Santa Cruz La Laguna
Culinary & Nightlife

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Our most recommended Santa Cruz La Laguna Culinary & Nightlife

Lake Atitlan Maya Kitchen: 3-Hour Cooking Class

1. Lake Atitlan Maya Kitchen: 3-Hour Cooking Class

Experience Guatemala in an authentic and personal way as you discover the flavors of Guatemala cooking at the Lake Atitlan Maya Kitchen. A 3-hour cooking class will help you understand how Mayan culture and Spanish colonial influences produced a variety of mouth-watering dishes. You’ll have lots of hands-on fun learning how to prepare up to 3 authentic Guatemalan dishes during this class. Learn how to prepare traditional recipes and come away with all the skills you need to prepare them in your own kitchen. If you like you can visit the market with your instructor to purchase the ingredients, or leave the chef do the shopping without you. After your lesson you’ll have a sufficient amount of the prepared food to feed your family or other group members. You’ll take home a printed copy of the recipes as well. The instructor will demonstrate the preparation of each recipe with explanations so you’ll have a complete understanding of the ingredients and the process. Private classes can be arranged for individuals, in addition to the shared classes for small groups. The Mayan cooks in the program are native to Lake Atitlan, and they carry on the rich traditions and culture that are expressed in the food. If you choose to include a market visit with your cooking program, you should plan on an additional 1-2 hours. Note that the instructors speak English or Spanish, or a little of both. All proceeds support the community of Santa Cruz La Laguna through the local nonprofit Amigos de Santa Cruz which runs education and economic empowerment programs (check out amigosdesantacruz.org or Amigos de Santa Cruz Foundation on Facebook for more information) Classes are taught by Claudia, a local graduate of Amigos' culinary program, and run for 3 hours with a plated 3-course lunch included on the patio overlooking Lake Atitlan. 

Santa Cruz Guatemala: Los Elementos Community Tour

2. Santa Cruz Guatemala: Los Elementos Community Tour

Learn about the projects to improve the education and provide a higher standard of living for the indigenous Mayans of Santa Cruz. Amigos de Santa Cruz have been active in the remote village for over 15 years, making great progress in improving the education of the children, providing opportunites for higher education, and teaching better nutrition, self-awareness, and citizen responsibility. See how programs, such as early childhood education, community development, sex education, and sustainable food production are helping to improve the lives of the locals, and how the farmers are yielding better crops through permaculture and organic gardening. Visit the retail craft store to find unique handicrafts made by the students, including aprons, bags, beaded jewelry, wood and metal items, children's puzzles, puppets, and candlestick holders. Go to the town square with its centuries old church, and visit a family home to watch women practice the art of the backstrap loom. During your tour, a delicious lunch will be served by the students in the student run café inside the vocational training center. Help plant a seed of hope for a better future with your visit, and learn more about this ancient culture along the way.

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