CULTURAL & SUSTAINABLE PROGRAM

Educational - Cultural - Social Works - Volunteering

Antigua – Chichicastenango – Atitlan Lake - Guatemala

Theme: Cultural - Educational - Sustainable Program 
Program: 10 days
Guide options: English and local guides
Hotels: Budget and family hosting
Transport: Bus and small boat
Small group, open for student and adult
Canada Amistad Program offer a wonderful and unique experience for students and adults in Guatemala. They are oriented by a responsible approach, they will meet indigenous populations and live a human and memorable experience while aiding the community. We offer you a combination of a tourism package and a volunteer program experience. We have contact with several organizations (social, education, health and nature projects) in which you can help as a volunteer. This is a combined circuit where the students will discover the secrets of the Mayan people by having amazing and once in a lifetime experiences; but also, involvement to social actions for communities in need, an expedition to a volcano, a cruise in the Atitlan Lake, a walk through Chichicastenango’s market and the colonial city of Antigua. Realize this memorable journey with our professional staff. Many colleges, schools and universities have travelled with us for many years to discover the wonderful and mystical Mayan World.

Day 1: Arrival to Guatemala City – D (GUA)
You will be welcomed by Canada Amistad Project and transferred to your hotel in Guatemala City. Night at the hotel.

Day 2: Antigua – BLD
Breakfast – Visit of Antigua – The Spanish Colonial style permeates every part of the town: its houses, churches, squares, parks, ruins and its traditions and folklore as well. Antigua is a city o f charm and color where you can see and buy an overwhelming variety of attractive, handmade products that honour the traditions of generations of artisans – Diner and night with your host family. *Hotel is optional.  

Day 3: Antigua – Lago Atitlan – BLD
Breakfast – In the morning, there will be a visit of a Mayan Interpretation Center; followed by a Coffee Tour to learn about from the cultivation to the tasting. – In the afternoon, we will go in search of the Altiplano’s high plateaus, “Atitlan Lake” – Overnight in Panajachel. **Note: Option of humanitarian aid or Spanish lessons.

Day 4: Lago Atitlan – BLD
Breakfast – Cruise on one of the most beautiful lake in the world with its greenish blue water. First, we will stop at Santiago Atitlan village to discover a very picturesque little Indian village; visit of the village and its market. – Continuation by boat for a bathing in the lake – Lunch – Continuation by boat to the Atitlan reserve; excursion on path and suspended bridges, observation of the subtropical forest and waterfalls and feeding of ape spider – Back to Panajachel and free time at the market – Night at Panajachel. **Optional: Canopy Tour (Zip Line).

Day 5: Panajachel – Chichicastenango – Antigua – BLD
Breakfast – Transfer to Chichicastenango where you will admire the biggest handicraft market of all Guatemala, you will be able to purchase handmade clothing and articles, local pottery, textiles and many other objects that will be the perfect souvenirs. There will be an excursion to the sacred hill of Pascual Abaj, where we will witness a Mayan ceremony – Lunch – Transfer to Antigua – Diner and night with your host family. *Hotel is optional.

Day 6: Antigua – BLD
Breakfast – Today, documentary and panel with subject – PM Woodwork: production of school desks for an infantile institution in need, painting class and games with children– Meals and overnight in host family. *Hotel is optional.

Day 7: Antigua – BLD
Breakfast – This morning, we will make “piñatas” for local deprived young people. In the afternoon, you'll meet a Mayan family for support the homework helps, cooking typical meats, making handcrafts and play with younger siblings, it’s an unforgettable experience! – Meals and overnight in host family. *Hotel is optional.
 
Day 8: Antigua – BLD
Breakfast – Meeting with children of a local hospital, participation to different daily work of the institution (ex: animation with games, making beds, preparing and serving meals, etc.) *Hotel is optional.

Day 9: Antigua – Guatemala City – BLD
Breakfast – Community service in an ethnic tribe; we will take part of agriculture work, classroom’s renovation, wall painting, games with children, etc. We will take the opportunity to offer them “piñatas” that we made – Night at the hotel in Guatemala City.

Day 10: Hotel – Airport
Breakfast – Transfer to the airport for your international flight.

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

PRICE INCLUDES: $______ min 12 pax and and more.

  • Entrance to mentioned activities
  • Accommodation in host family, hotels, budget class: 1* or 2**, multiple occupation
  • All meals mentioned, drinks included
  • All local transports by land or river
  • English and Spanish speaking guide
  • Excursions mentioned in the program
  • 1 courtesy mobile phone for the leader of the group
  • All material for community service
  • Webpage with daily pictures for friends and parents
  • Min. 12 pax and more.
  • Special price for student group
  • We can work with your local travel agency ''Trip + international plane''

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What is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable Tourism is tourism that strives to minimize its impact on the environment, to respect local people and cultures, to offer economic benefit to local businesses and communities, and to provide a memorable experience for travelers and protects destinations for future generations. Using small-scale lodging, local transportation, supporting locally-owned businesses, and incorporating community-based ecotourism projects into tours are some ways travel can work towards sustainability.
What does a sustainable trip look like?

Using efficient local transportation where possible, which also provides more interaction with local people

Staying at locally owned accommodations and supporting local businesses, so that the money you spend stays within the families and individuals you encounter along the way, enabling them to grow their community.

Encourage the preservation of cultural heritage by appreciating, but not altering, archaeological sites, sampling local cuisine, and learning about traditional customs and belief systems.

Visiting local community projects. This will give you a greater understanding of the issues facing local people and learn how individuals are working to strengthen the heath and viability of their communities. You may also have a chance to volunteer and give back during your visit.

Support fair trade by purchasing goods directly from the individuals who have made them.

Sustainable Operations and Initiatives
As a leader in sustainable adventure travel, we are dedicated to offering low-impact tours that bene?t traveler and host alike. We work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts. While our sustainable tourism policies and operator standards are constantly evolving, our commitment to socially and environmentally conscious travel has been with us since the company's inception.

Tour Operation
We work closely with all our partners to ensure they operate in accordance with our Ecotourism Operator Standards:

Employ local guides, suppliers and operators in the destinations we travel.
Maintain small-group sizes to limit negative social and environmental impacts.
Homestays are incorporated where possible.
When provide private transportation on our comfort and overland tours.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites and community-based ecotourism initiatives are incorporated into our tours.

Instead of staying in large foreign-owned all-inclusive resorts or hotel chains, we aim to support the local economy by staying in small-scale hotels where possible; otherwise, the best feasible option is employed.

Tour Leaders, Porters and Local Guides
We take pride in hiring staff that represent Canada Amistad in a responsible manner, as they are the ones who have the biggest direct impact on how your tour is run. To ensure quality leadership amongst our employees:

We employ local guides, suppliers and operators in the destinations we travel as they are able to provide our travelers with an insight into local customs, culture, history, flora and fauna.

Tour leaders receive training in low-impact travel practices.

Tour Leaders must possess First Aid and CPR certification upon being hired.

Tour Leaders are encouraged to assist in researching socially and environmentally responsible operators and community-based tourism initiatives that can be incorporated into our tours.

Giving Back to the Community
While much of the focus is on ensuring travelers are provided an enriching experience, the same goes for the communities we visit and the cities we work in. Sustainability is at the core of our type of travel both near and far. One of our long-standing community-based initiatives 'at home'.