TRIP #GMA0418:

Guatemala

Explore village life and leave a legacy that will make families healthier

DEPARTURE DATE
Apr 14, 2018
RETURN DATE
Apr 28, 2018
COST
Approx. $2,500
WHERE
San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala

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 will be installing clean-burning stoves 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.

The stoves might not seem like much, but families that can’t afford them end up using open fires in their homes for cooking. Those fires fill the houses with smoke throughout the day. Everyone from babies to elders ends up breathing in the smoke and Guatemala has a high rate of respiratory illnesses as a result.

The stoves also use far less firewood than open fires, so that means families can spend less money on bundles or less time collecting it from the forests. This means the stoves also help reduce deforestation. You’ll definitely be doing work 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.

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

It’s Not All Work:


You can expect a warm and humid climate during your stay in Guatemala. It’s an excellent time to visit as the dry season lasts through April. Temperatures average around 20°C making it comfortable for indoor or outdoor pursuits.

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. Some have gone for wilderness hikes or ziplining. There are lots of options for your free time.

Learn more about the Guatemala »

The Project:


Volunteers will be installing clean-burning stoves. You will be assisted by local masons and builders. 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

Draft Itinerary:


  • Saturday, April 14 to Sunday, April 15 – Team arrives Guatemala City airport; transport to Antigua and check in to hotel
  • Monday, April 16 to Friday, April 20 – PROJECT WORK in San Miguel Dueñas
  • Saturday, April 21 to Sunday, April 22 – Free days for some R and R
  • Monday, April 23 to Friday, April 27 – PROJECT WORK in San Miguel Dueñas
  • Saturday, April 28: Return to Guatemala City

View All Trips Schedule »

FAQs:


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:


Chris Hills

With his father serving in the Armed Forces, Chris had no option but to travel! Growing up in the Forces took his family to Germany (twice), Scotland, Malta, Wales and England.

Emigrating to Canada in 1972 was another adventure, followed over the years by river trips and camping in northern Canada and the USA. Later trips took Chris and his wife Gail to Egypt, Peru, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Bringing hope and a new future to families, children, in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, Chris’ work with teams of overseas volunteers has brought great joy and fulfillment to his life.

“A trip to Guatemala with DWC this past Spring, working with the team and local builders, providing a first new home for a family, seeing the utter joy on their faces as their home was completed… unforgettable. I look forward to sharing this experience with teams in the future.”

Are You Ready To Go?


Got questions? Email us at info@developingworldconnections.org.

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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