January 26 – February 2, 2019
Dr. Deb Walters has worked in Guatemala for 15 years and was honored at the United Nations as a Rotary Global Woman of Action for work there breaking the cycle of chronic poverty She is also the crazy grandmother who kayaked alone from Maine to Guatemala as a fundraiser. With over fifty trips to Guatemala she has become close friends both with Mayan families and with wealthy descendants of the Spanish conquistadors. Participants will gain unique insights into Guatemala as they visit homes of her friends, from single room adobe homes set in beautiful locations to elegant urban homes.
The Partner NGO, ALDEA: The goal of ALDEA is to reduce chronic childhood malnutrition in Mayan communities. The cornerstone of their programs is empowerment. They develop the leadership and problem solving skills of women, men and youth to address both the dietary and the root environmental causes of childhood malnutrition. Water and sanitation, nutrition and agriculture and maternal and child health projects are used as a means of training the community to solve their own problems. Success is seen when communities then go on to address other problems on their own. During the first year of Global Grants, Dr. Deb’s project with ALDEA was selected as a best practice by The Rotary Foundation.
• La Antigua, the cobblestoned colonial capital of Central America, is a UNECSO World Heritage Site. Here you will begin to understand the history and the disparate cultures of Guatemala.
• Visiting a Mayan Village in the highlands will allow you to see first hand the effects of the ALDEA/Rotary partnership, and to talk with the villagers about their work to design, implement and sustain the projects.
• In Santa Cruz de Laguna, a Kaqchikel village on the shore of Lake Atitlan, accessible only by boat, you will experience Mayan village life as you share a traditional meal in the home of one of Dr. Deb’s friends. It will also serve as your starting point to visit Mayan healers, artists, weavers and coffee co-ops in different villages around the lake.
• The Mayan culture is strong in Guatemala where the indigenous are in the majority. At an archeological site you will learn more about Mayan history.
• In Guatemala City, you will meet with Rotarians, visit the Museo Popol Vuh at Universidad Francisco Marroquin and experience both wealthy and impoverished urban areas.
• Limited to 10 Rotarians, families and friends
• Participants will hear and experience the inside stories of Guatemala
• Rotarians will learn more about Rotary projects in Guatemala
• $1,729 per person (double occupancy), $1,979 (single occupancy)
• Covers land costs including: transportation in Guatemala by small private bus, most meals, and lodging (a comfortable hotel in La Antigua converted from a colonial residence, a family owned eco-tourism hotel set in a lake front garden in Santa Cruz, and a former millionaires’s home turned into a small hotel in Guatemala City).
Optional Activities (some at additional cost):
• Join a historical walking tour, climb an active volcano, visit a commercial coffee plantation, learn to make gourmet chocolates, or fly for an overnight stay at the Mayan ruins in the jungle at Tikal. Prior participants also enjoyed shopping in the traditional markets and shops, visiting art galleries, outdoor sculpture parks and bird watching.
For More Information: Email email@example.com for an information packet including detailed itinerary, packing lists, suggested reading lists, and information on staying in touch, staying healthy and staying safe in Guatemala.