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 and drive to Xela
In the morning, you will
have an orientation with your Program Leader to 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
have lunch at a typical restaurant. Then you will drive to Xela to meet your host
community and enjoy dinner with your host families. In the late evening, you may
have some time for a walking tour of your host community. You will return to 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
region. Some introductory Spanish lessons in the late afternoon will help you
feel more comfortable during your time in the community working with local
leaders and playing with local youth.
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
*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 day
working on your community service project. In the morning you will go on a
horseback ride in the Quetzaltenango Valley where you will learn more about
different aspects of the Mayan culture and the inhabitants of the area.
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 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. On your last night you will share a potluck dinner with your host
families to celebrate a service project well done.
Day 7 – Hike at Tajumulco Volcano
After breakfast and saying
good bye to your new friends and host families you will drive to the Tajumulco
Volcano, the highest summit in Guatemala and Central America reaching over
13,800 feet (4,220 meters) above sea level. You will go on a hike here and if
the day is clear enough you will see spectacular views of other volcanoes and
the mountains and valleys of this beautiful country. In the late afternoon you will
go to your hotel and at night you will enjoy dinner at a typical restaurant.
Day 8 – Drive to Panajachel and city tour
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 hues of crystal blue, silver or green
depending on where the sun hits the water. There are also a number of very
traditional Mayan villages surrounding the lake.
Day 9 – Chichicastenango Market and drive
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 late afternoon you will
return to Antigua and stay overnight at local guesthouse lodging in Antigua. 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.
Note: The visit to the
market will be moved within the itinerary based on the days of the week in your
program dates. The market only takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Day 10 – Depart
Today your Guatemala program
comes to a close as you depart early for your flight out of Guatemala City.