Join us as we travel to Guatemala’s Western Highlands to discover the country’s rich history and learn about ALDEA’s work in rural Maya communities, with host Dr. Deb Walters, President of the ALDEA Board of Directors.
Upon our “arrival” in Guatemala, we will meet with Sue Patterson who will talk to us about life in Guatemala, including a brief history and overview of current conditions. Sue is a retired State Department Foreign Service officer, who, on one of her assignments, served as the Consul General in Guatemala from 1989-1993. After retiring in 1996, Sue returned to Guatemala and has lived in Antigua for 27 years. Among her many activities, Sue was an ALDEA board member for 17 years, and is a current ABPD board member.
We’ll say goodbye to Sue and head out into the highlands to visit the community of Chijacinto, that has partnered with ALDEA since 2019. Here we will meet local Mayans in their village and learn of their struggles, sacrifices, and dreams of a better life for themselves and their children. We will see first-hand the positive changes in this indigenous community where ALDEA has partnered to create lasting solutions to the persistent problems of poverty and inequality in rural Guatemala. At the end of the visit there will be time for discussion as well as a detailed explanation of ALDEA’s impact in this and other partner communities.
Next, we’ll explore the Mayan ruins of Iximché, a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site founded in 1463 that was once the capital of the Kaqchikel kingdom. Iximché is built on a bluff, protected by ravines, easily defended. Today, the ruins are often used by Mayans for celebrations and magic rituals honoring their ancestors. Our visit to the site will be led by local guide “Alex” Guarcas Umul and will include a brief visit of a small museum with the original Iximché layout and a walking tour of the ruins of the ceremonial plazas, temple structures, and ball courts.
Arrive in Guatemala - Welcome and housekeeping notes (15 minutes).
Life in Guatemala: Brief History and Current Conditions (45 minutes).
ALDEA: Historical Roots and Today's Program (45 minutes).
Break (30 minutes).
Virtual site visit: Chijacinto (45 minutes).
Breakout discussions (25 minutes).
ALDEA's impact and cost per family (20 minutes).
Virtual tour of ancient Mayan ruins at Iximché (45 minutes).
Virtual tour of colonial Antigua (45 minutes).
Closing (15 minutes).