Archive for the ‘CoEd Project Tours’ Category

The Martyrs of Cantel

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

This February, over 60 volunteers traveled to Guatemala on a Cooperative for Education tour to deliver textbooks, inaugurate computer centers, visit Culture of Reading Program classrooms, and meet or reunite with their Scholarship Program students. It was a life-changing experience that opened everyone’s minds and hearts.

For the Jenkins family, one experience stands out among the rest.

Six weeks before staff member Leslie joined the CoEd team, her aunt Beth passed away from cancer at 45 years old. Beth was an incredibly kind, highly intellectual, sassy, and adventurous person who was dear to the entire family. At that time Leslie’s father Dale knew that he wanted to memorialize his sister in a special way, but he didn’t yet know how.

Beth Jenkins Stubbings

Beth Jenkins Stubbings

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Margaret Amara on Returning to Her Daughter’s Birth Country

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Want to learn more about heritage travel? Join the webinar!


Last month, you read about Kelsey Amara’s travels back to Guatemala, the country of her birth. She made her first return trip with her parents Margaret and Mark in 2004 and her second as a solo journey in 2017. The Amaras were one of the first adoptive families to travel with Cooperative for Education, but there have been many more in the meantime. And now there’s a specific experience – the Heritage Tour – for families connected to Guatemala through adoption.

Some things never change:

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Kelsey bonding with CoEd staff in 2004…

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…and in 2017!

Below, check out Margaret’s perspective on returning to Guatemala!


Margaret Amara’s family journey with Guatemala started many years ago, but she always knew it would include returning to Guatemala. “When we chose the path of international adoption, we always knew we would someday take our daughter to visit her birth country,” says Margaret. The Amaras did their research, had many conversations as a family, and decided to return with their daughter, Kelsey, in 2004. “Our trip to Guatemala, when our daughter was 16, was the right age for her.” And traveling with Cooperative for Education was the right choice too because the tour was “very organized, comfortable, safe, and full of beautiful Guatemalan cultural experiences.”

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Kelsey Amara on Returning to Guatemala

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Want to learn more about heritage travel? Join the webinar!


“How would I feel when, as an adult, I walked through that door?” This is the question that wouldn’t leave Kelsey Amara’s mind as she prepared to travel back to Guatemala, the country where she was born, on Cooperative for Education’s 2017 Heritage Tour.

“As an adoptee, going back to what might have been home to see the “what ifs” up close and personal filled me with nervous anticipation.”

Kelsey made her first return trip to Guatemala with her parents when she was 16 years old, travelling with Cooperative for Education (CoEd) on that occasion too. Both experiences were life-changing in their own way. (more…)

Mental Health Therapist Tisha Way Gaynor on Heritage Trips

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Here at Cooperative for Education (CoEd), we believe in connecting people across countries. We believe that encountering the diversity of humanity changes us for the better. It’s a big part of the reason we invite you to visit Guatemala on our project tours each year. The experience of being welcomed, asking questions, grasping hands, and laughing with the students, teachers, and family members you support is one that changes you deeply.

Last year, we offered our inaugural Heritage Tour as a way for individuals and families connected to Guatemala through adoption to reconnect to the country. Mental health therapist Tisha Way Gaynor joined us as an on-tour resource for those who wanted to talk through and process their experiences on the trip.

adoption heritage birth country travel Guatemala

From noon to 1pm (Eastern) on March 14th, Tisha will host a webinar for adoptive families who are interested in making heritage trips (to any country, not just Guatemala!). In anticipation, we’ve asked her to share some of her knowledge and experience about heritage trips here on the blog.

adoption heritage birth country travel Guatemala

adoption birth country heritage travel Guatemala

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Summer 2017 Tour Highlights

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Twice a year our US staff packs up and heads south to share with CoEd supporters the beauty of Guatemala and the impact they’re having on its beautiful people. This summer’s tour season might, in fact, have been the largest one ever! Almost 80 people joined us on the Helping Hands, Snapshot, and Heritage tours in July and August. As you can imagine, we have no shortage of stories and photos from those trips, so here are our top five.

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Our first-ever Heritage Tour, designed specifically for families connected to Guatemala through adoption, was a huge success.

Guatemala travel heritage adoption

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CoEd Staff Share Their Essential Guatemala Travel Items

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Ever wondered what our seasoned, Guatemala-trotting staff make sure to always pack when they head to the Land of Eternal Spring? This month we took a survey to find out. Check out our favorite travel items and get excited for your next (or first!) Guatemalan adventure.

(Psst—We’ve got some exciting summer tours for you, but they’re filling up fast! Better sign up quick.)

Sign me up!

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Introducing: The Heritage Tour!

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Guatemala adoption family travel

Guess what, everyone? This summer we’ll be piloting a NEW KIND OF TOUR to Guatemala and we are SO EXCITED for our first run! In our 20 years of leading trips to Guatemala, we’ve had plenty of adoptive families on board, but we are thrilled to now offer these families a special tour designed just for them. Our new Heritage Tour will offer families and individuals who are connected to Guatemala through adoption a unique opportunity to reconnect with the country alongside other families that are doing the same.

sign-me-up

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Our favorite time of the year – February Project Tours

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Like Christmas or summer vacation, we eagerly anticipate the February tour season each year. We spend a jam packed few weeks with supporters delivering books, inaugurating computer labs, reading with students, and meeting scholarship students. Bus rides into the countryside give us a chance to build deep relationships with you and truly know how deep your generosity goes. It’s always a memorable month! Since we just wrapped up another February tour season, we want to share with you some of the highlights from the month.

And maybe—just maybe—it will inspire you to join us this summer! 

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Scholarship sponsors and students were reunited, sharing in the most affectionate of hugs.

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Now just try to tell me you don’t want to come meet your scholarship student.

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2017 Sneak Peek

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Are you excited for 2017 with Guatemalan students yet!? 2015 was #Awesomeyear, 2016 was even better, and 2017 is gonna be the best yet. Take a peek at what lies in store for you, CoEd supporters:

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Inaugurating our new Education Center, which will consolidate our staff offices in the very heart of the country, helping us be a more together, more efficient poverty-busting team! (We also got some cool bonus features like solar panels and teacher-training rooms.)

panorama of the new center

Isn’t it pretty?

Paola tries out our new Ed Center.

Student approved.

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5 Guatemalan Festivals You Just Can’t Miss

Friday, September 16th, 2016

One of the reasons we travel is to experience different cultures, change our perspectives, and—hopefully—learn. Today we’re here to ask you: What better way to do that than party with the locals? That’s right, PARTY! Guatemala is absolutely rich with cultural celebrations, which inspired us to put together this list of

Guate Festivals

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