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Sample Service Learning Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and Orientation

  • Arrive at Aurora Airport in Guatemala City
  • Shuttle bus to De la Gente guesthouse in San Miguel Escobar
  • Orientation to the week's activities
  • Dinner together with a cooperative member 

Day 2: Antigua and Global Coffee Trade

             Public pilas in Antigua.

             Public pilas in Antigua.

Get to know the history of Antigua Guatemala while exploring some of the sites on a tour through this beautiful World UNESCO heritage site. Starting in the Central Park you'll next hike up to Cerro de la Cruz (the cross on the hill) for a stunning view of the old colonial capital. Next built up your appetite while wandering through some Spanish ruins. After lunch you will get the chance to explore one of the beautiful artisan markets where you can pick up some handcrafted souvenirs.

  • 7:30 am  Breakfast
  • 8:45 am  Shuttle to Antigua
  • 9:00-3:00 pmExplore Antigua 
  • 3:30 pm Global Coffee Trade Game
  • 6:00 pm  Dinner together with a cooperative farmer
                                      Learn about the global coffee market by participating in our engaging coffee activity.

                                      Learn about the global coffee market by participating in our engaging coffee activity.

Day 3: A Day in the Life of a Coffee Farmer

  Harvesting the ripe coffee fruit.

  Harvesting the ripe coffee fruit.

Rising with the sun just like any farmer in the cooperative, you'll start your day with a beautiful hike up the volcano to the coffee fields. The morning will be spent picking coffee or tending to the land side-by-side with farmers from the community, while learning about the agricultural aspects of growing coffee. Then you'll go back to the farmer's home for a well-deserved lunch. The rest of the day you will learn to process coffee from seed to cup and with a new found appreciation enjoy a fresh cup of coffee!

  • 7:30 am  Breakfast
  • 8:300 am  Meet the farmer and hike to the coffee fields to learn about coffee while working along side the farmers.
  • 12:00 pm  Return to the farmer's home for lunch
  • 1:00 pm  Continue learning about how coffee is processed from seed to cup
  • 3:00 pm  De la Gente Discussion with Andy Feldman, Executive Director 
  • 6:00 pm Dinner together with a cooperative farmer

Day 4: Local service Project

One concrete wall complete!

One concrete wall complete!

Though projects will vary from trip to trip, you can bet there will be some concrete mixing and brick laying. Cooperative members propose different infrastructure projects  - anything from building a drying patio for coffee, roof repair, or replacing corn stalk walls with cinder blocks - that will improve their home's or production facilities.

  • 7:30 am  Breakfast
  • 9:00 am  Construction project
  • 12:30-1:00 pm  Lunch at the farmer's home
  • 1:00-4:00 pm  More construction!
  • 6:00-7:00 pm  Dinner together with a cooperative farmer

Day 5: Service Project & Pepian

Prepping the vegetables for the pepian.

Prepping the vegetables for the pepian.

Continue working on the construction project you started the day before, finishing your work just before lunch time. Following lunch you will learn how to prepare Pepian, the national dish of Guatemala. Starting with a live chicken, you'll roast and grind the spices and peppers, and even make the tortillas. It's a chance to see what it's like to cook a meal without the many modern conveniences we take for granted.

  • 7:30 am  Breakfast
  • 9:00 am  Construction project
  • 12:00 pm  Lunch together at the farmer's home
  • 2:00 pm  Pepian Cooking Workshop and enjoy your traditional Guatemalan home cooked dinner and a relaxing evening 

Day 6: Artisan Workshop & Market Scavenger Hunt

                Burlap bags ready for use!

                Burlap bags ready for use!

Learn first hand how to produce the beautiful handicrafts of Guatemalan from a traditional artisan. De la Gente supports artisans from the local community by offering the following workshops: peanut butter making, huipil or burlap bags sewing, woodworking, or iron sculpting. At the end of the workshop, you will have a better understanding of the detailed work involved in the artisan's craft and the cultural relevance. Each person will make their own piece to take home at the end of the day. 

Then, get lost in a daze of colorful textiles and fresh local produce on market day. Your mission is to brave the Antigua market and find all the food and assorted items you'll need for dinner that night. You'll have a list and enough cash to buy everything on it. You may have to be a shrewd negotiator to get everything under budget, but that's part of the market experience. In addition to the dinner items, you can gain points by completing the rest of the tasks on the list! In the evening, the group will face the challenge of making a Guatemalan dish from the items they purchased from the market earlier that day.

  • 7:30 am  Breakfast
  • 9:00 am  Artisan workshop of choice 
  • 12:30 pm  Lunch in your artisan's home
  • 2:00 pm  Market scavenger hunt in Antigua
  • 6:00 pm  Prepare dinner together at the guest house

Day 7: Free Day - Explore Guatemala!

After a week of hard work, you've earned a day off! Hike an active volcano, explore the Mayan ruins of Iximche, or relax on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

  • 7:30 am  Breakfast
  • 9:00 am Leave for Lake Atitlan, Volcán Pacaya or Iximche Ruins - you will enjoy lunch on your own. 
  • 7:00 pm  Dinner together in Antigua

Day 8: Departure

  • Early breakfast together at the house
  • Travel to the airport and depart

 

PDF of Sample Itinerary

PDF of Activity Descriptions