The nation of Guatemala offers great beauty, from its diverse landscapes graced with serenity & tradition, to a gentle warmth found in a genuine people. However, this Central American country also endures a great burden, as a large majority of its people live in poverty. And those living in this fragile state suffer from issues such as malnourishment, lack of education & resources, & disease. Many opportunities are available to help better the lives of these people in communities – from the sun-kissed lower lands to the foggy sky highlands. Volunteer activities include building reading centers in local schools & assisting with a variety of sustainability activities. Program participants can further this cultural immersion experience with optional tours, which include attending a civil war talk, watching traditional Mayan performances, & learning about the textile production process.
This program begins with an orientation at a local organization, whose intent is to enhance the lives of Guatemalans & provide them with sustainability through microfinance. You’ll learn about the loan process for commerce, agricultural, textiles, & other sustainable startups. Visit loan recipients in their communities, where you’ll have the opportunity to assist with a variety of activities. These include making corn tortillas & harvesting fruit on a plantation.
Educational facilities in impoverished villages & communities across Guatemala are in need of restorations & more resources. Volunteers will work on one of several project opportunities at a local school, which may include building a basic kitchen or reading center, & painting classrooms.
• Guatemala City Tour – Drive along historic Avenida Reforma, visit the Cathedral, discover a former president’s signature touches of design inside the National Palace, & experience the city’s vibrant marketplace. • Casa Santo Domingo – See the remains of the 16th-century monastery, & tour the museums located within this present-day Antiguan hotel. • Weaving Museum – Learn about the history of textiles of the many indigenous groups of people throughout Guatemala. • Civil War Talk – Hear about events & effects of the Guatemalan Civil War. • Birdwatching Tour – Grab your binoculars, & observe bird species native to Guatemala. • El Torito – Watch the traditional dance of “the little bull.” • Cacao Ceremony – Learn about the cacao plant & its transformation to/purpose as a chocolate beverage. Experience a guided meditation while enjoying the traditional cacao drink. • Mayan Masks Museum – Discover the mask-making process for traditional Mayan celebrations. • Lake Atitlan – Take a boat ride across this serene lake, surrounded by breathtaking cliffs & volcanoes. •