- Who will travel with me?
- Will I be safe in Guatemala?
- Do I need to speak Spanish to go on the tour?
- Can I arrive before the tour and stay after?
- Can I bring my son or daughter?
- Can I leave hotel contact information with my family in the States?
- Can I donate school supplies or other items to CoEd's projects?
- How can I help the children of Guatemala after I return to the U.S.?
- Is my trip tax deductible?
- What if I can't go on a tour that I have already signed up for?
Our tours provide a life-changing travel experience to adventurous, service-minded people of all ages from across the U.S. and North America. CoEd U.S. and Guatemala staff also travel on the tours.
Cooperative for Education’s Guatemala City-based office has operated tours in Guatemala since 1998. During that time, not one of our tour participants has ever been a victim of a serious crime. However, in Guatemala, as in other developing countries and even in parts of the U.S., crime is a significant problem. Travel in these places therefore can pose risks. We implement a variety of safeguards to mitigate that risk, including traveling in multi-vehicle caravans with an escort provided by a private security firm.
Absolutely not! In fact, the majority of our tour participants speak little or no Spanish. Your guides will translate most activities, including encounters in the communities with parents, students, and families. When you interact with students on an individual basis, you’ll find many other ways to communicate, such as sharing family photos and playing soccer, basketball, and other games.
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Yes! If you plan to arrive a day before or stay a day after the tour at the hotels we use in Guatemala City or Antigua, we can book extra nights for you.
Please contact the tour coordinator by Jan. 1/July 1 to make the arrangements. If you would like to travel in Guatemala outside the official tour, you will need to make your own arrangements. Get started with our list of Guatemalan travel agencies.
Yes! We welcome parents traveling with their children to share a volunteer travel experience. We ask that all minors travel with a relative. In our experience children older than ten years are better suited to understand the difficulties of life in a developing country.
Yes. Shortly before your tour, we will send you a complete list of hotels and contact information, which you can share with your family.
Many tour participants ask us if they can bring donated items for the children and schools. We recommend making a cash donation, which CoEd can use to purchase school supplies and other items in Guatemala. However, if you would like to carry items for distribution on tour, please consider the following:
- Luggage and storage space on the buses is very limited. Tour participants are permitted one medium-sized suitcase. If you would like to bring additional luggage containing donated goods, please submit a request to Leslie Jenkins Reed at email@example.com or 513-661-7000, x. 115, by Jan. 1/July 1.
- CoEd distributes books, sporting equipment, and pens/pencils to all schools. Any tour participant wishing to distribute other items, such as photos, candy, or clothing can do so without the assistance or involvement of CoEd staff. We do ask that you let us know ahead of time that you intend to pass out items at the schools. Items that are religious in nature may not be distributed within the context of a CoEd tour.
- Get your office, church, school, or community group to sponsor a student (or students!) in our Scholarship & Youth Development Program. Learn more about sponsorship here.
- Spread the word about our work. Help find speaking opportunities—at your church, club, or school—for someone in the CoEd Speakers Bureau.
- Join the CoEd Speakers Bureau. Once you have visited Guatemala on a CoEd tour, you can help us raise awareness about our programs through presentations at workplaces, churches, schools, clubs, and more.
- Bring a friend to Guatemala. Why not share your life-changing experience with a friend or family member? If you bring three new people to Guatemala on a CoEd tour, you'll travel free! Read more about this offer here.
Is my trip tax deductible?
Some trip expenses may be tax deductible. Refer to IRS Publication 526 (PDF).
What if I can't go on a tour that I have already signed up for?
Please refer to CoEd's Tour Refund Policy for information about cancelling your trip.