Guatemala: Children of the Maya

Highlights

  • Volunteer at a Maya school
  • Journey across sacred Lake Atitlan
  • Attend a ceremony with a Maya shaman
  • Visit a chocolate workshop
  • Explore ancient archaeological ruins
  • Shop at the largest indigenous craft market in the hemisphere

Overview

Observing the traditions of an ancient culture, while navigating an increasingly globalized world, is the exciting challenge of this immersive program. Experience and interact with the art, artifacts, landscape and inspiring young minds of Guatemala while you give back to a community in need. Based in Quetzaltenango (or "Xela" – shay-lah – as it’s referred to by locals), four hours from the capital city, students will get to know the Xelaju people in this historically-treasured town of great scenic beauty.

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Community Service

You will spend the week volunteering at a local school refurbishing and building classrooms and working with the Maya children. The school is unique in that it is run by Maya teachers and actively promotes indigenous language and culture. In addition to building classrooms, you can volunteer with kids as you share your talents doing arts and crafts, playing sports and games, and practicing basic conversational English with children during their recess. As you spend time volunteering with these children, you'll also learn about immigration issues that youth face today.

Hands-On Learning

Rural Guatemala is the perfect place to learn first-hand about Maya culture. We will meet a traditional shaman who will teach us about Maya cosmology, and also learn about medicinal plants used by the Quiche people of the region. You’ll dive into Guatemala’s rich culture by learning how to make colorful indigenous textiles, play the marimba (the national instrument of Guatemala) and even visit a chocolate workshop-- complete with samples! You will meet with grassroots leaders to learn about the challenges the Maya community faces to preserve their heritage in the face of globalization.

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Adventure

Xela is located near many important cultural treasures, such as the famous Maya ruins at Iximche. We’ll participate in a traditional ceremony with a Maya shaman. We will visit Antigua, a charming colonial town with gorgeous architecture and cobblestone streets. We’ll also explore Lake Atitlan, which rests at the foot of three massive conical volcanoes, and Chichicastenango with the largest Maya craft market in the world.

Lodging

The GLA Home Base is a lodge on the outskirts of Xela offering students a peaceful escape. Students live in gender-segregated rooms with 2-4 bunk beds per room, depending on the size of the rooms. Bathrooms are shared and showers have hot water. The Home Base is quaint and provides groups with a strong sense of community.

Dates & Tuition

Children of the Maya Flagship
Duration: 10 Days
Tuition: $2,200
Student/Staff Ratio: 12/1
Max Capacity: 25 people
Community Service Hours: 20
Language Hours: N/A
Additional Notes
See What’s Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information
Fundraising

Tips to raise funds for your trip

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.