Explore Chiapas with MEL! – Special Fundraising Tour

 

EXPLORE CHIAPAS WITH MEL

Tour No. 2: FOR WOMEN ONLY

1 NIGHT in VILLAHERMOSA,

4 NIGHTS in SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS

2 NIGHTS in PALENQUE

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 28 – THURSDAY MARCH 7, 2019

 

2019 Rosado Tour of San Cristobal and Palenque

The price below is for the deposit, the balance will be due by December 15, 2018

Choose One, the booking deposit is per person

This tour will be escorted by Joanna Rosado, and Sergio Solis will be the guide. The two have worked together since 1988 and many of their trips have been to the breath-taking state of Chiapas. As well as sightseeing, shopping and dining experiences, tour participants will have the opportunity to visit a children’s home in San Cristobal de las Casas… and to witness centuries-old customs and rites.

Campeche’s costline

 

DAY 1: Thursday February 28: Our adventure begins!

 

Today at 7:30 am, our group will meet at Mejorada Plaza and travel via motor coach from Merida to Villahermosa. Much of the way, we’ll be driving along the Gulf of Mexico. There will be a bathroom on the bus, and we’ll make a couple of stops, but today, we will not have time for a leisurely lunch. For everyone’s comfort and security, we want to arrive at our destination before nightfall. We suggest that you bring a sandwich, fruit, water and snacks for the long ride. You may also want to bring reading material, music, knitting or other pastimes.

 

We will spend one night at the Hotel Viva in Villahermosa:

http://www.hotelviva.com.mx/

 

After checking in, we will have our “Opening Night” get-together. Our guide, Sergio Solis, will let us know where restaurants and shopping are to be found nearby. If you have items for the children’s home in San Cristobal de las Casas, please bring them to the Villahermosa get-together. We will be collecting the donations at this time… your extra suitcase will be empty and available to hold any purchases you make.

 

***

 

DAY 2: Friday March 1: Into the Sierra Madre mountains…

 

Today we will have breakfast at 7:30 am and leave the hotel at 8:00 am. Our journey will take us through the Sierra Madre mountain range. This is another long travel day and you will be provided with a box lunch once we arrive in Tuxla. However, it is suggested that you bring water and snacks… in case you want something additional to eat or drink.

 

We will take a boat tour through the breath-taking river gorge, “El Cañon del Sumidero”.

 

El Cañon del Sumidero

 

We will then continue on to San Cristobal de las Casas, and upon arrival, we’ll check into the Hotel Palacio de Monctezuma:

http://www.hotelpalaciomoctezuma.com/

 

Our guide will reconfirm that everyone knows the way to the restaurants and so on… and the evening will be yours to spend as you please.

 

***

 

DAY 3: Saturday March 2: Getting to know San Cristobal de las Casas…

 

After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel, we will meet in the lobby at 10:30 am, and go on a guided walking tour through the quaint streets of the city. We will finish up at the colorful Santo Domingo artisan market.

 

You will be free to do as you please for the rest of the afternoon and evening

Weaving for sale at the Santo Domingo Market

 

***

 

DAY 4: Sunday March 3: Experiencing the spirituality of the Highlands

The Na Bolom Museum

 

After breakfast, we will drive a short distance into the countryside to visit the villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. Here we will witness centuries-old traditions and rites and afterwards, we’ll visit a weavers’ cooperative.

 

Once we return to San Cristobal, those who wish to will have a chance to visit the Na Bolom museum, dedicated to the protection of the Lacandon, a Maya group living in the Chiapas jungle. Following the tour, the rest of the afternoon and evening will be yours to shop, socialize, and continue exploring the city.

 

***

 

                 

Visiting the children

 

DAY 5: Monday March 4: Meeting the children…

 

After breakfast at the hotel, there are two scheduled activities.

 

At 11:00 am, we will visit the Children’s Home, serve lunch and play with the kids. We will also give out gifts and other donations.

 

And at 7:30 pm, we’ll dine together at a local restaurant. This will be an opportunity for us to exchange stories of our days in San Cristobal and share friendship.

 

Apart from these two activities, today will be “your day”… to do whatever you want. There are many museums, more villages, scenic attractions, and markets you can visit. Horseback riding is available. You could have a massage or go on a hike, or find a pretty place to sketch or take photographs.

 

***

 

DAY 6: Tuesday March 5: Heading back down the mountains…

 

After breakfast, we will depart San Cristobal at 9:00 am and drive back down the mountains to Palenque.

Agua Azul Falls

 

En route we will visit either the Agua Azul or Misol-ha waterfalls, where we will have time to swim, hike, and enjoy the scenery. You will be provided with a picnic lunch, but be sure to bring additional water and snacks.

In Palenque, we will check into the Hotel Chablis.

http://www.hotelchablis.com/

 

The evening will be yours to dine, shop or stroll through scenic “La Cañada”, the area of Palenque where our hotel is located.

 

***

 

DAY 7: Wednesday March 6: Majestic & Magical Palenque

 

Our day will start with breakfast at 8:00 am.

 

Siteseeing in Palenque. Nothing can be written that adequately describes the majesty of this Maya site. Bring your camera… Or a sketch pad…

 

            

Two views of Palenque

 

We will spend all day at the site, returning to the hotel at about 4:00 pm. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be yours to spend as you like.

Campeche

 

DAY 8: Thursday March 7: On our way back home…

 

After breakfast, we will head back to Merida. We will stop for 2 hours in Campeche, where you’ll have free time to walk about, shop or have lunch.

 

We expect to be back in Merida about 5:00 pm.

 

***

 

COSTS

 

Single Occupancy:                                   $900.00 USD per person

Double Occupancy:                                 $760.00 USD per person

Triple Occupancy:                                  $720.00 USD per person

 

Deposit: 50% at time of booking; Balance by December 15, 2018

In order to properly prepare for this tour, the Merida English Library must receive a minimum of 25 reservations, with deposits, by July 1, 2018. The balance is due on December 15, 2018. So if you want to come along, don’t wait… reserve your place. All proceeds from this tour will go to the library’s expansion project.


2019 Rosado Tour of San Cristobal and Palenque

The price below is for the deposit, the balance will be due by December 15, 2018

Choose One, the booking deposit is per person




 

  • The tour cannot take place if deposits are not in by the specified date.

 

Contact the Merida English Library to learn how you can make your deposit, the balance, and also to learn about the refund policy:

 

info@meridaenglishlibrary.com / http://www.meridaenglishlibrary.com/

The organizers wish to stress that this is a somewhat adventurous tour. Every effort has been made to keep costs down and enjoyment high. The hotel websites are available for prospective tour members to peruse, but all should be advised they are not 5 star properties. The bus will be comfortable and reliable.

 

We may experience delays in the itinerary because of road blocks… this is common in Chiapas and if it happens to us, we will all need to exercise patience, and allow our guide to get us moving again.

 

LUGGAGE:

 

Participants may carry 2 suitcases and 1 carry-on, as well as a bag with food & drink. If you wish, you may also bring a small pillow and blanket onboard. One suitcase will contain your personal belongings. The other suitcase may be left empty for purchases you make. Chiapas is full of markets and lovely handcrafts are plentiful. You may wish to fill your additional suitcase with donations for the Children’s Home we will visit in San Cristobal de las Casas. Once you turn in your donations on our first night, your suitcase will be empty so that you too can fill it with purchases. Closer to our departure date we will make some suggestions of what will be useful and pleasing to the children.  

Information about the children’s home we will visit in San Cristobal de las Casas:

 

Many of the little ones who live there have been orphaned because of clashes between opposing groups (farmers vs. investors / Zapatista sympathizers vs. Government / Catholics vs. Protestants ) Unfortunately Chiapas is rife with conflicts and the children suffer most.

 

Well before our departure from Merida, the tour organizers will contact the Home and find out what the children’s current needs are. We will give the wish-list to those who want to help; all are welcome to donate in any way they can. The tour organizers will collect the donations after our get-together on the first night and sort everything. All tour members are welcome to come along to visit the children on Day 5.

 

Visiting the Home and meeting the children is always a high point of our time in San Cristobal de las Casas, and a way for us to return the hospitality of these mountain people

 

All tour participants must carry the following documentation:

 

  • A clear photocopy of your valid passport
  • A photocopy of your medical and accident insurance. The organizers will not carry additional coverage beyond that of the outsourced service providers
  • Your original migratory document
  • One additional piece of official photo ID

 

Please be aware that Chiapas is different from Yucatan. And in an unfamiliar setting, everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings, and keep safe. Always carry valuables in a zipped pouch you can carry on your person, and do not leave your personal items unattended.

Gratuities:

 

A tip for the guide and driver is included in the tour price.

Gratuities for the breakfast waiters, bell boys and room maids are not included. We suggest you tip as follows:

Breakfast waiters: 20 pesos per person, left on the table  

Bell boys: 20 pesos at check-in, 20 pesos at check-out, paid directly to the person who handles your bags

Room maids: 20 pesos per person per day, left in the room upon checkout.

 

Pre-departure Information Session:

 

In January 2019 (actual date to be announced) an information session will be held for the group participants. A slide presentation will showcase the different places we’ll be visiting. This will also be an opportunity to meet one another and ask any additional questions you may have.

 

Upon final payment of the tour, all participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver, stating their agreement with all terms and conditions of the tour:

 

PLEASE REMEMBER…

 

  • If you are paying for your tour in pesos, the USD/MEX rate of exchange on the day you make your transaction will be applied. Should a drastic currency fluctuation occur, the tour cost will be adjusted. If you should need to cancel your place on the tour, you will be refunded in pesos, using the exchange rate on the day of your initial purchase.

REFUND POLICY

Payments are fully refundable, in U.S. dollars, until the breakeven point for the trip has been reached. Once the breakeven point has been reached MEL must make payments to hotels, guides, etc., therefore a refund of the deposit is not possible. If the person requesting a refund can find another person to take over his/her reservation, the second person can then pay the first person directly

 

We hope you will join us! We’re sure you’ll enjoy yourself… If you have further questions, please visit the library website:  http://www.meridaenglishlibrary.com/   .We will be pleased to help you:

 

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(999) 924-8401
meridaenglishlibrary.acboard@gmail.com
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