Taking The Next Step: Choosing Belize or Guatemala

Download Feb 2012 175If you are concerned by the changes taking place with climate chaos, global economy, and peak resource depletion, and want to take active steps to prepare, you may be interested in The Next Step Seminar, which Dr. Guy McPherson and others will facilitate in Belize on May 24-31, 2014, and in Guatemala on June 12-25, 2014.

Both seminars will delve into the Core Human Needs and how to provide for them without relying on industrial inputs.

While both seminar locations will provide you an in-depth exploration of the Core Human Needs and how you can prepare to meet them with increasing independence from the industrial economy, there are a few differences between the two seminar locations and how we will explore the topics of the seminar in each location.

The Next Step Seminar in Guatemala

Frutas del Mundo in Guatemala is an off-grid agroforestry education center and wholesale nursery. Its guesthouse provides the basics (a warm, safe place for you and your things, bed, toilet, shower, clean water) with no frills. There is limited power to charge phones, cameras, and the like. In Guatemala, you can expect to do a lot of walking on uneven natural surfaces. In Guatemala, you’ll be staying in a quad-occupancy dorm room or an open loft space in the guesthouse where you will take a hammock or a foam mat on the wooden floor (or a tent, if you prefer to bring one), where the cold-water shower (usually refreshing in the warm tropical weather) and two composting toilets are shared among all the attendees. Meals in Guatemala will be prepared in a local home kitchen by local cooks with experience preparing meals for seminar groups like ours.

Frutas del Mundo is beautiful, remote, rough-and-ready, and entirely focused on the provision of agroforestry education and off-grid food, mainly in the form of fruit trees, solar-dried fruit, noni juice, and live fish raised via aquiculture.

The Guatemala seminar will NOT have Internet access — unless you wish to create your own hotspot via a 3G-equipped smartphone, obtain a local SIM card, and keep trying to connect until you are able to pull in the spotty, variable 3G signal on the farm.

The folks at Frutas del Mundo are very friendly. Everyone besides your bilingual facilitators Dwight, John and Parama speaks only Spanish.

The Next Step Seminar in Belize

The accommodations at Cotton Tree Lodge in Belize are a bit more plush than those at Frutas del Mundo, Guatemala. You’ll share your lodging in Belize with only one or two other people, as opposed to three or more in Guatemala.  You will sleep in a real bed in a furnished room, which is among the available options in Guatemala, along with sleeping in a hammock, on a foam pad on the wooden floor, or in your own tent. And, you and your roommates will have your own bathroom with with hot and cold running water. The dining room is large and inviting with fairly reliable Internet access. The seminar in Belize offers more personal privacy during non-activity hours and more access to amenities, including Internet access.

Cotton Tree Lodge is beautiful, remote, polished and comfortable. The Cotton Tree Lodge, which consistently gets high marks on Trip Advisor for accommodations, ambience, tours, and food service, is staffed with friendly folks who are trained to accommodate the needs of English-speaking tourists new to Central America.

The Next Step Seminar: Belize or Guatemala?

In addition to the seminar presentations given by Guy, Dwight, Parama and John, the seminar in Belize includes two tours: a tour of a working off-grid cacao farm, where we will explore the Core Human Needs of Food and Medicine, and a trip to a beautiful natural cave and waterfall, where we will delve into the topic of Water.

In Guatemala, we will take more time over the two weeks of the seminar to delve into the Core Human Needs (as described on the About page), as our explorations of these topics will involve more hiking and walking to see how we are meeting those Core Human Needs on the ground. We will cover all the same topics with fewer day trips during the one-week seminar in Belize. In Guatemala, we will cover the same material via local hikes and tours close to the off-grid farm where we will be staying.

The seminar tuition for both Belize and Guatemala includes all your lodging, transportation, and meals from your arrival at the Guatemala City, Guatemala or Punta Gorda, Belize airport through breakfast on the last day of the seminar.

The discrepancy in price comes down to the difference in the accommodations and amenities and what the organizers must pay to hold the seminar at each respective location.

To learn more, check out the seminar About page or Register page.

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