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Interpreter Foundation Mesoamerica Tour


Day 1: Tuesday, October 22, Guatemala City

Our flights take us to Guatemala City, the city of Eternal Spring. Upon arrival we will transfer and check into our deluxe hotel. (No meals)

Day 2: Wednesday, Oct 23, Tikal, Petén

We will begin our tour with a visit to the large relief map of Guatemala in order to orient ourselves with the geographical overview of the country as we recall the events of the Book of Mormon. Afterwards we will explore the archaeological zone of Kaminaljuyu, a place considered by many to have been in the area settled by Nephi as the city of Nephi in the 6th century BC (see 2 Nephi 5:5-10). In the afternoon we will fly to Flores in the Peten jungle area. We will transfer to the Jungle Lodge resort, our hotel in the beautiful rain forest surrounding Tikal for the night. (In accordance with restrictions and regulations of Tikal National Park, from 10 pm until 6 am, there is only electricity for a ceiling fan, night light, and power outlet. This can change depending on seasonal demands.) (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3: Thursday, Oct 24, Guatemala City

Today we will visit the awe-inspiring, Maya archaeological zone of Tikal, occupied from 600 BC to AD 750. This dense rain forest is considered by many to be the East Wilderness where the Nephites, under the direction of the military leader Moroni, built many fortified cities during the 1st century BC (see Alma 50:7-15). New evidence shows a strong relationship between Teotihuacan and Tikal at the close of the Book of Mormon history which resulted in the downfall of the Nephite nation. We will take a return flight to Guatemala City for the night. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 4: Friday, October 25, Lake Atitlan

This morning we will visit a museum to learn about some of the artifacts discovered at some of the archaeological sites in Guatemala. Afterwards, we will bus to Antigua, the old Spanish capital of Guatemala. Several buildings date to the 16th and 17th centuries. We will visit the jade factory prior to continuing on to Lake Atitlan. En route, we will pass by the Cakchiquel Maya village of Patzicia, almost entirely destroyed by the 1976 earthquake. We will recount the courage and faith of the missionaries and members of the Patzicia stake. We will continue on our trek to the village of Panajachel and check into our hotel that is nestled on the shore of Lake Atitlan. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 5: Saturday, October 26, Lake Atitlan

Flanked by three dramatic volcanoes, Lake Atitlan has been a scenic retreat for over 2000 years. It has been proposed by many LDS scholars as a site for the Waters of Mormon where Alma organized the church of Christ in the first century BC (see Mosiah chapters 18 and 19). The day will consist of a cruise on the lake to see the area where an ancient city was covered by water. This city may have been Jerusalem mentioned in Alma 21:1 or it may have been one of the other cities mentioned in 3 Nephi 9:7. The afternoon will be free for shopping or relaxing or other available activities. A fireside presentation will be given in the evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6: Sunday, October 27, Huehuetenango

After attending church with a local branch, we will check out of our hotel and travel higher into Guatemala’s Cuchumatanes Mountains, the proposed area for the Book of Mormon’s narrow strip of wilderness that separated the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla. This is part of the area proposed as the narrow strip of wilderness where many migrations by the Nephites and others took place. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7: Mon, Oct 28, Tuxtla Gutierrez, México

We begin our day with a visit to the post-Classic site of Zaculeu, which was the capital of the Mam Maya group and was still occupied when the Spaniards arrived. We will go “down” from the land of Nephi to the land of Zarahemla passing through areas proposed as the land of Manti and the valley of Gideon as we cross the border into Méxicoand travel to the Chiapas valley, the likely Land of Zarahemla where the Nephites had their headquarters for 550 years. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 8: Tuesday, October 29, Villahermosa

We will begin our day with a visit to the archaeological zone of Chiapa de Corzo, a candidate for the City Sidom (See Alma 15:1-8). We will then take a boat ride through the majestic Sumidero Canyon on the Grijalva River, with walls towering 3000 feet above our heads. The Grijalva has been proposed as the River Sidon of the Book of Mormon. We see the LDS Temple in Tuxtla Gutierrez as we depart for our journey to Villahermosa where we will spend the next two nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9: Wednesday, Oct 30, Villahermosa

Although only four percent of the population of the country of México live in the State of Chiapas, over 40% of the wild animals live in the Tehuantepec, Chiapas and Lacondone mountains. This is reminiscent of the statement in Ether wherein it states that the “land southward was preserved for a wilderness to get game” (Ether 10:21). We will take a two-hour bus ride to the majestic Classic period Maya ruins of Palenque. Following lunch, we will return to Villahermosa. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 10: Thursday, October 31, Catemaco

This morning we will check out of our hotel and see the LDS Temple in Villahermosa prior to visiting the outdoor La Venta Museum, a place that houses large, engraved stone monuments dating to the Jaredite time period. We will bus along Mexico’s “golden lane” passing by both the “place where the sea divides the land” (Gulf of Mexico), and the “narrow neck of land” (Isthmus of Tehuantepec). (See Ether 10:20.)
Prior to our arrival at beautiful Lake Catemaco where we will spend the night, we will pass by what has been proposed to be the hill Shim (Cintepec) where Mormon obtained the records for his history (See Mormon 1:3, 17). (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 11: Friday, November 1, Veracruz

Today is a highlight of the tour. We will check out of our hotel and visit the hill where many Latter-day Saint scholars agree to be the best candidate for the location of the hill Ramah/ Cumorah mentioned in the Book of Mormon (Mormon 6:2,6; Ether 15:11). We will travel through what is possibly the area of the waters of Ripliancum (Ether 15:8), a place that has the same meaning in the Aztec (Nahuatl) language, “exceeding large waters.” We will drive into the city of Veracruz where we will spend the night and have the opportunity to see the Veracruz LDS Temple prior to our air flight to Mexico City. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 12: Saturday, November 2, Mexico City

Today we will visit the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan. Occupied from about 200 BC to AD 900, Teotihuacan was one of the largest populated cities in the world during its peak. The inspiring pyramids of the Sun and Moon attract millions of visitors to this most popular archaeological zone in México. This may have been the great city built by King Jacob of the Gadianton Robbers (See 3 Nephi 7). We will return to Mexico City in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 13: Sunday, November 3, Mexico City

Today we will attend church with a local ward. Afterwards, we will visit the Mexico City LDS Temple and then the National Museum of Anthropology, one of the most spectacular archaeological museums in the world. Touring the museum will provide us with an excellent review of our tour and expose us to many beautiful exhibits ranging from ancient pottery to gold and jade jewelry. We will return to the hotel for the final night of the tour. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 14: Monday, November 4, Flights Home

Transferring to the Mexico City airport, we will check in for our flights home. Our journey has come to an end, but we will take with us memories that will last a lifetime. (No meals)

Conference Talks

Interpreter Conferences

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