Experience the natural and cultural beauty of “the land of many trees.” Join us by visiting the community of La Bendición where you will experience unique community-based conservation projects such as a local beekeeping, agroforestry, coffee production and more.
We will also be able to see first-hand the positive impacts and implementation of clean cookstoves with the help our local partner Doña Dora. Finally, enjoy the unique Colonial town of Antigua to celebrate Guatemala’s Independence Day, enjoying local food, parades and music.
Cost: $1,650 (Cost includes three meals a day, lodging, in-country transportation, and bilingual guiding. Does not include cost of airfare.)
Length: 8 days
Lodging: Homestays and small family-run hotels
Weather: Variable, hot and humid (80s) to low (60s)
Difficulty: Mostly flat landscape, but lots of walking, especially in Antigua. Hiking in the rain forests of La Bendición are optional but recommended.
This is a sample itinerary. Subject to change up until one month before departure.
Travel to Guatemala and meet with the TWP Tours team at the Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City and enjoy a group lunch. Then we will begin our journey by heading down to the town of Antigua and hop on the Utz Che vehicle that will drive us down to the community of La Bendición. On arrival we will meet the community members, check-in into our homestays and have a great welcoming dinner.
We start off the day with an optional activity to observe the grinding of corn! This will be followed by a delicious local breakfast and meeting the Board of Directors from La Bendición. We will have the opportunity to talk about today’s activities and learn a bit more about the history of this community. Then we kick off the morning with our first community visit to the local schools, getting to know the local youth group and visiting their pineapple parcels. After a delicious lunch and some rest time we have our second community visit to the agroforestry and beekeeping projects and a potential visit to a bee workshop. We finalize today by having some “Library Time” reading books to the youth and enjoying a nice group dinner.
We start off the day again with an optional activity to observe the grinding of corn! Then we take the opportunity to meet the local Women’s Group and get to know their story, their vision of their group and their community and learn about their projects. Afterwards, we get to enjoy a nice hike through the forest with the women and learn about their traditional ecological knowledge and discuss some environmental challenges in the area such as water. We then enjoy a nice local lunch with the women and ask them any follow up questions about the day. After some downtime we will have a cultural night with the community members and learn about their history and celebrate their success!
Today we get to do some hands-on work! After a nice warm breakfast, we will have the opportunity to help the community members in any project they need assistance in. Whether it be helping in the tree nursery, helping the youth group with their pollinator project, or helping the women’s group with any ongoing project on site. This can entail a water project, clean cookstoves or evaluating the viability of a solar panel for the community. After a tasty lunch and some rest time we will have some more “Library Time” reading books to the youth and enjoying a nice group dinner with the option of a nocturnal hike to end the day!
Our work continues, but today we’ll focus on the installation of clean cookstoves! After a hearty breakfast, we will get the chance to meet one of our local partners from “Doña Dora” cookstoves and possibly meet the members of Utz Che! We will begin by helping to install clean cookstoves in the communal house and learn and practice the appropriate use and maintenance for the stoves. These stoves reduce indoor air pollution, protect bird habitat by reducing wood fuel consumption, and withstand heavy seasonal winds that can make cooking difficult here. We’ll conclude this activity and have a nice meal at a local home with a community member and later celebrate by having an inaugural dinner using the new cookstoves!
Today we get to celebrate Guatemala’s Independence Day! We will wake up and have a traditional Guatemalan breakfast. Then we have the morning to enjoy some traditional celebrations for Independence Day such as cooking local foods, seeing some traditional dances and more! After lunch, we will have the opportunity to tour some coffee parcels in the community and learn how they process and grow coffee, then we get to savor a nice cup of pure Guatemalan coffee. Then we will have free time to rest or continue with the celebrations!
We start off the day with a relaxing morning. Then we will be visiting the Union Huista Cooperative which is in the Department of Escuintla. Here we will get to know the story behind the cooperative, their current activities and projects, and learn more about the current efforts and support that is being provided by Utz Che to other surrounding communities. Then we will return to La Bendición and have time to rest and prepare for a group dinner.
After breakfast, we will begin the final goodbye with the community members, celebrate the accomplishments and give thanks for their hospitality. Then we will head our way back to Antigua where we will have lunch with staff members from Utz Che and have an optional stop at the Agua Volcano. After checking in the “Hotel de los Encuentros”, we will have a final group dinner in order to have reflections and celebrate the end of the trip!
After a final breakfast we will depart to the Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City and coordinate drop-offs, confirm departures, and say our goodbyes.