Festival Atitlan

Festival Atitlan
March 22nd, 2014, 11AM- Midnight


We live in an amazing place. The local indigenous culture is evident in the fabric of everyday life, and all of us who have come here from somewhere Club Cultural Atitlanelse definitely appreciate the many manifestations of the Mayan cultural expression. With that said, there is a definite lack of good secular artistic cultural promotion in the Mayan highlands. The only manifestations of the western cultural drive that reach the locals are unfortunately the mass production culture presented to them on their cable TVs. There really is no attempt by anyone to bring good live free cultural events (all kinds of music, Theatre, dance, comedy, poetry, etc.) to the street level in the small towns around the lake. This would help to expand the cultural horizons of our neighbors in a positive way, and make life way more interesting for everyone in a sane, positive way. This is the idea behind the Atitlan Cultural Club. As of March, 2015, we have put on two events, one in Santiago in November, and one in San Juan in February.

I would like to put together a free crowdfunded public monthly cultural event to the indigenous towns on Lake Atitlan, bringing in a different cultural expression each month. Eventually it would be nice to be able to put on a monthly show in each town, but we are starting reasonably by planning shows slowly as our local network gets organized, and expanding the project when we have adequate funding. We have a bank account at G&T where you can deposit (write me : info@festivalatitlan.com) , or you can pay your dues through PayPal:

We have also set up a GoFundMe crowdsourcing space:

Na'ik Madera in San Juan La Laguna

Na'ik MaderaMembership Fees:

US$10 a month, $120 a year

Membership has it's benefits

Besides helping to bring education and culture to places where it would otherwise not be, we get to see some of the finest artistic expressions available anywhere, and we get to go to the pre and after parties....

One of the weaknesses of the system that we use to produce Festival Atitlan is that, even though we have a special price for local folks, a lot of the indigenous people are excluded from the event because of economic reasons. They just can’t pay for culture, or haven’t learned to do so yet. The production of that event  is made possible because everyone involved has donated their time (musicians, promoters, organizers, etc.) and the combination of the gate money with the bar sales is enough to pay for the equipment and technicians, and have a bit left over to donate to a local charity.

What I’m talking about is a bit different. While talking with the different musicians around the country I realized that even the BEST groups in the country really don’t charge that much to perform, and most of them would LOVE to play on the lake… I found out that the bigger groups charge around Q3500- Q4000. Throw in Q500 for expenses and about Q2500 for a reasonable sound system, and add another Q1000 for a local group, and you would have a GREAT show for less than US$1000. The intention is to do the performances in different public areas, and to get local committees to work out the venues. This will serve to promote culture in many ways.

So, if we had 100 people who would be willing to donate $10 a month (Q75) we could put on a great public event every month for a whole year!

A committee made up of club members decides what performers will be participating. A monthly payment system originally made sense, but people seem to forget, and it's too much work to keep reminding folks....So, if you wish to pay monthly you have to be good about it...

JasonI can just imagine seeing a native North American dance troupe or a classical ballet or theatre group getting down on the streets of our little indigenous towns. A chance to give some of that cultural gift back….


So far, the two shows we have produced have been incredible... the people in the villages really take to the music, and the inclusion of local talent has taken the whole thing to the next level! The only part that I'm having problems with is the funding...


Festival Atitlan

If you are ready to help see this become a reality, write to me and let’s get started. It’s important that we get good information about who is going to donate and how much, so please don’t hesitate to write me: info@festivalatitlan.com .

We have a bank account at G&T where you can deposit (write me : info@festivalatitlan.com) , or you can pay your dues through PayPal:

We have also set up a GoFundMe crowdsourcing space: