As many of you know, we have been planning an AWIU DELEGATION TO GUATEMALA for some time, but because of the pandemic, we have had to post-pone it several times. Looking ahead, we think the clouds may be lifting and are optimistic that it will be safe to travel by January 2022. To hedge our bets, we have worked out a very liberal payment schedule. If you register by October 1, 2021, you do not have to make the final payment until November 1, 2021. At that point we will be able to make an informed decision on whether we will go ahead with the Delegation in January. If the decision is not to proceed or if you change your mind and decide not to participate, your registration payment will be refunded.

Described below is what you can expect if you join AWIU’s Delegation to Guatemala planned for: January 8 to 18, 2022

Guatemala is a mosaic of both ancient and existing cultures and awe-inspiring landscapes. It is one of ten countries that, together, are home to 70% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. Everywhere you turn, you will see something beautiful, and something unique. We will see some of the most spectacular ancient archaeological sites such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal. We will meet the citizens of the areas visited such as the community of Maya and Ladino, ex-guerrilla families who now run innovative education, reforestation, and micro-development projects. Each region has its own culture, language, landscape, and food.

Importantly, we will visit several organizations such as the Guatemala Housing Alliance in Maya Tz’utujil that works to reduce extreme poverty and to empower women and girls. Other organizations we will visit include the coffee coop, La Voz que Clamaen el Desierto, the Grupo Cajola a community organization in Xela, and the 32 Volcanoes, a community organization that focuses on education, health, nutrition, and environmental projects in the Western Highlands. Especially important to all of us will be the opportunity to meet with the women of Tejidos Cotzal, whose organization was a recipient of an AWIU grant. Most of its members are widows of Guatemala’s armed conflict and many are survivors of genocide in the early 1980’s. These women make a living by weaving centuries-old textile patterns, and selling scarves, table runners and table clothes plus bags and shoes that display these patterns, along with employment, they preserve the Ixil culture.

We also plan to meet with officials and experts such as the U.S. Ambassador, a former local legislator, and other subject matter experts. If possible, we will meet with Judge Erika Aifan, a 2021 International Woman of Courage from Guatemala.
Prior to the Delegation we will arrange briefings from State Department officials and former Guatemalan Attorney General, Thelma Aldana, a 2016 IWOC awardee who will educate us on controversial issues. We will also self-study the culture, economics, social issues, geography, and history of this amazing country.

Finally, there will be an opportunity for an add-on trip to Nicaragua pending safety concerns and interest in this option. It is not part of the Delegation but will be custom designed based on the preferences of those who elect this option. It will include a visit to the Lily Project and other areas of special interest in Nicaragua.

PLEASE PLAN TO JOIN US.

If you are interested in being a Delegate or have questions, please contact:
Gayle Morin, Delegation Co-Leader gaylemorin@mac.com, 615-414-4427 or Judith Jakaitis Co-Leader judithjakaitis@comcast.net, 773-255-4414

Sincerely,
Tatiana Gfoeller President AWIU

Day 1 – Jan 8, 2022
Arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. Flight to Flores (Peten), where your guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Jungle Lodge (D)

Day 2 – Jan 9, 2022
After breakfast, your private transportation will take you to the impressive site of Yaxha, a former ceremonial centre; the lagoons of Yaxha and Sacnab can be observed from the top of several archaeological monuments, giving the area a unique landscape beauty. On arrival, you will enjoy a welcome cocktail prepared by the women of the Frutas Tropicales de Yaxha association. You will have a short presentation of what the association has achieved in the area and then continue tour of the site.

Overnight at Jungle Lodge. (B, L, D)

PROJECT VISIT: In the afternoon transfer to Nuevo Horizonte, a community of Maya and Ladino ex-guerrilla families who run innovative education, reforestation, and micro-development projects. This visit offers opportunities to learn about Guatemala’s modern history, the impacts of the country’s 36-year armed conflict on the country’s development, and community-based development solutions to rural poverty. At the end of the visit, transfer back to your Hotel in Tikal National Park.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Jungle Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Jan 10, 2022
Meet your guide in the morning depart to the impressive and mystical Maya city of Tikal. One of its largest buildings is the Temple of the Two-headed Serpent, which is 70 meters high. From its peak, you can hear the sounds of the rainforest: more than 300 species of birds, howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars and toucans. Due to its immense value, Tikal was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. After lunch transfer to Mundo Maya Air- port for your return flight to Guatemala City. Once there, meet with your expert guide and transfer to Antigua and to your hotel.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Posada Don Rodrigo Antigua (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Jan 11, 2022
After breakfast, meet with your guide for a morning private walking half-day tour of Antigua. For more than 200 years, Antigua was the political, religious, and economic heart of Central America. Your tour will cover the architectural and historical highlights of this colonial city with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the many ruined churches, convents, and cathedrals. Entrance fees are included to the Iglesia San Francisco, Cathedral, La Merced Church & Capuchin’s Ruins.

Afternoon at leisure. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Posada Don Rodrigo Antigua (B, L, D)

Today, enjoy a day at leisure in the beautiful Antigua Guatemala.
Lecture – attend the different events of the lecture series. This will take place at the hotel’s conference room. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Posada Don Rodrigo Antigua (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Jan 13, 2022
After breakfast meet with your guide for a transfer to Lake Atitlan, making a stop on the way to visit the archaeological site of Iximche, located in Tecpan village, surrounded by steep slopes and pine trees. Your guide will introduce to you the cultural aspects of Guatemala, beginning with the Mayas in the region.

PROJECT VISIT: At San Pablo La Laguna, visit to Guatemala Housing Alliance. GHA works primarily in this Maya Tz’utujil town to reduce extreme poverty and empower women and girls.

Return to the hotel for a visit to the Museo Lacustre Atitlan, displaying the history of the lake. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Jan 14, 2022
After breakfast, your guide will assist you with boarding a powered boat that takes you across the lake to visit the villages of San Pablo & San Juan La Laguna, Mayan towns around the lake. Walk the main streets of the towns, overflown by studios of naif painters, once you get to the coffee coop, La Voz que Clamaen el Desierto, your hosts will take you on a hike of about half a mile, to the coffee plants. Learn about the flora and fauna that contribute to the ancestral processes of harvesting coffee and taste a delicious cup of coffee after the tour. Enjoy lunch prepared by the women of the coop.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Jan 15, 2022
After breakfast check out from the hotel. Meet with your guide and transfer to the western highlands of Guatemala, to Quetzaltenango, or Xela, as called by the locals, one of the main cities of Guatemala.

With its neoclassical architecture and dignified atmosphere, the city feels a bit European. Learning about the history of the region will prepare you for tomorrow’s activity.

PROJECT VISIT: today you will visit Grupo Cajolá and learn how they work by organizing the community and developing new opportunities for a better life.

The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Bonifaz (B, L, D)

Day 9 – Jan 16, 2022
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Today you will travel to San Andres Xecul, home to the brightly-painted Catholic church, and an important centre for traditional Mayan religion.

PROJECT VISIT: Travel today with your guide to 32 Volcanoes, the local community organization that works on educational, health, nutrition, and environmental projects in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.

Return to your hotel. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Bonifaz (B, L, D)

Day 10 – Jan 17, 2022
After Breakfast transfer back to Guatemala City and to your hotel (approx. 4 hr drive).

Dinner at Westin Camino Real at El Cafetal Restaurant

Overnight at Westin Camino Real hotel (B, L, D)

Day 11 – Jan 18, 2022
Breakfast at the hotel. Depending on your flight time we will transfer
you to La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City for your flight home. (B)

  • Meet & greet service upon arrival to Flores and Guatemala City All transportation as per itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation as listed or similar:
    2 nights at Jungle Lodge in Peten https://junglelodgetikal.com/
    3 nights at Posada de Don Rodrigo in Antigua https://antigua.posadadedonrodrigo.com/
    2 nights at Hotel Atitlan at Lake Atitlan https://www.hotelatitlan.com/
    2 nights at Hotel Bonifaz at Quetzaltenango https://hotel-pension-bonifaz.nego-cio.site/ 1 night at Westin Camino Real in Guatemala City https://www.marriott.com/hotels/guawi-the-westin-camino-real-guatemala/
  • Daily breakfast (except on the arrival date), 9 lunches, 10 dinners including gratuities
  • Domestic flights in Guatemala with TAG Airlines (economy)
  • Local English-Spanish speaking guides/interpreters and NGO specialist Richard Brown on private basis during the excursions
  • Expert English-Spanish program manager throughout the journey
  • Entrance fees to: Tikal Park, Yaxha, Antigua Guatemala sites, Iximche, Museo Lacustre Meeting with women from San Juan Cotzal weaving cooperative
  • Guatemalan 12% value-added tax (IVA), 10% INGUAT tourism tax on all hotel services Luggage handling fees at airports/hotels (one bag per person)
  • Gratuities for Group manager, Driver, local guides, maids, bellboys at airport and meals
  • International Airport departure tax in Guatemala ($30pp)
  • Security departure tax of $3.00 pp payable at the airport
  • Travel tax of Q5 per person is applied to internal flights and payable at the check-in desk
  • Telephone calls, room service, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.
  • Any additional sightseeing or park fees
  • Personal and/or medical expenses
  • Excess luggage on any flight (above 25 pounds per person)
  • Late check-out or early check-in

It is always advised to protect your program, should unexpected circumstances arise. We recommend RedPoint Travel Insurance, which can be purchased here: https://redpointtravelinsurance.com/partner/learning-journeys

Once you open this link, on the top in the right corner you will see GET QUOTE button. You can put in your info and find out the cost.

For coverage questions, please contact RedPoint team directly by e-mail travelservices@redpointtravelprotection.com or call at 415-481-0600.

The Redpoint team is standing by to answer any policy questions you may have.

Delegation Land Cost

Based on minimum of 10 participants:

$3240 per person – sharing double room plus, a $200 contribution to the AWIU Grant Fund $480 – Single room supplement

$3240 per person – sharing double room plus, a $200 contribution to the AWIU Grant Fund
$480 – Single room supplement

Application Form

Name (On your Passport)
Address
Name of person who will be sharing room

Passport information

Emergency Contact Info

Name of Emergency Contact while traveling

Biographical and other Information

(Be Brief)

Commitments to the Delegation

Guidelines for Delegates included in the AWIU Delegation Guidelines

Payment Info

Price: $700.00
$200 of this amount is a contribution to the AWIU Grant Fund and the remaining $ 500 is a down payment that will be applied to the total amount due for your in-country travel and other expenses of the Delegation. These payments are refundable until November 1, 2021
Price: $240.00
An additional payment of $240 for one half of the single supplement, if applicable, is also due at this time.
The remaining payment of $ 2,740 (plus $ 240 for the single supplement) for the Delegation is due on November 1, 2021. Trip cancellation insurance is not required, but is highly recommended. After November 1, 2021, you are liable for the cost of your trip whether or not you go.