Mayans & Mountains
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Hands Up Small Group Trip
to Guatemala for 2013
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Guatemala Trip Highlights
- Helping build a home for a needy family
- Colonial Antigua with an expert local guide
- Lake Atitlan’s villages with a volcanic backdrop
- The colorful Sunday markets of Chichicastenango
Your "Taste of Volunteering" Project
You can help build a home for needy families in an impoverished village just outside of Antigua. There are also other inspiring projects for people with specialist skills, such as doctors and pharmacists.
Fourteen year old Chloe Bohannon was so inspired by how easily she could change a poor family’s life by building a 13 x 19 foot block home that she realized she was not going to be satisfied building only one home. She came up with the idea of taking her volunteer vacation pictures and using them as a fundraising tool.
Chloe went to one of her favorite restaurants and they agreed to hang her photos for two months and to date, Chloe has raised over $5000.00 by selling 20 of her photographs.
Along with her family and 14 friends Chloe returned to Guatemala in March and built 3 more homes. Chloe feels building the second home was equally as rewarding as the first. She enjoyed seeing her friends having the same experience she had.
The beautiful colonial town (and former capital) of Antigua is the perfect setting for a meaningful voluntourism project, an introductory Spanish lesson, and to delve into a new culture. Your luxury boutique hotel makes for a delightful base.
You get to spend six memorable days helping build a home for a needy family in a desperately poor village a short drive from Antigua.This should prove to be the highlight of your trip, as you encounter the 'real' Guatemala, and interact meaningfully with impoverished, but strong families. You can gain an insight into their lives and provide them with a better living environment, which in turn helps them avoid illness and offers a foundation from which to pursue education.
After five fulfilling days of building a home, you have a rest in the morning before a hike up Pacaya volcano in the afternoon. This volcano is active, and you should see lava flows.
Your next stop is the stunning Lake Atitlan, where you have another luxury boutique hotel. On Day 11 you spend a day on a private boat cruising the stunning Lake Atitlan and explore picturesque villages along the lake shore. As you relax on the lake shore over dinner you will understand why Aldous Huxley described it as the most beautiful in the world.
After a rest day, you can visit the colorful indigenous market of Chichicastenango or Solola, both great for interacting with Guatemalans and picking up handcrafts.
Your trip ends with a transfer back to Guatemala City for your flight home, or you can extend your stay and explore the wonders of the Mayan ruins of Tikal.
Trip Extension, Mystical Mayan ruins of Tikal:
The charming town of Flores is your next stop, with its pastel colored buildings, overlooking Lake Peten Itza. A relaxing day here is followed by a magical day at the ancient Mayan ruins of the Tikal World Heritage site.
Tikal was one of the major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. Though monumental architecture at the site dates to the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its height during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 AD, during which time the site dominated the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica, such as central Mexican center of Teotihuacan.
The ruins lie among lowland rainforest. Howler monkeys, harpy eagles, falcons, toucans, green parrots and leafcutter ants can be seen here regularly. Jaguars and cougars are also said to roam in the park. For centuries this city was completely covered under jungle. Come and explore with your expert guide!
For more details or if you have any questions, please contact us.
If you like this trip, you may also be interested in:
Ecuador - Galapagos & Volcanoes
Feel free to contact us if you have any enquiries about this trip.