Guatemala

High mountains, dense jungles, and amazing wildlife—these three top the list of reasons to travel to Guatemala. In Guatemala these incredible features are merely the backdrop for a unique, colorful, and historically rich culture. Guatemala is home to the hemisphere’s only indigenous language with a growing population of speakers who are living amidst impressive ruins left by their ancestors,

Guatemala has been a crossroads for trade between the Americas for millennia. Here you will find locals haggling for fresh veggies in Q’eqchi’, and you’ll encounter the incredibly intricate embroidery used by Mayan women to decorate their distinctive huipils (garments). Volcanoes, untouched rainforest, immaculate beaches, ancient pyramids—Guatemala offers nearly limitless opportunities for exploration.

Embroiled by years of civil war until a decade ago the people have, at times, been forced to resort to any means necessary in order to survive. Deforestation, unsustainable agriculture, conflict and property disputes have been frequent years past. All of this has left the country vulnerable to the effects of otherwise serious natural disasters—made even more pressing by the lack of planning and preventative measures. Most recently, Hurricane Stan produced devastating mudslides throughout much of the over-worked agricultural region, which resulted in lack of food, fuel, and infrastructure for transportation of goods.

Fortunately, the world community has been quick to respond. Now, there are literally hundreds of projects taking place to promote education, sustainable development, and infrastructure in Guatemala. At the same time, bearing witness to this surge of aid, communities have begun organizing at the grassroots level in order to provide for themselves.


Facts about Guatemala
  • Nationality: Guatemalan
  • Population: 13 million
  • Capital: Guatemala City
  • Language: Spanish and Amerindian languages
  • Geography: Guatemala shares its northern border with Mexico, and its southern border with Honduras, El Salvador and the Pacific Ocean. A small section of the country borders Belize and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
  • Terrain: Lowland plains, mountainous highlands and limestone plateau
  • Currency: Guatemalan Queztal
  • Climate: Guatemala is known as the land of the eternal spring. The temperature sits between 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. The lowlands are hot and humid and the highland mountains remain a bit cooler.
  • Did you know? Guatemala means “land of the trees” in the Maya Toltec language.

 

Nationality: Guatemalan
Population: 13 million
Capital: Guatemala City
Language: Spanish and Amerindian languages
Geography: Guatemala shares its northern border with Mexico, and its southern border with Honduras, El Salvador and the Pacific Ocean. A small section of the country borders Belize and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Terrain: Lowland plains, mountainous highlands and limestone plateau
Currency: Guatemalan Queztal
Climate: Guatemala is known as the land of the eternal spring. The temperature sits between 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. The lowlands are hot and humid and the highland mountains remain a bit cooler.
Did you know? Guatemala means “land of the trees” in the Maya Toltec language.

 

Guatemala Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Arrive in Guatemala City (night in Antigua)
  • Day 2 - Explore Antigua
  • Day 3 - Travel to host community
  • Day 4 - Host community and service project
  • Day 5 - Host community and service project
  • Day 6 - Host community and service project
  • Day 7 - Discover Chichicastanango and Lake Atitlan
  • Day 8 - Boat ride on Lake Atitlan
  • Day 9 - Day trip to Tikal
  • Day 10 - Antigua
  • Day 11 - Depart for home city