Going Below the Surface

By: Jake Tornatzky, TWP Tour participant Guatemala Tour 2019

Tour participants and TWP staff making fresh corn tortillas on a Doña Dora Cookstove!

I have been a board member at TWP for 4 years and would like to share my experience and perspective of the recent tour to Guatemala that I joined in September 2019. The experience of a tour with TWP allows you to participate and enjoy the communities and countries where we travel. This happens in a few significant ways that I would like to highlight with a few of my own expressions and passions.

Engaged travel-I support any trip that involves a connection to people who live there. My personal preference is to go ANYWHERE that I can get the perspective and experience of someone who actually lives there. A rich experience can be had anywhere in this world-Kansas, Paris or La Bendición if you can walk and talk with the people that live where you go. TWP has relationships in communities where we travel stretching back years that allow for immediate engagement.

Jake learning how to make a traditional Guatemalan textile with the help of a young artisan

Going below the surface-When traveling in foreign country you are often on the move and trying to keep up with the local language/ accent. Even if you have good language and cultural skills it may be challenging to have some way of getting beyond basic conversation and really getting to know people. TWP can take you to places where we have built relationships within communities off the standard tourist trail to connect with real locals. This can make a trip to a foreign country a richer experience than using your Spanish to order food, ask directions and check-in at your hotel.

Tour participants reflecting on their tour at La Bendición’s communal house

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