Theme: "Rotary Clubs Luxury Volunteer Service Trip"
Registration Deadline and Orientation: January 1, 2023 (Orientation to be Determined)
Trip Leaders: Rotarians Kevin and Lorraine Padilla
Trip Cost (Double/Triple Occupancy): $2880
Friday, March 24 - We will meet as a group at the Guatemala City airport at 7 AM, and together board our comfortable bus to visit a local eatery for a hosted breakfast. After breakfast, we will visit the world-renowned Popul Vuh Museum, showcasing fascinating artifacts of the cosmology that is at the heart of Mayan culture. We will then travel to the Guatemalan highlands and to the region of San Martín Chile Verde, and Local Hope's Xela AID Complex. There we will be housed in the area’s top-rated accommodations. After being treated to a local welcome, we will check in and enjoy a hosted happy hour and share time with fellow participants. After happy hour, we will enjoy a hosted group meal.
Saturday, March 25 - After our hosted breakfast, we will head for Quetzaltenango, and a take a tour of this jewel of the highlands. The tour will take us to the historic Central Park, home to a 16th Century Catedral del Espiritu Santo. We will see the city from various perspectives and hear about it's interesting history. We will a hosted lunch at a local eatery, followed by a tasting tour of a locally produced product valued world-wide. Dinner is hosted at our San Martín accommodation.
Sunday-Wednesday, March 26-29 - Each morning, we will gather for a delicious buffey breakfast, included, before beginning our service days in the Highlands Village. There, we will undertake individual projects customized to match your skills and interests. Here, the rich traditions of the past are still practiced even as the young people work to become competitive in the job market, so they can create a better life for their families. Projects will likely include a private facilities tour and presentation of the Rotary Global Grant “The M&M Project,” which established a preschool featuring the renowned Montessori method of teaching. Experience the thrill of getting to see first-hand the difference that this head-start preschool education is making for children and their families. In other projects, we will work side by side with youth and adults of this Mám-speaking Maya village. As an option, build and deliver chicken coops, install clean water filters, work in a clinic, teach and practice English, visit a local market, learn a Mayan recipe, learn to backstrap weave, and more. Each day promises fulfilling work along side Rotarians and others! Surprises await as we explore the local culture. One evening we will welcome Local Rotarians so we may exchange news of our clubs.
During your stay at the lake, our next stop, your nightly coursed-dinner is included.
Thursday, March 30 – To Lake Atitlan - After breakfast and packing up, we will head for magnificent Lake Atitlan, one of the world’s most stunning destinations! Enjoy a scenic boat ride to reach our hotel, featuring chalets amidst a garden paradise. Lunch will be available at the hotel where everything is homemade and mouthwatering. Each evening, enjoy a delicious, home-made multi-course dinner, included. This night, enjoy a wood fire-stoked hot tub under the stars and overlooking the vast lake.
Friday, March 31 – Lake Atitlan – You'll have many choices of how to enjoy your day. Accompany us on a hike to the colonial church at Santa Cruz, approximately 1,000 feet above our hotel. You may prefer to kayak to your heart’s content in the early morning, then choose between: taking a launch to visit Mayan villages around the lake, climb a volcano; visit an eco-lodge where you can enjoy a butterfly exhibit, local wildlife and zip line if you like. Or, you may choose to lay in a hammock and read a book! After a day of exploring, enjoy an always-amazing hosted dinner.
Saturday, April 1 – Atitlan to Antigua - In the morning we’ll pack up and catch our private launch back to the world-renowned marketplace, Panajachel. You can relax and watch the world go by from the patio of a restaurant, slurping down a smoothie or latte, or shop till you drop. We will then make our way to the beautiful colonial city of Antigua, founded in the 16th century. You may choose to shop, visit jade and chocolate museums, explore ruins, or relax on the lovely grounds of our hotel. We will arrange a no-host dinner featuring a local "folklorico" dance group which you are welcome to join.
Sunday, April 2 - City Views, and the Magnificent Organic "Carpets" of Antigua Unique to Easter Week! - We'll get up early to see Antigua come to life as colorful processions begin! We'll spend the morning touring the city’s world-renowned organic “carpets” made of flowers, beans, leaves and more that line the streets during this much-anticipated Easter celebration. On this our last night together, we will celebrate with a special farewell ceremony at dinnertime at the magnificent Santa Domingo Monastery, included.
Monday, April 3 - On this, your last day in Antigua, if you’re up for a moderate, early-morning hike with your trip leaders, take in the extraordinary views of the city from Cerro de la Cruz high above the landscape! Or, you can relax, shop, or sign on for some optional activities we will present. In the late afternoon, we’ll begin to make our way to the airport for our journey home. You’ll take with you memories and new friendships sure to last a lifetime!
FLIGHT BOOKING INSTRUCTIONS
Note: Whatever flight option you choose, please MAKE SURE to arrive in Guatemala City no later than 7 AM on Friday, April 1, 2022 to join the group. Please make your return flight out no sooner than 6 PM on Monday, April 11, 2022.
> DAYTIME FLIGHT, ARRIVE THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2023 -
Flight of your choice. For those who wish to avoid a red-eye flight or use miles with a specific carrier, arrive on any flight this Thursday spend the night, and meet the group at 7 AM the next day. For your overnight stay, we highly recommend the Barcelo Hotel and Suites, Guatemala City: https://www.barcelo.com/en-us/barcelo-guatemala-city/
> RED EYE FLIGHT, ARRIVE FRIDAY, March 24, 2023 - Avianca AV641 leaving LAX March 23, 2023 at or near 11:55 pm, arriving Guatemala the next day (March 24) before 7 AM (times vary). This flight is a red-eye and typically less expensive than the daytime flights. Please note that in some cases, this flight leaves after midnight, arriving between 6-7 AM. In that case, you would need to make sure and book your outbound flight for March 24, arriving same day.
Please do NOT book a return flight that leaves prior to 6 PM on Monday, April 3, 2023. If you are flying to LAX, we suggest this inbound flight, or another leaving at 6 PM or later.
> EVENING FLIGHT TO LAX, April 3, 2023
- Avianca AV640 leaving GC this Monday at between 6 and 8 pm (time listing varies) arriving LAX near 11:40 PM.
Please don't hesitate to contact your trip leaders with questions about this trip or flight