Boy Scout Troop 712 takes Lake Atitlan by Kayak Adventure

Boy Scout Troop 712 of Denver Colorado recently had an amazing adventure in Guatemala.  They chose Guatemala for many of the same reason as other visitors to this country.  The wide variety of options for language schools, adventure travel, and friendly people make it an easy choice.

The seven teens and two leaders divided their trip into three segments. Their first week was spent in Antigua studying Spanish language.  They studied for four hours each day, and spend the evening in a family home stay.

Their second week was build around a mulit-day kayak excursion circumnavigating Lake Atitlan.  Over the course of five days, the Scout Troop paddled from Panajachel to Santa Cruz, San Marcos, San Juan, San Pedro, Santiago, San Lucas and back to Panajachel. Each morning they paddled from one village to the next and learned kayaking technics, orienteering, and team building skills; while the afternoons were devoted to exploring the villages.

Each village offered some culture sharing opportunity that helped the boys to learn about the Mayan culture.  They learned how to make rope from Maquey from the Mayan Jovenes group, participated in a Mayan fire cleansing ceremony with a shaman priest, learned how textiles are hand made on the back-strap loom at a woman’s weaving cooperative, visited artists in their galleries in San Juan to learn about the styles and technics that are particular to this region, and visited the historical sites in each village.

Tikal Park was the destination for the final week.  The troop explored the ruins with the help of expert guide Francisco Florian, who has been studying the Mayan culture his entire career.  He offered unique insights into the Mayan Calendar, the development and decline of the Mayan civilization, and the latest archeological discoveries.

The next goal for this ambitious Boy Scout Troop is to have an article about their adventure published in Boys Life Magazine.  We look forward to seeing Guatemala featured in Boys Life soon.

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