TRIP #GMA0417:


See the difference you can make on this Adult and Family trip to Guatemala

Apr 15, 2017
Apr 29, 2017
Approx. $2,300
San Miguel Dueñas, Sacatepequez, Guatemala


You’ll work with Open Windows Foundation in San Miguel Duenas, an agricultural community of about 12,000 people who live 15 kilometres from the tourist city of Antigua. Despite being located so close to the tourism industry, many San Miguel families barely get by. Open Windows is a dynamic, non-profit children’s learning centre that provides 2,600 kids with services and programs so they have more options and independence in their lives.

About The Trip:

You’ll be building homes and possibly teaching children computer skills and literacy with the guidance of Open Windows Foundation (OW). Most of the people who live in and around San Miguel Duenas are subsistence farm workers living in tin and cindercrete block houses.

You’ll do construction that builds a future for people who live off of hope. You’ll work alongside like-minded volunteers who are also passionate about travel and giving others a hand up, not a hand out.

You’ll be in Guatemala during Easter celebrations, which will add an extra facet to this trip. While the holiday might mean you’ll have to shift your souvenir shopping time, you’ll get a chance to see and participate in an important local cultural occasion. Nearby Antigua is known for its Easter passion.

Read day-to-day experiences from our volunteers on the Guatemala Blog »

It’s Not All Work:

April is a great time to see Guatemala; the weather is warm (daytime highs average 29C), it’s just before the rainy season and it cools off at night.

And there’s lots to see and do. Antigua, where our volunteers stay in a hotel, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Spanish Baroque style of architecture and church ruins. The region was hit by several earthquakes in the 1700s (hence the historic ruins). Not to worry, though, there haven’t been any quakes of note in the past couple of hundred years or so.

Past teams have visited a chocolate maker, open markets, monuments, fountains, plant nurseries and even volcanoes.

You’ll be there during Easter celebrations, which will add an extra facet of Guatemalan immersion to this experience. While the holiday might mean you’ll have to shift your souvenir shopping time, you’ll get a chance to see and participate in an important local cultural occasion.

Learn more about the Guatemala »

The Project:

Volunteers will be building homes with and for families in need. You will be assisted by local masons and builders to construct tin and cinder block homes along with installing a clean-burning stove. You will have a chance to visit Open Windows and work with small groups of children to help their computer skills, literacy and crafts.

GMA0314-HS_ Volunteers building
GMA0314-HS_chocolate making group shot and local

When / Itinerary:

  • Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16 – Team arrives Guatemala City airport; transport to Antigua and check in to hotel
  • Monday, April 17 to Friday, April 21 – PROJECT WORK in San Miguel Dueñas
  • Saturday, April 22 to Sunday, April 23 – Free days for some R and R
  • Monday, April 24 to Friday, April 28 – PROJECT WORK in San Miguel Dueñas
  • Saturday, April 29: Return to Guatemala City

View All Trips Schedule »


Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing..
What are meals and accommodations like?
The team will stay at a hotel in Antigua that is comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The program cost is about $2,300 and will be finalized closer to the departure date. This includes accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to Open Windows Foundation. It does not include airfare.

The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC. You can also fundraise and we will issue charitable receipts for donations $20 CDN or greater.

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteer trips take you to places you otherwise might never go, to do things you otherwise might never do and to meet people you might never otherwise meet.

You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.

DWC Team Leader:

Tom RankinTom Rankin 1 adjust crop

Tom started travelling as a youngster on family holidays. Right after high school, he spent a winter working in the Arctic, then almost two years travelling the South Pacific (Fiji, New Zealand and Australia), to Mauritius, and then Southeast Asia (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma), coming home through Europe (Greece, Lebanon and Belgium). There were sporadic trips over the years while Tom was raising his family (Alaska, Mexico and Iceland). As soon as he heard about DWC, Tom knew he wanted to try travelling in a way that gave back to the people of the country.

He did a trip to Cambodia with DWC team leader Don Brimacombe and enjoyed it so much, he decided to become a team leader. For Tom, the difference in the volunteer travel that DWC offered was the personal connection that participants make with the people who live in the host country.

In Tom’s words: “Working alongside locals who are watching change take place before their eyes added a very meaningful dimension to the journey. Having a great group to share the camaraderie, curiosity, learning, fatigue and the challenge of new food, only enhanced the experience.”

Are You Ready To Go?

Got questions? Email us at

Ready to apply? Fill out our online application. You can secure your place on this trip with a $500, non-refundable deposit that goes toward your total trip cost. After you’ve submitted your forms and deposit, our office will contact you and send you a welcome package.

We’re glad to have you join us.

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