Join Andy on a Journey Back to Guatemala, Mission: Golf & Life

View of Guatemala City.

View of Guatemala City.

Please join me as I return to Guatemala in late March on a Mission of Golf & Life. When I visited Guatemala for the first time during the “Journey to Olympic Golf” I was inspired by the country, the people, and the golf. This trip, tentatively outlined below, combines three days of playing golf, three days of volunteerism and one day watching the final round of the NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica on the Fuego Maya Course at the La Reunion Resort & Residences, a Dye Design, in Antigua. This is a great way to see and know a country and its people, play golf and give something back, all in one trip.

The Guatemala flag flies over the Top Tee Cayala public practice facility. The two sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean Sea).

The Guatemala flag flies over the Top Tee Cayala public practice facility. The two sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean Sea).

On Monday, March 24th we will travel to Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA). All travel, lodging, transfers, and golf will be arranged by me and my sister Joanne, a certified travel agent from Long Island. I will be your host on the trip and will be assisted by local people I know. You will be treated like family, like I was, and your safety is reasonably assured throughout your visit to Guatemala. Although I know a great mechanic, Olaf, in Guatemala City we will not be traveling in Torch as I did. She is in Panama City and will act as a consultant on this trip from afar. When everyone arrives, after checking into a great boutique hotel (for the next four nights) we will go on a guided tour of Guatemala City, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala. Afterwards we will enjoy a welcome dinner together and learn the details of our upcoming three days of volunteer work.

A peaceful place- the 10th green overlooking Lake Amatitlan. Notice the two domes to the right.

A peaceful place- the 10th green overlooking Lake Amatitlan. Notice the two domes to the right.

On Tuesday, March 25th we will play Hacienda Nueva, a Larry Packard design (same as Copperhead at Innisbrook)  and enjoy a night of first rate entertainment.

Wednesday, March 26th will be our first day of volunteering for the House of Rafael Ayau, the oldest and largest orphanage in Guatemala. Mother Inés (Ayau Garcia) and the nuns of Holy Trinity Monastery provide shelter and education to the high-school level to children from newborn babies to adolescents of sixteen years of age. In the evening we will be joined at dinner by a Guatemala couple to learn more about the history and culture of Guatemala.

CLICK here to learn more about the House of Rafael Ayau and the Monastery of the Holy Trinity.

CLICK here to learn more about mission work at the House of Rafael Ayau.

With Nico Asturias who's mission it was to bring golf to the public and kids in Guatemala. Mission Accomplished with the help of architect Perry Dye and others!

With Nico Asturias who’s mission it was to bring golf to the public and kids in Guatemala. Mission Accomplished with the help of architect Perry Dye and others!

On Thursday, March 27th we will do a second day of volunteer work. In the evening we will visit the Top Tee Cayala, a futuristic and fun public practice golf facility. We can even go across the street for a little shopping spree at Paseo Cayala.

On Friday, March 28th’ we will complete our volunteer work, travel to and stay the next two nights at the Mayan Golf Club in the outskirts of Guatemala City. The club overlooks Lake Amatitlan and Pacaya Volcano which last erupted on May 27, 210 and covered the golf course with six inches of volcanic ash. Let’s hope for two quiet nights of inactivity!

With Sister Yvonne of the Holy Trinity Monastery.

With Sister Yvonne of the Holy Trinity Monastery.

On Saturday, March 29th we will play the historic Mayan Golf Club and afterwards visit the Holy Trinity Monastery overlooking Lake Amatitlan. I first met Sister Yvonne at the Mayan Golf Club and look forward to seeing her again and meeting Mother Inés (Ayau Garcia). After visiting Guatemala City and doing some volunteer work I think this day will be a special one. Hopefully we will be “in the zone” both on and off the golf course. There is something about being around an active volcano that brings a special perspective to life!

Sunday morning, March 30th we will travel a short distance  to La Reunion Resort and Residences (the whole trip is tightly compacted, La Reunion is within 60 kilometers (30 miles) of the GUA airport in Guatemala City) to watch the final round of the Stella Artois Open. Can you guess what the featured drink will be? We will enjoy the resort for our final two nights in Guatemala! La Reunion is surrounded by two volcanoes- one active (Fuego) and the other inactive (Agua). When I first arrived at night there was a fiery red ribbon of lava. Again, let’s hope for a quiet visit.

Fuego Course at La Reunion with Volcano Fuego... keep your eye on the volcano, you never know!

Fuego Course at La Reunion with Volcano Fuego… keep your eye on the volcano, you never know!

On Monday, March 31st we will tee it up and play the Fuego Course ourselves! Play where the pros play and play to their Sunday hole locations! Monday evening we will visit the nearly 500-year old city of Antigua, do some sightseeing and have dinner.

Sadly on Tuesday, April 1st we will leave Guatemala and travel home. I am working on airfare, lodging and golf pricing as you read this. My first look at airfare looked pretty reasonable from Jacksonville either through Miami or Houston. If you are interested in this trip please contact me at AndyReistetter@gmail.com and we will work up a firm price quotation for you. Included in the quotation will be a $100 donation to The First Tee and a $100 donation to the House of Rafael Ayau.

I hope you can join me on this Journey to Guatemala, Mission: Golf & Life.

 

 

 

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