“Art Ambassador Adventure Guatemala City, Sumpango, San Martín Chiquito, Lake Atitlán with Grand Tikal and Flores Island Option” - October 30 – November 8/11, 2023

“Art Ambassador Adventure Guatemala City, Sumpango, San Martín Chiquito, Lake Atitlán with Grand Tikal and Flores Island Option” - October 30 – November 8/11, 2023

Theme: “Art Ambassadors Timeless Guatemala: Guatemala City, Sumpango, San Martín Chiquito, Lake Atitlán with Grand Tikal Option”

Note: See Trip Leaders, Orientation Date, Trip Costs and a broad introduction on our top-level page at LocalHope.org>Volunteer>Service Trips

Art Ambassador 2023 Trip Detail

October 29, Sunday (Optional) - For your comfort, we suggest arriving this day, a day prior to beginning our adventure together. If you wish we can make your reservation at the Barcelo hotel for this night. Simply select this option on your registration form. This will include breakfast.

October 30, Monday – Arrive, Explore Guatemala City

Those who’ve spent the evening at the Barcelo will gather for a leisurely breakfast at 7 AM, while others are picked up at the airport and transported to the Barcelo. At 8:30, the group will travel to the historic Central Park of Guatemala, featuring the National Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. Here those who desire will photograph and sketch, and depending on weather conditions, our artist guides may designate time to paint. After lunch (sit down or sack lunch, to be determined), we’ll head to the top-rated Museum of the Popul Vuh, named for the Mayan creation story. The museum houses one of the most important collections of artifacts of the ancient Maya, from pottery, vases and bowls critical to daily life to the haunting funerary urns, creating a context and an appreciation for the modern Maya that trip participants will meet and share time with! After and optional dinner with the group or on your own, we’ll gather for the first of our exciting and informative Critique/Mentoring Sessions.

Hosted - Group Breakfast, Sack Lunch, Popul Vuh Museum, Critique/Mentoring Session #1

October 31, Tuesday  – San Juan Sacatepéquez, “Mixco Viejo”

We will meet for an early morning breakfast, then at 8 am, board our private bus to make our way to colorful town of San Juan Sacatepéquez and its ruins, called,  “Mixco Viejo,” several hours away. The ruin is the top attraction in the region, a “stunning introduction to what daily life must have been like for the ancient Maya,” notes one recent visitor. Once at the ruins we will tour, photograph and paint for the balance or part of the day, depending on weather conditions. Depending on weather conditions we will enjoy a sack or sit-down hosted lunch, and will return to Barcelo in the afternoon. Join in an optional happy hour and group dinner or dine on your own, then join us for a fun and enlightening Critique/Mentoring Session.

Hosted - Breakfast, Lunch, San Juan Ruin, Critique/Mentoring Session #2

November 1, Wednesday – Sumpango Festival, San Martín Chiquito

After a delicious breakfast, we’ll leave for the world-renown Day of the Dead Kite Festival at Sumpango. Here, walk among collections of thousands of colorful, symbol-leaden small to stories-high kites awaiting launch and in the sky, assembled to honor ancestors. From here we’ll head for the Guatemalan highlands and our extraordinary accommodation at Local Hope’s 5-Star Eco Guest House@San Martin. Along the way, we’ll stop of an optional lunch at a well-known traditional restaurant, and arrive in the village in the late afternoon to get settled into our accommodations. Join in for an optional happy hour before a delicious traditional dinner (with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available).

Hosted – Breakfast, Sumpango Festival, Dinner

November 2, 3, 4, Thursday-Saturday - Explore, Landscapes, Portraits and Art with Children

At the Village of San Martín Chiquito nestled at 8500 amidst rolling hills and cornfields. During our three full days in the highland village of San Martín, early risers can take advantage of morning walks through this beautiful agricultural village, or capture the morning light to photograph or paint from the forth floor Art Ambassador Plein Air Open Air Studio or another location.

In this village where the local language is Mám-Maya, we will enjoy the comforts of the headquarters of our partner Local Hope, a human development organization in operation 30 Years this year. We will combine painting and service projects, working side by side with the Mám people who will also serve models during painting sessions, and sharing art with enthusiastic Mayan children. Participants will meet local artists sponsored by Art Ambassador who, with their intimate knowledge of the area, will lead photo and painting tours to places off the beaten path. Each day we’ll enjoy a homemade, hosted, authentic Mayan meal prepared and served by women who’ve completed chef training.

Participants will also receive a back-strap weaving demonstration, and will have the opportunity to take lessons in the ancient art, as well as participate in a Mayan cooking class that includes a trip to a local market (weaving and cooking lesson carry a nominal additional cost). Participants in the weaving class will keep their authentic backstrap loom. (See these options on your registration form). Says a recent Art Ambassador participant about her time in the village, “Transformative, precious to me—unforgettable!”

Hosted – All Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, In-Home Visits for newcomers and an evening around a Campfire with Refreshments(weather permitting), Critique Sessions #3-#5

November 5, 6, 7, Sunday-Tuesday - Lake Atitlan, at the Posada de Don Rodrigo

We will leave our new friends in San Martín especially early on the morning of November 5th to get to Panajachel, the renowned marketplace at Lake Atitlán, to tour and photograph. Our top-rated accommodation is in Panajachel, perched on the edge the Lake, an ancient volcano caldera with gorgeous, varied views just steps away! During our stay at the Lake, artists will photograph, sketch and paint to their heart’s delight while also choosing to meander into Panajachel’s sprawling marketplace featuring craft items from the four corners of Guatemala, or hike to various vantage points. Critique/Mentoring Sessions will be offered during optional happy hours or after dinner, depending on each day’s schedule. On our last night, we will enjoy a hosted farewell dinner and celebration.

Hosted - Breakfasts, Optional Activity (Choose one: 1 - Zipline, butterfly garden, nature preserve; or 2 - Visit villages including one using natural dyes; 3 - Climb San Pedro Volcano), plus our Farewell Dinner November 7th for those leaving us November 8. Critique/Mentoring Sessions.

November 8, Wednesday – Atitlán to Guatemala City

Breath in the peace and tranquility of Lake Atitlán or do some last-minute early morning photography, sketching or shopping in Panajachel before we check out and head to Guatemala City. For those returning home, you’ll take back reference photos for years to come, and memories and friendships to last a lifetime!

Hosted: Breakfast

For those traveling on: The Grand Tikal Option (all inclusive)

November 8, Wednesday – Flight to magnificent Tikal Historical Park

At 1:30 in the afternoon we’ll check in for our 3:30 departure.

Flores to Tikal, Private Bus to the Jungle Lodge, Tikal’s Top-Rated accommodation.

Hosted: Flights, Transportation, Dinner

November 9, Thursday – Photograph, Sketch, Paint, Explore Tikal

On our first morning we’ll get an early start to explore the Park’s most interesting landscapes amidst the iconic ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. Later that afternoon, visiting a local museum will add depth to our sense of place as it highlights the wondrous achievements of the ancient Maya who created Tikal. Breakfasts and dinners are included throughout our stay, with snacks and lunchboxes available for those who wish to spend all day in the Park. Don’t be surprised to hear howler monkeys, or catch glimpses of other spectacular local wildlife, including colorful birds, playful white-nosed coati, paca, crocodile and if we are fortunate—jaguar.

Hosted: Early Morning Scouting Tour, Park Entrance, Breakfast, Dinner, Museum Entrance, Critique/Mentoring  

November 10, Friday,  – Tikal Park

Brave an optional crack-of-dawn Sunrise Tour to see the sunrise from atop a Tikal’s most famous temple, or make a more leisurely start to continue photographing, sketching, painting and exploring!

Hosted: Park Entrance, Breakfast, Dinner, Critique/Mentoring • Optional: Sunrise Tour

November 11, Saturday  – Return to Guatemala City

After breakfast, we'll board our private bus at 7:45 to travel to Flores where we'll have plenty of time to explore and paint. Various transfers will be available with the last flight back to Guatemala City at 3 PM (recommended). 

Note: If you need to catch a connecting flight out of Guatemala City this day, we will coordinate your return flight from Tikal with the flight information you provide us.

Hosted: Breakfast, Ground Transportation, Return Flight to Guatemala City

November 11 (Optional)  - If your flight out is on November 12th, we’ll be happy to make a reservation for you at the Barcelo in Guatemala City for the night of November 11. Just select that option on your registration form.


Note: Because our trip participants join us from around the world and options are endless, we no longer recommend flights. We do ask, however, that for this trip you:

  1. ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 7 AM, MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, and due to the logistics of distances
  • Guatemala City, Sumpango, San Martín Chiquito, Lake Atitlán Participants – 1:30, NOVEMBER 8th
  • Grand Tikal Participants – Suggested: 8 PM, NOVEMBER 11th (earlier return flights can be accommodated)


PLEASE NOTE: If you are unable to comply due to air carrier schedules, we understand! Please note that a differing schedule will require added transportation at an additional cost. Thank you for your understanding.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your trip leaders with questions about this trip.

Event Properties

Event Date 10-30-2023
Cost (Dbl/Tpl Occu.) $3,542 (double occupancy)
Xela AID Guatemala
GUA, 9 Av 14-75, Zona 13, Guatemala 01013, Guatemala
Xela AID Guatemala