Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

7 Days 6 Nights
for Member Pricing

VolunTour: Build a Bottle School

Change the lives of children in Guatemala by teaming with villagers and volunteers to build an eco-friendly bottle school.

About Your Trip

At a Glance: On this VolunTour for guests ages 8 and older, show your Heart to Serve by spending 7 days and 6 nights in Antigua and San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala. You'll work alongside WorldVentures Foundation™ volunteers and Guatemalan villagers to build an eco-friendly bottle school. The work you do will provide a place for children to learn and will engage the community in improving their environment.

As part of this ongoing effort, on your trip you’ll:
• Help build a village school using plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash to form “eco-bricks.”
• Depending on the school’s stage of construction, you may dig and move dirt; stuff, classify and place bottles; cut and bend rebar; mix cement and layer it onto the walls; or paint.
• Work directly with villagers and take turns shoveling, gathering bottles or sharing other tasks.

What we love:
• No matter your skill level, age or physical strength, team leaders will find something useful for you to do. NOTE: See Special Disclaimers in Policies for other health-related information.
• Every step of the building process is done by hand — literally leaving your handprints all over the school.
• Village volunteers give talks about subjects such as the Guatemalan Civil War and migration, to help you better understand the people.
• Start and end your trip in Antigua, which charms with cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial buildings, and even remnants of a devastating 1773 earthquake. For most of your visit, you’ll stay in San Martin Jilotepeque, a rarely visited rural mountain town.

What do those who’ve taken a VolunTour say about the experience?
• “Our first bottle-school trip was a life-changer; call it a reset button. It helped us see life from a different perspective … of so much love to give, and caring from the kids and their parents, all without the material things in life. … We already have No. 2 and No. 3 bottle-school trips on our calendar!” — Raymond & Janie B., United States

• “The idea of using bottles and trash to build a school is brilliant! I have gone on VolunTours to Guatemala to build schools, and the experience has been life-changing. We can truly help change the world!” — James L., Singapore

Check out this VolunTour on Facebook.

This trip will close by June 28.


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What's Included

• Spend 7 days and 6 nights in comfortable accommodations with private baths in Antigua and San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala.
• Price is per person and is based on room sharing. Single, double, triple and quadruple rooms are available. Sharing a room may be necessary and roommate requests are accepted. Single occupancy is an additional US$100; availability not guaranteed.
• Participate in a welcome ceremony or group activity.
• Volunteer for 3 days in a rural village, helping to build a bottle school.
• Visit a school for special-needs children in San Martin Jilotepeque.
• Hike to see farms, family homes and places of worship. You may see women making tortillas and weaving traditional fabrics.
• Visit the Mayan ruins in Chwa Nima Ab’äj. Participate in a spiritual ceremony, at your discretion, and learn about Mayan history and tradition.
• The trip cost covers all meals, unlimited purified water, ground transportation and a bilingual guide. The on-sight cook prepares foods using methods consistent with United States safety standards. Food allergies can be accommodated; please contact adam@hugitforward.org to discuss.
• Your trip leader is Sara Holson.




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About Bottle Schools and Guatemala

Guatemala — in Central America south of Mexico — boasts natural beauty, soaring volcanoes, verdant rain forests and ancient Mayan sites. The country has one of the world’s starkest contrasts of environmental beauty and socioeconomic disparity.
• A diverse population of Mayan, Spanish and mixed ethnicities has evolved with a long history and rich culture.
• Prevalent unemployment and poverty prevails in all regions.
• Traumatic economic and emotional effects of the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996) still resonate with the people.

Before Hug It Forward will commit to building a bottle school, villagers must collect and stuff 10,000 20-ounce soft drink or water bottles.
• Turning a bottle into an eco-brick takes 100 small, potato chip-sized plastic bags (or the equivalent) and about 2 hours of tight stuffing by hand.

Bottle schools serve 3 vital needs:
• Education — helping children learn and expand their horizons.
• Community unity — engaging villagers in the building process and teaching them about recycling to improve their environment.
• Trash disposal — rural communities do not have trash pickup, and trash burning is known to release unhealthy chemicals into the air.
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Itinerary

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with purified water, are provided every day of the trip. Please note possible exceptions: Lunch on arrival day and breakfast on departure day may not be provided, depending on your flight time.

Day 1

Arrive in Guatemala City, where you’ll be met at the airport by a Hug It Forward representative and escorted into Antigua.
If you’ve arrived early enough in the day, you can spend the afternoon exploring Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage City.
Orientation dinner.
Overnight in Antigua.

Day 2

Transfer to San Martin Jilotepeque, the central city in the province where your bottle-school project will take place.
Unload luggage and take a brief break.
Transfer to the rural village of your bottle-school location.
Welcome ceremony.
Begin work on the bottle-school project.
Presentation from a community member about the Guatemalan Civil War.
Village hike.
Overnight in San Martin Jilotepeque.

Day 3

Transfer to and work on the bottle-school project.
Presentation by a community member about migration.
Overnight in San Martin Jilotepeque.

Day 4

Tour the Mayan ruins of Chwa Nima Ab’äj (also called Mixco Viejo) with a guide who practices Mayan spirituality.
• See temples and other buildings made from shimmering stones (unique among Mayan ruins in Guatemala).
Overnight in San Martin Jilotepeque.

Day 5

Transfer to and work on the bottle-school project.
During the afternoon, you might spend time practicing your Spanish.
Closing ceremony by the community, including a dance.
Overnight in San Martin Jilotepeque.

Day 6

Visit a school for children with special needs.
Transfer to Antigua.
Afternoon at your leisure.
Overnight in Antigua.

Day 7

Transfer to the La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City and return home.
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Transportation

Airfare is not included in the trip price. The commercial airport closest to the hotel is La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. Arrival time should be scheduled for before 4 p.m. on the first day of the VolunTour, if possible. Departure can be scheduled for any time on the last day of the VolunTour.

PLEASE NOTE: As of the time of this publication, there is a US$30 exit tax at the La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Some airlines include this fee in the total price of your ticket. Check with your airline to make sure your exit tax is covered. If not, at departure, you will need to have the equivalent of US$30 in the local currency or quetzals.

You are required to purchase travel insurance from the vendor of your choice (See Serve The World Today Terms and Conditions for details).

We’ve got you covered when it comes to transfers between the airport and your hotel.

Your trip includes 2 airport transfers:*
July 31, timing based on arrival: From La Aurora International Airport (GUA) to the hotel.
August 6, timing based on departure: From the hotel to La Aurora International Airport (GUA) to the hotel.

Click here to get free access to airport transfers, you must submit your flight information by July 17.

Reminder: Flights are not included in the price. About 30 days from your travel date, you will receive an email asking for your flight information, with instructions on how to submit and a reminder or update (if changed) of the submission deadline.

*These transfers are available only for the airport(s) and dates listed above.

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Policies

This VolunTour is offered in collaboration with, and sponsored by, Serve The World Today, LLC and Hug It Forward. Participation on this VolunTour is subject to your acceptance of Serve The World Today’s Terms and Conditions. Please see this link for cancellation, refunds and other policies, some of which are stated below.

A signed WorldVentures Foundation Volunteer Waiver will also be required for each participant in this VolunTour. Please download the waiver.

Hug It Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports and empowers communities in Guatemala by building bottle schools with trash-stuffed plastic soda bottles. Visit Hug It Forward for more information.

Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel your trip more than 30 days before departure, you will receive a 50% refund. This refund only applies to trips that have been paid in full, not to any deposit that may have been paid.

Name Change Policy: If you change any name(s) on your booking 7 days or more before the start date of your trip, you’ll be charged a fee of US$50 per name change. Name changes are not permitted within 7 days of the start date of your trip.

OTHER TERMS:
If Serve The World Today determines that it is unsafe to go on a trip, for whatever reason, no refund will be offered. You will be given a credit and priority booking for another Guatemala bottle-school VolunTour within 12 months. You will be responsible for any flight change fees if a trip is postponed for safety reasons.

If, due to rain or other extreme conditions, it is impossible to work on a bottle-school site, the trip will go on as scheduled and you will visit a community where a bottle school has already been built. There, you will interact with children and the community.

For safety and cultural reasons, the consumption of alcohol is strongly discouraged during any portion of this trip.

Those traveling on this VolunTour should not have any serious health issues. Unfortunately, accommodations for those with disabilities are not available.

The minimum number of people required for this VolunTour to travel is 15. If fewer than 15 book this VolunTour, it will be canceled. You will be notified if your trip is going to be canceled.

When accompanied by a legal guardian, children as young as 8 years old are permitted to come on the bottle-school trip. If you would like to bring your child on a bottle-school trip, and he or she is under 10 years old, please contact adam@hugitforward.org to discuss further considerations. Accompanied minors are always welcome, and pay the full price.

At the time of booking, you will see a page with your order number and trip cost. This is your confirmation. Please bring this information with you on your trip. Another confirmation will not be sent.

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