NEW COVID 19 UPDATE
Evidence of receiving a complete twodose COVID-19 vaccination course (or one dose for Johnson & Johnson), with the final dose being administered at least two weeks before beginning your trip to Guatemala IS REQUIRED BY THE COUNTRY OF GUATEMALA
SUMMER 2022 TRIP DATES
June 28 – July 7
HOUSTON, TX (IAH)
Join us on our most popular Yuda Bands Humanitarian Adventure (Yuda Venture) as we travel across the beautiful country of Guatemala. We will visit Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, make Yuda Bands bracelets, hike a volcano, and visit the school where Yuda Bands first started sponsoring students in 2007.
Below you’ll find snapshots of last year’s itinerary. Our upcoming trip will include all of these activities unless COVID-19 or other restrictions limit us. What we can guarantee is that this will be the trip of a lifetime!
TIKAL NATIONAL PARK
Tikal is the largest excavated site on the American continent and was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. The ancient Mayan Citadel, Tikal dates back to the 1st Century AD and is located in the heart of the jungle and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll take an early morning flight (included in volunteer fee) and spend the day exploring the national park. We’ll meet up with a local Mayan guide who will teach us Mayan tradition as we climb pyramids and explore the ruins.
FOOD AND CLOTHING PROJECT
Before you leave you’ll select a family to support on the trip by providing them food and clothes. About a month before leaving, you will be given clothing sizes to collect for your Guatemalan family. You’ll deliver the clothes along with a month’s supply of food (purchased in Guatemala by your tour guide) to your family and visit them in their humble home. In the homes is where you will see true Guatemalan culture and fall in love with the people you serve.
Atitlan is a huge lake in a massive volcanic crater in Guatemala’s southwestern highlands. You will cross the lake by boat to explore the town of Santiago de Atitlan where you”ll find some great deals on traditional souvenirs and trinkets. Learn how locals spin cotton, make chocolate and use local herms for medicine on an Atitlan cultural tour. After grabbing a bite to eat we’ll continue our boat ride to to local hidden favorite, “the trampoline”. The trampoline is a safe platform built for cliff jumping, don’t forget your swim suit!
Each trip participant will prepare a 15-20 minute presentation on an assigned topic to present to a group of 25-30 Guatemalan students. With the help of Spanish translators you’ll gain confidence in your own teaching ability as you help the local students learn skills that will bring them more job opportunities after they graduate from high school. More about LEAD >
Antigua is a small city surrounded by volcanoes in souther Guatemala and probably the most popular tourist spot in the country. It’s renowned for its Spanish colonial buildings and is a great spot to buy local artesian souvenirs. You’ll visit a local artisan who will teach us the process of creating jewelry from Guatemalan Jade, a long standing Mayan tradition. You’ll also have a chance to visit the hotel Casa santo Domingo which is built on an ancient monastery dating back to 1538.
MAKING YUDA BNDS
Yuda Band bracelets are the center of the Yuda Bands organizations fundraising model. The sale of these bracelets funds our scholarships and pays for service projects, local directors, and leadership trainings. Our Yuda Band makers ear a fair-trade wage as they express themselves through these unique leather and coconut bands. You’ll get a chance to see the whole process and even design and make your own Yuda Bands.
You’ll take an exhilarating zip-line ride through the rainforest of Tikal. The tour consists of a series of nine platforms built into the trees for wildlife observation, linked by horizontal double zip-lines from one tree to another. Yuda Bands and local guides have been fully trained to provide assistance as you fly through the trees with monkeys (yes, monkeys swing from the zip-lines through the trees)!
You’ll attend a welcoming cultural event shortly after arriving in Guatemala. You’ll see traditional dances, hear traditional songs and other unique customs of Guatemala. The local people will be very excited to show off their traditional entertainment and welcome you to their country.
Pacaya is an active volcano, which rises over 8,300 feet. An expert guide will join our group and lead us to hot spots to roast marshmallows from the heat rising through the earth’s curst. With a bit of luck you’ll even be able to see actual lava flowing. Those who don’t want to hike all the way to the top can make the trek by horse back. After summiting we’ll run down the back side of the volcano which is made up of small pebble like sand.
We will be serving side by side Yuda Bands students in a large scale community service project in San Martin, Jilotepeque. Community service projects provide an opportunity for the Guatemalan students to give service in their community each quarter (learn more about this here) something changes inside as they realize they literally have the power to impact their community and change their future.
We are beginning to run international trips again. We have been diligent and thorough when determining which countries to visit and who is able to join us, based on the following criteria local government restrictions and in-country director insight and direction. We have also made several adjustments to the expeditions to make sure we have as safe of an experience as possible, including:
We have also made several adjustments to the expeditions themselves to ensure as safe of an experience as possible, including:
- Reduced group size to 10-20 volunteers
- COVID-19 vaccination recommended for all international Yuda Ventures but required to join the Guatemala Yuda Venture (required by the Guatemalan Goverment)
- Enforced mask wearing and social distancing, especially when interacting with community members
- Strict adherence to international travel guidelines, which may include COVID-testing or other safety requirements