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  • Writer's pictureBruce Clemens

Mark Your Calendars!

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

Please support the Bill Copacino Memorial Cornell Course and 2023 Annual Summit - July 23-August 6, 2023 in Guatemala. The course will cost $2,500 per student.

We will host the Bill Copacino Memorial course with Cornell University, and our next annual summit from July 23 to August 6, 2023 We want to keep the trip to a maximum of 12 travelers to ensure the highest quality experience and maximum personal attention. Indeed, eight of the 12 spots are already reserved! We want to keep it to a small group to maximize the collaboration, brain-storming, and ideas generated in past Summits. We have learned huge lessons in past Summits. We believe that you will end up providing similar quality directions. Please see the draft syllabus summary posted elsewhere, or contact Bruce ( for the latest draft.

We have a large group who are interested, so we are requesting a refundable $500 deposit by February 1, 2023. We realize $500 is a large commitment for an adventure so far in advance but is the best way for us to begin the planning.

The estimated total cost will be approximately $2,500. That will include all in-country expenses: room, board, in-country transportation, entertainment, etc.. The cost does NOT include international airfare. We will need to coordinate international flights to arrive in Guatemala City at similar times. If we can pull it off for less than $2,500, as we have been able to do in the past, the balance will be donated to the project you choose.

Also, please understand that the fundamental objective of the summit is to thank you and provide participants with learning opportunities. None of the US leaders will receive ANY compensation! Also, a significant portion of your costs will be tax deductible.

I’d like to work with all of you to produce the most effective summit possible. I’ve found the most important step is setting dates. We’ve chosen July 21st - 30th, 2023 for a number of reasons:

  • It’s a beautiful time of the year. Yes, it is the rainy season. We have found that the rainy season is the best time to travel. Indeed, it will likely rain most days for an hour or two in the afternoon. That will give an excellent time to reflect on the experiences and lessons from previous days and adjust the remaining activities. Also, the mornings and evenings are spectacular - clear, bright green - and fewer tourists mean better service.

  • One of the major goals of the summit will be to “practice” for a future credit-providing course at Cornell University. We need to choose the summer to encourage a faculty member and a student leader.

  • By next summer, Agua del Pueblo’s I-WASH program with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Global Communities will be in full swing. I-WASH is a $15 million effort to build Guatemalan institutional capacity to ensure a sustainable program to encourage rural communities to lead their own water, sanitation, and community development projects. USAID feels this program could be a game changer. It will set the stage for local control of sustainable for water supply, sanitation, and community development.

  • John Barrie of Mayan Power and Light (MP&L) will be hosting a similar effort at the same time. We would like to coordinate with John. Our goal is to establish a joint AdP MP&L program.

Here’s our proposed itinerary. I want to emphasize that the itinerary is very flexible and we want to work with you to provide the best-tailored experience.

  • Sunday, July 23: Fly into Guatemala City and 4-hour bus ride to Quetzaltenango. I like to fly into Guate on Sunday as the air is cleanest.

  • Monday, July 24: Visit San Carlos, USAID projects, meet with AdP Board & disco dancing

  • Tuesday, July 25: Drive to San Lucas Toliman, visiting Chocol and Iximche Mayan ruin

  • Wednesday, July 26: Visit Sanik-Ya and Chitulul, Agua del Pueblo’s (AdP) recent water and sanitation project, funded by Furman University students (stay in Sanik-Ya?)

  • Thursday, July 27: Investigate the existing H2O systems in Panimaquib and Pampojila (Potentially stay in Sanik-Ya)

  • Friday, July 28: Learn about and visit the San Lucas Mission’s development programs (coffee cooperative, women’s center, hospital, hospital, experimental farm, and school)

  • Saturday, July 29: Investigate the first potential new project(s)

  • Sunday, July 30th: Boat trip around Lake Atitlan, visit Father Stan Rother's memorial and the Panajachel

  • Monday, July 31: Investigate sanitation in Sanik-Ya

  • Tuesday, August 1: Investigate additional potential new project(s)

  • Wednesday, August 2: Investigate additional potential new project(s)

  • Thursday, August 3: Investigate San Lucas Mission projects

  • Friday, August 4: Drive to Antigua

  • Saturday, August 5: This is one of my favorite days. You will have the option of taking a three-hour hike up an active volcano, Pacaya. One highlight will be roasting marshmallows on lava! Our less adventurous travelers will visit a local coffee plantation to see firsthand how some of the best coffee in the world is grown, harvested, and processed. Antigua is home to the best Colonial archeological sites, museums, and artesian and handicraft merchandise in Latin America. We will provide optional tours led by local docents and experts.

  • Sunday, August 6: Return to Guatemala City for the flights home

Other Possible Activities for future courses - some of these activities could be done at Cornell or online before we leave

  • Visit Pampojila and Panimaquip, AdP’s first water and sanitation project inaugurated in 1973

  • 1 or 2 Days: Classes covering social organization, AdP’s integrated methodology, demand calculations, pump curves, hydrodynamic engineering design calculations, topography, and construction management

  • (2 days) This class could be taught at Cornell before departure). If we have extra time, we could schedule a workday at the Mission - cleaning coffee, digging latrines, planting trees, etc.

  • 1 or 2 Days: (Topography: calculating levels and azimuths between Sanik-Ya and Chanan.

  • 1 or 2 Days: Class on the hydrology and history of Lake Atitlan (Juan Skinner and Jessica Kind) Workday: Digging Latrines, Pipe ditches, and/or Reforestation

  • 1 or 2 Days: Interviews and Data Collection and Visit to Banos Georginas - Hot Springs

  • 1 day: Archeological tour of Antigua

  • 1 day: Visit Dr. Paul Wise. Paul is a co-founder of AdP. He is also the Richard E. Behrman Professor of Child Health and Society and Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy at Stanford University School of Medicine.

  • 1-2 days: Ditch digging

Lemme know what you think. I’m WAY looking forward to hearing from you and getting this party on track!

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