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Art Classes in Guatemala!

Art Classes in Panajachel,
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala!

Ongoing Art Classes
2023 ~ 2024
& we have added
Mosaic Classes April 2024

We are excited to sponsor a series of art classes taught by our friend Susanne Riedl.  The first class will be held on 12 February 2023.

Come for a wonderful vacation & painting & drawing classes

with many other art & crafts classes & workshops to come!

Contact: Susanne Riedl at susannaeva@gmail.com

Tel/WhatsApp: Guatemala 




We will be doing a limited number of
fairs and festivals in 2023-2024

Festival Season is Back!

Yayyy! (after Covid is over 2022)

We couldn't be happier, and by the looks of attendance and sales

at the Festivals, the public feels exactly the same!

Come see us anytime if we are anywhere near you,

and feel free to order from our website as well.

We are so glad that the world is opening uponce again!

It's been a very long time.


Coronavirus 2020-2022 Pandemic

We have continued our Scholarships, Homework Helpers & Good Works during the panemic,

but a lot of it is being done online or through Zoom.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 -2022, we have halted all in-person sales except online, as festivals, fairs, stores & more are almost alll shut down. We can offer what you find here in our online catelog and write us for any custom order. Thanks!
In the meantime, we are doing what we can for the local indigenous Mayans by providing free masks for families, canes for the elderly and funds for the Emergency Food Drive for those who are out of work since the borders and airport has closed overnight in Guatemala, leaving much of the country out of work. 

These small efforts of making canes and masks has created small businesses people can do from their home here in Guatemala without risk of infection. Every little bit helps!


Donated seed money to make canes for the elderly, for a small business that can work from home without risk of infection, and does not rely on tourism for income or sales.

Doña Gloria with new cane, mask and medicines for diabetes & transportation to the doctor twice a day.


Lidia , in her beautiful hand-embroidered juipile, before masks were required...


Donation to the local ambulance / volunteer firefighters for the
Coronavirus Emergency Food Drive. 2020


* * * * *


2020 & 2021: It's a New Year to help students finish up their four year educational degrees. Many have been able to attend their advanced studies going to Quetzaltenango — or "Xela" in the Guatemalan Highlands one day a week, while working at their regular jobs during the week, and doing a ton of homework to turn in on Saturdays.

(Note: during Coronvirus Pandemic and lockdown in 2020-2021, students have all been attending classes ONLINE, and education continues!)

They attend classes all day on Saturdays, often after a 3 or 4 hour bus ride to get there (leaving at 4 a.m.!) and then sitting through classes all day, then back home again in the early evening, tired but with another successful day completed. This shows you just how motivated young people are here in Guatemala to get a higher education, which is almost impossible for most.

And it only costs $1,000.00 USD a YEAR to put them through Higher Education at the University level, plus laptop, cell phone and bus transportation. I hope everyone considers helping this way. A good portion of our sales goes for scholarships for just this purpose. For more information, contact us directly at AtitlanArts@gmail.com. Gracias!


2017, 2018 & 2019: For the past three years, scholarships continue for Higher Education, English classes, art & computer classes, laptop computers, printers and family medical care for up to 20 students at a time. This is what it is all about, isn't it? Making GENERATIONAL CHANGE and everyone in the program has earned it themselves! BRAVO!

I urge everyone to help fund a scholarship for someone for Higher Education, as the university here in Guatemala costs only $1,000.00 USD per YEAR, not per month! Plus a laptop, books and transportation to classes which students can pay for part of.

There are accelerated courses where students can attend classes on Saturdays, and continue to work during the week. It changes everything in someone's life as when they graduate, they can then pay for education for their own children, and their children's children and on and on and on... and ultimately it makes for GENERATIONAL CHANGE. One more family pulled out of never-ending poverty by their own efforts and some small financial help from us.

All for $1,000.00 USD per year.

Paying half is a great motivator. One does not have to pay for a full scholarship to help; it can be shared with someone else or the student can work and save for partial payment. The money is always given directly to the school, and to no other. This ensures the money gets to where it is supposed to be going. Receipts and grades are checked regularly.

This scholarship program is probably one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life, and I have that small unexpected inheritance to fall in my lap to help get this program started. What a surprise!

Now we put it in God's Hands to find more ways to keep it going.

We offer a Hand Up, not a Hand out!


Homework Helpers, Scholarships & Higher Education Program

"Homework Helpers" in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan [Fwd: FOTOS DE ESCUELITA
8 messages

Catherine S. Todd <ctodd1000@gmail.com> Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 3:03 PM
2017: See attached photos of our new program for "Homework Helpers" at work in our place in Pana. Cristian, who also teaches music part time at one of the schools and his "right hand man" Jose are helping the students with their homework in our large apartment in Panajachel since I have two computers, printers, internet and more that they can use.
I hope we will be able to expand this to a lot more students as time passes. They currently have thirty minutes on the computer once a week in public school, and very large class sizes with one teacher and no aides. I am very glad that Cristian and Jose are willing and able to do this when there aren't a lot of bead orders to get out.
We now have 24 students signed up for scholarships, which includes all the employees, their families and siblings and all the children of the artisans. It's a lot, but I thank God every day for the small inheritance I received which will be such a blessing for so many. It's a miracle, really.
Will update soon once the students begin school mid-January 2017. Very excited about this!
XXOO Catherine Todd

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cristian Eduardo Alinán Sacach <crissdj.777@gmail.com>
Date: 2016-04-08 14:45 GMT-04:00
To: "Catherine S. Todd" <ctodd1000@gmail.com>

El 8 de abril de 2016, 12:26, Cristian Eduardo Alinán Sacach <crissdj.777@gmail.com> escribió:
adjunto fotos de los jóvenes de la escuelita.
Cristian Alinán
Cell: 5126-8421 & Oficina: 7762-1004
Gracias por su confianza
Si Dios con nosotros, quien contra nosotros, bendiciones.

"The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need do is set our sails."

AtitlanArts.com and Guatemalan Arts & Crafts
Catherine Todd, Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala or
3007 Bent Tree Dr. Oxford NC 27565 USA
Free NC Tel to call USA or Guatemala: 919-725-7336

12 attachments

Fall of 2016 to 2019:


We have started "Homework Helpers" and the "Higher Education Fund" in the late Fall of 2016, and January 2017 when the students return to school. We will be paying full scholarships for the next two years for 12 students going to school for college preparatory, professional degrees or higher education at the universities in Xela or Guatemala City, or private schools in Solola or Panajachel.

Our excellent accountant Nicolas Ramos will be administering the program and monitoring the students, their grades and meetings with the parents. We have an internet laboratory open every day morning to night, with 6 computers, 3 printers and high-speed internet with Cristian and Jose as tutors and mentors at all times.


2019 - 2020 UPDATE: We have been able to provide scholarships for most students through 2019, and opening markets in Europe to sell keychains and beautiful beadwork to see many more students graduate from Higher Education. Generational Change!

We pay for all employees to take English classes, and will bring in special tutors giving group English classes or aid with particular subjects the students need help with.

We also offer arts & crafts and outdoor activities and materials after school or during school breaks. This is all free to the students in the scholarship program. I have paid for all of this out of my own savings and with earnings from AtitlanArts.com and Guatemalan Arts & Crafts.

Thanks to all the customers who have helped make this possible, and to my own relatives who left me a small inheritance that has helped make this dream come true. I couldn't e happier especially when we realize that college for some of the students only costs $1,000.00 USD per year in Guatemala, which is almost impossible for many to pay, but is EASY for we gringos to provide.


What an incredible difference we can all make for truly motivated students who just need a small hand up, not a handout. It's really easy to do and I am so grateful that this is so.


There is no free school or student loans in Guatemala, so this will be of great benefit to everyone concerned. This will also make Generational Change, as when these young people have professional jobs they will be able to send their children to school and the lives of the entire family will change for the better!

I am very happy and proud that we are in a position to help all of our employees and their siblings and families, and doing more for the artisans and their families. Plus we were able to find wonderful Dr. Mike and HealingTheChildren.org for hearing aids for one of our of our artisans, the wife of Nicolas of Santiago.

We take no salaries, and are donating all profit and a good percentage of my personal savings to accomplish these new educational and medical projects, and will be looking for ways for our artisans and family members to work on income-producing projects to generate funds for scholarships which will make generational change.


I couldn't be happier about this wonderful program and will keep this section updated as the years and semesters pass by. Thanks to all the customers of AtitlanArts.com who have also made this educational scholarships possible. Gracias, amigos, and gracias a Dios!




 1. Three students working in the computer laboratory (above)

 2. Rosario working on one of the laptops in the computer lab (above)


3. Cristian (on crutches) helping Pablo David with mathematics (David passed!) 


 4. Rosario with her 2016 grades! (how to right this photo in Shopify?)


* * * * * * 

Rosario Ratzan with Catherine Todd in Santiago, Atitlan (2012)


Rosario Ratzan Tiney & Catherine Todd (right), beading co-op in Santiago

Life School in Panajachel (above)

Women from new beading co-op in San Jorge la Laguna (above)

Long Way Home: building a technical school in Comalapa


2009-2010-2011  Projects we help support or are developing:

LifeSchoolweb.com ~ new computer lab, walkways for the school

Workshops to bring new designs and training to the artisans, to open up new international markets

Working with Beading Co-ops with women from San Jorge la Laguna, Santiago and other villages around the lake

Free eye exams with subsequent medical treatment, glasses and eye operations as required

Backpacks, school supplies and scholarships for students and the schools


Building construction with recycled materials and working with LongWayHome,Inc.org

   who is building with used tires, rammed earth, plastic bottle "bricks" using plastic water bottles filled with sand or dirt.

Survivors of hurricane Agatha in June 2010 ~ food, clothing, cash to buy new tools and household goods.

 A second hurricane blew through just two months later, again with huge mudslides, houses falling into the river or the lake, bridges washed out, roads destroyed, and big boulders crashing down on market areas which caused the roads to be closed for over  two months, and killing or injuring many residents. Add in a volcano eruption, airport closed in Guatemala to clean off the ash, and a giant sink hole that appeared nearly 60 feet deep, swallowing an entire clothing factory in Guatemala City.  It had been five years since Hurricane Stan, which destroyed much of the town of Panajachel and villages around the lake. Just as recovery was almost complete, these second climate changes did a repeat performance. The people pray and pick up what they can and start rebuilding immediately. It's really incredible to watch them work together and we do all we can do to help.



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