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Project Philosophy

Ancient Site, Modern Town

19th Century: The Finca


Economic and Cultural Challenges

The Cooperative and
the Town Today

Cautions for Western Visitors

Employment and Other Needs

Tourism and Crafts

Development Goals



Chocolá Community: Tourism Potential and Local Crafts

Opportunities for tourism abound at Chocolá that can benefit associated businesses that Chocolenses could develop, including tour guiding, language schools, water sports, hotels, and restaurants.

The astonishing natural beauty of the immediate region around the town is evident in piedmont jungle, numerous fast-flowing streams and rivers, natural springs, many emanating from caves still held sacred by Maya ritualists, and nearby volcanic ranges.

The ancient site, itself, is being declared a protected area by the Guatemalan government and planning, long-term, for a national archaeological park similar to parks at Tikal, T’akalik Ab’aj, and other ancient Maya cities will proceed.

The project is working with foreign governments, notably the Federal Republic of Germany, to restore high Victorian buildings dating to the time of German ownership of the giant finca, and to create museums for both the prehispanic and the post-colonial periods; utilizing still intact early coffee processing machinery, the latter receives special focus because of the possibility of creating a “living museum” of late 19th century-early 20th century coffee processing at Chocolá’s beneficio de café. The project also is working with prominent museologists from the United States to create these museums.

Traditional Guatemalan arts and crafts, from textiles to furniture-making, provide a basis for tourism and future economic development.


The stunning scenery around Chocolá makes for great hiking and points to great potential
for ecotourism in the near future.

Nearby Lake Atitlán is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the Americas.

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