John Heaton & Associates: Consulting Services

John Heaton is an artist, builder, promoter, and problem-solver in a complex and challenging region. Heaton conceived and navigated the logistics of all the components of the World of Quinta Maconda. His expertise and attention to detail is invaluable to those creating related projects in similar environments.

Having explored the multi-dimensions of this region deeply, he brings essential insight and years of experience. His creativity is broad and interests multifaceted: concepts and planning, architecture, interior design, landscaping, historic renovation, sourcing, production & promotion, travel design, press and public relations.

Heaton’s Guatemala projects have not only been groundbreaking and sustainable, but graciously acknowledged over the years by the international press in numerous architectural, design, and travel features.

The Associates
A significant address book of talented and well-connected individuals around the world, Heaton says, is his greatest asset. “One cannot manage everything by oneself, and one can rarely claim to have done it all by oneself. There is tremendous skill out there that is crucial to the texture and success of any project. Like a producer, I find the right talent for the job, and involve those who work like artisans and are passionate about their craft.”


Past Projects: Heaton’s Excerpts from the Field

Tropical Architecture
"I found a tremendously beautiful piece of pristine rain forest with no road access on the banks of Rio Dulce – a stunning, freshwater inlet on Guatemala's Caribbean. I purchased it in 1990. The Rancho Corozal Ecological Reserve and Jungle Retreat was designed: a series of vernacular pavilions built in Indo-Maya Tropical style. The compound is landscaped with exotic plants collected from the surrounding rain forest, all made possible by the invaluable help of a team of Kek’chi Maya Indians. Over 500 dugout canoe trips transported workmen, building materials, plants, and decorative accessories to complete the project. In 1999, Rancho Corozal was published in Architectural Digest as a full feature by Prince Michael of Greece."

Landmark Restoration
"The colonial building was absolutely stunning. It seems, though, that I was the only one to qualify it in that way. Everyone else just saw it as a total ruin. Somehow the rubble whispered in my ear, and I responded. It was a long, arduous, but satisfying journey. 'The total ruin’ I named Casa Oriente; it ended up being featured in Casa Guatemalteca once the renovation was done."

QM properties: Casa Oriente, Rancho Corozal, and Quinta Maconda have all been featured in Casa Guatemalteca, Guatemala's premier photo book on prestigious colonial homes, as well as in numerous architectural and travel publications.

"The rain forest is no doubt the best-stocked nursery in the world. Accompanied by six Kek’chi Maya Indians, we marched deep into the jungle in search of exotic plants to landscape Rancho Corozal…. The extraordinary dimension of the rain forest was essential inspiration for our work and the story of this project."

"I like my interiors to reflect my travels: the Americas to Southeast Asia, a treasure trove of inspiration…. That same inspiration is reflected throughout the Quinta Maconda properties. Primitive objects of quality and authenticity never fail to create a unique atmosphere; and they are incredibly satisfying to find and work with."

On Site Sourcing
"We came down the abrupt jungle hills of Iwa, in the Trobriand Islands off eastern Papua New Guinea, followed by locals laden with canoe splash boards, drums, and beetle nut receptacles - all of which were graced by the most exquisite patina. To find such treasures in situ is so much more compelling and meaningful than within the urban atmosphere of an art gallery."

Press Relations
"It’s a vast world out there, but strangely enough one is never more than a call or two away from whom one wants to meet. The trickier part is actually knowing who one needs to meet. When meeting with the French Vogue editor in Paris, she told me, 'Guatemala is a little-known country.' A few months later, the name 'Guatemala' was on the cover of French Vogue, and 15 pages of fashion and travel were featured inside. This completed a full house of press covers and features because we lobbied for Guatemala to promote its sex appeal as an adventure lifestyle destination."

Press Production & Public Relations
"In this field, a fair share of experience came my way over the years, mostly as a result of lobbying for international publications to feature Guatemala. When they accepted, we offered them a unique Guatemala experience. Between 1990-2004 I hosted and traveled with: French Vogue, (Photographer: Corinne Day), Architectural Digest, USA (Author: Prince Michael of Greece ), Architectural Digest, Italy (Author: Prince Egon von Furstenberg), The Sunday Times, London (Author: Adrian Gill), Departures Magazine (Author: Sophy Roberts), and many more, to support their Guatemala stories."

"There is nothing like a media icon to help validate a country destination…. Francis Ford Coppola came to visit me in Antigua in 2003; we flew to Belize, and later continued to the Tikal area where I introduced him to a tourism investment opportunity. Soon after, he added a Guatemalan property to his Coppola Resorts portfolio, and Guatemala gained a prestigious investor."

This is part of the story of what John Heaton & Associates do; please contact us should you need consulting for your ongoing or future ventures.

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