Guatemala with Thread Caravan
Thread Caravan leads artisan adventures in enchanting places such as Oaxaca, Panama and as you can see here, Guatemala. I had the most amazing time there with a lovely group of people - I found out about the trip through a friend of a friend and set off to join. The people in the country are kind and welcoming. We learned how to weave in the tradition of the indigenous women who have continued this cultural tradition for thousands of years - Mayan Traditions was the collaborator and took us to meet weavers and hear their stories. As a textile lover, I was in heaven, as were my fellow travelers.
The most vivid blues and greens. The night we arrived was magical: it was dark, the sky was full of stars that we could actually see and we set out across the lake in a small boat to take us to our eco villa. The wind was rushing around us, the night enveloped us, the stars enchanted and captivated our gaze. You could feel yourself being transported in the elements - this was a spectacular arrival.
It was exhilarating for me to be part of this small group on a one week trip. I had the thought that every day could be like this. Or almost. I'd had to rise early and was super tired by the time I arrived from connecting flights, then we had a long drive of several hours from the city to the lake, but upon arrival, from what you read above, it was enchanting from the get go. I was thrilled by our daily adventures - learning backstrap weaving, eating delicious food, staying in this eco-villa that we climbed the steps up the hill to eat breakfast every morning through the lush green and tropical flora. Yes, there were spiders and all sorts of similar creatures that scare the 'civilized' part of us, but even they were welcome as they caused no harm and went on their way, not bothering us when we were in the bedroom trying to sleep, or in the bathroom, or even in the outdoor shower which was divine.
Caitlin, the founder of Thread Caravan, is a fellow Atlantan who went off to college in New Orleans and then out into the international world to live in Asia and teach English before living in Maui and doing all kind of interesting pursuits. She is a creative who loves ethical and sustainable fashion and incorporates all of this into her life - hence why she founded her travel outfit for artisan adventures. She found the original Nikolai Tesla of all Guatemalans - Fede - to be our local guide - and he didn't disappoint! He is a super intelligent, crystal-loving, happy, beautiful soul who expresses his joy in his colorful clothing that delights the eye and the heart. Thanks to him we toured some of the villages where we had the best coffee made by super cool Korean baristas, strolled through new age gardens and wandered into tea houses that felt nearly straight out of the Himalayas - and that's only a few instances of many, many more. If you love yoga like I do, you will be in heaven with all the Mayan calendar devotees and the overlapping interests and crowds of people from all over the world that come along with that. In sum, I was floating on cloud nine the entire trip and afterwards - even all the Guatemalans I knew from over the years (from Sao Paulo, NY, DC, Georgetown etc) were so hospitable and reached out when they found out I was visiting their beloved country. It is a magical place full of heart.