Panajachel-Antigua Service Trip – $695 p/p – minimum 4 people, maximum 20 people
Please contact us for available dates.
Arrive in Guatemala City and spend the night in the luxurious Barcelo Hotel. Get a good night’s sleep because the next morning, your adventure begins!
Day One – Breakfast at the Barcelo and board your shuttle to Iximche, the Mayan ruins that were the site of the country’s first capital city. You’ll spend around an hour exploring the beautiful ruins with a bilingual guide. Once you’ve had your fill, jump back on the bus for the trip to Panajachel, a tranquil town nestled in the mountains at the edge of Lake Atitlan. The group will get settled in the hotel, enjoy lunch and then have the remainder of the afternoon for swimming or shopping. Dinner will be at Jose Penguino’s, where you’ll enjoy a traditional meal and a cultural show.
Day Two – Rise with the sun and enjoy the beautiful lake, or sleep in a bit and have a slightly later breakfast before heading down to the docks for a trip across the lake. You’ll be visiting the beautiful Mayan town of Santiago, where you’ll be transported in pickup truck to see Maximon, the Mayan deity, then to the lookout, where you can capture some amazing images of the lake. Finally, we’ll head to the circa 1457 Mayan/Catholic church and explore the convent before giving you a taste of market day. You’ll be walking back to the docks via the busy Sunday market and will have a chance to see what shopping as a Guatemalan is really like! The return boat trip will take you past several other villages and get you back to Panajachel just in time for a late lunch. Spend your afternoon shopping or relaxing . . . the hard work starts on Day Three!
Day Three – Mayan Families will pick you up at 9 am, so get ready to work. You’ll be taken to the organization’s headquarters where you’ll have a chance to take a tour of the facilities and see a performance by the preschool children attending school there. Your group will also receive training in how to install an Onil stove, after which, you’ll be going into the community to install them yourselves. This is a huge blessing for the families that receive these stoves. The fuel-efficient Onil stoves cut back on the amount of time a family has to search for firewood, as well as reducing the harmful smoke in the cooking area, helping the family stay healthier. You may also install a bed or water filter while you’re out and about. Lunch is provided by Mayan Families, but everyone is on their own for dinner.
Day Four – Anyone interested in Guatemalan textiles will love visiting the huipile market in Panajachel. It’s available on Tuesdays and Fridays, and features traditional textiles from around the country. You’ll want to head there early, since you’ll be visiting a preschool and doing crafts with the children a little later on. For lunch, your group will help serve the elderly at Mayan Families’ senior feeding center in San Jorge, then it’s off to install one last bed or water filter before heading back to the hotel to clean up and change for a special dinner at Mayan Families. This meal is included in the tour and you’ll see a video of your work with the organization. Children will receive a certificate for their volunteer work.
Day Five – After an early breakfast, you’ll get on your bus, headed to the picturesque city of Antigua. You’ll arrive around noon, in time to enjoy a stroll around Central Park and lunch at Doña Luisa. If you choose, you can head to the Choco-Museo to learn about chocolate and make your own candy bars. Then you’ll have time to relax and recover from the journey before the next day’s fun begins.
Day Six – Morning activity choices include a walking tour of Antigua, ziplining or climbing Volcan Pacaya. Alternatively, you can relax in the hotel or go shopping. The group will meet up for lunch in one of Antigua’s tasty restaurants and the afternoon may be spent shopping, visiting San Juan del Obispo on a chicken bus or visiting the coffee plantation near Antigua.
Day Seven – Families will have the option of taking weaving classes or visiting Niños con Bendicion on this day. As this is the final night of the tour, the group will convene for a special farewell dinner.
Day Eight – Your transport to the airport is included in the package, but you can also choose to extend your stay on your own, if you prefer.