april 29, 2023
Virtual "Glimpse of Guatemala" Tour

Experience ALDEA's development work and visit guatemala from the comfort of your own home!

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.


Our last stop will take us to the city, where we will Join UNESCO trained expert guide & author, Elizabeth Bell, for a spectacular virtual Cultural Tour of the historic Spanish colonial city of Antigua. Our special ALDEA presentation focuses on the city’s history, culture and hidden details with the excitement the city lives today as it reopens creating jobs for many. After an interactive visual tour of the main sites in town, interact with Elizabeth in an on-line Q & A section. Elizabeth has lived in Antigua for 50+ years and is dedicated to the city’s his toric restoration and balanced economic development.

virtual Tour Itinerary - April 29, 2023

Please note that the times listed in the itinerary are posted in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

For participants in other time zones, please refer to the list below to see how your time zone relates to the posted times:

Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) = EDT - 3hrs; 9 AM - 3 PM
Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) = EDT - 2hrs; 10 AM - 4 PM
Central Daylight Time (CDT) = EDT - 1hr; 11 AM - 5 PM

12:00 PM EDT

Arrive in Guatemala - Welcome and housekeeping notes (15 minutes).

12:15 PM EDT

Life in Guatemala: Brief History and Current Conditions (45 minutes).

1:00 PM EDT

ALDEA: Historical Roots and Today's Program (45 minutes).

1:45 PM EDT

Break (30 minutes).

2:15 PM EDT

Virtual site visit: Chijacinto (45 minutes).

3:00 PM EDT

Breakout discussions (25 minutes).

3:25 PM EDT

ALDEA's impact and cost per family (20 minutes).

3:45 PM EDT

Break (30 minutes).

4:15 PM EDT

Virtual tour of ancient Mayan ruins at Iximché (45 minutes).

5:00 PM EDT

Virtual tour of colonial Antigua (45 minutes).

5:45 PM EDT

Closing (15 minutes).