Mayan Hands Artisan Tour Fair Trade Artisan Tour with guide Deborah Chandler

January 15-26 2019
$2100* (11 nights)
Our January tour is now full. Please contact us if you would like to be placed on the waiting list.

  •  Visit groups of Mayan weavers in their villages, living within the culture they cherish
  • Meet with women’s cooperatives and learn firsthand the difference fair trade makes for Mayan Hands artisans, their families and their communities
  • Try your hand weaving on a backstrap loom
  • Shop in the world-famous handicraft market in Chichicastenango
  • Visit Mayan sites and museums, including Museo Ixchel, named for the goddess of weaving
  • Explore the Guatemalan Highlands, beautiful Lake Atitlan and the colonial city of Antigua
Mayan Hands is excited to invite you to join us in beautiful Guatemala for an up-close and personal visit with our artisan partners. Your guide for this very special tour is beloved teacher and author Deborah Chandler, author of Traditional Weavers of Guatemala: Their Stories, Their Lives and  Learning to Weave. 
  • Included: all meals, ground transportation, hotels (double occupancy) and admission fees. Not included: round trip airfare, personal expenses (shopping purchases, snacks and alcoholic beverages)
  • Price is based on double room accommodations. Single occupancy available for an additional $350.
  • $1000 deposit will hold your place. Balance due November 15, 2018. See tour policies, including cancellation below.

Mayan Hands January 2019 Tour Registration Form


Mayan Hands artisan partner and her family

Tour Itinerary (subject to change):

1/15 Tuesday 
Hotel Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala City
Settle in to be ready to start tour Wednesday morning
Dinner available in hotel

1/16 Wednesday 
Morning: Museo Ixchel, museum of indigenous Mayan textiles
Afternoon: In Nola, Mercado de Artesanía
Dinner with Mayan Hands staff
Sleep Guatemala City

1/17 Thursday 
Morning: Centro Histórico, Guatemala City – National Palace, Cathedral, Park
Afternoon: travel to Antigua

1/18 Friday 
Free day to explore the colonial city of Antigua (with suggestions)
Backstrap weaving lessons with Lidia Lopez for those who wish (additional fee)
Sleep Antigua

1/19 Saturday 
Morning: visit Las Ruinas de Iximché, Mayan site dating early 1500s, with presentation on Mayan cosmology and an explanation of the Mayan calendar and your own Nahual
Mayan fire ceremony
Lunch at the home of Paula, our host
Drive to Panajachel
Sleep Hotel Dos Mundos

1/20 Sunday - Chichcicastenango
Market Day in Chichicastenango - world-famous textile market
Late afternoon drive back to Panajachel
Sleep Hotel Dos Mundos

1/21 Monday - Panajachel 
Morning visit La Fe – basket makers
Afternoon MH field office

1/22 Tuesday - Panajachel
Morning: visit with Santiago Atitlán – treadle loom and backstrap weavers
Afternoon: explore San Juan la Laguna, lake-side town renowned for natural dyes

1/23 Wednesday 
Breakfast, Hotel Dos Mundos
Morning: visit Mayan Hands group in Vasconcelos, backstrap weavers and needle felters
Lunch in the community
Afternoon: Visit Multicolores Guatemala, inspirational rug hooking project
Free time in Panajachel with suggestions

1/24 Thursday 
Explore Panajachel or surrounding towns on Lake Atitlán (with suggestions)
Guest speaker
Return to the city after lunch
Hotel Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala City – 2 nights

1/25 Friday - Guatemala City
Meet with Mayan Hands Guatemalan director Julio Cardona 
Lunch at warehouse
Afternoon –visit Mapa Relieve
Farewelll dinner together, joined by others from Mayan Hands

1/26 Saturday
Homeward bound



Price is for one person double occupancy; add $350 (January tour) for single rooms. We can take up to 14 people.

You will receive communication by email before you come with packing recommendations, weather reports, emergency contact information for your families, etc.

Security is always a question that comes up and will be addressed both before you come and while you are here. Know that we will take care of you and you will be safe. 



You can download a registration form here:

Mayan Hands January 2019 Tour Registration Form

Or email to request a registration form. A $1000 down payment will hold your space. Final payment due November 15, 2018. Please make checks payable to Mayan Hands or call (518) 729-1900 to pay by credit card. Your check and registration form should be sent to:

Mayan Hands Artisan Tour
420 Whitehall Road 
Albany, NY 12208


Tour Guide

Deborah ChandlerDeborah Chandler is a weaver and writer-about-weaving who learned and taught in the US for many years. A stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras at age 40 led her to the world of fair trade, which eventually led her to move to Guatemala in 2000. Welcoming opportunities to spend time with Mayan weavers, she was the Guatemalan director of Mayan Hands from 2003 – 2012, and since then has written books and articles honoring the women she has come to love. Her books include Learning to Weave and the award-winning Traditional Weavers of Guatemala: Their Stories, Their Lives. Her next book – A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Guatemala – is coming out in April 2019. Semi-retired now, she is helping with “The Little Kite”, a movie being made in Guatemala with an all Mayan cast. She is happy to also be getting back to her own loom.


Tour Policies


Any cancellation by a client must be made in writing by email and acknowledged by Mayan Hands. The date on which the notification is received by Mayan Hands will determine the cancellation charge applicable.

Cancellation Fees:

October 17, 2018 or prior - deposit refunded minus a $250 administration fee
October 18, 2018 – November 15, 2018 – deposit refunded minus $500
November 16, 2018 – December 15, 2018 - 50% of tour fee refunded
December 16, 2018 or after - no refund

No partial refunds are possible for any unused portion of your trip.

When a tour is cancelled by Mayan Hands, the client will receive a full refund. However, Mayan Hands will not be liable for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking such as vaccinations, visas, non-refundable flights or loss of enjoyment, etc.

Mayan Hands highly recommends that you purchase travel insurance.


Expenses Covered

Price covers double occupancy accommodations, entrance fees, transportation (once the tour has started) tour leaders and guides, permits and meals. 

Costs not included in the price are airfare and accommodations en route to the Guatemala, alcohol, medical expenses, costs of hospitalization or evacuation, laundry, visas, international airfares, non-meal oriented gratuities and insurance. 

In the unlikely event that a tour itinerary must be altered or extended due to road conditions, weather, medical emergency, lack of transportation or other causes beyond our control, the associated costs including any non-recoverable costs are not included in the trip rates or refunds. In such circumstances it is your responsibility to pay directly for actual extra costs in the field (i.e. food, transport, accommodations, etc.). Carry credit or debit cards in case of changes and please consider obtaining trip cancellation/interruption insurance.



U.S. Citizens traveling to Guatemala are required to carry a current passport. The U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizen travelers have at least 6 months of validity remaining on their U.S. passports after the date of entry or they may be turned back by the airline or immigration. It is your responsibility to obtain proper documentation. If you are not a U.S. Citizen, contact the Guatemalan embassy or consulate for entry requirements.


Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Unforeseen circumstances of just getting to a tour could cost you more than you were expecting. Mayan Hands does not cover all expenses in the event of a changed itinerary (please see "Expenses Covered" above). You can find a variety of travel insurance programs online.


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