Walker is the author of several award-winning articles and books. His second book, My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road, was recognized by the Peace Corps Writers for Best Travel Writing. The Guatemala Reader debuted as a #1 New Release

WILMINGTON, NC, May 27, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — In his latest travel book, The Guatemala Reader, Extraordinary Lives and Amazing Stories, bestselling author Mark D. Walker takes readers on an epic journey through this fascinating yet often misunderstood Central American neighbor. Walker has studied and written about Guatemala for fifty years, and in this book, he focuses on some of the extraordinary people of Guatemala and their amazing stories. Given the crisis of democracy in Guatemala and the continued turmoil on our border, this is the time to understand the human realities better and take action to secure a more promising future.

Guatemala draws up to 1.8 million tourists per year, whose visits start in the largest city in Central America with brief visits to ancient Mayan ruins and contemporary Maya villages, which provide a partial folkloric understanding of Guatemalan society. Over the years, Walker traveled to places in Guatemala that most Guatemalans have never seen. He uses encounters with ordinary Guatemalans, profiles, and stories from local Mayan leaders, advocates, writers, and poets to bring a new appreciation and understanding of this country.

Maps, graphs, fact sheets, and photos support 18 stories to provide insights into the inner workings of Guatemalan society, starting with stories seen through literary and biographical prisms.

The reader can then tap into the “Yin and Yang of Travel Series,” which transports the reader to the far-off reaches of the country and includes some of his “saddest pleasures”- horrendous journeys that “gave him eyes.” The remaining stories focus on contemporary Guatemala, from the impact of the Peace Corps over the last 60 years to the dynamics leading to the ongoing immigration crisis, ending with an insightful overview of Guatemala’s political, cultural, and economic life with a new section at the end about how individuals can make a difference through their actions and philanthropy.

The new book will be available at Amazon in eBook form at no charge from May 27 through May 29, 2024, at https://www.amazon.com/stores/Mark-D.-Walker/author/B071CZQZMC?ref=ap_rdr&isDramIntegrated=true&shoppingPortalEnabled=true.

After traveling, working, and writing about Guatemala for 50 years, I’ve focused this project on some of the country’s extraordinary people and amazing stories,” Walker stated. “The purpose of the project includes:

1.    Educate and inspire people to learn more about Guatemala.

2.    Introduce extraordinary lives and stories to generate more empathy for those heading north.

3.    Inspire others to help Guatemala actively.

Join me on this epic journey.”

The new travel book has received rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Bob Graham, Author of 50-50 at 50 and Founder of the Katalysis Partnership and Namaste Direct, said, “As a 50+ year student of all things Guatemalan, I can enthusiastically say the book is a modern-day classic.”

Joe Lurie, Emeritus Executive Director of UC Berkeley’s International House, stated, “The Guatemala Reader offers inspiring escape hatches from misleading, oversimplified stereotypes and opens the possibility for enriching personal and humane engagement. As a former Peace Corps volunteer, like Mark, I see his book as an important and increasingly relevant and fulfilling contribution to the Third Goal of The Peace Corps’ ‘To help promote a better understanding of other peoples among Americans. . .”

Professor of English Literature at the University of New Mexico, Stephen Benz, said, “The Guatemala Reader is brimming with wisdom, insight, and compassion. Mark D. Walker is the ideal guide for those looking for a deeper understanding of the issues confronting Guatemala and Central America.”

The great Moritz Thomsen has inspired many writers, and Walker gladly counts himself among them. Another of his travel books, My Saddest Pleasures, borrows its title from one of Thomsen’s works and shines a sometimes-lovely, sometimes-piercing light on the countries he visits. In this captivating book, Walker reflects on his fifty years of travel miscalculations and disasters and how and why his travels have changed over the years, as has who he traveled with.

As a young Peace Corps Volunteer with no overseas travel experience, the world was his oyster, and he figured he could go anywhere if he set his mind to it—with little or no money. Then he married a Guatemalan lady and had to think more about “our” needs; three children meant additional requirements and responsibilities. Later, as a professional fundraiser, he set up donor visits to program areas where the organizations he represented needed funds. This meant considering the needs of up to fifteen individuals of all ages, including children and some donors in their 70s and 80s. He’s become a savvier trekker, although he was still prone to the occasional snafu. The book is part of the “Yin & Yang of Travel” Series.”

His first book, a memoir, ‘Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond,’ was recognized by the Arizona Literary Association for Non-Fiction. More than 20 of his articles were published in journals, including Ragazine, Literary Yard, Literary Travelers, Quail Bell, WorldView, and Revue Magazines. He is a contributing writer for the Revue Magazine, a Guatemalan English language publication. He has a column in the Arizona Authors Association newsletter, “The Million Mile Walker, What We Read and Why,” his reviews can also be found on the Midwest Review Book Shelf and GoodReads. “Hugs not Walls, Returning the Children” was an essay winner for the Arizona Authors Association 2020 Annual Literary Awards and was reissued in the December edition of Revue Magazine. Another article from his “Yin & Yang of Travel” series, also included here, was recognized in the Solas Literary Awards for Best Travel Writing.

The Guatemala Reader: Extraordinary Lives and Amazing Stories will be available at no charge as an eBook at Amazon from May 27 through May 29.

Mark D. Walker is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. His books are available at his website, online book outlets, and the Cyberwit website at https://www.cyberwit.net/publications/1919. More information is available at his website: https://millionmilewalker.com.

About Mark D. Walker:

Walker was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala and spent over forty years helping disadvantaged people in the developing world with groups like Make A Wish International, MAP International, and HAGAR USA, where he was the CEO. Walker’s three books are Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond, My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road and The Guatemala Reader: Extraordinary Lives and Amazing Stories.  He’s written 80 book reviews, and of his 30 published essays, two were recognized by the Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing. He’s a contributing writer for “The Wanderlust Journal” and “Literary Traveler.” His column, “The Million Mile Walker Review: What We’re Reading and Why,” is part of the Arizona Authors Association newsletter. His honors include the “Service Above Self” award from Rotary International. He’s a Board member of Advance Guatemala and the Arizona Authors Association. His wife and three children were born in Guatemala. You can learn more at www.MillionMileWalker.com

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