Guatemala: Children of the Maya™


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

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.

Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!

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.

Immersive 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!


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.

Program Type

Are you passionate about improving the lives of children?
  • Tutor abroad and provide education to children at school and outside the classroom
  • Be a friend and role model to the youngest generation
  • Inspire local children to dream big and achieve their ambitions
  • Leave a lasting impact on the community through infrastructure improvements at local schools

Dates & Tuition


Children of the Maya™

14-Day Program
2021 Dates
 July 5 – July 18, 2021
 July 21 – August 3, 2021
August 6 – August 19, 2021
Duration: 14 days
Tuition: $3,499
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 30
Language Hours: N/A
More Information


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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

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Custom Group Travel Option

Global Leadership Adventures offers open enrollment on this program to any high school student who wishes to join any of the summer session dates listed above. Students will meet other teens from around the country and the world who sign up for the same program dates and destination.

Alternatively, this program is also available as an option for custom group travel any time of the year for those looking to put together their own group trip.

GLA Custom Group Travel works with educators, group leaders, or self-led students to create a tailored experience for their specific group of 12 or more students. Select a pre-designed itinerary or select your own countries, themes, and learning objectives. GLA’s service-learning methodology is the vehicle through which students learn, grow and challenge themselves and their fellow travelers; our host communities welcome students’ energy and helping hands.

Leadership and personal growth are the core components of all of our programs, regardless of duration, destination or theme type and can be woven throughout every aspect of the experience through our intentional design as desired by the group leader. Our programs aim to ignite participants to become inspired to be the change.

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