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Work Tour to Guatemala
March 14 – 22, 2015
Cost: $1,495 not including airfare*
See Guatemala as few others ever do by joining Trees, Water & People’s 2015 Work Tour! This trip of a lifetime will give guests the opportunity to experience the beauty of Guatemalan culture while giving back to the communities we serve.
On this trip you will:
- Learn to build clean cookstoves
- Visit community tree nurseries
- Repair a community water system
- Learn agroforestry and permaculture techniques
- Practice your Spanish and Maya language skills
- Explore Guatemalan customs and culture
- Saturday, March 14: Rendezvous with the Trees, Water & People (TWP) team at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, and take group shuttles directly to a pre-booked hotel in colonial Antigua. Depending on arrival time, enjoy a walk around this beautiful city and a bite to eat (please note that your flight must arrive in Guatemala City no later than 9:00pm or you will need to secure your own arrangements for transfer to the hotel in Antigua).
- Sunday, March 15: Group breakfast and full day in Antigua – take time to walk around the city and enjoy a four hour introductory Spanish language class to get you warmed up for the week. In the evening, we will host a group dinner with an introduction to the events of the coming week.
- Monday, March 16: Early check-out from the hotel for group shuttle trip to La Bendición (approximately 2 hours). Arrive to lunch, “check-in” and an introductory meeting with community leaders. Lodging will be provided in an early century coffee plantation house, which has been turned into a community center and dormitory for visitors. All meals will be served here and there are bathrooms and showers on site. Bedding is included, but feel free to bring your own sleeping bag.
- Tuesday, March 17: Wake up to breakfast with fresh-milled corn tortillas ground into ‘masa’ at the water-powered community mill – a vestige of the old coffee plantation. Break into teams and accompany local leaders to a variety of pre-selected homes to construct an improved “rocket” cookstove for local families using local materials. These stoves reduce indoor air pollution and wood fuel consumption, and withstand heavy seasonal winds that can make cooking difficult here. Lunch will be provided at the community center.
- Wednesday, March 18: After breakfast, we will get a tour of some agricultural projects being implemented by the local youth group, including an organic pineapple project, agroforestry plots and a small beekeeping operation (inform us if you have allergies). We will then help the youth in their diverse, TWP supported tree nursery, preparing seedlings for the May rains.
- Thursday, March 19: After breakfast, we will visit a community water system and help make repairs to the piping system upstream from the principal tank. Age and weather events have worn on the system and we will have an opportunity to help with a portion of the refurbishment. After lunch, we will offer an optional guided hike up into the lush forests on the flanks of Volcán Pacaya, using established hunting trails made by the community.
- Friday, March 20: After breakfast, we will pack up and load into the shuttle bus to leave La Bendición. Our destination is the Instituto Meso Americano de Permacultura (IMAP) in San Lucas Toliman, on the south shore of Lago Atitlán. The plan here is to relax and reflect on the week, as well as to tour the beautiful campus of the IMAP and the majestic views of the lake. Lunch and Dinner will be served here, and lodging will be arranged on site.
- Saturday, March 21: After breakfast, we will leave for Antigua, Guatemala, where we will enjoy a final afternoon and evening of dinner and revelry, after clarifying logistics for the early morning shuttles back to La Aurora International Airport for our departure.
- Sunday, March 22: Depart Guatemala from La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City.
Things to Remember
- Temperatures in March are HOT – come prepared with hats, sun screen and a water bottle.
- La Bendición is off-grid – there is no electricity, so bring portable lighting, batteries and charging devices as needed for any electrical equipment. We will have Luciérnaga solar products available to charge small devices, but also be prepared to use them less.
- Mosquitoes are a reality – There are fewer during March when we are traveling, but bring repellent, long sleeves, and pants for the early mornings and evenings.
- Guatemala is safe – and we can keep it safe by keeping group communication clear and abiding by the group itinerary and scheduled meeting times.
- Plan your spending – Guatemala has some of the best handicrafts in the hemisphere, but you will need the local currency, Quetzales, to get your gifts. There are plenty of ATMs in Antigua that will give you the best rate, albeit for an ATM fee. DO NOT bring travelers checks.
- Bring comfortable shoes or boots that you can work and hike in safely. Chacos and Tevas are also great to have, but will expose your feet to mosquitoes, so use judiciously.
- Bring a camera!
Contact Megan Maiolo-Heath at email@example.com or (970)484-3678 ext 11
* Cancellation Policy: 100% refund 30+ days prior. 50% refund 8-29 days prior. No refund <7 days prior.
** Ten participants needed for travel. Plane tickets should not be purchased until trip is confirmed by TWP.
*** Must be 18 years of age or accompanied by an adult.