Dear all --Well, as I reread last year's letter that I just pulled up on the computer, I can see that I shouldn't have been quite so sure of myself assuming we were on a growth only track!! We took a big step backwards in terms of number of folks coming to Guatemala this winter, but then, so did everybody else in travel-related businesses. Inquiries and registrations totally stopped on 9/11 - and they really didn't start coming in again until February. I canceled 12 classes (out of 17). So, it's a good thing I stashed a little savings last year.
The good news, however, is we are all safe and sound and the world continues to go on day by day - even tho sometimes it seems we sit on the precipice of world disaster. People seem to be ready to travel again, which is good. We Americans tend to have such a narrow view of the world - and as the world shrinks - it becomes more and more important for us to learn about and understand other cultures. It's one thing to read about how peoples lives can be so different than our own - it's another whole ball game to see it up close. Also, importantly, my kids are healthy and happy, and the classes we did hold were great, and we had a number of repeat folks. It's always so nice to see familiar faces again - and they often comment on how much richer the experience is the second time around. I've been very lucky with our help in Guatemala. Linda Tibbitts and Edith Cortez were fabulous helpers and they made the experience better for everyone. The schedule has not changed much over the past few years. I really am happy with the instructors and classes we offer. But we do have a few new faces - Annette Compton is a friend of an old Antigua friend and holds watercolor workshops all over the world; Barbara Broff Goldman, a participant from a few years ago, is offering a papermaking/book arts class; and I'm excited to be adding a ceramics workshop with Melinda Collins. Melinda moved to Antigua two years ago and has built a beautiful ceramics studio that she'll share with us. Now, I'd like to ask for your help. (No, it's not a pitch for money) It's to ask some help in spreading the word. I'm enclosing an extra schedule. Would you give it to someone who might be interested in the kind of experience we offer?? And then read the enclosed sheet. I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones happy, healthy and thriving. Have a wonderful summer and come visit us again in Guatemala !! Big hugs from Liza, Jessenia and Tommy