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Actuality Abroad

WORLDSCHOOL ADVENTURE TO

GUATEMALA

July 11th - July 24th 2021

DESTINATION

WHAT IT IS LIKE WHERE WE ARE GOING

Guatemala is a country of wondrous natural beauty, rich with cultural history, and full of amazing experiences for all ages of travelers. Start things off in Antigua – a tourist mecca and bustling hub of activity for foreigners and locals alike. It was once once was the capitol of all Latin America, and now is a center for exploration – crafts, crops, culture, and more. 

Together we travel to San Juan La Laguna. High in the mountains beyond is the picturesque Lake Atitlán, ringed by Maya villages, farms, and mountains. San Juan la Laguna sits at the far West end – a small, less-visited village that is resplendent with local Maya, ingenious local cooperatives, and beautiful murals throughout town. There is much to learn, and much to do as a family in Guatemala from traditional crafts and meals, to exciting hikes and adventures in the air.

EXPERIENCE

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT ON THIS ADVENTURE

Head to Parque Central to meet your guide and take a journey through the history of Antigua – beginning with local Maya, Spanish conquistadores, and numerous missionaries, through the complete abandonment of the city in the 1700s, and on to the restoration of the city and the inception of the tourist mecca it is today.

Start at the bus depot beyond the market to board a bus for nearby village of San Andrés Itzapa and the office of Bici-tec. The founder Carlos will welcome you to the awesome world of human-powered bici-maquinas. You learn how bici-maquinas are built and the many possible uses for power-generating bicycles, and meet his students from around the world.

Meet up with a guide from the Frijol Feliz cooking school for a visit to the outdoor market. We continue on to the Frijol Feliz kitchen for a cooking class where you will learn how to prepare a traditional Guatemalan dish.

Travel by public bus just outside Antigua to the village of San Miguel Escobar. After a small trek uphill from the bus stop you meet a local farmer who guides you to their farm, teaches you all the stages of farming coffee, and then bring you back to their home to roast and grind coffee by hand. Many farmers in San Miguel decorate their home with Maya artifacts found while farming on the slopes of the Agua volcano.

Drop into performance art classes at The Los Patojos School, and learn how this local changemaker went from an after-school program in the founder’s house to a functioning school with a bakery, a clinic, and a new restaurant to better serve the community.

As a group board make your way down towards the local dock, stopping a block short, just outside the wooden gates of Asociacion Q’omaneel. A local, Mayan woman will guide you through the garden inside, educating you on local, medicinal plants and their uses, as well as demonstrating how to prepare some plants for use.

From the Panajachel docks it is a short shuttle ride to La Reserva Natural Atitlán – a locally-owned nature park with numerous walking trails showcasing local wildlife such as monkeys and coatis, featuring a walk-in butterfly garden complete with displays on all the stages of caterpillar-to-butterfly growth, and a zip-line course with 8 different cables crossing the San Buenaventura Valley, with fantastic views of Lake Atitlán and the volcanoes beyond. 

Weave your way through the small paths of San Marcos to the Eastern edge of town, where your trek really begins. Pass through forest and farmland along ancient Kaqchikel Maya pathways by the lakeshore as you hike toward Santa Cruz la Laguna, with stops in the villages of Tzununa and Jaibalito along the way. Hike time: 4 hours.

As a group walk from the guesthouse through San Juan to the LEMA Cooperative building. Rosa, the leader of the cooperative, will tour the shop to show classic works as well as modern designs, and will demonstrate the traditional weaving process. Afterwords cooperative members will lead the way to another LEMA Cooperative building where everyone will take part in the traditional dyeing process – boiling cloth with local plants for fantastic colors.

In Tzununa, follow your guide (via tuk tuk) to the Granja Tz’ikin Permaculture farm, then on to Atitlán Organics. Over the course of the morning you will see chickens, ducks, bees, and over 200 plants being farmed, and you will learn both about permaculture and farming practice that are good for Guatemala and for at home.

ITINERARY

WHAT WE DO TOGETHER EACH DAY

  • arrival to GUA International Airport
  • private car service to Antigua
  • Antigua Welcome and Orientation 
  • welcome dinner at local restaurant
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Cooking Class & Market Tour
  • afternoon kids camp
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse.
  • morning meeting
  • Bicycle Machines Tour
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse.
  • morning meeting
  • Storytelling Walking Tour
  • afternoon kids camp
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Coffee Farm Tour
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Shuttle Transport to Lake Atitlan
  • San Juan Welcome and Orientation 
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Medicinal Plant Tour
  • afternoon kids camp 
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Nature Reserve & Zipline
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Multi-Village Hike
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Traditional Fabrics Workshop
  • afternoon kids camp
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Permaculture Farm Tour
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Shuttle Transport to Antigua
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Performance Art Workshop
  • farewell dinner at local restaurant
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • private car service to GUA airport
 
DoN'T JUST TELL YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THE WORLD.
SHOW THEM.

COST

WHAT IS INCLUDED AND WHAT IS NOT

$2200 PER ADULT
$1500 PER CHILD

kids 4 and under travel at no additional cost
all prices listed in USD
  • 13 nights guesthouse lodging
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Local trip leader and translator
  • 4 sessions of afternoon kids camp with supervised childcare
  • Antigua Storytelling Walking Tour
  • Bicycle Machines Workshop
  • Coffee Farm Tour
  • Cooking Class and Market Tour
  • Performance Art Workshop
  • Medicinal Plant Workshop
  • Nature Reserve and Zipline
  • Multi-Village Hike
  • Traditional Fabrics Workshop
  • Permaculture Farm Tour
  • Local transportation to all group activities
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure

TELL ME MORE

The best way to learn about our Worldschool Adventures is by signing up for our email series. We will share insights on the why, what and how of trip design as well as planning resources and important news.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW

Our past crews have included enrolled university students, young professionals, and adults interested in expanding their knowledge about documentary production. Anyone 18 years or older with an interest in learning is welcome. 

No. Actuality Abroad Outreaches are educational in nature. We will teach you what you need to know. 

If there is space, individuals can enroll up to thirty days before the start date. However, we highly encourage registration as soon as possible. Outreaches that don’t meet their minimum 90 days in advance of the start day may be cancelled. 

If Actuality Abroad cancels the Outreach due to enrollment, all payments will be refunded. If an Outreach is cancelled due to borders closing, natural disaster or political strife, all payments will be eligible to be applied for an alternate trips or future dates. For 2021, We recommend that each person purchase travel insurance that provides reimbursement due to trip interruption or cancellation due to COVID-19 for the most peace of mind. 

No. A production package is provided to each crew that includes all production and editorial equipment you will need.

You can bring any of your own equipment to use in addition to the production package. You will be responsible for your own gear and we highly recommend purchasing personal property travel insurance to cover loss or damage.

No. A translator will be made available to each crew by their changemaker. 

The producer is the leader of the crew, in charge of keeping everything organized and is the liaison with the changemaker.

The director is in charge of the story, has final call on the main character and ensures that the issues are explored in the most engaging way.

The cinematographer decides the look of the film, captures all the needed footage and brings visual motivation to the story.

The editor helps research and plan for shooting, and supervises post production, managing all the media and cutting the final film. 

A: Actuality Abroad researches, vets and selects the changemakers that we work with on each Outreach. From those chosen you can select which you would prefer along with your crew position, based on availability at the time of registration. 

Yes. Weekends will be free for the entire group to relax, explore on their own, or join in on one of our opt-in excursions. 

Crews will stay in a secure traveler’s hotel or hostel, in multi-bunkbed, mixed gender dorm rooms. Bathrooms and showers are usually communal.

The meals provided will be typical local style food that varies each day. Most locations can accommodate vegetarians, but the fare may be less varied.

Yes. Each person must purchase a travel insurance policy fur the duration of the Outreach that includes medical coverage. 

Ask your doctor or local travel clinic about recommendations for the location you are traveling to. 

Our Outreach Leader on location will make sure that you seek medical attention from a trusted hospital or doctor if needed. 

Films are Creative Commons licensed so that every stakeholder can screen and benefit from it. Actuality Abroad retains official copyright for production purposes and in order to maintain access for all stakeholders. 

Crews are asked to collaborate on a distribution strategy unique to the goals of their film. Actuality Abroad submits every completed film to a wide network of distribution platforms, film festivals and other outlets for exposure. 

Yes. We are happy to work with currently enrolled students individually to arrange for you to earn academic credit.