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Guatemala Adventure Travel Abroad Program

Guatemala Trip Overview

Guatemala Trip Overview

Spectacular Volcanoes. Sparkling Lakes. Exquisite Temples. Old European Charm. Guatemala invites us to experience the mystical resonance of its hospitable people and verdant ecology. From Glacial to pre-Columbian. Indigenous to Colonial. Ancient to Modern. Guatemala has experienced the peaks and valleys of conquest and reconciliation over time. Now at peace, the nation offers a unique landscape where the full spectrum of human experience transcends the imagination. Our travelers engage with hands-on experiential discoveries. Climb a volcano. Pick coffee beans. Bargain…

Spectacular Volcanoes. Sparkling Lakes. Exquisite Temples. Old European Charm. Guatemala invites us to experience the mystical resonance of its hospitable people and verdant ecology. From Glacial to pre-Columbian. Indigenous to Colonial. Ancient to Modern. Guatemala has experienced the peaks and valleys of conquest and reconciliation over time. Now at peace, the nation offers a unique landscape where the full spectrum of human experience transcends the imagination. Our travelers engage with hands-on experiential discoveries. Climb a volcano. Pick coffee beans. Bargain in the market. Grow your poultry. Cook over wood-fires. How delicious does your food, your chocolate, your coffee taste when you live farm-to-table?

People to People: Local Community
Our partnership with socially-responsible enterprises and profit-sharing cooperatives teaches travelers about economic empowerment through honest community investment. Friendly. Easy-going. Modest. The Guatemalan people welcome us with gracious sonrisas (smiles) and a relaxed temperament. The Maya culture, comprising over half the population, keeps alive the colorful and enigmatic traditions made legendary in stories and ruins of the ancient Americas. Deeply spiritual in reverence for nature, various deities, and passion for life, Guatemalan people exude a quality of paz (peace) which informs the beauty of mere existence.

History Matters: Learning From The Past
Historians agree: “The Spanish effectively enslaved Guatemala’s indigenous people to work what had been their own land for the benefit of the invaders, just as they did throughout the hemisphere. Refusal to work the land meant death. With the most fertile land and a labor force to work it firmly in hand, the colonists believed themselves omnipotent and behaved accordingly. That is to say, badly.” When the United States came of age as a supreme industrial power in the hemisphere, multinational corporations – most notably United Fruit -- essentially replicated the economic hegemony of their European predecessors. The corruption and foreign meddling in Guatemala’s sovereignty was rationalized during the Cold War as an essential part of the fight against Communism. These rationales were dishonest, and the ensuing disruption of Guatemala’s democratic institutions destabilized the judicial, economic and political systems, creating a cycle of violence and civil war which lasted over three decades. Today, systems of justice have prevailed to inspire confidence in Guatemala’s institutions. And yet there is work to be done.

Guatemala has the widest gender gap in the Western Hemisphere. Global economic development experts agree: want to end the cycle of poverty? Educate the girls. Our partnership with Starfish-Impact provides a cross-cultural network of mutual benefit for our travelers and local girls which multiplies in the global community far beyond our generation. Join us, and make your adventure serve the greater good throughout the Americas.

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore charming pueblos
  • Visit Old Spanish Cathedrals
  • Explore ancient Mayan culture
  • Trek coffee farms and roast your own beans
  • Build a school from recycled materials
  • Hike a volcano
  • Relax in a hammock
  • Photograph rare scenery
  • Boat across Lake Atitlan
  • Play with local children
  • Learn to cook local food
  • Shop in colorful markets
  • Visit a chocolate museum

Student Video

Isa and the Girl Pioneers of Guatemala
A teen travels to Guatemala to meet some Mayan “girl pioneers” who are transforming themselves and their country. Written, directed…