Volcanoes, one of the most sublime forces of nature, have had an immense impact on human settlements throughout history, all the way from Pompeii to Antigua Guatemala. Despite the dramatic devastation wreaked by volcanoes, we have always felt both fear and attraction to them. Many people live in close proximity to volcanoes, in different countries all around the globe, from Indonesia to Japan, the Philippines, Italy, and many countries in America, including Guatemala. This is because, beyond the short-term damage caused by volcanoes, in the long run, volcanic areas become some of the most fertile landscapes on earth, shaping neighbouring societies and cultures in many different ways. 

In 2018, the AA Guatemala Visiting School offered A Volcano Journey. We explored how volcanoes are shaping Guatemalan cities, society, culture and economy, from a large to a micro scale. Based on this insight, we looked ahead and reflected on possible future projects and initiatives to foster local development and economy. With this aim, we suggested new forms of sustainable tourism, new infrastructure, or urban and architectural interventions. We traveled to different volcanoes, getting an intense first-hand experience of the existing agricultural production or tourism activity. Eventually, we produced a Digital Atlas, creating online maps that will dynamically illustrate our analyses and proposals in this constantly changing landscape. 

The results of our Volcanic Journey are summarized in these six exercises, six different visions of Guatemalan volcanic landscapes.

Phenomenological trip

We will take you to Guatemala through a phenomenological trip in order to make you feel as if you were part of our adventure. We wanted to show our trip in a way that can take the user to the places we have visited. To accomplish our goal we took samples, physical (objects) and visual (texture photographs), in other to show our adventures in a more sensorial way.

Lava Crusts

Mapping lava crusts in Pacaya Volcano, analysing risk parameters, temperature, height of the eruption, age, dimensions and volume. This research focuses on 10 lava crusts which allow us to understand the destruction and the creation they generate. Since these lava crusts attract tourism, study future touristic, sports and leisure uses.


El color es uno de los factores más sorprendentes de Guatemala. Se ha enfocado el análisis en diversos aspectos como la vegetación, la arquitectura y la cultura textil, utilizando el cuaderno de viaje con sus dibujos, como instrumento de pensamiento.



After a wonderful stay in Antigua city, we discover that the connectivity of the area was in need of new infrastructures that could give a better functioning to the city, activating it and through this attracting a higher number of tourists.

Life and death

With the last natural disasters, as the eruption of Fuego Volcano in June 3,  the need to develop safe communities has incremented.  This project evaluates risks and  what they imply to communities around Fuego Volcano. Topography, hydrology, slope, and basins where among the factors that where considered for the analysis.


Our purpose is to capture the identity of the guatemalans through the analysis of the stories of three different characters we met, understanding the parameters of their amazing lives.