Guatemala Environmental and Sustainable Development Projects

General Information

Community Collaborations Direct Trade Impact Exploration Guatemala is located in San Miguel Escobar near the historic city of Antigua. Volunteers work with direct trade farmers and artisans to explore the impact of direct trade policies and complete projects that benefit the communities.


Volunteers will stay volunteer facilities that have been inspected and approved by CCI. In order to be approved facilities must have the following;

  • Safe and clean sleeping areas
  • Clean and functional bathroom facilities
  • Showers
  • Sanitary food services
  • Access to medical support
  • Onsite communications
  • Electricity
  • Fresh water

Recreation Activity

Each Direct Trade Exploration project includes a recreational opportunity that supports local sustainable tourism businesses who provide opportunities for a variety of activities such as rainforest hiking, canopy tours, trips to waterfalls, volcano trips, beach trips, and horseback riding.

Project Service Fee

The One Week Project Service Fee is $885.00 per person. This includes all in-country transportation, accommodations, meals, insurance, bilingual guide, tools and equipment, project coordination, and a recreational activity.


Space Is Limited.

Sample Guatemala Alternative Spring Break Schedule

Day 1

- Arrival! Pick-up from the airport and shuttle to San Miguel Escobar Orientation
- Gala dinner in a farmer's home, meet the farmers and volunteer team

Day 2

- Breakfast at volunteer lodging
- Coffee seed to cup- Dried out, ground up, burnt and fermented cherry pits anyone? That's what your cuppa Joe is. Did you know it takes 4 years of cultivation to get a coffee bean? That your coffee was fermented to give it that distinctive taste? That coffee farmers plant hundreds of trees to shade their coffee and make it taste stronger?
- Spend a day with local coffee farmers, and learn all the steps of coffee processing from the seed to the cup. You'll hike the base of Vulcan Agua to the fields where you'll pick coffee, then pulp it with bicycle power, start the fermentation, wash and dry it, dry mill, sieve, and sort it, and finally roast it on a traditional comal and grind it by hand on a grind stone. Oh-and drink it.
- Lunch in farmer's home
- Continuation of Coffee seed to cup
- Dinner in farmer's home 
- Evening: The good, the bad and the ugly coffee-wise (discussion)

Day 3

- Breakfast at volunteer lodging
- Subsistence farming
- Subsistence Farming is work. Plain old hard work. Growing your own corn, beans, and carrots is a task. Work alongside a subsistence farmer in the tropics in doings daily tasks of farming a small plot by hand. Not only is it fulfilling work, but you'll understand the world a little better by the end.
- Lunch in farmer's home
- Coffee planting
- "Cahuelliar" is the local word that translates to "Dig a big honkin' hole with a gargantuan hoe so we can plant coffee or fruit trees later. That's followed by putting the trees in the ground. In a good day, we can get 300 trees in the ground. You can cahuelliar all Spring, while planting is the month of June only. 
- Dinner at the volunteer lodging 
- Evening: Optional movie night and discussion

Day 4

- Breakfast at lodge
- Working with Pequeños Pero Listos (school)
- Spend the morning working with children with learning disabilities. You'll play together, help them learn their letters and numbers and perhaps even get into some math or writing.
- Lunch in farmer's home
- Kid's entrepreneurship
- The next generation of young entrepreneurs is here. Take the time to get to know them. Twelve-year-old Claudia makes hand sanitizer. Fourteen-year-old Maria Benita makes all natural lip balm. Julio is a beekeeper and barber at age 14. Go house-to-house and meet our young business owners, watch as they make their products, and take home a sample of each.
- Papifut Game
- You've never played papifut? If you can imagine soccer played on a basketball court, you have the right idea. It's the local favorite game.
- Host the kids of the community in a recreational game. 
- Dinner in farmer's home 
- Evening: Education in Guatemala (discussion)

Day 5

- Breakfast at volunteer lodging
- Agricultural hike
- How do you graft a loquat? Why would you want to? What's a loquat, anyway? We'll start the day in the home of local farmer Vidal who is a fountain of information regarding things you probably never thought about. Which corn seeds do you eat and which ones do you keep for planting? How do you make organic fertilizer? What's a jocote taste like? When your brain is full, he'll take you on a slow, 3 mile hike over the base of Vulcan Agua, where you'll see those nisperos, anonas, and other trees up close, and maybe even try a couple. He'll be happy to take you through the colonial palace if you'd like.
- Lunch is in the fields, a special treat of local fare. While you eat, Filiberto will share his stories with you—of particular interest are his encounters with the guerillas during the civil war. 
- In town once again, you'll go to one of our greenhouses where we'll put you to work preparing seedlings for our future tree plantings. 
- Dinner in farmer's home 
- Evening: Optional game night with other volunteers

Day 6

- Breakfast at volunteer lodging
- Visit weaving cooperative in Santiago Zamora 
- We'll while the day away with the ladies of an indigenous weaving cooperative. They will teach you how to weave artistic weaving as well as petate, a read mat. Learn their folkloric dances, the history of their town, and how they are working to improve it. This tour takes place in real time, at the pace of our indigenous hosts.
- Lunch at Cooperative
- Afternoon making burlap bags or metal working with local artisans
- Dinner in farmer's home 
- Evening: Myths and Management of Microloans (discussion)

Day 7

- Breakfast at volunteer lodging
- Hike Pacaya
- Climb and active volcano and peer down on a lava flow. Slide down an old lava flow, then roast marshmallows over a new one. Get up close and personal with the volcano.
- Lunch on volcano
- Return, clean up, out in Antigua for afternoon and dinner
- Antigua Guatemala, in the Department of Sacatepéquez, (Cerro de Hierba), may be the most outstanding and best-preserved colonial city in Spanish America. Tourists visit Antigua Guatemala every year from around the world to enjoy its natural beauty and historic monuments. The Spanish Colonial style permeates every part of the town: its houses, churches, squares, parks and ruins, also its traditions and folklore as well. Antigua is a city of charm and color where you can see and buy an overwhelming variety of attractive, handmade products that honor the traditions of generations of artisans. 
- Evening: Debriefing and making an impact in the states (discussion)

Day 8

- Breakfast at volunteer lodging