Tour Guatemala City
The CCS staff will show you useful points of interest as well as examples of the city's staggering economic disparities. Beginning at the “city dump,” which serves as a home for over 200 families who support themselves by scrap picking, you'll travel about 10 minutes to take in a completely different kind of neighborhood filled with towering mansions and gated communities. This powerful lesson lends some serious perspective to your volunteer service, and introduces you to the complex history of your new home away from home.
Practice Your Spanish
In Guatemala, CCS Spanish lessons are divided into levels based on your ability, and tailored to your needs. The first lesson is held in a typical classroom style, but then you'll have a chance to put your knowledge to the test. Your teacher will take you out into the community and challenge you to bargain for fruits, vegetables, and clothing in Spanish at a nearby underground market. Just another awesome adventure to add to your list!
Cook Guatemalan Cuisine
Our CCS cooks will provide all of your meals for you, with one fun exception: each week, you'll have a chance to prepare a veritable Guatemalan feast with your fellow volunteers, under the expert guidance of our cooks. Learn how to prepare a traditional Guatemalan “fusion” meal, combining elements of both Spanish and Mayan cuisine, and don’t forget to take the recipe home to replicate for your friends and family.
Mayan History Lesson
Learn about the traditional beliefs and culture of indigenous Mayan people in Guatemala, including the oft-referenced Mayan Calendar, from a local professor specializing in Mayan culture and cosmology. After a discussion of the history and incredible accuracy of the calendar, the professor will identify your unique energy animal, the Mayan equivalent of a horoscope.
Sip Hot Cocoa
Connect with a local family over cups of steaming, frothy hot chocolate and learn their millennia-old family recipe for the traditional Mayan drink. You’ll even have the opportunity to help them roast the cacao beans, peel and clean the seeds, cook the chocolate, and then — and here's the best part — enjoy the fruits of your labors over conversation with the family.