A large group of travelers and school children in Guatemala sit in rows, raising their fists and smiling.

Exploring Guatemala’s Limitless Horizons

By: Adela Warner, Guatemala traveler and Co-leader of Rise’s CO, Boulder – 3 chapter

Traveling to the Limitless Horizons Ixil school and community with Together Women Rise was more than just a trip; it was a profound journey of enrichment and empowerment. As we embarked on this adventure, we were filled with anticipation for the positive impact we would experience learning about the school’s mission for empowering women, young girls and boys, and even men for gender equality and crafting a brighter future for all.

Our trip began in Antigua Guatemala, where 11 women, including my mother and me, gathered under the guidance of the fearless leaders of Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI) one of Rise’s grantees. From the moment we arrived, it was evident that every detail had been meticulously planned, from the touring of local markets and shops to the seamless coordination of meals and hotel stays.Two women travelers hug three school children in Guatemala.

Venturing into the mountains of Chajul, Guatemala we immersed ourselves in the local culture, guided by the welcoming embrace of the community. The LHI school stood as a beacon of hope, providing invaluable support to young girls and boys through engaging classes and activities.

Despite the challenges faced by the community, such as the lingering effects of the Civil War that ended in 1996, there was a palpable sense of resilience and determination to rebuild lives and create opportunities for growth. The traditional clothing worn by the girls and women, with their red skirts symbolizing the bloodshed during the Civil War’s genocide, served as a poignant reminder of the community’s history and the ongoing healing process.

Three school children hold up their crafts to the camera.One of the most moving aspects of our journey was witnessing the creativity and talent of the LHI students. From poetry to dance to theory in math class, they expressed themselves with an inspiring sense of freedom and gratitude and determination to study. The school goes beyond just the classroom, offering mentorship and also pathways to university so that the kids can keep climbing towards success. Dedicated educators empower students regardless of background. The school fosters dreams and cultivates future leaders.

Our days were busy with immersive activities, but they struck the right balance; I never felt overwhelmed. One particularly memorable highlight involved crafting puppets with the students, a delightful endeavor made possible by the generous contribution of materials from Judy Warner, one of our Rise travelers, for the school’s library party. As we danced, played, and crafted alongside the children, the joy on their faces was simply priceless.

Two travelers admire woven garments at an artisan booth in Guatemala. One traveler is pointing to a fabric and the artisan is watching.

Another highlight was dining with the mothers of the students in their homes for lunch. This experience allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of their daily lives and the challenges they face. The mothers graciously shared their traditions, teaching us skills like making tortillas and weaving. Through these interactions, we saw firsthand the challenges of living with dirt floors and limited resources. Additionally, we recognized the lingering influence of machismo—a cultural belief in male dominance that restricts women’s rights and opportunities. These insights reinforced the importance of our support through Together Women Rise.

A little girl hugs a traveler in Guatemala. Both smile at the camera.

Reflecting on our journey, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible opportunity we have to make a real difference in the lives of those we met.

Seeing the impact of Together Women Rise’s $50,000 grant to LHI was truly inspiring—it showed the immense power of collective action in creating positive change and shaping a brighter future for everyone involved.

This trip wasn’t just about sightseeing—it was about meaningful engagement and making a difference. Directly interacting with communities and organizations like LHI allowed us to understand their challenges firsthand and actively contribute to solutions. It’s a reminder of the impact we can have when we come together with a shared purpose.

Looking ahead, I’m eagerly anticipating more opportunities for impactful travel experiences organized by Together Women Rise. These journeys not only enrich our own lives but also enable us to continue making a tangible difference in communities worldwide.

I’m excited to share our story and the amazing work of LHI with the Boulder Virtual Chapter on May 16th at 9:30 AM MST. Everyone is welcome to join us for what promises to be an enlightening discussion. If you’re interested, please reach out to adela@infinityhealingworks.com for the meeting link. Let’s come together and keep pushing for positive change and empowerment.