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Recap: Group Trip to Guatemala

Written by
Francisco Gonzalez
December 10, 2021
Our inaugural group trip gave our first Fearless Travelers an opportunity to discover a side of Guatemala too few have seen. 

“Welcome to Guatemala, where trucks slowly turn their way through bumpy, mountain roads. Where nature blesses everything, and spring never ends. Where mighty volcanoes remind us that nature must be respected. Where lakes shine with shades of blue you’ve never seen before. Where rooftop bars offer glimpses of a country moving into the future. Where ancient traditions and artwork keep us connected to the past.”  - Dan Vineberg


The Fearless Journeys inaugural group trip took place November 10-16, 2021 and we embarked on a journey to Guatemala. Six guests made it: Stephanie Smith (Tallahassee, FL), Jerome Hudson (Jacksonville, FL), Brian Graham (Jacksonville, FL), Kristen Moran (Alexandria, VA), Trevor Eaton (Pinellas Park, FL), and Dan Vineberg (Montreal, Canada). The group trip was led by me, Francisco Gonzalez, founder & CEO of Fearless Journeys. With roots in Florida, I have spent most of 2021 living and working from Guatemala City. This allowed me to form many local connections throughout the year and gave our travelers an opporutnity to make connections with so many local entrepreneurs and leaders and have truly authentic local experiences.

Day 1: Welcome to Guatemala City

Kristen Moran and Dan Vineberg arrived a day earlier than the official trip began. We spent the first morning walking up Avenida Reforma and the Avenida Las Americas. You can watch Dan’s video recapping this first morning on his YouTube channel, “The New Travel.”

The official trip began on Wednesday, November 10, with all the remaining Fearless travelers arriving into the Guatemala City airport before 1:00pm, where they were picked up in a private shuttle. Once everyone was checked in at the Clarion Suites hotel in Zone 10 of Guatemala’s capital city, the group boarded the shuttle for a short 12-minute drive up to Zone 1, to walk about 10 blocks down the pedestrian-only Sexta Avenida (Sixth Avenue) which gave them a real feel of the local vibrancy of the city.

We stopped at El Portalito, a bar once frequented by a young and idealistic Che Guevara. It has an iconic feel with saloon doors and the group shared pitchers of Guatemala’s national beer, Gallo.

This later prompted Trevor to describe the cast of characters enjoying their first drink together as new friends: “Have you heard of this one? A fundraiser, lobbyist, IRS attorney, travel Youtuber, journalist, political consultant, and poker dealer walk into a bar…” He’d soon discover this is the diverse kinds of people who come together on a Fearless Journeys group trip!

From there, we walked into the central plaza of Guatemala City, which contains the National Palace (built in 1776) and the Cathedral of Guatemala City. We did a brief tour of the cathedral, which Pope John Paull II celebrated mass at on three different occasions (1983, 1996, and 2002). The outside of the cathedral is decorated with names of some of the 200,000 victims of the armed conflict that took place in Guatemala between the 1960s and 1990s.

After visiting the cathedral, we walked a block over to the Underground Market, which is absolutely huge, and it presented our travelers with an opportunity to pick up some mementos and gifts for loved ones back home. Our shuttle driver met us at the exit and we departed back to Zone 10 for a welcome dinner at Kabel restaurant, situated on top of the Sixtino II medical building. We were greeted with welcome drinks on the rooftop terrace and caught a majestic November sunset with views of several of the volcanoes out towards the west.

We then sat down and dined with the owner / chef of Kabel restaurant, Diego Jarquin. He is a local Guatemalan, trained in culinary school in Peru, and at 32 years old, is considered one of the rising chefs in Central America. Diego told us his story and walked us through the various courses we were eating and where the food was sourced from. Diego and his family own farms, including cattle, vegetation, and coffee, which are all used in his restaurant. One of our travelers later described Diego as “the cool guy” or “badass” of the trip. Diego also introduced us to what became the group’s favorite local Guatemalan drink - the carajillo, which includes both rum and espresso. It kept us going all week.

Fearless Journeys is about connecting people. In addition to our culinary experience and dining with Chef Diego, we were also joined at dinner by Lissa Hanckel, an American expat who has been in Guatemala since the 1970s. She also leads the development department at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin, and is a member of the Fearless Journeys community!

Kristen Moran said, “What an amazing experience -- food, service, ambiance!”

Day 2: San Patricio Coffee Finca, Dinner with Chef Jake, Evening at Trova Jazz

After our great buffet breakfast at the Clarion Suites hotel, the group boarded our private shuttle to take us on a one-hour drive to the small town of Palencia, Guatemala, where we visited the private, independent San Patricio coffee finca. You can watch Dan Vineberg's video recap of our experience at the San Patricio coffe finca here.

The finca is owned by the Reyes-Mendez family. The patriarch of the family has also been mayor of the town of Palencia for the past 12 years. The finca does not offer tours to the public, but through the connections provided by the Fearless Journeys community, they took us on a privately guided tour. The roads around the finca are rugged as the coffee is planted on the side of a mountain. This meant when we arrived at Palencia, the shuttle met members of the family in a shopping plaza and we switched over to two 4x4 vehicles so they could drive us through the rugged roads of the finca.

Our trip was guided by 24-year-old Saul Reyes-Mendez and his younger sister and younger brother. Saul also has two older siblings. All members of the family are involved in different parts of the production. In 2020, San Patricio coffee placed 14th in Guatemala’s “Cup of Excellence” (among thousands of coffee brands throughout this country).

We were able to see all parts of the coffee production and learn how it is made at every stage. This is a very forward-looking family. We visited several of their large water storage facilities where they are saving for a non-rainy day. They also don’t use any pesticides, which helps protect the environment and makes sure that customers receive the best possible coffee, without harm to their health. Most of the coffee from this finca is exported to New Zealand and England and a few rare places like Jacksonville, Florida. Two of our travelers, Brian and Jerome, both live in Jacksonville and are familiar with the coffee shop there that sources their coffee from San Patricio. What a great connection that was made!

At the end of the morning, the family invited us into their home, where Saul showed us a display case of the tools his dad once used when he was a young man and worked for $1 US a day! Today, this finca employs 42 workers. The tools are a reminder of how far the father and his family have come and the hard work it took to achieve the success they enjoy today. That work ethic and strong values are clearly instilled in every member of this large family.

Saul’s mother put together a beautiful setting at an outdoor table and provided a hearty, home-cooked Guatemalan meal. While Saul’s mother spoke almost no English and most of our travelers spoke almost no Spanish, an amazing bond of love was formed. By the end of the trip, this experience at the coffee finca was identified as probably the most memorable of the entire trip, mostly due to the warm welcome shown to us by the Reyes-Mendez family.

Jerome Hudson commented that on day 2 of the trip, “The incredible Reyes-Mendez family took us in, showed us their vast San Patricio El Limon coffee plantation, where beans are produced and shipped to none other than Jacksonville, Florida.”

Following the tour, we ventured back into the town of Palencia where we boarded the shuttle for the one-hour trip back to Guatemala City. The group was able to have a little bit of rest at the hotel before a short 10-minute walk together over to Jake’s restaurant in the brand new La Estacion shopping complex in Zone 10. We were greeted by a welcome drink and by the chef and owner Jake Denburg.

Jake is an American expat who moved to Guatemala 37 years ago. He brought the fusion cuisine to Central America and is a well-known and iconic figure here, with a cartoon image of his face donning many of his restaurant chains around Guatemala City. We came to his high-end restaurant, Jake’s Restaurant, and he joined us for dinner which featured exceptional food and service seen almost nowhere else in Guatemala.

Similar to our experience with Chef Diego the previous evening, Chef Jake walked us through each course, informing us of where the food was sourced and how supply chain issues have forced him to look more internally in Guatemala and Central America. He said the land in Guatemala is so abundant, you could drop a seed and things just grow. The beef we were eating was sourced from a farm in Nicaragua that has faced issues by the Sandinista-led government. Learning about how that meat passes from that farm to this table made us appreciate it even more. The highlight of the meal may have been the dessert. It was the best tres leches anyone at the table had ever eaten!

Jerome said that “Jake Denburg fattened us up and told the most amazing stories.”

The reason we had an early dinner here was to allow time for us to board the shuttle for a 10-minute drive over to Zone 4, a trendy, hip and recently revitalized neighborhood, where we enjoyed the rest of our evening listening to live music at Trova Jazz. This is not only the name of the venue, but also the “style” of jazz first created in the late 1800s in Cuba by trovadores who roamed around Cuba singing and playing the guitar. We got a nice dose of that here. Everyone who comes to Trova Jazz leaves feeling entranced and our group really enjoyed the experience as well.

Day 3: Morning at UFM; evening arrival at Lake Atitlan

On Friday morning, the group awoke to another buffet breakfast at the Clarion Suites and packed their bags to board the shuttle for a short 10-minute drive over to the campus of the Universidad Francisco Marroquin. This university was established exactly 50 years ago, in 1971, and whose mission is the teaching and dissemination of the ethical, legal, and economic principles of a society of free and responsible people. This is the university I’ve been teaching at this year and it just so happened that the students in my entrepreneurs’ innovation class were able to join the travelers of the first Fearless Journeys group trip in our private morning program led by Fernando Monterroso. He is a professor of law & economics and was part of the first graduating class of UFM back in the mid-1970s. He gave us a presentation on the history and background of UFM titled, “UFM: An Oasis of Freedom.”

When you’re on this campus, it certainly feels like an oasis. Lush, green landscapes; buildings designed creatively to blend in with the natural ravines that existed here prior to the campus construction. We were also welcomed to the campus by Carolina Uribe, the Director of the Israel Kirzner Center for Entrepreneurship.

Following the morning program with Professor Monterroso, we were handed off to Luis Figeuroa. He has been at UFM for over 20 years and is the best tour guide of the campus. He showed us some of the highlights including walking us through the Popol Vuh museum, which includes notable Mayan and Spanish colonial era artifacts.

We also went to the Ludwig Von Mises Library, visiting a historic reading room, where there are many great literary works, including a copy of the first print edition of the very first encyclopedia ever produced! We had the opportunity to touch it with our own hands, much like the founder of Wikipedia did when he visited the UFM campus in 2008.

Our day at UFM ended with a roundtable lunch discussion with the Dean of the Economics Department, Monica Zelaya, who led a conversation on “The Ripple Effects of Entrepreneurship” as everyone enjoyed a lovely lunch catered by my favorite place to eat on campus, Nutripunto! Professor Zelaya explained to us that through her studies of entrepreneurs, she has learned that entrepreneurs change all the people around them, sometimes without knowing. Colleagues, neighbors, family, friends -- all start being impacted so much by entrepreneurs that other unlikely entrepreneurial activity is started by them as well.

Kristen Moran remarked that this morning at UFM  was “a wonderful stop on our Guatemalan adventure… getting to visit the University where one of my best friends, Francisco, is teaching this year. A stunning campus focused on free-market, economics, innovation, leadership, and empowering each of the 3,000 students to be a ‘game changer.’” Jerome Hudson called UFM “a miracle,” describing it as “an oasis of liberty in Latin America.”

Once our half-day at UFM concluded, our shuttle was there to pick us up and drive us nearly four hours to Lake Atitlan. We arrived there just after 5:00 PM and checked into the beautiful Hotel Atitlan. This is a very nice resort and perhaps the best “large” hotel to stay at Lake Atitlan. It includes a beautiful pool, large jacuzzi, and an iconic view of Lake Atitlan with large, imposing volcanoes just on the other side of the Lake. Everyone had time to settle into their rooms (all with views of Lake Atitlan and the beautiful lush gardens on the grounds).

We then came together for a poolside dinner, with views of the Lake, and were joined by my local friend Julian Castillo. He is a native Guatemalan, a graduate of UFM, and an architect today. He lives just a 5-minute walk from the hotel. After dinner together, some of our group concluded the evening with some much needed time in the very large hot tub.

Day 4: Exploring Lake Atitlan

The next morning, a breakfast buffet was served at the hotel and a large private boat was waiting for us at the hotel dock to take us across the Lake. Julian again joined us for the day and he was available to answer many questions our travelers had about Lake Atitlan and the many surrounding villages, and about all things Guatemala. A few commented on how nice it was to have a very informative local Guatemalan with us. One of the great benefits of a Fearless Journeys trip is that you really get an opportunity to discover a new place with a local resident who is excited and energized to share ideas and information.

Our deliberately slow morning cruise across the Lake helped us gain a perspective about how large this Lake truly is and how the beautiful landscapes of the mountains and volcanoes surrounding it change with the lighting, the clouds, the water, and the sky. Lake Atitlan is the deepest lake in Central America (just over 1100 feet deep!) Volcanic activity began here about 11 million years ago and the lake was formed 84,000 years ago when the volcano caldera collapsed. Over the tens of thousands of years that followed, other volcanoes (the ones we see today) formed.

Around 10:30am, we arrived at the dock at San Juan La Laguna which is at the far end of the lake from where we began our morning. Once off the dock, we stopped by a local coffee shop and then we boarded a few tuk tuks, which are the small vehicles that easily get visitors around the narrow, quaint streets and take us up the hills of the village.

After a 5-minute tuk tuk ride, we arrived at Casa Flor Ixcaco, a weaving co-op run by indigenous women entrepreneurs. We were greeted by the lovely Delfina, who then spent about 40 minutes guiding us through every step of the weaving process. All the products here are made by hand. Near the end of the weaving demonstration, she asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to help her with the weaving. Most of the group sat awkwardly silent. But then, one of our Fearless travelers, Trevor Eaton, piped up and said, “I’ll do it. After all, this trip is about getting out of our comfort zone.” Trevor struggled at first, but then got the hang of it and helped make Delfina smile.

Delfina told us that the founder of this weaving co-op started doing these demonstrations because there wasn’t really an “attraction” for visitors to San Juan La Laguna. However, after they started it, more people visit their shop and buy their products. And now, other “attractions” are starting to pop up in their village, including a man who has a chocolate shop who is now doing chocolate demonstrations. This made me immediately think of the words that Monica Zelaya delivered to us the day before in her talk on “The Ripple Effects of Entrepreneurship.” Delfina and the women at Casa Flor Ixcaco are having that effect for the people in their village. And now, Fearless Journeys is bringing visitors here as well!

Once the demonstration was over, the group spent some time in the gift shop of the co-op, where all the handmade products include the name and image of the woman who made it with information about how long each product took to produce. It really surprises many people to see that most of these products take one or two weeks to make. It really makes you appreciate their work even more!

After we left Casa Flor Ixcaco, we boarded the tuk tuks and made our way back to the boat, which then took us from there on a 20-minute slow cruise over to the village of San Marcos La Laguna. Once off the boat, we walked through some local streets and on a beautiful hiking path up to a tucked away spot: La Casa Zapote, a beautiful private home setting with plenty of outdoor seating, where we were served perhaps the most amazing meat and cheese plates you’ll ever experience. One of those plates has 24 different kinds of cheeses, all made in Guatemala.

After lunch, we hiked down the path and made our way over to the natural reserve on one side of the village. At this place, there is an area called “The Trampoline.” It is not an actual trampoline. It is simply a platform where you can “jump” off about 30+ feet into Lake Atitlan. Julian, Trevor, Kristen, and myself all did this. Dan jumped in the water to film some of us from the vantage point of the water, which was refreshing when we hit it.

Once we were done here, we walked through the village of San Marcos and found our private boat, which we boarded. We took a slow 45-minute cruise from there back to the dock right at our hotel, Hotel Atitlan. The sun was starting to set a bit, giving us some amazing images of Lake Atitlan, and the lush mountains that surround every part of this magical Lake.

Kristen said our vantage point from Hotel Atitlan had “absolutely amazing views - and almost heaven! Magical!” Dan added: “This place is magic.”

We all went back to our rooms, put on our bathing suits, and met back up in the hot tub for drinks as we watched the sunset on Lake Atitlan. It was a wonderful setting to put a cap on this incredible day getting to know a place that some, including author Aldous Huxley, have called “the most beautiful lake in the world.”

After we washed up, we then all regrouped inside the bar area of Hotel Atitlan for dinner around the fireplace; giving us a cozy setting in which to enjoy the final parts of the night while sharing stories and thoughts with each other.

Day 5: Atitlan Natural Reserve; Agriculture & History in Antigua

On Sunday morning, we were once again treated to a wonderful buffet breakfast at Hotel Atitlan and then walked just five minutes over to the Atitlan Natural Reserve. This place features a butterfly exhibit, monkeys in their natural habitat, and a hike up many steps, including across bridges that go over and beside magnificent waterfalls.

Four members of our group, Brian, Stephanie, Dan, and Trevor proved to be the most “fearless” and took part in the zipline adventure over this area, which also includes magnificent views high above Lake Atitlan. The rest of the group including Julian, Jerome, Kristen, and myself simply hiked above and around the zip line cables and met our more “fearless” travelers at the bottom. From there, we walked back to Hotel Atitlan, packed our bags, checked out, and boarded our private shuttle.

Just over two hours later, we arrived in the old city of Antigua. However, we began on the edge of Antigua, for a farm-to-table lunch experience at Caoba Farms. At this place, you sit at tables in a natural setting, in a covered garden. The owner and operator of the establishment, Alex Kronick, joined us at our table for lunch to share his story of building Caoba Farms. He not only owns the three acres of farmland right behind the restaurant, but also owns about 300 acres of farm, forest, lakes, and hiking trails about 30 minutes from Antigua. Following lunch, he walked us through the farm, including a butterfly exhibit. He talked to us about how 70-80 percent of the food we ate comes right from his farms.

After our tour, we boarded our private shuttle for a 5-minute ride into town, where we stopped at Casa Popenoe, a historic Antigua home once owned by American agronomist Wilson Popenoe, who had searched the world for the best avocados. He found them in Antigua and took the seeds back to his native California. But he also planted some of his own seeds in Antigua, being a part of a generation of Americans who came to Antigua in the early 20th century to begin restoring and revitalizing homes that had been left abandoned and in ruins after the Spanish had a forced evacuation of this city after the terrible earthquake and volcanic eruptions of 1773. Casa Popenoe is not open on any given day. It requires reservations. Just over a decade ago, the Popenoe family donated the home to UFM, where I have been teaching this year. My connections with the curator of the home, Martin Fernandez Ordonez, gave us access to the home on a Sunday afternoon.

After our private tour, we then boarded the shuttle only to be taken a few blocks down the road to check into the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, the #1 rated hotel in Antigua -- a city which many travel authorities have recently rated the #1 city to visit in all of Latin America! This hotel was built into the ruins of an old church and convent and many simply visit the hotel to see the ruins, which are open to all hotel guests at no extra cost. The hallways, rooms, and entire decor of the hotel have so many artifacts and statues, it is just a really pleasant place to be.

After allowing the group to get settled in, a couple hours later we met up in the hotel lobby to walk a few blocks over to Restaurante Welten. This place is also an Antigua treasure, with the restaurant established in 1983. The interior rooms of this restaurant are ornately decorated and we were seated outside, in a covered area, right next to a pool that is adorned with many flower petals. It is a beautiful setting. The food, drinks and service were top notch! And we were even serenaded by a guitar player who played us one of the most iconic songs in this country, “Guantanamera.”

While this was not the last night of our official group trip, it was the last night that our full group was together. One of our Fearless travelers, Stephanie Smith, had to depart the next morning for a work commitment back in Florida; and another of our Fearless travelers, Trevor Eaton, had arranged an overnight hike on Monday to the summit of the Acatenango volcano.

After dinner, the group walked a few blocks over to the Central Park, which is beautifully lit at night, with the Cathedral of San Jose and other municipal buildings. One of those buildings once contained a printing press, which was the first printing press in all of Central America. From there, we walked down the street to see the iconic yellow arch that so many have come to view as a symbol of not only Antigua, but all of Guatemala. For us, perhaps it will be a symbol of new friendships formed, connections made, an arch that will serve as a bridge to the next stages of our lives.

On our way back to our hotel, we saw other ruins, including the El Carmen ruins, as a full moon lit up the sky. We all said goodnight and goodbye to Stephanie and a few of our travelers also said goodbye to Trevor since he would not be back in Antigua before their departure on Tuesday morning.

Day 6: Exploring & Relaxing in Antigua

On Monday morning, the remaining travelers had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and three of us -- Kristen, Brian, and myself -- took the opportunity to take a 20-minute walk and hike up to the Cerro de la Cruz lookout point. It is on the top of this hill that there is a large cross and from this vantage point you can get a look at the entire city of Antigua, as well as the Agua, Acatenango, and Fuego volcanoes. I have described this area, with its unique vantage point, as almost like looking at a map of Antigua from above.

Later in the morning, Kristen, Dan, and I went to Fernando’s Kaffee, a local coffee and chocolate shop run by a man named Fernando. We weren’t just coming here to pick up coffee and chocolate or do some work like some of the digital nomads hanging out in this place. We were here for an intentional conversation with Fernando himself. He sat with us for over an hour, giving us his perspective on the challenges of land use, production, and the imports / exports of coffee and chocolate here in Guatemala. He didn’t “sugar coat” his opinions at all. This was real talk and we are so grateful for Fernando’s time and for taking us into the kitchen and showing us how the chocolate is made. He also shared with us his plans to invest in chocolate production.

After exiting from Fernando’s we walked the streets of Antigua and ended up at the local markets, where we could find almost anything we needed, from clothes to belts to shoes to household items to food. On our way back towards the hotel, we walked by one of the most unique and beautiful McDonald’s franchises you’ll see anywhere -- and it includes some unique menu items such as a “gourmet burger” not found at McDonald’s in the United States. What is it about Kristen, Dan, and I stopping for fast food? Our first day we stopped at Pollo Campero. Well Dan was interested in making some videos for his YouTube channel, but Kristen and I paused and had some lunch and sat in the outdoor courtyard in the back of the restaurant. We then walked back to the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo.

That’s when I caught Jerome Hudson just hanging out in the hot tub on a cloudy afternoon in Antigua. So I joined him and we might have even snuck some cigars in there. This last full day of the official Fearless Journeys group trip was more relaxed for people to do their own thing in the afternoon, whether it was Kristen enjoying some rum at Zacapa's Casa de Ron, Brian visiting the ruins at the back of our hotel, Dan roaming the streets of Antigua to get footage for his YouTube channel, or Jerome and I just hanging out in the hot tub. It was a nice way to reflect on what an incredible journey this had been together.

Our group gathered back together for dinner, meeting in the lobby of our hotel and then walking a few blocks over to Bistrot Cinq, a French-style restaurant. We invited Martin Fernandez Ordonez, the curator of Casa Popenoe to join us. Martin was born and raised in Guatemala but has lived in many places abroad including Berlin, Madrid, and New York City. We were enchanted by his stories as a global traveler and resident and by his insights into Guatemala.

A few hours after we parted ways, Martin sent me a text suggesting he might have been enchanted by us: “It was great seeing you again and meeting your amazing travel group!” I told him thank you -- and we were two travelers down by the time we met up with him!

This was our last official night of the Fearless Journeys group trip in Guatemala, and this was becoming a common theme by everyone who interacted with our group throughout the trip. They couldn’t believe the assemblage of characters we had brought together.

After dinner, four of us walked down to the Antigua Cerveza craft beer pub located right next to the famous yellow arch and enjoyed some flights of beer.

Day 7: The Final Official Morning & Departures

On Tuesday morning, we all gathered for a final breakfast of the final part of the official Fearless Journeys group trip to Guatemala. We then said goodbye to Kristen and Jerome, who were headed to the airport to catch their flights home.

A few hours later, Trevor arrived back into Antigua from his adventure up to the summit of the Acatenango volcano. For the remaining travelers, Tuesday afternoon was pretty chill and we all headed down the street for a fun dinner at Como Como, a Belgian-style restaurant in Antigua. This was our final sendoff to Trevor, who had an early morning flight to catch the next day.

Later on that Wednesday, Brian, Dan, and I all headed into Guatemala City shortly after lunch. Brian extended his trip an extra four days so he could visit the Mayan ruins at Tikal and Mirador, in the northern areas of Guatemala. Dan had only bought a one-way ticket to Guatemala to begin with. He was so inspired by this country, that he decided to make Guatemala City his home base for the next month, where he will continue traveling around Guatemala and other parts of Central America to live, explore, and gather more content for “The New Travel” YouTube channel. (Subscribe here to find more content he will be posting from our trip!)

As for me, this was close to the end of my 2021 experience in Guatemala and this trip put a punctation mark on a year of building lifelong relationships in Guatemala as well as just the beginning of the Fearless Journeys community. I am grateful for these travelers and for all my local friends in Guatemala who believed in Fearless Journeys at its very start to take a chance on being a part of this inaugural group trip. I am motivated by the inspiration it has already provided to every traveler in this group. The hypothesis of what this community could be was put to the test and the formula seems to be one we will have to try again and again!

Some Final Words From Our Fearless Travelers

“I had never met all but one person in this group who was the mutual friend of us all. Some people asked why I would want to go on a trip with people I hadn't met. Why wouldn't you? You get people's best behavior in the beginning and the opportunities are endless among strangers. It's better than already knowing what you're going to get. The trip vastly exceeded our expectations. Having everything curated and organized from activities to meeting locals was far ABOVE par. The underlying inherent entrepreneurial touch was just that, inherent, and not forced or lecture-like. A great way to make you want to go back home and crush it! - Trevor Eaton, Pinellas Park, Florida

“If you want to learn about entrepreneurship in a developing country, you WILL NOT find a better experience than this. Francisco's itinerary was remarkable … for anyone considering starting their own business, the stories and people you meet will inspire you. This trip has inspired me to reach out to more local businesses when making content, and continue telling their stories - Dan Vineberg, Montreal, Canada

“​​Guatemala is Magical! Thank you to my friend Francisco Gonzalez for curating the perfect trip that captured the natural beauty of this country, its rich culture and its incredible people. Side note….There is never a good time to travel. Life is short. Just go!” - Stephanie Smith, Tallahassee, Florida

New Impressions of Guatemala

I didn’t really have an impression of Guatemala before I came and now I am impressed! - Trevor Eaton

“Impressions of Guatemala compared to before trip: Since I had been twice before, I thought I knew this country well. But in truth I didn't know anything about the more affluent parts of Guatemala. Or to all the communities around Lake Atitlan!! This trip opened my eyes to Zona 4, Avenida Los Americas, San Juan, San Marco, of course the coffee farm... I thought I knew everything there was to do in Guatemala on the tourist trail. This trip showed me new levels of depth to the country and showed me just how much I DID NOT know. Guatemala is the future of Central America. The entrepreneurial mindset is thriving here.” - Dan Vineberg

Impressions Made About Travel

“This trip also taught me to prioritize experiences over virtually everything.” - Trevor Eaton

“We had many real and genuine moments. And that's what travel is all about!” - Dan Vineberg

If you would like to find out about our next trip to Guatemala or other future Fearless Journeys group trips, email: fearlessjourneysLLC@gmail.com.

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