Travel Update
Explore Guatemala
June, 2009 Volume 3, Number 1

In This Issue


Where Have We Been…
Leake Orangutan Camp Borneo


Majahaul, Mexico


2008 Workshops

Our three month South America Adventure…

• Galapagos Islands
• Quito – Old Town
• Otavalo Inca Market
• Avenue of Volcanos
• Chiva Express

• Lima
• Cuzco
• Machu Picchu
• Lake Titicaca

• Salta
• Iguazu Falls
• Buenos Aires
• Bariloche, Patagonia


Art Workshops
and Tours…

March 2 – 11, 2009
Jan Ledbetter
Paint Guatemala

Jan Ledbetter

Jan Ledbetter

WOW! What a great group this was! Lots of fabulous painting venues and travel experiences folks will remember forever. Great workshop by Jan and wonderful work by her students.

April 8 – 14, 2009
Semana Santa in Antigua
Click here for particulars



Oct 24 – Nov 2, 2009
Vickie Van Koten
Fiber Artists
Including All Saint’s Day Celebration
Click here to register


Oct 30 – Nov 9, 2009
Tony van Hasselt’s
3rd Annual
Guatemalan Escapaint
Including All Saint’s Day Celebration
Click here to register


Demo by Tony at La Merced Church Antigua

(are you ready for this?) ….Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands


Nov 18 – Dec 1, 2009
Discover Ecuador & the
Galapagos Islands
with John and Anita
Click here for particulars


Wanna ride?


Nov 26 – Dec 9, 2009
Bob Burridge’s Plein Aire Art Workshop in Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands
Click here for particulars



2009 Artist/Traveler
Stimulus Programs

No Instructor
Individual Artist Retreat

In Guatemala
Dates Flexible

Mini Art Workshop
Or Cultural Tour
In Guatemala
Dates Flexible

“2 or More” Custom Designed Tours

Stay at John and Anita’s Apartment in Antigua
Click here to view more information


Our Registrar:
Susan Johnson
PH: 210-599-8468

Our Contact Info:
(Please Update your address book)

Explore Guatemala, L.L.C.
Anita Rogers, President
John Korte, Advisor



U.S. Mail:
P.O. BOX 17217
San Antonio, TX 78217

Guatemala Cell:

U.S. Phone:



In our last Update we told you about…..

…..Anita and John sailing a 50 foot sloop from Australia, (across the Indian Ocean to Bali and up the South China Sea to Borneo to see the Leake Orangutan Camp, through the 10,000 Indonesian Islands, then on to Singapore) which ended in the decision not to cruise for the next 10 years, so we had to come up with something else equally exciting with lots of adventure that definitely involved travel and exploring.


In September, 2007 we left San Antonio for Guatemala to meet up with four Art Workshop Groups (Pam Stanley, Tony van Hasselt, Bob Burridge, and Ann Templeton). In December we met two of our kids and Anita’s Father and wife in Cozumel, Mexico, took the ferry across to Playa Del Carmen, then drove the Maya Riviera and on down the Costa Maya, just 30 miles above the Belize border, to the sleepy little town of Majahaul, Mexico; a great place with lots of beach just waiting for investors (Mexico’s next Cancun - in about 10 years - as they are rebuilding the pier for the cruise ships).

In January, 2008 it was back to Antigua, where we rented an apartment and prepared for our wonderful 2008 Art Workshop groups (Gail McDaniel, Marki Rowe, Carol Koutnik, Jeanne Mackenzie, Kaye Franklin and Tony van Hasselt). All very successful.

In April, 2008 we departed Guatemala for South America - traveling, exploring, looking for a home, and for unique places to take you on art workshops and travel adventures. Click here for our Travelogue of this trip.




jan ledbetter

By the time you read this, we will have taken a group on the trip of a lifetime, to experience one of te most exciting and colorful cultural and religious events in the world……


Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Antigua, Guatemala.
Antigua’s Semana Santa is the most extravagant and impressive in all Latin America, rivaled only by a similar event that takes place in Seville, Spain. The cobblestone streets of 16th century colonial Antigua are covered in alfombras (carpets) made up of colorfully dyed sawdust, pine needles, flowers, flower petals, corozo (yellow flowers pulled from giant palm pods), berries, fruits, and vegetables. a series of processions with teams of penitents wearing peaked hoods and accompanied by solemn dirges (melancholic music from local brass bands) and billowing clouds of copal incense accompany them as they carry the image of Christ and the Cross on massive platforms.

A Cultural, Market, Village, and All Saints Day Tour
This unique travel experience with Vickie VanKoten will take you on the most scenic and colorful venues throughout Guatemala. The hotels, excursions, special events, and cuisine will be Luxury and Unique all the way. Quilters, fiber artists, weavers, photographers, painters, folk art collectors, shoppers, travelers, and friends… all are invited to join Vickie on this “experience of a lifetime”.


Join the legendary Tony van Hasselt on his 3rd Annual “All Saints Day” Guatemalan Escapaint. Tony will teach and paint his way through the cobblestone calles and ruins of the colonial city of Antigua. Named by Travel and Leisure magazine as one of its Top 10 Getaways.

Travel through the highlands of Guatemala and experience the Maya culture as you visit villages during the All Saints Day Fiestas; the family reunions in the beautifully decorated cemetery of Pastores, and the Maya markets of Chichicastenango and Comalapa. Encounter what Aldous Huxley called “the most beautiful lake in the world”, Lake Atitlán. Three towering volcanoes majestically stand watch over the lake and its twelve Maya villages in this artist’s paradise.

tony van hasselt


Otavalo – most spectacular Inca Market

Join John and Anita in beautiful Ecuador on a private and personal tour of a lifetime. We begin with an incredible tour of the magnificent colonial “Old Town” of Quito. Then we will work our way through the northern Andes to the 400 year old Hacienda Cusin. a restored 17th century Andean estate, now a charming and comfortable country inn furnished with colonial antiques, tapestries, and Andean crafts. This will be our base for four days of amazing day trips and especially the world’s most famous indigenous market (Otavalo).

We will travel south along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Hacienda San Agustín de Callo, built on the site of an Inca palace, an important archaeological Inca site in Ecuador. This amazing hacienda offers spectacular views of the snow capped volcano Cotapaxi and day trips you’ll never forget – led by John and Anita.

Then follow in the wake of Charles Darwin aboard a luxury cruise ship exploring the one attraction no other country on earth has – the amazing and exciting Galapagos Islands. This optional adventure is not to be missed as the government and the Galapagos National Park is beginning to limit the number of tourists allowed so as not to disrupt this fantastic natural ecology.


Giant Galapagos Land Turtles

Travel with Bob Burridge and Discover Ecuador, and the most amazing Galapagos Islands on this workshop/Tour of a lifetime. This optional add-on of the Galapagos Islands will absolutely enthrall you and may be the most incredible of any travel adventure you have ever experienced. Explore the Old Town of Quito Ecuador, an extensive colonial center with colonial architecture and vintage facades dating to the mid 1500s when the Spanish founded the city.

View the Avenue of the Volcanoes as you travel to Hacienda San Agustín de Callo, built on the site of an Inca palace. It is one of the two most important archaeological Inca sites in Ecuador.

Dramatic scenery of volcanoes, patchwork covered mountains, and rose plantations lead us to the Hacienda Cusin, in the Northern Andes. A restored 17th century Andean estate, now a charming and comfortable country inn furnished with colonial antiques, tapestries, and Andean crafts. Acres of gardens attract over 50 species of birds. Wonderful painting here and in one of the world’s most famous indigenous markets (Otavalo) where the indigenous people arrive at dawn by the mountain trails surrounding the city from nearby villages and towns to sell their products woven on back strap and Spanish treadle looms.

Our wonderful travel and art experiences at new, low “Stimulus” prices!

A no instructor painting holiday!
Have you ever felt you would like to go on a painting tour without instruction? Or without a big group? Just lots of time to paint in your own style and at your own pace, in a great location with side trips for a variety of subject matter? If so, this might be just right for you! Click here for more information.

Explore Guatemala’s Mini Art Workshop or Cultural Tour.
This is an opportunity for anybody wishing to lead a group and do so with a minimum of seven students or travelers. It is a shorter version of our regular trip – 8 days 7 nights (you pick the focus and location (Lake Atitlan or Antigua). Click here for more information.

Our 2 or More Custom Designed Tours.
For those of you who just want to visit beautiful and captivating Guatemala with a custom designed tour by John and Anita, we will design your travel experience with our suggestions and your input, then price it most affordably but with the high quality we are known for. Call or email us for prices.

Many of our travelers have fallen in love with Guatemala, Lake Atitlán, and Anitgua, and have asked to return on their own to paint, sight –see, or just chill and enjoy the ambiance of the country. John and Anita travel a good deal of the year and their lovely Apartamento del Arco in the heart of Antigua gets very lonely as does their maid Nancy.

This wonderful, one bedroom apartment (for two), furnished with colonial antiques and art, will be available (exclusively for previous Explore Guatemala travelers) when John and Anita are traveling. For further details, an Availability Calendar, Pricing, and Reservations: Call or email us for prices.

Your partners in art workshops and unique travel opportunities wish you…

...happy travels in 2009,
John and Anita