Come and discover Guatemala! Only slightly larger than the U.S. state of Tennessee, Guatemala is known for its Mayan influence and rich culture and history. The name “ Guatemala” originates from the Maya word “Guhatezmalhl” meaning the “Mountain That Vomits Water.” Guhatezmalhl is a volcano near the old capital of Antigua. Today the volcano is simply called the Volcan de Agua (Spanish for Volcano of Water). Program participants will explore the beauty of the colonial towns as well as the pace of life in the rural Mayan villages.
Through our educational partner, Bethel University, all rising junior and senior high school students are eligible to participate in the immersive, online dual-enrollment course- Global Service Learning and Citizenship (GST 140). This virtual classroom experience not only provides program participants with an edge during college admissions because of their unique dual-enrollment university experience, it will provide them with a much richer service work experience and increased cultural understanding after they embark on the international service work component of the program.
Hands-on, immersive cultural learning activities include a visit to Lake Atitlan including a boat tour, exploring the surrounding authentic Mayan villages, cooking lessons, taking in a traditional Mayan weaving demonstration, a hike up to the top of the Acatenango Volcano and much more!
Bright Light Volunteers works with and supports several small and locally run nonprofits in and around the very calm and laid back town of Antigua and up into the traditional Mayan villages near Lake Atitlan (both areas designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Program participants can expect to create an experience of a lifetime while working, alongside locals, on educational and conservation support projects that will improve the lives of Guatemalans.
Program participants will exit the program having:
– Demonstrated an understanding of the definition and value of global citizenship
– Developed awareness of one’s own personal reactions to those from different cultures (personal biases, beliefs, attitudes)
– Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of local, national and/or global issues and the interconnectedness and interdependency of different countries and populations
– Developed skills for critical thinking and analysis of global issues
– Developed a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, based on human rights
– Developed familiarity with various cultures / cultural practices of the host country
– Acted effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world