DURATION: 10 Days
DATES: June 28 – July 7, 2022
DEPARTURE CITY: TBD
COST: $1,700 excluding international airfare
AGE: 14+ unless accompanied
Culture, Service & Adventure
Yuda Bands has been taking youth, teachers, and parents to Guatemala on “Yuda Trips” since 2007. On this trip you’ll experience true Guatemalan culture as we visit locals in their homes, eat traditional food, and travel across the beautiful countryside completing service projects and visiting popular (and off the beaten trail) tourist sites. Below you’ll find a quick view of a few of our anticipated activities on our summer 2022 itinerary.
(11 spots left)
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 Nicaragua. You’ll see traditional dances, hear traditional songs and other unique customs of Nicaragua. 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.
Included in Price
- All hotel accommodations
- Inter-country flight to Flores (Tikal)
- All ground transportation
- Luggage transport and storage
- Entry to Volcano Pacaya
- Local expert Volcano guide
- Entry to Tikal National Part
- Local expert Mayan ruins guide
- Canopy jungle tour
- Supplies for food project
- Building materials for work project(s)
- Trip guide with 10 years experience in Guatemala
- Fluent Spanish translator
- Clean water throughout trip
- Most meals
- *Round trip airfare
- Personal items/souvenirs
- COVID-19 testing
- Some meals
- $300 due at time of sign up
- $1,000 due April 1
- $1,000 due May 1 ($400 volunteer fee plus airfare adjusted to plane ticket actual cost)
Volunteers are responsible for arranging their own domestic travel to the gateway airport. International airfare will be purchased by trip guide on or near April 1 and must be paid by trip volunteer. We estimate International airfare to cost approximately $600. The final payment will be adjusted if airfare is more or less than the anticipated $600.
Price is based on multiple occupancy. If you are traveling alone you will room with one or more other volunteers of the same gender and around the same age.
Your volunteer fee is tax deductible.
Guatemala Yuda Trip Guide
Phillip Whiting is a husband, father of five and president of Yuda Bands. He has been leading Yuda Bands Trips for 10 years. He has visited 49 countries on five continents and has lived for nearly two years in Central America with his family. He speaks fluent Spanish and loves the people and culture of Guatemala.
All volunteer spots must be filled for the trip to happen. If a trip is cancelled 100% of your deposit will be returned. Projects and activities are subject to change.
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 11-22 volunteers
- Required vaccinations for all international Yuda Trips
- 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