Guatemala Knitting & Kumihimo Retreat, 2012
February 5 – 15, 2012
Guatemala City, Antigua, Chichicastenango,
Panajachel & Lake Atitlan
You should arrive Guatemala City (La Aurora International) and be shuttled to the Westin Camino Real, Guatemala City. You will stay in Guatemala City one night before you travel to Antigua where you will spend 5 days/4 nights. From Antigua you will travel to Panajachel/Lake Atitlan for 6 days/5 nights. We will be staying in beautiful hotels that you will all enjoy (check hotel web sites. See “Lodging” below). Irene will introduce a KAL project and Karen will be available for Kumihimo. We have two day excursions planned and have allowed plenty of time for you to explore, on your own, the many treasures of Guatemala. See the information below for each of the cities that should serve as a guideline to inspire your own exploring. We anticipate this to be another dream that we can share with all of you! We will offer one session only. Read on and enjoy!
Antigua has history. Rocked by earthquakes, conquered by conquistadors and dethroned as the capital of Guatemala, this city has a story to tell. Everywhere you look you will see the remains of what was once the metropolis of Central America. This is where the first printing press in Latin America was established in 1660 and has now become the Museo del Libro (on the north side of central park). The first University of Central America, Universidad San Carlos, also had it’s original residence here at 5a Calle Oriente #5 and has now been converted into the Museo de Arte Colonial with a one of a kind exhibit of colonial art ranging from epoch paintings to architectural prints. Only a few blocks away, the Church of La Merced boasts Central America’s largest fountain amidst the impressive ruins of an old convent.
Called Guatemala’s “Mecca del Turismo” by Inguat, Chichicatenango is a compact and traditional town of cobbled streets, though the charming old adobe houses are now outnumbered by modern concrete structures. Twice a week the town’s highland calm is shattered by the Sunday and Thursday markets, which attract a myriad of day-tripping tourists and commercial traders, as well as Maya weavers from throughout the central highlands.
Chichicastenango was founded by the Spanish to house K’iche’ refugees from nearby Utatlán, which they conquered and destroyed in 1524. The town’s name is a Nahuatl word meaning “the place of the nettles.”
The market is by no means all that sets Chichicastenango apart, however, and for the local population it’s an important center of culture and religion. Over the years, Maya traditions and folk Catholicism have been treated with a rare degree of respect in Chichicastenango, although inevitably this blessing has been mixed with waves of arbitrary persecution and exploitation. Today the town has an important collection of Maya artifacts, parallel indigenous and ladino governments, and two churches that make no effort to disguise their acceptance of unconventional pagan worship. Locals adhere to the ways of traditional weaving, the women wearing superb huipiles with flower motifs. The men’s costume of short trousers and jackets of black wool embroidered with silk is highly distinguished, although it’s very expensive to make and these days almost all men opt for Western dress. For Sundays and fiestas, however, a handful of cofradres (elders of the religious hierarchy) still wear the traditional clothing and parade through the streets bearing spectacular silver processional crosses and antique incense-burners.
Panajachel and Lake Atitlan
The Mayans must have created the hammock when they discovered the beautiful surroundings of Lake Atitlan. There could not be a more suited pastime while you swing away to the rhythm of the lake breeze, then gazing out onto the breathtaking views of the clear blue lake surrounded by majestic volcanoes.
There are three volcanoes flanking the lake’s South shore: San Pedro (3,020m), Toliman (3,158m) and Atitlan (3 ,537m). Fear not if a hammock is not at your disposal, it is tough to escape this view whether you are hiking around the lake, taking a ferryboat to an adjacent town, or simply lying in bed and staring out the window. You might also want to consider zipping by the scenery on a canopy tour!
Santiago is the largest of Atitlan’s lakeside communities with a population of over 32,000 people – the vast majority of whom are Tz’utujils. Santiago has had a tumultuous past as a major center of fighting during the war and more recently, as Hurricane Stan devastated much of the region. As the town rebuilds and looks towards the future, it is important to support these efforts through tourism.
San Juan La Laguna is a small town of 8,000 that is known as the “little brother” to the nearby town of San Pedro La Laguna. San Juan is quite the opposite, providing little that caters to tourists, but much that would be of interest. Some of the country’s best artists live here, creating their works in oil on canvas. Richard Morgan, through Adventuras en Educacion, runs a day trip to the village where he will take you to the artist’s unmarked homes and tell you about their histories. San Juan also has one of the best sand beaches along the lake — Las Cristalinas.
February 5-15, 2012 (11 Nights Lodging)
Single: (private room) $1,575.00
Double: (share room) $1,095.00
(Surcharge $61.00 Lakeview Room Panajachel for 5 nights)
2 nights (February 5 & 15, 2012), Westin Camino Real, Guatemala City, Guatemala (see Westin Camino Real for more information)
4 nights (February 6-9, 2012), Posada de Don Rodrigo, Antigua, Guatemala (see Posada de Don Rodrigo for more information) 5 nights (February 10-14, 2012), Posada de Don Rodrigo, Panachel/Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (see Posada de Don Rodrigo in Panajachel for more information)
Transportation and Trips –
February 6, Guatemala City- Antigua
February 10, Antigua-Panajachel
February 12, Panajachel-Chichicastenago-Panajachel (Market Day Trip)
February 13, Santiago de Atitlan, San Juan La Laguna & San Antonio Palopo (Boat Trip Lake Atitlan)
Breakfasts: 4 at Posada de Don Rodrigo (Antigua); 5 at Posada de Don Rodrigo (Panajachel/Lake Atitlan)
Bienvenido Dinner: Antigua, February 8, 2012
Adios Dinner: Panajachel , February 14, 2012
1/3 due upon registration)
1/3 due August 15, 2011)
1/3 due November 15, 2011)
Full refund until November 10, 2011)
After November 10, 2011, refund only if your reserved space can be “filled.”)
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