Village Service Trip to Guatemala with Writer’s Workshop Option April 13-24, 2023

Village Service Trip to Guatemala with Writer’s Workshop Option

April 13-24, 2023

Local Hope Trip Leaders: Cheryl Carter, with Leslie Baer Dinkel and Mel Dinkel, Logistics

Writer’s Workshop Instructor: Sharyn Dimmick

Featuring: High-Quality, Authentic Accommodations in Antigua, San Martin Chiquito, Lake Atitlán,

Details: 11 days/10 nights

Orientation: January 13, 2021, 9-noon PST by Zoom
In order to receive the full value of this trip and so you are well-prepared, please join us on this Saturday for your custom orientation.

We are excited to offer this exceptional opportunity to travel in the extraordinary setting of a Mayan village AND the most beautiful places in Guatemala, with an option to participate in a Writer’s Workshop by Writing Practice Teacher Sharyn Dimmick. Local Hope, an operator with 30 years of experience in the region, will arrange for the trip which will pair your interests and skills with local needs and service projects. Villagers will welcome you with open arms! Like a time traveler you will go behind the scenes to listen and learn about the centuries-old Mám-Mayan culture, including their sometimes-magical understanding of the world. We will serve together along side the women, men and children of the community, powerful in their own way while still working to overcome the shackles of poverty and the scars of colonialism and a brutal civil war. We will enjoy lovely, comfortable, accommodations and meals in the authentic spirit of Guatemala.

For those selecting the Writer’s Workshop option: Sharyn will lead daily writing practice that will draw from your experiences of the culture, including in-home visits, and the sense of the unique places we will visit.

Included: All accommodations, entrance fees and many meals, as well as a deeply enriching service experience working side by side with the Maya of “El Area Mám”— a culture-rich, resource-poor enclave in the Guatemalan highlands. Air travel is not included.

Cost: $2195 double occupancy* • Single room available on a first-come basis • Writer's Workshop Option $600

Service Trip Overview

Pre-Trip (April 13, 2021) - Airport to Guatemala City – Participants may choose a daytime flight and spend the night in Guatemala City, or take a late-night flight to meet the group Friday morning, April 14th. Pickups are provided at both the airport, and the Barcelo hotel, Guatemala City.

DAY 1, April 14 - Guatemala City to Antigua – After retrieving participatns at La Aurora Airport and the Barcelo hotel in Guatemala City, we will head for a delicious breakfast at a restaurant run by a family with an interesting history in the region. We will then make our way to the beautiful colonial city of Antigua where we will check in to our lovely, hacienda-style hotel, Posada de Don Rodrigo to rest and acclimate. We will gather to walk to Nim Pot, a Mayan marketplace featuring handicrafts from all corners of the country. At our hotel, you are invited to join in a group dinner featuring Baile Folklorico, a performance representing local folk heritage. Hosted: Breakfast.

DAY 2, April 15 - Antigua - After breakfast, those up for a hike will gather together to trek and take in city views from Cerro de la Cruz. We’ll take you to a Jade Factory and for a Chocolate experience, including a delicious cup of Mayan hot chocolate! From there, we will visit the exquisite grounds of the 16th Century Santa Domingo Monastery, including visiting museums museums on the grounds featuring a lavish display of artifacts. You are invited to join a group dinner on the premises. Hosted: Breakfast, Jade tour and Mayan chocolate refreshment, museums at Santa Domingo

DAY 3, April 16 – Antigua to San Martin Eco Guest House – After breakfast we will travel by comfortable bus into the Guatemalan highlands and to Local Hope’s Guatemalan Headquarters and Ecolodge, stopping along way for lunch at a local eatery. After winding our way into the mountains, we will check into our 5-star accommodations, we will rest for awhile then gather for a brief introduction of the days ahead in the village and on to dinner. Hosted: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4,5,6,7,8 April 17-21 - Writing and Service in San Martin Chiquito - Our days will be divided between service projects and writing practice. Your individual projects will be 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 at home for their families. As just a few of the options, you can practice English with an eager student, build and deliver chicken coops, prepare and deliver clean water filters, work in Xela AID Clinic, visit a local market, learn a Mayan recipe or teach your favorite one; learn to backstrap weave or take Spanish (additional costs) and much more.! Each day promises fulfilling work and inspiration! Each evening, we will gather for group dinner. Hosted: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Above, a weaving lesson. At right, volunteers prepare emergency food bags. Left, volunteers take a break with weavers of Local Hope’s Fair Trade Cooperative. Bottom, iconic Lake Atitlan with its twin volcanoes.

Day 9, April 22 – Lake Atitlán - This morning we will get packed, eat breakfast, and say goodbyes to new friends in the village. We’ll make our way to Lake Atitlán—one of the world’s most stunning destinations! Enjoy a scenic boat ride to our hotel, La Casa del Mundo, featuring chalets amidst a garden paradise. After checking in, we will rest a bit from our journey or explore the beautiful grounds, a botanic garden. In the evening we’ll enjoy an always-amazing dinner. Hosted: Breakfast, Dinner

During our stay at the lake, your nightly coursed-dinner is included as well as kayaking. There are beautiful hikes, and many optional activities including visiting a nature preserve and butterfly garden, zip lining, and visiting local villages.

DAY 10, April 23 – Lake Atitlán – Today you may hike to the colonial church at Santa Cruz approximately 1,000 feet above our hotel, kayak to your heart’s content, lay in a hammock and read a book; or take a launch to visit Mayan villages, zipline or visit and eco-preserve and butterfly garden (extra cost). In the evening you will again enjoy a homemade, delicious course dinner. Hosted: Kayaking, Dinner

DAY 11, April 24 – Lake Atitlán, Guatemala City – Mid-morning, we’ll say goodbye to our beautiful hotel and head to Panajachel, one of the country’s largest marketplaces, where you can grab a smoothie and watch the people go by or shop’ till you drop for last-minute purchases. In the early afternoon we will head back towards Guatemala City, stopping along the way for stretches and snacks before we reach La Aurora Airport and await our flights to return home.

You’ll take with you memories and new friendships sure to last a lifetime!

* Airfare is not included. A single supplement applies. Writer’s Workshop is an option offered during registration and carries an additional cost. Trip cost per person is based on 16 participants. Should fewer enroll, trip itinerary and/or activities may be adjusted with notice.ri

Event Properties

Event Date 04-13-2023
Event End Date 04-24-2023
Application Start Date 03-17-2022
Cut off date 04-13-2023
Cost (Dbl/Tpl Occu.) $2195 double occupancy*
Xela AID Guatemala
GUA, 9 Av 14-75, Zona 13, Guatemala 01013, Guatemala
Xela AID Guatemala
$2,195 20