Guatemala is a country of rugged beauty and natural wonder. All of Central America’s best attributes seem to be condensed into this nation. It contains the highest concentration of active volcanoes in the Americas. Shadows of the ancient Mayan civilization that once ruled here are found among numerous awe-inspiring ruins. But it is the people of Guatemala that melt the heart of the visitor.
What the modern voyager to Guatemala may not see is its not so distant violent past. Guatemalans are known for their broad smiles and bright colorful clothing. But behind many of those smiles are the scars of wars that have affected almost every family. Even today, this country’s indigenous people struggle to survive at the same standard of living as the rest of society. Often shunned and forgotten, the faces of these people are endless reminders of a past that was once joyful. In this place, the people will weave their way in to your hearts forever. Join us for a missions trip or pilgrimage to this beautiful location.
- Enjoy the peace of gothic cathedrals and sweeping landscapes.
- Learn what it means to serve the least of these.
- Take part in an indigenous church service.
- Climb an active volcano and bathe in its natural hot springs.
- Visit a bustling marketplace and learn to barter with a smile.
- Explore ancient Mayan ruins and hear the stories of a once vast kingdom.
- Create an artistic outreach and perform at several schools.
- Clean and paint a local school and leave a lasting impression.
- Find a small church and ask to serve with any current pressing need.
Every Wonder Voyage itinerary (mission trip and/or pilgrimage) is personalized to the desires, direction and personality of each group. This itinerary is only a description of the kind of journey we can create for your unique team.
- Day 1 – Putting Servants’ Hearts Into Action
Bienvenidos a Guatemala! Once the center of the Maya civilization, this Central American jewel is home to jungles, rainforests, volcanoes, and some of the most hospitable people around. The Spanish colonial town of Antigua is our new home away from home. Upon arrival, we settle in and prepare our hearts and minds for the exciting week ahead. As our adventure of service in Antigua begins we focus on the nature of servanthood. May serving be our priority this week; and may we put this priority into action.
- Day 2 – Live Today
Seventeenth Century English poet John Bunyan is quoted as saying, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” We put this rule to practice today as we immerse ourselves into school activities in the village of Alotenango. The afternoon takes us to the north side of the city and the Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross.) The stunning views of the city below, and the Fuego volcano, give us a different perspective on this magical place.
- Day 3 – Love Made Visible
This new day in Antigua begins with an unforgettable experience – a visit to a chocolate museum! The history of cacao and chocolate, their importance to Mayan culture, as well as some tasty treats, are all on the morning’s menu. In the afternoon we have the opportunity to lead activities for a local Kids’ Club. Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran once wrote, “Work is love made visible.” Our goal for the afternoon – high visibility love
- Day 4- At The Heart Of It All
The center of life for any Spanish colonial city is the plaza mayor, or as we would call it, the town square. The plaza is usually anchored by a church on one side and the seat of government on another. It was the place to worship, conduct business, to see and be seen. In the city of Antigua, the Parque Central is still a hub of local activity. Our morning’s excursion takes us to the park to explore and experience what it’s like at the heart of the city. As we do so, may love and humble servanthood be at the heart of it all.
- Day 5 – The Most For Others
In his 1901 autobiography Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” The goal for this day is that kind of happiness. We spend the morning visiting, entertaining, and doing projects in a local nursing home. Many of the residents have no family or friends to visit, so the mere presence of any kind of visitor is a gift. The afternoon and evening bring the opportunity to meet young people from the community. While our lives look very different, tonight is all about discovering common ground. May the close of the day be overflowing with happiness that reflects our time spent serving others
- Day 6 – Volcanic Adventure
The city of Antigua is situated within a valley of volcanoes. During the week we have had the opportunity to see volcanoes from different perspectives: from airplane windows, from city streets, and from the top of the Cerro de la Cruz. Today we get an up-close and personal view of the Pacaya Volcano. This active complex volcano rises over 8300 feet and has erupted more than 20 times since the Spanish conquest of Guatemala began in 1524. Our final evening in Antigua is a time of celebration, reflection, and remembrance as we begin the transition of hearts and minds to the journey home.
- Day 7 – Go And Be Great
Our time in Guatemala has come to an end. We send you forth with a reminder that should also serve as a challenge for the future. “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’ to serve. You don’t have to know the Second Theory of Thermodynamics in Physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” With these words from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in our hearts, may you all go and be great.
Legacy in Guatemala
- *This is the base cost of the trip. Your cost may differ depending on housing, activities, etc.