Travelling companions

  • Brad Lips, Atlas Network CEO
  • Gabriel Calzada, UFM President
  • Stephanie Lips, Atlas Network Outreach Director
  • Lissa Hanckel, UFM Trustee
  • Isabel Moino, UFM Donor Services (graduate UFM Michael Polanyi College)


Monday, January 22 

You arrive!
Perhaps even in time for dinner at home with UFM trustees.

Tuesday, January 23 

Spend the day at UFM. Tour the campus with Gabriel and Brad. Meet the students. Learn about UFM projects. Get to know the people who make them happen.

In the evening join a dinner event at UFM sponsored by Atlas Network where Brad Lips will present the innovative Atlas Network project Doing Development Differently.

Wednesday, January 24

Off we go to spectacular Lake Atitlán, bordered by volcanoes and traditional villages, where you can start honing your bargaining skills under the tutelage of bargaining master Gabriel Calzada.

Thursday, January 25

Beetle up the mountain to the K'iche' market village of Chichicastenango, famous for its wildly colorful textiles and food displays, and where ancient indigenous rituals still fill the churches and cementery with incense and chanting.

Friday, January 26

Head to the Kaqchikel village of Comalapa to visit La Cima, the alternative schooling project founded by village entrepreneur Antonio Calí. Tour the school, meet the kids, and learn how UFM videos started Antonio on a journey of intellectual inquiry and action.

End the day in Antigua in time for cocktails and dinner in one of the best preserved colonial towns in the Americas.

Saturday, January 27

You have lots of options to choose from in Antigua. Here's a sampler...

  • Visit great shops and the handicraft market
  • Do the popular chocolate museum tour and chocolate-making class
  • Hang out at the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, tour its fabulous museums, and get pampered in the spa
  • Visit a private Antigua home
  • Visit a coffee farm and see how coffee is grown and processed
  • Just wander

You can also climb Pacaya, one of Guatemala's three active volcanoes. The hike takes about two hours and is low to medium difficulty (you can also rent a horse!).

Sunday, January 28

Fly home!


Guatemala City

Hotel Camino Real 
14 calle 0-20, zona 10
Telephone: 2333-3000


Hotel Atitlán
Telephone: 7962-0404


Mayan Inn
Telephone: 2412-4753


Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
3 calle oriente #28 A
Telephone: 7820-1221

[Note: when dialing from the United States, please add the prefix: 011-502]


Includes lodging, meals, and in-country transportation (airfare not included).

Departure Saturday

Shared hotel room      $2,100
Single hotel room      $2,250

Departure Sunday

Shared hotel room      $2,300
Single hotel room      $2,450


Climate in the areas we will be is mild because we are in the mountains (Guatemala City, Antigua, and Lake Atitlán are at 5,000 feet).

Coolest time of the year: November through January / 55 to 75 F
Warmest: April/May / 65 to 85 F
The rest is in between

We have only two seasons.

Dry season: November to mid-May
Rainy season: mid-May to October

Dress code

The dress code in Guatemala is very casual. In January the temperature can fluctuate a lot throughout the day. In the afternoon, it can go from mild to hot under a high sun. Early mornings and evenings are cool to chilly and you'll want a good sweater or light jacket. Anyone sensitive to the sun should wear dark glasses and a hat. Everyone should wear sunblock and comfortable shoes (especially with the cobblestones!).


Guatemala's currency is the quetzal (quetzales) (Q)
[singular: ket•sál / plural: ket•sá•less]
Current exchange rates (may fluctuate)

Q7.3 / USD1.00
Q.8.6 / EUR1.00

Don't change money at the airport
(terrible exchange rate).

You can get cash from ATMs, located in all major hotels and most banks.

Dollars (but not euros) are accepted in most restaurants and stores; however, you may lose heavily on the exchange rate.

If you bring US dollars in cash, be sure the bills are not ripped, torn, or defaced. If they are, they may be rejected.

Credit Cards

Visa is by far the most widely accepted credit card in Guatemala. MasterCard and American Express are also accepted, but less so, in urban areas.

(We'll send much more detail well before you pack.)

About your hosts

Atlas Network is a nonprofit organization founded to strengthen the freedom movement worldwide. It connects a global network of more than 450 free-market organizations in over 90 countries to the ideas and resources needed to advance the cause of liberty. Atlas Network does not receive funds from any government; it relies solely on voluntary gifts from those who cherish the principles of a free society.

Universidad Francisco Marroquín was founded in 1971 with liberty in mind. Its mission is to "teach and disseminate the ethical, legal, and economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons." UFM operates with a startup ethos that is disruptive to traditional academia: no tenure, a board composed of business people and entrepreneurs, departments with balanced budgets, and an academic atmosphere were all students–from architecture to medicine to filmmaking–learn the connection between prosperity and liberty. In February 2018, UFM will open a campus in Madrid. It will be the first Latin American university to operate in Europe.

Contact information

If you are interested in joining the tour, or would like more information, please contact

Stephanie Lips at Atlas Network
Telephone: (914) 484-1523

Lissa Hanckel at UFM
Telephone: (305) 394-6672

Tour is open to both Atlas Network and UFM donors, as well as to anyone who would like a deeper look of who we are and what we do with an eye to supporting our work.