Your experience will be interwoven with the perspectives, culture, history, and current reality of Mayan peoples. You will learn about the legacy of The Civil War, government and education structures, and the new challenges of migration and globalization.
Starting in Guatemala City, you will visit the Plaza Mayor, called the “Center of all Guatemala,” where the four great strands and powers of Guatemalan society converge: the government, the church, the army, and the people. You will learn about current issues visit an educational advocacy program dedicated to supporting children’s rights to access primary education in stable and vibrant schools.
Traveling on to Tecpán, you will spend time in a small Mayan Community specifically selected for your group. Community activities will include opportunities to explore and learn about sustainable development, rural agriculture, the educational system, and community initiatives for vulnerable groups. These service projects often include painting, light concrete, and miscellaneous school improvement tasks. We will work directly with community members to provide a dynamic cultural exchange designed to uplift the collective spirit as well as impart community knowledge to volunteers.
The week will conclude at one of the most historic and cherished Spanish colonial centers in all of Central America – Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This charming city of cobbled brick roads is full of bright colors and thriving culture, providing a grand backdrop to celebrate your time in Guatemala. From here you can embark on an afternoon adventure and hike up Pacaya, one of the world’s most active volcanos.
Groups will arrive and be greeted at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Ground transportation including a Private Driver plus an In-Country Tour Guide and Translator are included from time of arrival, until departure. The Tecpán region where we will be working is an ideal program location because of its easy access from Guatemala City, Antigua, and Panajachel. Trips can be arranged for any length of time, however our most popular programs run 7 days to 3 weeks.
Upon arrival and after resting from the flight, an orientation will be provided including an introduction to Guatemala including facts local customs and culture, safety, rules and expectations. Volunteers will also learn about the critical issues facing communities, including access to education. The orientation will provide an overview of activities for the week and background on the projects, people, and places we will be visiting and working with.
Volunteers should be adaptable and flexible, willing to work as part of a team, and respectful of local traditions, culture, and customs. Those taking part in community development projects need to be capable of doing physical work, although previous experience is not essential. Spanish language ability is useful, but not necessary.
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