Santa Cruz La Laguna

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Santa Cruz La Laguna is a municipality in the Sololá department of Guatemala. It is located on the northern shore of Lake Atitlán and has a population of approximately 9000 people.

Village[edit]

Santa Cruz is a traditional Mayan village located on the steep mountainside of the lake, roughly 325 vertical feet above the lake's surface (population: approximately 3,100). The village has the unique characteristic of being accessible only by boat or footpath. A single, winding road connects the dock to the village. There is a very rough road connecting Santa Cruz to Solola which is used to transport heavy goods, concrete blocks, furniture, and a few vehicles.

The village has no roads, telephone system, or commercial center, although a common gathering place in the village is the sports court, used for basketball and soccer by the children of the village. Electricity is intermittent and expensive, and is therefore not installed in many households.

CECAP and Amigos de Santa Cruz[edit]

Santa Cruz is home to the Centro de Capacitacion ("Training Center") trade school, commonly referred to as CECAP. The school, funded by the nonprofit Amigos de Santa Cruz Foundation and private donations, officially opened in fall 2010. The school features a computer lab, carpentry workshop, culinary school, and sewing production center with roughly 350 Santa Cruz residents taking part in training courses each year. The CECAP building also contains two social enterprise businesses run by graduates of the CECAP training programs: Cafe Sabor Cruceño and Manos Cruceñas Artisan Store.

Amigos de Santa Cruz runs a variety of education and economic empowerment programs across Santa Cruz municipality including early education programs, women's small business incubation, sex education, and high school and university scholarships.

La Iguana Perdida[edit]

The La Iguana Perdida (literally, "The Lost Iguana") is a hostel at the base of the village popular among tourists visiting Santa Cruz. The Iguana provides both long- and short-term accommodations, and is also home to a diving school. The hostel offers communal meals and a bar, as well as entertainment and laundry services.

Laguna Lodge[edit]

Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve begins at the lake front and sprawls to escarpments and high altitude tropical dry forest. Laguna Lodge is the gateway to 100 acres of safe walking on this bio diverse land. Situated in Tzantizotz which in local Kaqchikel is Point of Bats, it begins at the lakes edge at 1,565 m (5135 ft). The top of the reserve is at 1,963m (6,440 ft) with some of the last remaining primary forest on the lake. On some days the top is bathed in clouds. Well maintained paths for every fitness level traverse old Mayan trails. Palm thatched resting pavilions offer panoramic views of the entire lake.

Kayak Guatemala & Los Elementos Adventure Center and Spa[edit]

Base camp for exploring Lake Atitlan Guatemala. Offering kayak excursions, hiking the mountains surrounding the lake, or private boat tours. Family friendly and ready to help you have a unique holiday experience. Specializing in experiences that highlight the Mayan culture. Los Elementos Adventure Center and Day Spa and Kayak Guatemala creating jobs for locals and supports our non-profit Amigos de Santa Cruz. Any tour or excursion you arrange will help support this non-profit organization. Concierge service and all inclusive packages. Custom and taylor made tours to specific interests.

Cafe Sabor Cruceño[edit]

Cafe Sabor Cruceño features a mix of traditional Guatemalan dishes and traveller favourites with one of the best view of Lake Atitlan. Run by the graduates of CECAP's culinary program, the restaurant provides training, professional development opportunities and employment to young chefs in Santa Cruz. Open Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm and for dinner on Friday nights for "Pizza Night" depending on the season. Tradiational Guatemalan cooking classes are also available. Located in the CECAP building in the main village of Santa Cruz (10-15min walk or 5min tuc-tuc).

All profits support the Santa Cruz community through nonprofit Amigos de Santa Cruz.

Manos Cruceñas Artisan Store[edit]

Manos Cruceñas Artisan Store stocks a wide range of woven, beading, embroidered and welded artisan products made by local artisans trained through the CECAP trade school. Artisan beading and weaving classes are also available. Open Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm and located in the CECAP building in the main village of Santa Cruz (10-15min walk or 5min tuc-tuc).

All profits support the Santa Cruz community through nonprofit Amigos de Santa Cruz.

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Coordinates: 14°44′40.2″N 91°12′25.2″W / 14.744500°N 91.207000°W / 14.744500; -91.207000