Day 1 – Guatemala City and Antigua
You will depart as a group
and fly to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, arriving in the
afternoon. You will receive a warm welcome at the airport from your Program
Leader and then head straight to your guesthouse lodging in Antigua. Tonight, you
will have your first Guatemalan meal and discuss the exciting days ahead.
Day 2 – Antigua
In the morning, you will
have an orientation with your Program Leader where you will discuss your community
service project as well as life and culture in Guatemala. After your orientation,
you will go on a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of colonial
Antigua. You will visit historic ruins, taste the local cuisine, and observe
how history and Guatemalan culture have shaped modern-day Antigua.
After the walking tour, you will
drive to meet your host community and enjoy lunch with your host families.
Introductory Spanish lessons in the afternoon will help you feel more
comfortable during your time in the community working with local leaders and
playing with local youth. In the late afternoon, you may have some time for a
walking tour of your host community. You will have dinner with your host
families and rest up for the exciting days ahead.
Day 3 – Host Community and Service Project
The homestay experience and
service project are the heart of your program—an excellent way to bond with your
host community and peers through service. Today you will meet in the morning at
the work site to be briefed on the community project and talk with the local
leaders who will be working with you.*
Today, and for several
subsequent mornings, you will work together on your community service project. In
the afternoons, you will continue your project or explore the surrounding
Your community service
project is based on local needs and may include painting or equipping
classrooms in a school or pre-school center that serves disadvantaged youth.
Some dream projects of local communities that you could be involved with if you
are able to raise additional funds include the construction of classrooms, a
water collection tank to provide clean water, building modern bathrooms,
installing water filters, building a basketball court or playground, or
equipping a computer center.
In the afternoon, you will
visit the La Azotea museums. You will start with the coffee museum, located in
an old coffee mill, which illustrates the history of Guatemalan coffee
production from processing and brewing to marketing coffee. You will also have
the opportunity to explore the Mayan music museum, which is home to a
collection of Mayan musical instruments from pre-Columbian times to the
present. In addition, you will visit Rincon de Sacatepequez, a museum with
dioramas showing customs and costumes of villages around Antigua. After an
afternoon of museums, you will have a chance to take part in a local style of
dance with a Latin salsa dancing class!
*The host community may be
different from the service project community.
Note: Please ask your
Program Manager for more details on these dream projects and how you can help.
Day 4 – Host Community and Service Project
You will spend the morning
working on your community service project. In the afternoon, you will have the
opportunity to appreciate the customs and traditions of Mayan culture,
including experiencing a presentation of a Mayan wedding ceremony and enjoying
a special meal in town.
Day 5 – Host Community and Service Project
You will spend the morning
working on your community service project. In the afternoon, you will visit a
rural community and have a cultural exchange with the community kids. Before
dinner you will have a second Latin salsa dance class.
Day 6 – Host Community and Service Project
You will spend your final
day in the community finishing up your service project and celebrating a job
well done. In the afternoon, you will experience the Real Guatemala tour, set
high in the mountains just outside the city of Antigua. The Real Guatemala
provides an educational hike and reveals the elements of the local culture
while creating financial support for the developing community.
In the evening, you will
have a special farewell dinner with your host families and new friends from the
Day 7 – Panajachel and Lake Atitlan
Today you will take a day
trip to Panajachel, a town located in the southwestern portion of Guatemala and
set between pristine lakes, steep mountains and the San Pedro and Toliman
volcanoes. This lively town is located on the shores of the awe-inspiring Lake
Atitlan, which has an unparalleled hue of crystal blue, silver and green
depending on where the sun hits the water. There are also a number of very
traditional Mayan villages surrounding the lake. This afternoon you will
explore the town of Panajachel and walk along the beach of the lake, admiring
the enchanting waters.
Day 8 – Chichicastenango
Today you set off for
Chichicastenango, the most spirited and colorful market in Central America.
Chichi, as it’s known by the locals, hosts a market on Thursdays and Sundays
attracting vendors from all over Guatemala. The market is located in the
central plaza and spills into the side streets as vendors begin setting up the
night before. In the morning, small firecrackers are set off announcing the
opening of the market. You will walk amidst the vendors selling handicrafts,
food, flowers, textiles, masks, and woodcarvings. In the afternoon you will
return to Antigua and stay overnight at local guesthouse lodging in Antigua.
Note: This activity will be
moved within the itinerary based on the days of the week during your program
dates. The market only takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Day 9 – Pacaya Volcano
In the morning you will have
breakfast at your hotel before heading off to the Pacaya Volcano. You will have
an exciting morning hike up the most active volcano in Guatemala. In the
evening, you will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant in Antigua where you will
gather for a farewell celebration and to reflect on your time in Guatemala. Tonight
you will stay at local guesthouse lodging in Antigua.
Day 10 – Depart
Today your Guatemala program
comes to a close as you depart early for your flight out of Guatemala City.