In the summer of 2021, PEG Partners will be taking a group of up to twenty people, led by David LaMotte and Sarah Robinson, to learn more about Guatemala and PEG’s work there, enjoy the rich culture and beautiful landscape, and explore how best we can have a positive influence on the world around us, in partnership and community across lines that sometimes separate us. The trip will focus on cultural exposure and understanding. Our time together will have educational components, and opportunities to get to know and support some of PEG’s Guatemalan partners and their work.
The itinerary includes Guatemala City, Antigua, El Tejar, Chimaltenango, Panajachel, and Santiago, Atitlán.
We will travel to Guatemala on Sunday, July 11, and we will return to our homes on Tuesday, July 20, 2020.
If these dates don’t work for you this year, please sign the PEG Partners mailing list in order to keep up to date on future trips. You may also contact Sarah if you are interested in putting together your own trip, whether for your church, school, service organization, workplace, family, etc. Sarah is happy to help you make a trip to Guatemala into reality.
What to expect:
Here is the proposed itinerary for the trip.
Our previous experience indicates a high probability that you will fall in love with Guatemala and its people. Guatemala, like every country, is full of individuals, but on the whole, you can expect folks there to be warm, welcoming, and kind. Guatemalan people are the best part of Guatemala. Beauty takes many other forms, too, however. The former colonial capitol city of Antigua features incredible Spanish architecture, the mountains and countryside are gorgeous, and Lago Atitlán has been called the most beautiful lake in the world.
Guatemalan food is delicious, and it is not too hard to accommodate most dietary styles (David is vegetarian, and loves it there). Guatemala is also a country with extreme poverty and a violent past, in which the United States has played a significant role. It continues to wrestle with thorny political, social, and economic issues. Learning about this history and present circumstances in Guatemala will be part of our time. To learn more about how PEG began and the work we do in Guatemala, please click here.
The itinerary will be fairly dense, but we try to keep a reasonable pace. We will visit a music program that PEG co-founded, a mentoring program for disadvantaged girls that PEG funds, a primary school for which PEG has been the principal funder, and UPAVIM, a community center, school, clinic, and women’s fair trade co-op in Guatemala City where PEG has supported various initiatives. We will also visit with our friends at CEDEPCA, who will provide a Monday morning introduction to Guatemala, to provide basic history and context.
These trips are unlike those you might find with other groups. It is neither designed to be a tourist trip, nor a work trip, per se. We believe that the work of transforming ourselves and the world around us is rooted in relationships, and understanding the many kinds of ‘normal’ that people experience in their daily lives. Many previous trip participants will tell you that their time in Guatemala was life-changing.
We will very likely have opportunities to work to support our partners in Guatemala. We have sometimes painted a building, or put on a party for children. Physical labor is not the focus of the trip, though. In general, PEG tries to support local craftspeople and laborers who benefit by the work, and usually bring a higher skill level than we can provide, being careful that our need to feel helpful doesn’t outweigh the real material needs of our partners and friends.
We will also have some free time, including an afternoon off in Antigua (we can help arrange options or you can strike out on your own), and a day off in Santiago, where there are good options for rest and relaxation. Each night, we will have debriefing time, led by David, with an opportunity to process the day together, and ask any questions or raise any concerns folks may have. David will also bring along a travel guitar, and may share a song or two in the evenings.
Because of travel necessities, our itinerary will also include a couple of fairly early mornings. Unfortunately, due to the infrastructure of Guatemala, we cannot guarantee access to everyone with mobility issues, but are sensitive to these challenges, and will make an effort to include everyone to the degree that it is possible. Please let us know what your challenges might be when you apply for the trip.
The trip fee includes all expenses in Guatemala, including meals, lodging, transportation, and some financial support for PEG’s work, and the partner projects we will be visiting. Please note, the trip fee does not cover the cost of airfare, which will be arranged by each participant (we will offer guidance on booking tickets so that we arrive at roughly the same time).
The per-person price for a group of 10-20 people will be $1,500 for a shared room (we can match you with a roommate if you’re not traveling with one) or $1,750 for a single room. We will need ten people to make the trip happen, and will let you know by June 1, or when we have ten people confirmed (probably well before then).
Children age 11+ are welcome on the trip and are the same price as an adult. If you would like to travel with a child 10 or under, please contact us.
We will be staying in various accommodations, ranging from quite simple (a convent in Guatemala City) to homestays with families in El Tejar, to the more upscale Posada de Santiago.
Only people who are fully vaccinated (two weeks past their shot/s) will be eligible for this trip. Beyond concerns for our trip participants, we are not willing to take any chances with the health and safety of our friends and partners in Guatemala, where medical care is not readily available to much of the population. The pandemic continues to be an evolving and dynamic question, and we will adjust accordingly, but will observe local protocols in our travel, and our time with partners. Please be prepared to wear masks in public and honor the safety needs of our hosts.
To apply for the trip, please click here, and note that the form will take about 10 minutes to fill-out.
Each individual adult should fill out an individual application, and indicate if you are traveling with another adult. Families with children, please indicate the number and ages of children on your application. After the group is established, we will connect everyone via email and send more information.
Thank you for your interest in visiting Guatemala with us! Simply by coming on this trip, you are supporting our work there, as a portion of your registration will go to fund these projects. If you have further questions, please check out our FAQ, and if your question isn’t covered there, drop a note to Sarah. We are grateful for your interest and support, and we look forward to knowing you better!