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 luxury 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 beautiful city of Quetzaltenango, known locally as “Xela.” There we will be housed in one of the area’s top-rated accommodations. After checking in we will enjoy a hosted happy hour and meet all trip participants. After happy hour, people may gather together or have dinner on their own, then rest for our next day of activities.
Saturday, March 25 - We will enjoy a hosted breakfast, then gather for a tour of Quetzaltenango, the 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. After our morning tour, we will enjoy a hosted lunch at a local eatery, followed by a tasting tour of a locally produced product valued world-wide. A location will be selected for a group, optional dinner for those who wish to join.
Sunday-Wednesday, March 26-29 - Each morning, we will gather for a hosted breakfast before heading out for our service days in the Highlands Village called San Martín Chiquito. 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 implementation of the Rotary Global Grant “The M&M Project,” which establishes a preschool featuring the renowned Montessori method of teaching in this rural highland community. Experience the thrill of making a head-start preschool education a reality for children and their families, while getting to know the 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 English, visit a local market, learn a Mayan recipe, learn to backstrap weave, and more. Each day promises fulfilling work! Surprises await, as well, as we explore the local culture. It is our heartfelt intention that this trip will include the joyful inauguration of the preschool made possible by Rotary, with local officials, grateful parents and students! This will be our last evening in the highlands.
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 may hike to the colonial church at Santa Cruz, approximately 1,000 feet above our hotel. Kayak to your heart’s content, take a launch to visit Mayan villages around the lake, climb a volcano, zip line, or lay in a hammock and read a book! After a day of exploring, enjoy an always-amazing 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. In the afternoon you can take a top-rated, guided photography and cultural tour by Rudy Giron. Or 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! - 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! Spend much of the day touring the city’s world-renowned organic “carpets” made of flowers, beans, leaves and more that line the streets during this much-anticipated pre-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, 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 we recommend the Radisson Hotel and Suites, Guatemala City, CLICK HERE
> 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.
> 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