Guatemala tour January 2016

Lake AtitlanNobody takes a bad photograph in Guatemala! The majestic volcanoes throughout the highlands combine with the natural beauty of Lake Atitlan, said to the one of the most scenic lakes in the world, to provide ample opportunities for photos and memories to remember for a lifetime. The population of Guatemala is over 50% Mayan, and the beauty of the countryside is equaled by the rich culture and heritage of the Maya, which is seen everywhere in the dress, religion, arts, markets, and music all over the highlands of Guatemala.

This travel field seminar, organized and led by Vivian Harvey, will provide comprehensive information about many aspects of Guatemalan history, culture, textiles, and art. We’ll spend three nights in the colonial city of Antigua to acquaint ourselves with the fascinating and tumultuous history of the early days of Guatemala, and we’ll spend one day in the capital city to learn about the rich array and history of the textiles in the villages we’ll visit later in our travels.

woman working on textilesWe’ll then move to Panajachel, on the eastern shore Lake Atitlan, where we’ll spend five nights and days, visiting (mostly by boat) many of the small colorful villages which dot the lake shore. We’ll discuss the changes for the Maya during and after the 36 year Civil War, and we’ll visit Mayan families and learn about the programs which serve them. We will hear from those who work with them on a daily basis about their concerns and their hopes for the future, while at the same time learning more about the richness of the contemporary Mayan culture.

A highlight of the trip will be a day at the most famous market of Latin America in Chichicastenango, where we’ll mingle with local Mayan families from all over the highlands who have come to sell their crafts and textiles, and we’ll also have the opportunity to visit a mountainside Mayan shrine. A final night in Guatemala City will enable us to be close to the airport for a Sunday morning departure for home.  

This will be a memorable and activity-filled program, with a strong focus on the arts, culture, and social reality of the Mayan people of Guatemala.

Itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)market

Day 1 | Friday, January 22 (D - time permitting)

Day 2 | Saturday, January 23 (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Sunday, January 24 (B, L)

Day 4 | Monday, January 25 (B, L, D)Restaurant sign

Day 5 | Tuesday, January 26 (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Wednesday, January 27 (B, L, D)cofradia

Day 7 | Thursday, January 28 (B, L)

Day 8 | Friday, January 29 (B, L, D)

Day 9 | Saturday, January 30 (B, L, D)flowers at Hotel Atitlan

Day 10 | Sunday, January 31 (B?)

• Note: This itinerary has been prepared months ahead of the actual trip. There may some very slight changes to take advantage of new opportunities.

Vivian Harvey

Vivian Harvey

Travel Seminar Leaders

Vivian Harvey
Vivian lived and worked in Mexico for 26 years and has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Peru, Bolivia, and Guatemala with university students and faculty members. She now spends winters in Panajachel, Guatemala. In 2004 she was asked to be a “bodyguard” for two weeks for Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 2002, the Year of the Indigenous.

Before moving to Mexico, she was the Assistant Dean in the College of Human Ecology at The Ohio State University for 14 years. She is the Educational Programs Coordinator at the Cemanahuac Educational Community, in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she works with college faculty members across the United States and Canada to establish cooperative academic programs with Cemanahuac for graduate and undergraduate credit. She also leads several trips each year in Latin America for groups of educators, artists, and art teachers. Her educational background includes a degree in education from the University of Michigan, and two graduate degrees from The Ohio State University, one in early childhood education and the other in family studies.  

Georgia Naderi
Georgia was born in the Midwest, but grew up in Colón, Panamá. She received her doctorate in Spanish Literature while still in her 20s and has taught at the university level in New Mexico, Kansas, Georgia, Argentina, and Mexico. She also taught high school Spanish for Cobb County, Georgia for seventeen years. She has held two Fulbright Teacher Exchange Fellowships.

Based in the metro-Atlanta area, Georgia is now fully retired and travels outside the U.S. as often as possible. She and Vivian met twelve years ago when Georgia headed a federally-funded program that brought Cobb County teachers to the Cemanahuac Educational Community during the summer for intensive Spanish study.

FeesLake Atitlan at night

TRAVEL FEE: $1620 (twin) U.S. Funds Only
• Note: Add $270 for single supplement
• Note: Credit cards cannot be accepted for the land fee, but the cost of the air travel, which travelers will make on their own, can be paid with a credit card.

This land travel fee will include:
• Hotels, double rooms, 9 nights
• Transportation, including boat for Lake Atitlan trips, vans/busses to markets and villages
• Entrance fees for museums
• Meals as follows, with hot coffee or tea:
all breakfast and lunches, 7 dinners
• All tips, including baggage in airports and hotels, maids’ tips, and tips for bus drivers
No other tips for guides are expected or accepted.
• Speakers' fees and donations (Several of these are to 501C3 organizations)
• Information about Guatemalan village-identity clothing and the places to be visited, sent to participants before the trip by email
• Bibliography and suggested readings, also sent by email
• Considerable information before the trip, in printed material sent by email

This travel fee does NOT include:
• Not included in the land fee are flights to Guatemala City, extra nights in hotels, transportation airport transfers for arriving flights, drinks other than coffee or hot tea with meals, personal expenses (laundry, etc.)

Each participant will be given a number of readings, including a bibliography of suggested books about Guatemala.

Some travelers may want to add several nights for a trip to the magnificent archeological site of Tikal, and information on this will be available for those requesting it. This will be arranged by a reputable Guatemalan travel agency and will include roundtrip flights to Flores (Tikal airport).


The trip will be confirmed when 10 deposits have been received. At this point travelers will be asked to make travel arrangements. The sooner the deposits are received, the sooner the trip can be confirmed so travelers can make these flight arrangements.

Initial registration and deposit of $500.00 due October 1, 2015, at the latest, and earlier is recommended. (This is nonrefundable after this date, unless the needed number of travelers is not reached, and at this time we will confirm the trip for all those who have paid the deposit. We hope to be able to confirm the trip before this date.)
If the trip is canceled due to low enrollment, all registration deposits will be refunded in full.

Final payment of $1120.00 is due on December 1, 2015. Enrollment is limited, and early registration is requested.

Registrations should be sent to:

Flight plans and arrangementsBus

Participants should arrange to fly into Guatemala City on Friday, January 22, 2016, and out of Guatemala City on Sunday, January 31, 2016. The first planned event of the program will be dinner on Friday night, January 22. Any flight arriving after about 4 pm probably will not permit the traveler to be in Antigua in time for dinner. Participants are welcome to come early to enjoy the sunshine of Guatemala.

Participants will make their own flight arrangements. Please do not confirm and pay for flight arrangements before the trip is confirmed.

Airport transfers from the airport to Antigua (an easy trip of about an hour) will be paid for by the traveler, with an approximate cost of about $30 US. Ample information about airport shuttles will be sent.

Some participants may want stay in Guatemala for a longer period of time, and this can easily be arranged, as can an extended trip to Tikal. Please contact Vivian Harvey for information on these arrangements.

Travel insurance is recommended but not required. Hotel Regis landscaping

No special visas are required, but a valid passport is necessary. Please take the time to check to be sure your passport is not near the expiration date when you make your reservation. No special inoculations for Guatemala are required, but it’s always good to check with your own doctor.

For information and a registration form, please email
or phone (email is best):

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