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Some of the trip highlights are:

- Experience the authentic lifestyle of our Mayan artisans through home visit, weaving seminars and cultural immersion.
- Explore the natural beauty of the western highlands of Guatemala: hike a volcano; visit a coffee farm, zipline over Lake Atitlan.
- Learn more about empowering indigenous communities and energizing local economies through job creation.
- Interact with directors at local NGOs and other organizations impacting rural community development.
- Immerse yourself in modern Guatemalan culture: learn about the local cuisine and improve your Spanish with the locals over fresh coffee.

Program Dates:

Minimester 2017 January 4 th – January 11 th

Spring Break 2017 March 3 rd – March 10 th

Custom Spring Break for 11+ People

Program Fee: $1000

Community Contribution: $500

(can that be clickable or hover over to describe difference program fee / community)

Day 1

Orientation
Location: Antigua
Accommodation: Las Camelias Inn

We begin our adventure in Guatemala’s capital city, but don’t stick around for long as we head directly to Antigua, a colorful and charming colonial town. In Antigua our group will be introduced to some of the sights, smells and tastes of the region. Everyone will have a free afternoon to explore, relax and get acquainted with the country’s cultural and geographic surroundings. In the evening the group will enjoy a traditional Guatemalan meal at a rooftop restaurant in the heart of Antigua.

Day 2

Lago Atitlan Bound!
Location: Panajachel
Accommodation: Hotel Kaqchikel

The following day we enjoy a breakfast at Las Camelias before commencing our travels towards Lake Atitlan. On our way we’ll stop in the tiny indigenous community of El Triunfo for lunch and our first artisan home visit. Here we will be welcomed into Juana’s humble home and the group can talk one-on- one with her and the women of the community. The group is free to ask real, meaningful questions about poverty and empowerment. Here we’ll also enjoy an authentic, homemade meal. On our way out of the village we’ll stop by a mirador, an overlook along the highway, where there are gorgeous views of the western highlands of Guatemala. The group will finally arrive to Panajachel, settle in, and have a group dinner with live traditional marimba.

Day 3

Location: Chichicastenango
Accommodation: Hotel Kaqchikel

The next day we’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel before taking a bus to Chichicastenango. Here we’ll spend the day shopping at the largest open-air market in Central America, where we can browse through scores of vintage goods, antique textiles, street foods and other local treasures. We’ll also visit the Santo Tomas Church, which is at the center of the market and is considered to be the heart of the religious history of Guatemala. For lunch, we’ll enjoy a traditionally Quiche meal before busing it back Panajachel. In the evening the group will get some salsa lessons and a dinner with live music.

Day 4

Weaving workshop & traditional ceramics
Location: Panajachel & San Antonio
Accommodation: Hotel Kaqchikel

Day 4 starts with breakfast at the hotel before taking a scenic drive on local transit on the back of a pickup truck. The group will enjoy spectacular views as we wind up the mountains until reaching the most impoverished villages on the lake, San Antonio. This is where we will meet Maria, one of our artisan partners, and her family. The group will participate in an artisan weaving and embroidery workshop, learning more about the craft of weaving and the specificity each village has to their technique. Maria’s home is not a tourist destination and is not open to the public-- this home visit is completely authentic and private. In the afternoon we’ll head to a pottery workshop, where the group will learn more about the process of making the traditional ceramics that are so central to the culture in San Antonio. Afterwards we’ll head back to Panajachel where we’ll have a lakeside dinner.

Day 5

Bomberos visit, textiles seminar and a visit to the nature reserve
Location: Panajachel
Accommodation: Hotel Kaqchikel

We’ll start the day with a traditional Guatemalan breakfast at a favorite local spot. After breakfast we’ll head to the bomberos market to sift through endless traditional textiles. Here we can learn from the women, who are experts in sourcing fabric and textile from every Mayan village in Guatemala. The group will learn firsthand about the traditional significance of each textile’s embroidery. Alyssa will give a seminar on how to identify different villages based on their design technique. From there we’ll take a tuktuk up the mountain and to the nature reserve where we can zipline, hike, explore, and learn about the indigenous flora and fauna of Guatemala. At the end of the day we’ll head to a lakefront bar to view the sunset and unwind.

Day 6

Rest and relaxation at Club Ven Aca
Location: Lago Atitlan
Accommodation: Hotel Kaqchikel

The following day we’ll take the day to relax, decompress and unwind! We’ll take a boat from Panajachel to Club Ven Aca, where the group can enjoy drinks by the pool and jacuzzi, soak up some sun, cliff jump or take a dip in the lake. This will be an opportunity to chat with the group and group leaders, discussing and internalizing the week’s adventures. In the afternoon we’ll do an artisan store visit in Panajachel, free time to shop and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

Day 7

Organic dyes, weaving class, and a visit to a coffee farm
Location: San Juan
Accommodation: Hotel Kaqchikel

On our last full day of the trip, we’ll head to San Juan by boat, where the group will meet Rosa. Rosa will guide the group through a hand-dying, tinting, and weaving class. The group will have the opportunity to talk to Rosa about how she started her business, what it’s like to be an indigenous woman in San Juan and why culture preservation is important to her. After the weaving class, we’ll head to a tiny restaurant in San Juan for a wine and cheese lunch. After lunch we’ll take a tuktuk to San Pedro where we will tour a micro lot coffee farm. Here we will have a seminar about what it means to have organic coffee, what the difference between organic and fair tradeactually is, and the challenges of ensuring fair pay to pickers and farmers. In the evening we’ll head back to Panajachel for a final dinner and farewell party!

Day 8

Final day!
Location: Panajachel

On our final day we’ll have breakfast at the hotel before traveling back to Guatemala City. We’ll have one last traditional meal together before heading to the airport where our group will say our farewells!

A comprehensive itinerary and educational itinerary

All group transit on the ground

Safe, secure lodging and accommodation

Three local meals per day (we do our best to accommodate all dietary restrictions!)

Frequent discussions and seminars to process and internalize the experience

Seminar’s from our founder, Alyssa McGarry, about empowerment through entrepreneurship and poverty in Latin America)

Home visits to our artisans

Questions? Want more details? We offer round-the- clock support and are more than happy to chat with you (or family members) about any questions or concerns

Team Leader:

Meet your team leader! International development specialist, Alyssa McGarry traveled all around the world and studied economic development before starting her ethical fashion brand, Hiptipico. Alyssa traveled extensively throughout Latin America, earning her Master’s Degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She completed her field research analyzing sustainable development initiatives in the Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands. After completing her M.A., Alyssa was in the highlands of Guatemala and became fascinated with the love and craftsmanship each local artisan poured into their wares. The dual issues of how to share these items with the world and how to economically support this beautiful community joined as one and gave rise to the birth of Hiptipico. Alyssa has lived in Guatemala full-time for 5 years and built strong relationships with the Mayan artisans and the local community. She is thrilled to share these handmade crafts, each one completely unique, with grateful consumers while simultaneously developing a tight-knit network of Mayan artists and local street vendors who are enthusiastic to be a part of Hiptipico. Alyssa and all of Hiptipico’s artisan partners welcome you with open arms to visit and fall in love with Guatemala firsthand!

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