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Guatemala: Children of the Maya™

Guatemala: Children of the Maya™

With its stunning landscape and ancient Maya culture, Guatemala promises adventure and the opportunity to make a mark on education.


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  • Teach English at a Maya school
  • Journey across the expansive and sacred Lake Atitlán
  • Attend a ceremony with a Maya shaman
  • Explore ancient archaeological ruins
  • Shop at the largest indigenous craft market in the hemisphere
  • Zipline through the mountains of Guatemala

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On this program you will immerse yourself in indigenous culture, colorful Maya heritage and mountainous landscape. You’ll find warm local residents who are proud to share their ancient traditions. This program is based in Xela (pronounced “shay-lah”)—a local nickname for the vibrant town of Quetzaltenango—which is a hub for volunteer opportunities in education and children’s issues. With very little English spoken throughout the city, residents of Xela welcome volunteers to assist in their classrooms with teaching and school facility beautification.

GLA students will volunteer at a local school during their time in Guatemala. We encourage you to check out our Community Impact Report for this program, and see how you can leave your own mark through GLA's legacy of service in the region. Click here to view the report.

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Community Service

Spend your days in Xela becoming fully plugged in to the local primary school and surrounding community, volunteering as an English teacher or helping refurbish the library, classrooms or other school facilities. You’ll have the opportunity to creatively develop and deliver lesson plans, play games with the children during recess and work with organizations committed to improving school grounds. As you spend time volunteering, you’ll also learn about social issues that affect Maya youth today.

Want to make an impact on a Guatemalan community? Check out our Community Impact Report and see how you can.

Hands-On Learning

Learn about key issues unique Guatemala, such as access to quality education and the challenge of preserving indigenous culture in the modern world. You’ll hear from a guerilla fighter and an army officer who fought in the Civil War, who will give you different perspectives of Guatemala’s rich history. To truly immerse yourself in the culture here, meet a local shaman who will teach you about cosmology. Learn from master artisans about traditional arts such as weaving, and visit a chocolate museum and organic coffee plantation—complete with samples!

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You’ll explore the famous archaeological ruins at Iximche, hike to Laguna Chicabal at the base of a volcano, and zipline against the backdrop of the region’s lush, mountainous landscape. To get a taste of city life, you’ll venture to Antigua, a colonial masterpiece that boasts gorgeous architecture, pastel alleys and cobblestone streets. For a weekend excursion you’ll spend a night at sacred Lake Atitlán and visit the bustling Chichicastenango market, the largest Maya craft market in the world.


The GLA Home Base is a lodge in the heart of of Xela offering students a peaceful escape. Students live in gender-segregated rooms with 2-4 bunk beds per room, depending on the size of the rooms. Bathrooms are shared and showers have hot water. The Home Base is quaint and provides groups with a strong sense of community.

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Dates & Tuition

Guatemala: Children of the Maya™ 14-Day Program
2020 Dates
Jul 5 - Jul 18, 2020
Jul 21 - Aug 3, 2020
Duration: 14 days
Tuition: $3,499
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 30
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for families and friends.

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