Guatemala: Mayan Roots- the experience of a lifetime

Impact: 9
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 9
Safety: 10

Traveling with Operation Groundswell to Guatemala was truly one of the most valuable experiences I have had. I learned more in those 15 days than could ever be possible in my 4 years of University in a classroom setting. I have long been searching for a volunteer program that doesn't feel like the typical, white-saviour-esque "voluntourism", and with OG I found just that. By forging real relationships with community organizations acting on the ground in each of the countries they visit, Operation Groundswell can contribute meaningful work along with members of the community, instead of just making assumptions about the needs of the region. Through "learning before service", members of the group have a chance to be educated on the history and culture of the region, in order to get a better understanding of the greater context in which their volunteer projects may fit. Personally, my trip was an opportunity for me to learn how to travel ethically, and a chance for me to build the confidence I needed to later travel alone as a young woman. The program leaders do an amazing job of creating a balance between the group experience, and giving every individual some autonomy to make the trip what is best for them. Without OG, I wouldn't have the passion and the confidence to continue embarking on new adventures. I am forever grateful for this experience and hope that anyone curious about traveling and volunteering in an ethical way will give OG a look.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed