Ringed by rugged green ridgelines, towering volcanoes and twelve indigenous villages, the sparking deep blue Lake Atitlan is truly one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. After enjoying breakfast at our lakeside accommodations, we board a “lancha” for a boat tour of the lake, en route to the village of San Juan La Laguna. The boat ride across the lake takes about an hour. Along the way, we’ll spot several red- roofed villages perched on the steep hillsides cascading down to the lake and wave to fisherman in traditional dugout canoes pulling in their early-morning catch. San Juan La Laguna is a traditional Mayan community where most speak Tz'utujil, one of 23 indigenous Mayan dialects in Guatemala. Closely related to the larger Kaqchikel and K'iche native tongues, there are about 84,000 native Tz'utujil speakers today, concentrated in the southern corner of Lake Atitlan. Spanish is a distant second language for many in the community, so practice your Tz'utujil phrases! (Here’s a primer: thank you: malty-ush; good morning: sack-iri; how are you: uutz-aawach). With our guide, we’ll explore the town and witness the strong sense of community pride which exists there. We’ll visit a women’s weaving cooperative and sitting side by side with these artists, learn the traditional weaving and dying methods used by the Maya for generations. Depending on your family’s interests, you may also visit a medicinal plant and natural products cooperative or the community’s fair-trade, shade-grown coffee plantation: La Voz Cooperative. Started in the 1985 with the help of Heifer International, 120 indigenous families grow their coffee using traditional organic methods in small plots on the slopes of the volcanic ridgelines ringing the lake. You can also do an easy hike up above the village through the coffee fields to a lookout point over the lake with spectacular views of San Pedro volcano. The viewpoint gives you a new perspective and the chance to learn more about the complex of volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan and how the lake itself was formed by a collapsed volcano. Overnight at Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlán.