Guatemala Humanitarian Leadership
7 nights/8 days
May 4 - 11, 2019
"Going to Guatemala was literally the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life." - Past teen participant
What is the Itinerary and Cost?
Sample itinerary. Will be adjusted as needed.
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City & Transfer to Panajachel (Lake Atitlán)

Transportation from Guatemala City to Panajachel (it's a 3 hour drive, bring -- medication if you easily get car sick).
We'll see the gorgeous views of the mountains and the lake as we descend toward Lake Atitlán.

Day 2: Cultural Day & Mentor Meetings

Today you will be introduced to the culture of Guatemala by exploring local villages and meeting the people. We will also have leadership mentor meetings and some free time for activities of your choice -- hiking, church, sightseeing, shopping, etc.

Day 3: Service Day with Cultiva

Private transportation to Cultiva Homestead where we will spend the day learning about the projects we will be participating in during the week at the homes of the Mayan people. We'll also learn how helping sometimes hurts and how Cultiva was founded.

Day 4: Service Day in Mayan Villages

Private transportation to Cultiva Homestead and surrounding villages where we will spend the day working on projects at the homes of the Mayan people.

Day 5: Adventure Day Climbing Volcano

Challenge yourself and conquer the volcano. See the spectacular view of Lake Atitlán.

Day 6: Service Day in Mayan Villages

Private transportation to Cultiva Homestead where we will spend the day working on projects at the homes of the Mayan people.

Day 6: Adventure Day at Lake Atitlán

Spend the day zip-lining, diving, and swimming at Reserva Natura and Lake Atitlán.

Day 7: Transfer Back to Guatemala City
Departure flights will ideally leave after noon (12pm). 
$2397 per person
But only $1897 if you sign up BEFORE March 15, 2019
$600 non-refundable deposit holds your spot
What Parents Say About This Trip
"First of all, many thanks for providing the opportunity for our son to participate in the Guatemala expedition through Williamsburg Adventures. From all that we've heard, it was everything we hoped it would be and more. He came home beyond excited and motivated with new ideas about how he wants to move forward in his education and life in general which is just fantastic!

Our biggest hope in sending him to Guatemala was that he would be inspired by great mentors and leaders and catch a vision of his own potential for doing good in the world. He was absolutely inspired by [Williamsburg Adventures mentors] and by the Jensen family [Cultiva International] and was so excited about the work he was involved in that he is ready to pack up and move right now! ... We have loved hearing him talk about his experiences in Guatemala and particularly hearing how the mentoring that took place along with those experiences guided his learning and perspective on what he was doing and why. We have a niece who is quite involved in a youth humanitarian program in Ghana that earlier this year [our son] had been interested in participating in, but we felt that it lacked the backbone we saw in Williamsburg's program with its focus on principles of humanitarian leadership. We are so pleased that he has been introduced to these important principles through his Guatemala experience. What a wonderful program!

We were also excited to hear about the friendships that he made on the expedition. It sounds like you had a fantastic group of students and adults -- the kind of people that we hoped he would meet.
     -- Jane, mother of participant

Only a few spots available -- reserve your place with a non-refundable deposit. 
Why Go With Us to Guatemala?

A Focus on Personal Transformation

Our trips focus on helping the individual to experience personal transformation in order to become a better person and a better leader.

Develop Leadership Skills

Our trip is an extension of our Humanitarian Leadership course and focuses on developing leadership skills that can make a difference in the world.

Led by World-Class Experienced Mentor

Our trips are led by a mature mentor with years of experience who guide participants to mentally & emotionally process and act on what they learn.

Learn How to Help the RIGHT Way

Some humanitarian work HURTS instead of helping. Go with an organization that is providing the RIGHT kind of humanitarian aid.
What Parents and Youth Say About This Trip
"I will NEVER forget the way I felt and the amazing friends that I have made. I got to gain a new perspective on life and am filled with so much more gratitude and compassion in my heart and mind. Literally this is the best decision I have made in my life. I am so excited to start living my life better and see everything in a new way.”                - Mackenzie, youth participant
"I'm thrilled that they get this opportunity and so grateful to be able to send them with mentors I trust and admire. Thank you for who you have worked hard to become and for providing this experience for my kids."             -- Tia, mother of two participants
Why Guatemala?

High Malnutrition Rate

With chronic malnutrition plaguing 7 out of 10 Mayan children, Guatemala is 4th highest in malnutrition worldwide. This affects physical and mental development and perpetuates the cycle of poverty.

Helping That Helps, Not Hurts

Too many organizations actually cause more harm by providing 'help' in the wrong way. We work with to teach skills instead of providing handouts.
What's Included?

Visit Indigenous Mayan Villages

Visit the homes of the local people, play with their children, and experience their culture, traditions and lifestyle.

Devotionals, Solo Time and More

Beyond the transactional experience of most trips, where leaders move participants from place to place, we provide space for daily discussions, devotionals, solo time, leadership activities and more.

Transformational Mentoring

Our leaders are called 'mentors' because they do more than regular trip guides -- they inspire, challenge, listen to, and guide you as you learn how to lead yourself and others.

Donation to Cultiva International

The trip cost includes a donation to cover the cost of materials for the projects we will be working on with Cultiva (building garden boxes, etc.)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for 8 days

All meals are included for the duration of the trip (9 nights/10 days) -- breakfast, lunch and dinner -- as well as bottled water. Snacks are not included.

Comfort Lodging for 7 Nights

We will be staying in Guatemala City, Panajachel, and Xela (Quetzaltenango) and all accommodations are included.

Climb San Pedro Volcano

The smallest of the three volcanoes encircling Lake Atitlán, it still provides a solid 9,908 ft (3020 m) climb that will test our strength and endurance.

Zipline at Reserva Atitlán

Your heart is racing. The branches whoosh past and then you finally see it --  the vastness of the lake below and the volcanoes above. You feel like you're flying!

All In-Country Transportation

We will pick you up and drop you off at the airport and handle all transportation in country, including boat rides on Lake Atitlán.

All Entrance & Excursion Fees

Zip-line, volcano climb, water park, and hot springs entrance fees are all included in the trip price.
What's NOT Included?

Flights To and From Guatemala City

Flights are not included, although we will be happy to help you coordinate and make arrangements, especially if your youth is flying alone.

Souvenirs, Snacks and Personal Expenses

Snacks, souvenirs, and other personal expenses are not included.
What Youth Say About This Trip
"They didn't speak our language and most of us couldn't speak theirs, but we all had this connection that was so special I can't describe it. I can only remember how special I felt. But even though it was so special helping them with this, what was super special was spreading joy to these families. Making them smile and laugh, playing simple games with them, creating a friendship. That made my heart fill with gratitude and compassion. 

The people there are so strong and so amazing. I made a commitment that I will NEVER complain again after seeing how strong these families were even though they were going through so much more worse things than I have ever experienced. I have never made a better decision than to come to Guatemala and encourage everyone to do a humanitarian leadership class with a sincere heart and open mind. 

It will change your life for the better. You WILL gain a new perspective on life that will change the way you view things and you will become more grateful for EVERYTHING you have. :)"     -- Taylor, youth participant
Only a few spots left -- REGISTRATION DEADLINE MARCH 15, 2019
Is This Trip Right For Me?
Williamsburg Adventures has high standards for trip participants and trip outcomes. This trip may be the right fit for you if you are:
  • Ready to Be Personally Challenged
  •  Willing to Work Hard and Serve Others
  • Mentally, Emotionally & Physically Healthy
  •  Looking to Connect With Youth Who Have High Standards and Want to Make a Positive Difference in the World
  •  You are age 14+ (adults welcome -- younger ages considered on a case-by-case basis)
This trip is NOT for you if you are:
  • Immature & Unable to Be Serious When It's Time to Be Serious
  • Looking For an International Party
  •  Unwilling to Be Vulnerable and Connect with Others
What Youth Say About This Trip
I just returned from an amazing trip to Guatemala! ... I had the most amazing time and grew so much... The people there changed my life. I felt safe the entire time and the people opened their homes and hearts to us. The group I worked with was extraordinary and I'm forever grateful I got to work side by side with these amazing youth! Thanks to everyone who took the time to make an impact on my life!                -- Maddy, youth participant

Watch Previous Expeditions
What Youth Say About This Trip
"Those [shown] here, are some of the most incredible youth I know... it's hard to describe what we all mean to each other... We have all impacted each other in a very powerful and meaningful way. We have all left prints and marks on the lives and hearts of one another.
We have grown, seen, experienced so much together in such a short time, it's incredible really.

I believe in a world that can be amazing, I believe that we can create our reality, I believe that despite the darkness that may surround us at times, that we can live, act, and think on a VERY elevated level.
.. we understand now that life is what we make of it, that deep connection with people is very possible, that we can all make a difference and can impact and inspire.    -- Devon, youth participant

Frequently Asked Questions
Who will be there to pick up my child in Guatemala City? 
A mentor will be in Guatemala city to meet each participant when they arrive and drop them off when they depart. If a student needs to arrive a day early or stay a day late, he will be there with them, but the cost of the hotel and food is not included in the trip price.
Do participants need to be vaccinated? 
Vaccinations are at the discretion of each family. I did not get any for my family when we lived there.
Will participants have access to health care if needed?
Yes, there are very good hospitals and competent doctors in Guatemala.
Do I need a visa to travel to Guatemala?
You will be given a 'tourist visa' that gives you 90 days in the country when you arrive at the airport in Guatemala City.
Are discounts offered for families or groups?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer group discounts at this time.
Is Guatemala safe? 
Despite what critics say, Guatemala is overall a very safe place, especially the way we are going to experience it. Mr. Denning lived there with my family (with small children) for a year and a half. He never felt threatened or in danger. Guatemalans are very loving people. He also has close friends from the U.S. who currently live there with young families. 
Are participants likely to get sick?
It can be common when traveling to developing countries to pick up some sort of intestinal bug. Last year we had a couple upset stomachs on the expedition, but great health otherwise. We are extremely cautious with this group to make sure they are eating and drinking very clean food and water.
What if I can't afford this trip but I really
want to go?
One thing that travel has taught me is that we often find time/money for the things we truly value or want. The poorest people who live with dirt floors and tin roofs often have a very nice T.V. because it's something they wanted.

If a life-changing experience is something you would find value in, then there is a way to make it happen, either through working or fundraising. If you are interested, Mr. Denning would be happy to help you brainstorm some ideas.
Have a question that's not answered here?
Please contact the Trip Coordinator Rachel Denning at 
Only a few spots left -- REGISTRATION DEADLINE MARCH 15, 2019
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