For the past 17 years I have traveled, worked, volunteered, explored, eaten, drank, & hiked my way through Guatemala completing over 80 trips to a place I adore & call my second home. Based in Atlanta, I travel to Guatemala four times a year to work directly with the Mayan Indians of the Highland region on my award winning line, Coleccion Luna: a line of beaded jewelry and accessories, as well as wood carvings, and textiles created with PURE LOVE from their reclaimed Indigenous clothing using Fair Trade practices.
In January 2015 I will launch my Atlanta~Antigua Culinary Tours…unforgettable gastronomy travel adventures! While Guatemala seems to be most known for the violence, drugs, & corruption that has plagued it for years, it is also a magical place full of intrigue, beauty, and color with a fascinating history and a wealth of food culture and biodiversity. I am organizing an amazing team.
of A US~Guatemala partnership of Coleccion Luna, INGUAT, Guatemala Trade Commission & Investment, Guatemalan food & drink producers, Top Atlanta Chefs & Media, and Antigua hotels, farms, restaurants. The tours will focus in and around Antigua.
Resting in the shadow of three volcanoes, Antigua Guatemala, or “La Antigua”, as it’s often called, was the country’s capital for over 200 years. It offers a fascinating blend of European and Indian culture, with its monumental sixteenth century Baroque churches, colorful colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, art galleries & markets, local & international cuisine, and vibrant natural beauty. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Antigua exudes a unique atmosphere of history, mystique, and local custom.
- Learning to cook some of my favorite dishes: Chicken Pepian (Chicken in spicy pumpkin and sesame sauce~like a mole…comes in a variety of colors) Kak’ik (A traditional Mayan turkey soup, with spices like coriander, achiote, and chile peppers), Jocón (chicken in green tomato sauce), Subanik (beef, pork and chicken vapor-cooked in a highly spiced chili sauce), Pollo con Loroco (A chicken stew with vegetables served in a cream sauce seasoned with the flower that gives the dish its name)…all served with the best handmade blue and white corn tortillas.
- Indulging in “dulces tipicos”: old-fashioned handmade treats made from milk, marzipan, honey, sesame seeds and local fruits such as guava and coconut.
- Exploring Cacao/Chocolate “food of the Gods”: learning the fascinating history as we make our own Mayan spiced hot cocoa and creating chocolate from bean to bar. (The Mayans were the first to discover, cultivate, use in spiritual ceremonies, eat, and drink chocolate.)
- Visiting my friends gorgeous organic farm on the outskirts of Antigua for a tour & tasting: a experimental, self sustainable, biodiverse, low environmental impact organic farm using ancient Mayan techniques
- Tasting of Guatemalan Rum: Learn the history & taste the legendary, award winning Rums of Guatemala
- Touring Organic Coffee Cooperative: Lead by small-holder coffee farmers, we will receive the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a farmer. After a short hike up Volcán Agua to see the coffee fields, we will be invited into the farmer’s house to learn about and utilize the machinery used to process coffee. But the best part of all comes at the end: we will roast coffee in the traditional way over a fire and share a cup of coffee with the farmer and his family and a lunch of traditional Guatemalan food cooked by the farmer’s wife.
- Exploring the colorful markets of Antigua: Discover the wide array of gorgeous and delicious fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, herbs, and spices found in Guatemala.
- Visiting edible gardens: See how families and individuals are growing their own edible gardens for fresh, healthy, delicious food in an organic and sustainable way.
Guatemala is experiencing one of the worst droughts in years that is affecting over 236,000 families have been affected. Also in Guatemala, the face of poverty & hunger is young, indigenous & rural. Guatemala, with the 4th highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world & the highest in Latin America & the Caribbean, faces a serious challenge to reduce chronic undernutrition, currently at 49.8% among children under 5 years old. With these facts and issues, a percentage of my tours will go to various local, national, and international organizations that work to find local, community based solutions to food insecurity in Guatemala.
The tours will happen twice a year in late January and October. For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
~ By Stephanie Jolluck, CEO of Coleccion Luna.