Nestled in Central America, Guatemala has one of the most interesting, yet tragic histories. Home to the Mayan civilization, invaded by the Spanish, and eventually ruled by successive dictatorships propped up by the United Fruit Company, Guatemala has had its fair share of political strife. A 30-year civil war helped create “liberation theology” but left many scars that remain to this day.
To travel to Guatemala is to challenge yourself physically and mentally – by climbing mountains and volcanoes, and by meeting farmers who see the coffee and mining industries as the cause of their poverty. It is shocking, empowering, exciting, and challenging all in one beautiful country.
At Operation Groundswell, we explore all the far corners of this strangely-shaped country and immerse ourselves deeply in all its culture has to offer. We dive deep into the hard issues of indigenous rights, environmental sustainability, fair trade, and food justice in our various program offerings.
- Get your hands dirty learning about coffee alongside local farmers on the side of an active volcano.
- Deconstruct the myths and discover the realities of today’s global food system at origin.
- Immerse yourself in modern Guatemalan culture and hear about its history from the descendants of the Maya.
- Get an intimate look at Guatemala’s history speaking with former guerrillas who have traded their guns for farming tools.
- Brush up on your Spanish in Xela with one-on-one language lessons with the certified school and social enterprise Escuela La Paz.