Dear Potential Delegate,
I have just downloaded your completed application and I really hope you will join us for this trip. Plans are progressing and I have a few more details for you.
We have confirmed that school will be in session (at least in the north where we will start this delegation) during the week of your travel. We have just received approval for a productive project based in the secondary schools of the North (there are two) and it looks like that workshop will be taking place during the time of your delegation. That should give you really good access to the school and a really incredible trip!
The project is one that is near and dear to our hearts. There exists in Chiapas several species of native, stingless bees, all of which are increasingly endangered. Traditionally, these bees (called melipona in Spanish) make their home in the large logs of ancient rain forest trees and as the forest has disappeared so have the bees. The Mayan people have an important cultural tradition surrounding these bees. The honey is incredibly medicinal and the wax is specialized prized for candles that allow ancestral communication. Unlike European honey bees, these bees are stingless and their name in Mayan languages generally translates as "womens' bee" because these were traditionally kept under the eaves of the house. The tradition is on the edge of being lost. Everyone over the age of 40 has a story of a mother or a grandmother who kept the bees and fond memories of melipona honey as a treat. People under the age of 40 often have no knowledge at all of this bee or its relationship to Mayan culture.
The secondary schools in the North (which has the highest concentration of this bee) is about to make it a part of the curriculum and we will launch the project with this workshop. How is that for cool?
Your dates and proposed travel plans are perfect. Flying into Villa Hermosa (the closest airport to Palenque and the start of this delegation) and out of Tuxtla (the closest airport to where we will most likely end this delegation) is exactly right. From Villa Hermosa you will need to arrange transportation (probably a bus unless you want to splurge on a taxi) to Palenque. It's about an hour and half by bus and no worries. It's easy to do. We will meet you in Palenque, probably spend the night before heading out to the caracole of Roberto Barrios. We will also make sure that you have time to see the incredible ruins of Palenque. It is one of the most beautiful ancient cities on the planet and not to be missed!
At this point we have many people who have expressed an interest in this delegation but no paid delegates. This is the work we do so we will proceed no matter the number of delegates but if you know anyone who might be interested in joining you, this is a rare and wonderful opportunity! My plan is to try to use this letter (stripped of it's identifying personal information) as a "teaser" to generate more delegates committed to joining us so don't be surprised if you run across it on the forums or as a link on the trips page.
You should absolutely make air travel reservations as soon as possible. The week of Samana Santa is one of the heaviest holiday travel period for Mexican nationals and all domestic flights (ie Mexico City to Villa Hermosa or San Cristobal) historically fill to capacity.
Thank you for your interest in traveling with Schools for Chiapas and we hope to see you this spring in the steamy rain forest of Chiapas!
Por un mundo donde quepan todos los mundos,
Susan Beattie, Coordinatorwww.email@example.com