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.

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

Guatemala travel heritage adoption

Kelsey Amara, one of the lovely participants on this inaugural tour, reported: “As a Guatemalan adoptee, I felt that the compassion and care with which the tour was conducted was unparalled…I was allowed the ability to get what I needed for my own journey with adoption and self discovery in a way I had only hoped to do previously.” We were honored to have helped provide that opportunity to Kelsey and each of the other participants on this tour!

We danced…

Guatemala tour charity service tourism

…and sang and played and celebrated together with hundreds of Guatemalan kids at a number of different schools!

We were rock-stars on the paint brushes! Each of our tours this summer included a service component of some sort, whether it was painting a classroom or working together with primary schoolers to prepare the bookshelves where they’ll keep their storybooks.

Guatemala volunteer tourism travel charity nonprofit

The boys on the Helping Hands tour, though, were more gung-ho than the rest of us. They insisted on painting an outhouse at the school that wasn’t on our to-do list, but by the end we agreed: it looked pretty good.

We were welcomed into the homes of some inspiring people, who shared with us their stories of challenges and triumphs, heartbreaks and joys.

Guatemala volunteer tourism travel charity nonprofit

Silvia’s family beamed as she told us some of her proudest moments as a member of CoEd’s Scholarship and Youth Development program. Her parents must have shared her pride, too, considering they laminated the awards that all three are holding!

We got to build and strengthen relationships with the classmates and family that came with us on tour, as well as build new friendships with people we met while there!

Guatemala volunteer tourism travel charity nonprofit

These girls from Badin high school in Cincinnati, OH get to bring their experience from Guatemala home with them as they begin their senior year together.

We can’t wait to make even more memories with you on our tours next year! Sign up for one today!

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