Jan Ledbetter (March 17 – 27, 2016)
11 Days, 10 nights
Group size limited
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Join Jan Ledbetter, award winning artist and experienced world traveler, on her seventh trip to Guatemala for a once in a lifetime Cultural tour to ancient and vibrant Guatemala this fall, October 30 – November 9, with an amazing Optional tour to the Maya ruins at Copán, Honduras. Also included will be the special festivities of All Saints Day as it is celebrated in Guatemala.
Referred to as the most artistically advanced and elaborate of all the Maya cities, Copán is known for its classic Maya temples, altars and stelae, and is one of the greatest treasures of ancient art and architecture in the Americas. The festivities of All Saints Day is one of Guatemala’s most colorful and memorable traditions. Dedicated to the deceased, this joyous festival is a blend of both ancient Mayan religious ceremonies and Spanish Colonial Catholicism. It begins with the local people celebrating the day by bringing their entire family with food, music, and lots of stories about their deceased ancestors then decorating the brightly painted headstones and gravesites with armfuls of colorful flowers. We will visit the village of Sumpango, renowned for its kite celebration and competition, where the villagers display and admire their incredibly decorative, giant kites which have been constructed out of bamboo, cloth, paper, and wire (some measuring over 40 feet tall).
This amazing adventure includes among the many highlights, visits to private homes; birding and photographic opportunities; and many special cultural experiences. You will witness the Maya who still live and survive as they have for hundreds of years; people who are happy and at peace with the beauty they are able to weave into their textiles, with the produce they grow and sell at their markets, with a blend of pagan rituals and Christian beliefs, with simple lives not totally influenced by the need for modern technology. The Spanish influence on architecture and design, blended with many other cultures offers up a landscape that you will find simply delightful.
So, pack your bags and get your expectations in gear for this travel experience of a lifetime to Guatemala, where the rich tapestry of ancient Maya cultures and traditions woven in with historical European influences has all come together; where extinct volcanoes and ancient earthquakes have created one of the most beautiful countries in the world; where you will enter into a provocative existence of ancient civilization with western influences.