Day 1 – Guatemala City and Cobán
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. Then you
will drive directly to your hotel which is en route to the city of Cobán.
Day 2 – Cobán and Host Community
in the morning, after breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for Cobán. This
large colonial town is located in the Guatemalan highlands with beautiful
will enjoy lunch in Cobán and then departure to another large colonial town
nearby where you will meet your host families for the first time. In the
evening you will explore the host community as a group to get acquainted with your
home for the next days. You will eat dinner with your host families before
retiring for the evening to rest up for the exciting days ahead.
Day 3 to 7 – Host Community and Service
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.*
day after breakfast with your host families, you will meet with your Program
Leader to have an introduction to your service project during the day. Each
morning you will spend time working on your much needed community service
project. In the afternoons and evenings you will explore the surrounding region
and spend time with your host families. You will also have opportunities after
work to interact with the local youth and maybe even participate in some Latin
dance classes and some impromptu soccer games.
will reserve two mornings to go on two very important tours that will teach you
more about your hosts, their culture and the region. These tours will include a
visit to a cardamom plantation which is the main crop in the area. This tour
will take you through the history, processing, marketing and brewing of
cardamom. In the afternoon you will continue with your service project. On
another morning you will visit an orchid farm to see hundreds of species of
orchids. On your last night in the community you will share a potluck dinner
with your host families to celebrate a service project well done and to say
good-bye to your new friends.
*The host community may be
different from the service project community.
Day 8 – Lanquín Caves
After breakfast and saying
good bye to your new friends and host families you will leave early in the morning
to visit the Lanquín Caves. The name Lanquín means “town surrounded by straw
pastures” in Q’eqchi. You will explore the beautiful caves that have been
described as “a hymn made of stone”. Later, you will have lunch at a typical
restaurant and then check in at your ecological hotel situated in the mountains
and surrounded by a beautiful forest. You will have the opportunity to explore
the trails that surround the hotel. You will end this day with a delicious
dinner at your hotel.
Day 9 – Semuc Champey
you will travel south of Lanquín to one of the most magical places in the
world, Semuc Champey. You will hike for a few hours in a valley with steep
walls, surrounded by tropical humid forest. The main attraction and your
destination is a natural limestone ground bridge that is 1000 feet long, on top
of which there are several natural pools of different sizes. Here you will have
the opportunity to swim in the crystalline mountain spring waters. Underneath
the limestone bridge runs the Cahabón River. At the end of the bridge, the
water from the pools rejoins the underground river forming a spectacular 40 foot
high waterfall. You will enjoy lunch at a typical restaurant and then return to
your hotel near Lanquín.
Day 10 – Biotopo del Quetzal and Guatemala
you drive back to Guatemala City but you will make a stop at the Biotopo del
Quetzal Nature Reserve which is home to thousands of tropical animals including
Guatemala's national bird, the quetzal. You will stop for a few hours to hike
and have lunch in the reserve. Your Program
Leader will explain the wonders of the forest and if you are lucky you will
spot some wild animals in their natural habitat.
your arrival to the Guatemala City area you will have a special farewell dinner
as a group.
Day 11 – Depart
Today your Guatemala program
comes to a close as you depart early for your flight out of Guatemala City.