quetzal

Guatemala

June 29 to July 7, 2018

The name Guatemala is derived from the Mayan word Cuauhtēmallān, meaning place of many trees. From the verdant hillsides to the plumage of the quetzal bird, this trip will offer you endless shades of green. You will spend your first weekend exploring the colonial city of Antigua and its fascinating history. Next, you will be warmly welcomed by teachers in two schools located just outside of Antigua in the villages of Ciudad Vieja and San Lorenzo el Cubo. You will be paired with a teacher for five full days of collaborative coaching and cultural exchange.

Cost — $1550 plus airfare

Included —

  • in-country group travel
  • overnight accommodations
  • most meals
  • trip organizer
  • group interpreter

Grant Opportunity — Grants of up to $200 are available to current and retired school staff and university faculty who are paying full cost out of pocket. In order to be eligible, you must complete the following requirements:

Friday, June 29 — Arrival in Guatemala City

Arriving at the Guatemala City airport, you will be met by a driver who will accompany you to the Hotel Barcelo. The team will gather for dinner at a nearby restaurant. The rest of the evening will allow for getting acquainted with your fellow team members and an early bedtime if you choose.

Saturday, June 30 —  Antigua

Your day begins with breakfast at the delicious hotel buffet, followed by a morning meeting and orientation. Next the team will leave for Antigua, where you’ll have a late lunch. In the afternoon, you will settle into the guesthouse where you will be staying for the week.

Sunday, July 1 — Antigua

Your day will begin with breakfast at the guesthouse, followed by activities that will allow you to become acquainted with the community where you will be working this week. You can choose among many activities such as souvenir browsing at the market or making chocolate with your favorite add-ins. The day will finish with dinner together and final preparations for your week of work in the schools.

Monday, July 2 — Antigua

Upon arrival at the school, you will have the opportunity to observe a classroom to see the local context in practice and get to know your partner local teacher as well as some of the children. The first part of the afternoon will be spent working with your partner in grade groups to understand and discuss identified challenges in the classroom. Afterwards, in pairs when possible, you and your partner will design a lesson for the following day.

Tuesday, July 3 — Antigua

During the morning, you will observe your partner teacher’s class and support or run activities during the math class. A workshop based on Monday’s discussion will occupy the afternoon to provide opportunities to develop content and teaching strategies. You will eat dinner with the team and have some time in the evening to prepare for the next day.

Wednesday, July 4 — Antigua

Today offers an opportunity for you and your partner to decide whether it’s time to demonstrate ideas in practice by delivering a model lesson. Today or tomorrow is usually an optimal time as you will have developed a good relationship with your partner teacher. It isn’t an obligation; however, and you will be able to decide what you’re comfortable with once this point in the week arrives.

Thursday, July 5 — Antigua

This day’s content will depend on what you and your partner teacher are working on. Options include another model class, your partner trying out new activities, or co-leading a class together. Questions to process as a group in the evening are What did or did not go as well as you’d like? and What did you learn from this lesson?

Friday, July 6 — Antigua

This morning’s content is flexible, because each pairing will have different loose ends to tie up. You will be available to answer any remaining questions and to celebrate the myriad accomplishments of previous days. The week will conclude with a small celebration and a diploma ceremony. The team will hold a final debriefing in the evening.

Saturday, July 7 — Antigua

With a full heart and an entire scrapbook of memories, today is for departures. Transportation to the airport will be arranged for you.

Our partner on this trip is the NGO Niños de Guatemala. They have built and run two elementary schools whose teachers are dedicated to student-centered learning. Over 500 Guatemalan students benefit from their programs that focus on nutrition and mental health as well as education.

T2T will be working in two neighboring towns. The first, Cuidad Vieja, is a municipality in the department of Sacatepéquez. In centuries past it was the second colonial capital of the country. Today, the residents of Ciudad Vieja earn their livelihood through agriculture, handicrafts, and coffin carpentry. It also one of the main locations for yellow school buses to be converted into the famous and colorful chicken buses of Guatemala.

Ciudad Vieja’s Nuestro Futuro school opened its doors in 2009, providing education to 197 students from pre-K to sixth grade. It has 11 teachers and eight administrative/operational staff members who are required to have teaching certificates according to their level or specialty.

In Ciudad Vieja, the language spoken at home and at school is Spanish.

The second location of San Lorenzo el Cubo is located on a beautiful hillside overlooking Ciudad Vieja and Antigua. Its open horizon allows stunning views of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes.

In 2012, the school El Porvenir opened its doors to 171 elementary and 63 middle school students. It is run by a fully certified faculty of 14 elementary teachers, five middle school teachers, and 11 administrative/operational staff members.

Languages spoken at home and at school in San Lorenzo el Cubo are Kakchiquel (a Mayan dialect) and Spanish.