February Break, 2019
Building a Future
Imagine living in a one-room home cobbled together with corn stalks, cane, and scavenged materials. Then imagine the wet-season: rain blows through walls, drips through roofs, and turns your dirt floors into parasitic muck. Over February break we will immerse ourselves in home-building projects, working alongside dedicated families and local builders and contributing to their efforts to create a safe and healthy future for their children.
Depending on our local partners’ needs we might be involved in building cement-block homes, repairing a roofs and walls, replacing dirt floors with finished cement, digging foundations, and/or framing homes with wood or bamboo. Don’t worry if you don’t have any building experience! All of our projects will have plenty of jobs that only require shovels, buckets, wheelbarrows, and determination. And if you happen to know your way around a construction site, then the local builders will find skilled jobs for you.
We’ll be based in a small town that doesn’t see many tourists and will stay in a family-run hostel with views of Lake Atitlan. Throughout the week, we will have the chance to learn about local artistic traditions, make tortillas over a fire, play soccer and basketball with children, swim in Lake Atitlan, hike, relax, and explore the colonial city of Antigua.
This multi-generational service adventure is designed for students in 8th-12th grade and their family members. Teens traveling without family are also welcome.
Note: If parents are medical professionals, they will have the option to volunteer in a community health clinic.
If you are interested in this service adventure, please let us know. Detailed information about pricing, itinerary, and the application process will be available in June when registration opens for this trip.
April Break, 2019
Santa Semana (Holy Week) coincides with the start of April Vacation and so our adventure will kick-off with Guatemala’s famously elaborate Easter celebrations. The streets will be covered alfombras–carpets of colored sawdust, flowers, candles and fruit (see photo above)–and we’ll watch processions of hand-carved wooden floats winding through town. This vibrant fiesta is filled with street corner performance, banners of fruit and flowers hanging across each intersection, fireworks, music, and throngs of people. It is Guatemala’s most spectacular celebration!
After the festivities, we’ll settle into a small community on the shores of Lake Atitlan, and we will work with local leaders to deepen our understanding of community through the lens of environmental, social, and economic justice. From Spanish lessons to art classes, discussions about the Maya world-view to hands-on volunteering, soccer games with children to mixing cement for floors, we’ll witness how community participation inspires change.
This trip is designed for 8th-12th grade students who want to thoughtfully and actively explore a community from a variety of perspectives. There will be limited spots for parents who would like to join the adventure.
Note: Celebrating Community centers around the shared belief that we each have a responsibility to contribute our creativity, curiosity and passion to the world in ways that matter most to us. As part of the experience, participants will design a personal project that they will work on throughout their time in Guatemala. These self-directed projects will become a way for students to integrate their journeys, contemplate their next steps, and celebrate who they are in the world.
If you are interested in Celebrating Community in the Guatemalan highlands next April, please let us know. Detailed information about pricing, itinerary, and the application process will be available in June when registration opens for this trip.
What Others Are Saying…
“A completely life-changing experience!”
“One of the most amazing weeks of my life.”
“This trip changed me in many ways and I will be forever grateful.”
“Whoohoo! Truly amazing!”
“Each experience was so deep and thoughtful.”
“I loved that we had the opportunity to volunteer [and] I also really enjoyed the adventure part of the trip. Just being engulfed in a totally new and different culture, swimming, hiking, doing yoga, food, all the animals, taking tuk tuk’s, going to different towns…I loved the whole trip!”
“My heart is full. Thank you.”