School the World: Student Service Learning – Guatemala


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Destination: Guatemala
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: February, March, April, July
    • Session Length: One Week
    • Entering Grade: 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, PG, College
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Community Service
    • Sub-Categories: Youth Outreach
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Minimum Cost: > $3,000
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    School the World is a non-profit organization committed to improving the quality of education in the developing world. We offer student service learning trips for high school students interested in making a difference abroad. Our service program is unique in that students contribute to a larger ongoing mission. 

    School the World's Global Citizenship Program supports infrastructure growth & programming costs while providing an inspiring service experience for U.S. high school & college students. 
    · Fosters a mutually beneficial experience for all participating parties; the children and parents in the community as well as the students from the United States. 
    · Motivates students to not take their education for granted, returning home eager to take advantage of all the opportunities available within their schools and local communities.  
    ·  Provides training in successful fundraising strategies including time management, creating an elevator pitch, solicitation letters, effective outreach and the importance of acknowledging each person who supported their mission to fund a school.
    ·  Promotes leadership through the World Changer Student Leadership Program, where returning students apply to become a Trip Leader and serve as support to first-time World Changers as well as working closely with School the World staff members before, during and following the trip. 
    ·  Empowers students to become global citizens and ambassadors within their local communities, often teaching younger students about global literacy & education ·  Inspires high school students to study international development, public health and education in college. Many continue on to acquire jobs in the non-profit or humanitarian aid sector. 

    ABOUT THE TRIP: Each group that travels funds and participates in the final construction phase of a new school building and/or playground during their journey of discovery. Students spend the majority of their week in the Western Highlands of Guatemala working on the project and interacting with the children, their parents and the teachers as they form strong bonds through mutual learning. We also believe cultural exposure and understanding is an important part of our program. During their trip, students experience the wonders of the Mayan world, visit the Spanish colonial city of Antigua, and barter in the largest open air market in Central America.

    Throughout the trip, our World Changers begin to open their eyes and minds to the deep and complicated causes underlying poverty and gender discrimination prevalent in rural communities. They walk away with first-hand insights of economic realities that force mothers and fathers to send their young children across treacherous borders. More importantly, they experience the power and influence of education in ordinary people’s lives.

    IMPACT: "The biggest takeaway I got from this trip was that you do not need material items to be happy when you are surrounded by people who you love and who love you. When you do something that you enjoy and are with the people that you love, all you need is the right mindset & to be grateful & appreciative of what you have"
    -World Changer February '19 

    "The bonds made by everyone on the trip as well as the community are unforgettable and have changed my perspective of the world and my relationship with others."
    -World Changer July '18

    "Being able to work with and help other people in another culture made me want to pursue careers that will focus on helping other people. I am currently looking at colleges and this trip has given me clarity and focus for the field I want to pursue"
    -World Changer July '18 

    780 U.S. high school students have participated in our Global Citizenship Program
    92 Towns
    17 States 
    40 Schools Built 
    29 Playgrounds Built

    Cost and Session Information

    The $750 application fee is due at the time the applicaiton is submitted. Please visit our website for more information on our refund policy. The entire cost can be fundraised by the student. The service learning program coordinator will help the students find ways to fundraise as well as guide them through the process. The $3600 cost covers all transport, accommodations, food expenses & construction cost in Guatemala.

    We're excited to announce our 2019 student travel schedule!

    • February 16-23
    • March 16th-23rd
    • March 23-30th
    • July 15-23, 2018
    • July 25-August 2, 2018

    Reviews (5)

    • My Experience with STW
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 20/05/2016 by Meg

      I have traveled with STW twice and am currently preparing for my third trip, and I could not be more excited. These trips have taught me so much both about myself and the world around me, and I have definitely changed as a person because of that. Being in these rural Guatemalan communities has opened my eyes to the true extent of poverty which exists in this world, and it has made me realize how lucky I am to live in the place that I do. The experiences I've had have been so incredibly life changing, and I can't wait to return and continue work with STW.

    • My Trip With School the World
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 19/05/2016 by Grace Crowley

      I went on my second trip with School the World, and I could not speak more highly of this program. I have always loved service trips but this trip is something unlike no other. I have learned about the culture of Guatemala, the importance of education, and also a lot of great leadership and life skills for my future. The relationships I have made with my peers and the students I was able to build a school and playground for, will last a lifetime. The students in Guatemala have touched my heart and taught me so much. I am so thankful to have been able to be involved with this program for the past two years, and am excited to be involved in the years to come.

    • Guatemala Service Trips
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 27/05/2016 by Ally Stackhouse

      This past February I went on my third service trip with School the World to a rural community in Guatemala. All three of the trips that I have been on have been truly unforgettable. The relationship the School the World has with each of the communities they work with is amazing. Unlike most service organizations, School the World maintains a five-year relationship with the communities in which they work to ensure that the schools they are helping to provide will be sustainable and supplied with materials. It was inspiring to see how grateful everyone in the community is to have the opportunity to attend a safe school. One of my favorite parts of the trip is when we have the opportunity to follow a member of the community around and see what they do on a daily basis. Everyone is so welcoming and willing to show you what they do everyday, which could be anything from harvesting crops to making tortillas to hand-washing clothes. Traveling with School the World to Guatemala has been one of the best experiences of my life and I will be forever thankful to have had this opportunity, not just once but, three times.

    • My Experiences with School the World
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 22/05/2016 by Olivia Curran

      School the World is an unbelievable program that is deserving of extremely high praise! I have been on two trips with School the World and am preparing to go on my third this July, and I am so thankful for the experiences that I have had through this program! Not only has it opened my eyes to other areas of the world, but my trips with School the World have allowed me to see firsthand the importance of education as a driving force to success, as well as allowed me to form relationships with students that will forever occupy a special place in my heart! I simply cannot put into words my appreciation for all that School the World has done for both students in Guatemala as well as students from the United States. Not only does the program partner with a community in Guatemala to provide them with a quality education, but School the World teaches high school students like myself to value all that they have and to take nothing for granted. I have met countless unbelievable people through my experiences with School the World and I have learned so much about myself as a student and my ability to make a difference in our growing world. I am extremely grateful for the experiences I have had with School the World and I cannot wait for many more in the future!

    • School the World is Awesome
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 20/05/2016 by Dominic Spada

      I started my experience with School the World in April 2015 not really knowing what to expect, and frankly not really looking forward to my trip. After that trip, and all of the amazing experiences, I wanted to go back immediately, and am now fundraising for my third trip, and second this year. Going into my first trip, I was very immature, and with all the experiences seeing just how lucky I was, I came back a more grown up person. Giving my all into the service, the give back was remarkable. It was truly amazing to see all the happiness in the community of Xeq'ol, despite the desperate situations. All the memories that I have made, not only with the incredible friends from the United States that I've made, but with the community. The attachment to the community is one that will forever last in my heart as will the relationships and friendships that I have made. I can not thank the organization, or the individuals who make the organization run, enough for what they do and how they do it to give students like me the opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference for themselves and the world.

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