"Viejos, Nuevos y Eternos: Adventure and Service Among the Old, New, and Timeless Wonders of Guatemala" - July 28-August 6, 2023

ACCOMMODATIONS: Antigua – La Aurora Hotel, San Martín Chiquito - Eco Guest House@San Martin,  Lake Atitlan -La Casa del Mundo

ORIENTATION DATE (by Zoom): Saturday, May 20, 2023 • FLIGHT SUGGESTIONS - To be announced

LEADERSHOP TEAM: Certified Trip Leader John Douglass (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), with Phil Wilson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Melanie Wilson.

COST: $2,234 (double or triple occupancy)

Friday, July 28, 2023Arrival, Day and Evening in Antigua, Guatemala
After arriving in Guatemala around 7 AM, we will head to the magnificent Colonial City of Antigua, founded in the 16th century. While our luggage is being offloaded at our comfortable hotel conveniently located near Parque Central, we will enjoy a hosted breakfast at one of Antigua’s most notable eateries. You will then have the day to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the shadow of active volcanoes. Those wishing to explore the city may take in a jade or chocolate museum or browse shops offering a wide variety of local wares, including one fair-trade shop which offers indigenous goods from across Guatemala. Lunch on your own. Later that afternoon we’ll visit stunning museums and enjoy a hosted dinner at the world renowned 16th century ruin, the Santa Domingo Convent. Hosted: Breakfast, Museums at the Santa Domingo Convent, Dinner

Saturday, July 29, 2023 iximche Ruin on the way to San Martín Chiquito
After our delicious breakfast, we will have time to further explore Antigua and its iconic cityscape. Mid-morning we will leave for Quetzaltenango (also called by its Quiché-Maya name Xelaju or Xela) in the Guatemalan highlands. We will visit along the way the Late Postclassic Maya site of Iximche and you will learn about the importance of this place from trip co-leader John Douglass, who has a doctorate in Mesoamerican archaeology. We will stop for lunch at a well-known traditional eatery, and take stops along the way as needed before arriving late-afternoon at the village of San Martín Chiquito in the misty Guatemalan highlands in time for a welcome dinner and to check in to our comfortable accommodations. Hosted: Breakfast, Entrance to Iximche Ruin, Dinner

Sunday, July 30 –  Explore Zunil, Quetzaltenango
Today we will explore the local area by bus and by foot. After breakfast, we will explore the village of San Martin Chiquito, nestled at 8500 feet amidst a managed mosaic of rolling hills, homes with garden plots, and larger subsistence agricultural fields. Each day we’ll enjoy homemade, hosted, meals prepared and served by women from the community who’ve completed chef training. After breakfast, we will visit the bustling, colorful, and fascinating traditional indigenous market in the rural town of Zunil, located to the south of Quetzaltenango along the banks of the Salamá River, and learn what types of traditional technologies and products are still produced and used there. We will also visit the nearby Zunil artisan cooperative, as well as one of the oldest churches in Guatemala, dating to the mid-1500s. Afterwards, we will spend part of the day in Quetzaltenango visiting the main plaza, having lunch in a local restaurant, and visiting a local museum which tells the story of indigenous Guatemala through the distinct traditional dress (called traje) of the country’s different regions. Hosted: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday July 31st - Wednesday, August 2, 2023Service work in San Martín Chiquito
After an early breakfast, we’ll begin three days of service in the community. During our time in San Martin Chiquito,  where the local language is Mám - a traditional Maya language - we will enjoy the comforts of Local Hope’s Xela AID Health and Learning Complex and work on service projects side by side with local inhabitants of San Martin Chiquito to advance Xela Aid’s goal of building capacity for self-empowerment! Participants may also participate in a variety of other activities, including: receiving a back-strap weaving demonstration and an optional lesson in the ancient art; visit a local home and receive a lesson on tortilla-making;  and/or participate in a Mayan cooking class that includes a trip to a local market (weaving and cooking lesson carries a nominal additional cost). Participants in the weaving class will keep their authentic backstrap loom! Hosted: Delicious Breakfast Buffet plus Lunch and Dinner

Thursday, August 3 and Friday, August 4, 2023 – Travel to Lake Atitlan
We will leave  early this morning for Panajachel, the renowned marketplace at Lake Atitlan, where private launches will take us to our stunning accommodation --chalets perched on the edge of an ancient volcano caldera among tropical gardens! We will likely arrive in time for a late lunch at our hotel on the lake. There we will have time to relax, explore the villages around the lake, hike a volcano, zip-line through the valleys, or shop in local markets. On our last night, we will enjoy a farewell dinner and celebration, and afterwards, those who wish may take advantage of a wood-stoked hot tub with views of the Lake against a backdrop of stars! Hosted: Fresh-prepared, delicious dinners; hot tub, choice of one Local Hope-arranged activity: Two-village lake tour, Zip Line and Butterfly Experience, Volcano Climb.

Saturday, August 5, 2023 Marketplace at Panajachel, Travel to Guatemala City
Enjoy a last delicious breakfast followed by our last trip across the lake to Panajachel where you can pursue last-minute deals for woven and other local art from the four corners of Guatemala. After a leisurely lunch on your own, we’ll head for Guatemala City, where you will be able to make your flights home. You’ll take with you memories and new friendships sure to last a lifetime!

Event Properties

Event Date 07-28-2023
Event End Date 08-06-2023
Application Start Date 10-11-2022
Cut off date 07-02-2024
Cost (Dbl/Tpl Occu.) $2,234 (double or triple occupancy)
Xela AID Guatemala
GUA, 9 Av 14-75, Zona 13, Guatemala 01013, Guatemala
Xela AID Guatemala
$2,234 19