Guatemala Expedition 2015

The Project

The Guatemalan highlands have been described as the most beautiful and captivating part of the country. This is due to the region's dramatic landscape of volcanic mountains and the remote villages still full of vibrant Mayan culture. The research team organized for this trip spent 8 days hiking across volcanoes and boating across lakes in order to access and document the natural and cultural resources of this remote region. The editing team is currently working towards compiling all of the information gathered in order to develop and publish a regional guide to this area. The team was made up of 11 research assistants from colleges across the U.S., two scientists, and a university faculty member. Topics researched include the natural sciences, cultural history, political science, and economics of the region.  

The Research Team

Abigail "Abby" Nash is from Plymouth, Minnesota. She is double-majoring in English and Asian Languages and Literatures focusing on Chinese at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. In her free time, Abby enjoys working, reading, and camping. It was Abby's first experience  backpacking, and she hopes to do more of it in the future.

Gianna Kerestesy is from Leesburg, Virginia. She is pursuing a Biological Sciences degree from Virginia Tech with a minor in Business Leadership. She loves learning about wildlife and getting to explore all the great places this world has to offer!

Lauren Gayre is from San Antonio, Texas and is currently pursuing a B.S. in Bioenvironmental Sciences with a minor in Environmental Geosciences at Texas A&M University. She is a member of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M along with the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. In her free time she enjoys fishing and spending time with friends. This was her first trip to Guatemala and can’t wait to go back. 

Stavros Atlamazoglou has a Greek-American background, is from Boston and is a history major at Bunker Hill Community College. He loves soccer, books, and the sea.

Amelia Croteau was born and raised in the small seacoast town of Hampton, New Hampshire where she attended college at the University of New Hampshire and received her
degree in Environmental Geography. She is always seeking out new adventures, as
traveling is one of her many passions. She loves meeting new people along the way
and experiencing new cultures.


Kendra Heckman is from Beech Creek, PA and is pursuing a communications and business degree at Grove City College.

Martin Touchett is from Delafield, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in May 2015 with a bachelor degree in psychology. He likes playing guitar in his spare time, as well as water skiing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.  

Taylor Stewart is from Savannah, Georgia and is pursuing a B.A in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Spanish at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She enjoys reading literature based on cultural views of gender and race, spending time at Tybee Island beach, and exploring the city of Atlanta with her friends. This was Taylor's first time in a majority Spanish speaking country and hopes to live in one in the future and perfect her Spanish. This was also Taylor's first time doing intense hiking in high-altitude and she hopes to do more as a source of stress relief (just not for 3 days straight).

Connie Calla is from Miami, Florida and is pursuing a B.S in Environmental Science at Florida International University. Connie enjoys to learn about her surroundings and frequents the Florida Keys, where she takes day hikes in the unique trails of the subtropical ecosystems. Always living near water she firmly supports the preservation and management of the water surrounding her home in Florida. 
This is her first time in Central America and hopes to visit again.


Kristen Rasmussen is from Wauconda, Illinois and has recently graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She enjoys traveling, camping, and backpacking. She hopes to serve with the Peace Corps in Mongolia next summer. 

Morgan Siem is a rising sophomore at Colorado college with an undeclared major but interested in comparative literature and political science. From Westchester, NY, Morgen is a huge fan of climbing. 

Expedition Leaders

Jen Herdina: Jen works as an Instructor for a Univeristy in Minnesota as well as an Expedition Leader and Academic Director with Global Treks and Adventures. Jen loves immersing herself in other cultures and meeting new people. 


Gabe Miller: Gabe has spent over 15 years working as a natural resource manager and specializes in the management of natural resources for indigenous peoples. 


Kyle Herdina: Kyle works as the Program Director and Expedition Leader for Global Treks and Adventures. You can always find Kyle on the water kayaking, sailing, or swimming in his free time. 

Expedition Pictures