March 15-25, 2018 - XELA AID EXPLORE
Registration Deadline: January 16, 2018
Trip Orientatation: January 20, 2018 10 AM-12 PM PST via teleconference
Trip Leaders: Jill Onken & John Douglass
Trip Cost (Double/Triple Occupancy): $2124
1. March 15 – Upon our arrival in Guatemala City around 7 AM we’ll be met by our personal driver. We’ll head to delicious hosted breakfast before heading out to our exciting planned activities! Our first day Includes visits to the exciting Popul Vuh and Ixchel Museums. Museo Popul Vuh has some of the world’s most important collections of Mayan artifacts. The Ixchel Museum located just around the corner features traditional Mayan weavings and clothing in addition to jewelry, ceramics and books from Mayan culture.
2. March 16 – After a good night’s sleep we’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then begin our drive to Copan, Honduras exploring Guatemalan geology and natural history along the way. We’ll visit a site where for centuries obsidian has been collected, and where you’ll be able to pick up your own souvenir. Upon our arrival in Copan, we’ll settle in to our comfortable accommodations then in the early evening visit two outstanding museums in preparation to our next day’s visit to the ruins. An optional group dinner will be arranged.
All breakfasts during our stay in Copan are hosted. Participants may opt to join a group dinner which will be arranged for every evening (no host).
3. March 17 – This day will be spent exploring the renown ruins of the ancient city of Copan, as well as fascinating related museums. A thousand years ago Copan was the epicenter of Mayan civilization. The ruins reflect the rich history and culture of generations of Maya who lived there. A special guided tour taking trip participants “behind-the-scenes” for an in-depth look at the mounds normally reserved for archeologists is included in the day’s activities!
4. March 18 – Have a relaxing morning or spend the full day at the incredible Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve. Engage with the beautiful, intelligent Macaw birds and then indulge in a bold cup of the park’s award-winning coffee. Macaw Mountain is not to be missed!
5. March 19 – After a refreshing night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast, we will make our return journey to Guatemala stopping along the way to enjoy a self-guided tour at a fascinating paleontology museum featuring fossils from several different geological eras. We will spend the night in Guatemala City, where an optional group dinner will be arranged.
6. March 20 – This morning we will travel into the Guatemalan highlands and to the beautiful city of Quetzaltenango (Xela) at 7500 where we will be housed in comfortable accommodations just off the historic Parque Central. On our way from Guatemala City to Xela, we’ll stop at Kaminaljuyu (AKA “KJ”). At this important ancient Mayan ruin we’ll be treated to a guided tour by a Guatemalan archaeologist who works at the site. We’ll arrive an settle into our comfortable accommodations in Xela, and as always, an optional group dinner will be arranged.
During our stay in Quetzaltenango, breakfasts and lunches are included and a group dinner will be arranged nightly and one of the local eateries (optional, no-host).
7-9. March 21-March 23 – After breakfast each day we will travel to the village of San Martín to undertake individual projects where your talents and interests have been matched to need. Experience the thrill of getting to know the youth and adults of this Mám-Maya village where the rich traditions of past are still practiced even as the young people work to become competitive in the job market so they can create a better life for their families. Each day promises surprises, and to be fulfilling work! Surprises await, too, several afternoons after our work days where we will explore the local culture. On our last day in the village there will be an opportunity to hike along a beautiful trail to Lake Chiquibal, a sacred Mayan crater lake. This lake is considered by the local Mám people to be the birthplace of their culture.
10. March 24 –Today we will travel from Xela to the stunning colonial city of Antigua founded in the 16th century, and to our lovely hotel. Along the way, we’ll visit the village of Salcaja, home of the oldest church in Central America. We’ll also learn about the intricate art of wooden-loom weaving from local male weavers famous for creating 80% of all the traditional skirts worn by Mayan women in Guatemala. We will celebrate our last-night, hosted dinner at the outstanding Santa Domingo Monastery, known for its breathtaking grounds.
11. March 25 – Wake up on Palm Sunday to Antigua’s world-renown Easter week celebrations that draw crowds from around the world. After a hosted breakfast we’ll spend the day enjoying the festivities. In the late afternoon, we will transport the group to the airport for our journey home. You will take with you memories and new friendships sure to last a lifetime!
FLIGHT BOOKING INSTRUCTIONS
Note: These suggested flights are from Los Angeles. If you are not traveling from Los Angeles, please MAKE SURE to arrive in Guatemala prior to 8 AM March 15 to join the group.
OUTBOUND Recommendation - Overnight Direct: Avianca AV641 leaving LAX at 1:45 AM on March 15 arriving Guatemala City at 7:25 AM. Prices vary widely. We have had good luck with CheapTickets.com and the phone application Hopper. Please check frequently or consult with your travel agent if you have questions about best time to purchase.
OUTBOUND Alternative Option - Arrive a day early (March 14 - requires extra night’s stay): You may wish to avoid an overnight flight and travel a day early. If so, we suggest you book your night’s stay at the Radisson, as this is where the group will stay the first night (March 15). The address is 1a Avenida 12-46, Zona 10. Book at: radissonguatemala.com
INBOUND Recommendation - Please use this inbound flight unless you plan to stay over in GC after the group leaves. Please do NOT book an earlier outbound flight. Avianca AV640 leaving GC on March 25 at 7:20 or 8 pm (time listing varies) arriving LAX at 11:40 PM.
|Event End Date||03-25-2018|
|Registration Start Date||07-13-2017|
|Cut off date||01-16-2018|
|Cost (Dbl/Tpl Occu.)||$2124|
|Location||Xela AID Guatemala|