shuttle to Tikal, a guided tour through the ruins, an overnight in the park at the Jungle Lodge for one or two nights, sunrise on temple 4 in the park, tour of Flores and boat trip around Flores and shuttle back to airport and flight back to Guatemala city. Amazing! You would also have an additional cost of an extra night in Guatemala the day before you fly home and meals. Let us know if you are interested in this add-on option.