Guatemala Izabal Lake

This is an archive page for Guatemala

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


Izabal Lake and Amatique Bay

Monday 22 July – Thursday 1 August 2019

The ‘Izabal Lake and Amatique Bay’ Visiting School will explore the development potential of two extraordinarily rich ecosystems on the eastern coast of Guatemala: Lake Izabal and Amatique Bay.  We will analyse their environmental, social and economic possibilities, identify their main challenges, and visit a variety of villages where we will interview local people. We will also learn about and use aerial mapping techniques and drone technology to produce new cartographies of the most underexplored areas. Finally, we will produce detailed architectural projects in response to the problems we have previously identified. The meeting point for all participants will be Guatemala City. From here, the group will travel to Misión El Faro (The Lighthouse), near Livingston. This is where we will establish a seven-day base camp and conduct field trips, which will include the Guatemalan Caribbean coast. This will be followed by a four-day stay in Guatemala City, at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM) campus, where we will develop proposals based on the analysis and insights we have gained from the variety of places we have visited.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

• Facilities: Universidad Francisco Marroquín School of Architecture and Mision El Faro, Livingston. Guatemala.
• Computational skills: The basic use of CAD software and 3d model skills are desirable. Students will be introduced to the use of Geographic Information Systems and Digital Design, so regarding this, no previous knowledge is required. 
• Digital Fabrication: UFM has a computer lab, 2 laser cutters, 1 CNC router, 3D printer and wood shop available for the use of students during the workshop.
• Theoretical understanding: Through different lectures, conferences, readings, site visits, and open  discussions, students would be introduced to the specific urban topic they would have to address.


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application, email for instructions to pay by bank transfer. 
2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered to the programme. A CV or a portfolio is not required.

The deadline for applications is: 14 June 2019

All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After payment of fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.

At the conclusion of the programme, applicants will recieve an electronic AA VS Transcript and an academic certificate from the Francisco Marroquín University.


Two locations in Guatemala: Livingston (Izabal) and Guatemala City.


The AA Visiting School fee is £895 which includes the £60 Visiting membership fee, tuition,  local transportation, accommodation and meals for the stay in El Faro. In the case of non local students, the fee also includes travel insurance and accommodation in Guatemala City for the 21 and 22 of July.

It does not include the nights from 29 July to 2 August. Booking is recommended for these last nights, although last year, non local students were hosted by local students, so we recommend to leave open the possibility to cancel the reservations. Flights are not included. Students need to bring their own laptops and digital equipment. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop. 

Students will be offered a trip to Tikal and Yaxha, the astonishing Mayan complexes. The fee for this trip, $ 150, will be charge in addition to the workshop fee for those who voluntarily wish to take this trip, which includes a night in a hotel close to the parks.


The workshop is open to current architecture, engineering, environmental sciences, geography, design or media graduate or undergraduate students, PhD candidates and young professionals.


Gustavo Romanillos is and architect, urban planner and PhD in Geography, his work focuses on the visualization, spatial analysis and modeling of urban and social dynamics. He teaches at the Architectural Association School of Architecture of London and at the Complutense University of Madrid, and has been guest lecturer at several universities in Spain, the UK and Latin America. As an architect, he has been awarded in several international competitions of architecture and urbanism; as a researcher, he works at the Complutense University of Madrid and, as a consultant, he has worked for different institutions, such as the United Nations Development Programme.


Programme Head
Gustavo Romanillos

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads

Programme site

Social Media


Visiting School Prospectus


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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Certificate), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.