The Art Ambassadors for a Colorful World Plein Air Studio, Guatemala

Recently I shared with many of you the story of Walter Zacarías Pérez Ló (at right with a patron), a young artist who lives in the community of San Martín Chiquito located in a poverty belt in the Guatemalan highlands. I had shared with you that he had a dream of becoming an artist, and that with a scholarship from Art Ambassadors for a Colorful World, he’d been able to study with one of best known living artists in Guatemala, and has been able to achieve his dream. 

“The Art Ambassador scholarship was a blessing in my life,” Walter told us. Likewise, being able to help and follow Walter as he grows as an artist has been extremely rewarding to me and to other members of our Board of Directors. 

I am writing to you because we have decided that we don’t want our work in this region of Guatemala to stop with Walter. And since Walter’s country is so stunningly beautiful and diverse of landscape, people and colorful traditions, I see our continued presence there as a win-win for Art Ambassadors and for all the budding “Walters” we are sure to encounter. So here’s our exciting next step!

 Formalizing a Successful Partnership

 Art Ambassadors will expand our presence in Guatemala. We will partner to open the Art Ambassadors for a Colorful World Plein Air Studio, Guatemala. The studio will be located in the colorful community of San Martín Chiquito, a land of rolling green hills and cornfields populated by Mám-speaking Maya people, relatives of the ancient Maya. They are farmers, backstrap weavers, and a new generation of young people who, while still in their traditional woven dress, connect with the world by cell phone and on Facebook. The people and the place, as well as so many other extraordinary landscapes in Guatemala – spanning Spanish boroque and colonial architecture to traditional adobe, forests to stunning Lake Atitlan with it’s three volcanoes  – will provide a wealth of subject matter for artists. Art Ambassador retreats for artists, photographers, and those who appreciate art and enriching experiences will be set in these landscapes, and soon, will take advantage of our own Plein Air Studio. But to get there, we need your help! 

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For 25 years this year, Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance has helped Mayan children and families gain the skills they need to succeed. The organization is also Top Rated by GreatNonProfits.org (the Trip Advisor for non-profits) for the volunteer trips it runs to Guatamala. Art Ambassadors partnered with Xela AID to help Walter and another young artist, and Board Members including Jack Vogler, Joel Heger, Cate Longpro and I have traveled with Xela AID and couldn’t be more impressed with the quality of their work. Xela AID is in the midst of building a new building, and Art Ambassadors had wished to grow it’s presence in Guatemala. We came up with the idea of formalizing our partnership, and the results are truly exciting!

The Art Ambassadors for a Colorful World Plein Air Studio, Guatemala

 Our new studio will be located on the fourth floor of Xela AID’s new “Center for Learning Innovation.”  It will feature a large, covered patio with a fire pit, and smaller sun shade structures from under which to paint the unobstructed 360-degree view of the valley, hills, homes and workplaces of San Martín. There will be indoor space for critique sessions, or to paint in cooler weather. Art Ambassador contingents will be housed in Inn@XelaAID located on the third floor of the same building. The Inn will offer comfortable accommodations with gourmet, home-style traditional meals included for this leg of our Guatemalan journey, and we will have use of the Inn in perpetuity. 

In total, Xela AID will raise about $880,000 to complete the entire 16,000-sq.-ft. facility. They arealready more than half way there! Art Ambassador’s part is $50,000. We hope you will help us realize our Plein Air Studio in Guatemala with a special, one-time gift today. Our new Studio will not only serve as a retreat for artists with means, but also, will be essential in helping us find young artists and nurture the seed of talent so that as in Walter’s case, it may blossom. 

Thank you ahead of time for your capital gift. 

Colorful regards as always,

Kevin Macpherson

Click here to donate to the special fund for

The Art Ambassadors for a Colorful World Plein Air Studio, Guatemala