ABOUT LIMITLESS HORIZONS IXIL

Limitless Horizons Ixil believes that education is the cornerstone of creating a brighter future, both for the individual and for the community. In supporting academic and personal development and cultivating literacy skills, LHI paves the way towards a future of limitless opportunities and broad new horizons for the Ixil community of Chajul.

Chajul is a genocide-torn indigenous Maya community where few adults can read and most families live on less than two dollars a day. Limitless Horizons Ixil is rooted in this community and has grown out of its aspirations and challenges, responding to more and more needs as they build local leadership and organizational capacity to address them. What started as a simple scholarship program became much greater as they developed new initiatives to better serve youth and give them every opportunity to succeed. Limitless Horizons Ixil is the only organization of its kind in Chajul, focusing on this critical work that will enable the community to rebound from a scarred past and create the future it envisions.

itinerary

DAY 1 - OCTOBER 22, 2019

LHI staff will greet participants at the airport in Guatemala City and take them via shuttle to their hotel in Antigua. On the way, participants will catch their first glimpse of Guatemala followed by the chance to trek through the cobblestone streets of historic Antigua and view the surrounding volcanoes.

Participants will have their first PWB School lesson followed by a welcome dinner hosted at one of Antigua's delicious restaurants. 

DAY 2 - OCTOBER 23, 2019

Participants will hop on a shuttle and enjoy the beautiful journey through winding mountains, cornfields, and rustic indigenous villages on the way to their home-away-from-home in Chajul. After a stop for lunch, photos, and shopping in the market town of Chichicastenango, the group will finish the journey to Chajul and attend an orientation on "Chajulense" culture.

LESSON 1: ETHICS OF DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY

We will discuss the ethics of being a documentary photographer through contemporary and historical examples. We will talk about permission/consent, editing, safety, journalistic integrity, responsibility, framing, narratives, your power/role as a photographer, and how photography can and has impacted social change.

Assignment #1: Take photos on Day 2 and be ready to present your top 3-5 images to the group on Day 3.

DAY 3- OCTOBER 24, 2019

While in Chajul, participants will enjoy a traditional breakfast prepared by LHI youth followed by the second PWB School lesson. Afterwards, there will be a guided tour of the area as well as the chance to meet LHI’s team of change-makers. For lunch, participants will visit the home of a local family to learn how to make tortillas and to enjoy a traditional lunch. In the afternoon, participants will get a lesson on the local language of Maya Ixil.

In the evening, participants will gather to present photos from Assignment #1.

LESSON 2: THE ART OF STORYTELLING & PORTRAITURE

Art of Storytelling: Through discussion, we will identify and unveil the elements and ingredients that make a powerful story. In your first storytelling assignment, you will get hands-on, guided practice in telling a story with your images.

Portraiture: Learn hands on the components that comprise the perfect portrait.

DAY 4 - OCTOBER 25, 2019

On this day participants will visit Chajul’s colorful open-air market to meet locals, take photos, and perhaps purchase some items to take home as souvenirs. This guided tour will also include a visit to  LHI’s Saber Sin Límites Community Library. Afterwards, participants will join their host family for lunch and have a chance to document local life and the surrounding community.

DAY 5 - OCTOBER 26, 2019

This day will be spent learning and playing. In addition to a PWB School lesson, participants will have the opportunity to hang out with LHI students to either play sports or board games. This will be followed by a lesson on making boxbol, the region’s traditional food. There will be many great photo opportunities as host families go through their daily chores of firewood collection, milling corn, etc.

Participants will have the option of spending the night with their host family.

LESSON 3: COMPOSITION & EYE MOVEMENT

Learn how to tell stories by the way you move your viewer throughout your frame.  Use of light, color, shapes, multi-level photojournalism will all be shown as ways to use a single image to tell more of a story and to trap the viewers eyes.

Assignment #2: Take photos during the day’s activities and be ready to present your top 3-5 images to the group on Day 7.

DAY 6 - OCTOBER 27, 2019

Following a photography lesson on landscapes and environmental portraiture, participants will lace up their shoes/hiking boots for a trip to breathtaking Acul, referred to as the "Switzerland of Guatemala" for its green meadows and mountain views. Hikers (or those that opt to take the bus instead) will then be rewarded with a lavish three-course meal and a chance to try the village's famous fresh cheese.

LESSON 4: PHOTOGRAPHY & SOCIAL CHANGE

Through discussion and examples, we will encourage you to venture into social change and impact territory with your photography.

Assignment #3: Take photos using the techniques discussing during the lesson.

 DAY 7 - OCTOBER 28, 2019

On this day the students will become the teachers as they participate in the "Photovoz Project" with LHI's graduate fellows. This will be a chance to Introduce basic photography techniques and work with them to capture the community through their eyes. Afterwards, participants will have the chance to try their hand at the fine art of back-strap weaving with a lesson in a local home.

In the evening, participants will gather to present photos from Assignment #2.

DAY 8 - OCTOBER 29, 2019

Another day for the great outdoors as participants hike to the sacred San Andres Hill, with its sweeping views of Chajul (non-hiking option also available for those with mobility issues). This will be followed by a chance to observe and document an LHI workshop for parents as well as LHI's Artisan Program.

In the evening, participants will gather to present photos from Assignment #3.

LESSON 5: ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITURE  

Through guided practice and a fun and challenging exercise, participants will learn how to bring portraiture to the next step.

Overview of final assignment that will be due on Day 13!

DAY 9 - OCTOBER 30, 2019

This is the day for the graduation of LHI’s scholars! Participants will have the opportunity to join in the celebrations and take photos of the ceremony and activities with youth, families, and the community.

In the evening, there will be a goodbye party and a special ceremony as participants prepare to move on to their next destination.

DAY 10 - OCTOBER 31, 2019

After a traditional breakfast prepared by LHI youth, participants will say adios to Chajul and venture to Chichicastenango. There, the group will visit the largest artisan market in Guatemala, enjoy a tour of the famous church, and have lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, the group will continue on to Panajachel where they’ll have dinner and present their photos from Assignment #3. 

DAY 11 - NOVEMBER 1, 2019

Following breakfast at the hotel, participants will take in one of the most scenic lakes in the world as they travel by boat to Santa Cruz de la Laguna on Lake Atitlan. There will be a hike to a restaurant for a delicious lunch with gorgeous views over the lake and then the group will explore culturally rich San Juan with its stunning weaving traditions and numerous artisan cooperatives.

DAY 12 - NOVEMBER 2, 2019

After a quick discussing on file management and editing, participants will have a choice of activities for the rest of the day: a zipline tour, a hike of the San Pedro volcano, trekking between scenic lakeside villages, taking a boat tour of the villages or relaxing by the lake in the beautiful hotel.

LESSON 6: EDITING FOR IMPACT, METADATA & FILE MANAGEMENT

Learn some tips and best practices on file management and editing for impact.

DAY 13 - NOVEMBER 3, 2019

Participants will have the chance to work on their final assignments as well as spend some time relaxing by Lake Atitlan. There are options for swimming, kayaking, hiking, yoga, massages, etc.

In the afternoon, the group will travel to Antigua for an optional salsa lesson followed by a presentation of their final assignments and a farewell dinner.

DAY 14 - NOVEMBER 4, 2019

Homeward bound! Participants will have a final breakfast and then take the shuttle to the airport.