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, June 12, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — Bestselling travel writer Mark D. Walker has announced that his latest travel e-book, The Guatemala Reader: Extraordinary Lives and Amazing Stories, has achieved bestseller status in the Guatemala History and the Guatemala Travel Guides categories.

A graduate of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin with over a half-century of study and writing about Guatemala, Walker delves into the extraordinary lives and stories of its people. At a time when Guatemala faces a crisis of democracy and persistent turmoil along its borders, understanding these human realities is more crucial than ever.

Guatemala attracts several million tourists per year, with visits often beginning in Central America’s largest city before venturing to ancient Mayan ruins and contemporary Maya villages. Over the years, Walker has journeyed to remote areas of Guatemala that remain unseen, even by most Guatemalans. Through his personal encounters with ordinary Guatemalans and his profiles of local Mayan leaders, advocates, writers, and poets, he offers a profound appreciation and nuanced understanding of this vibrant 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 also 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.

“Join me on an epic journey through our fascinating, yet often misunderstood Central American neighbor,” Walker stated. “After studying and writing about Guatemala for fifty years, I’ve focused this book on some of the country’s extraordinary people 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.”

The new travel book has received rave reviews from readers and reviewers. One 5-star reviewer called the book “A treasure trove of things Guatemalan.” Another said, “I recommend this book to anyone who seeks a humanistic view of the country and its people not gained except through intimate contact.”

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.”

In his second book, My Saddest of Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road, he describes how 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, and WorldView Magazines. He is a contributing writer for Revue Magazine, Literary Traveler and the Wanderlust Journal. He has a column in the Arizona Authors Association newsletter, “The Million Mile Walker Review, What We’re Reading and Why.” His reviews can also be found on the Midwest Review Book Shelf, GoodReads and his website. “Hugs not Walls, Returning the Children” was an essay winner for the Arizona Authors Association 2020 Annual Literary Awards. Another article from his “Yin & Yang of Travel” series, which is also included in his new book, was recognized in the Solas Literary Awards for Best Travel Writing.

Mark D. Walker is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at mark@millionmilewalker.com. His books are available at his website and online book outlets. 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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