Winona Senior High School Guatemala Expedition

Spring Break March 7-14, 2020

Antigua, Lake Atitlan and the Surrounding Mayan Villages

Guatemala is known for its gentle way of life, expansive highlands dotted with venting volcanoes, deep-rooted Mayan heritage, and delicious cuisine. Dive into Central America where you’ll explore the historical cobblestoned streets of Antigua, help prepare handmade tortillas and real Mayan chocolate, explore the volcanic highlands of the Lake Atitlan region, and practice Spanish language skills. On this one week adventure, students will experience authentic Guatemalan life while visiting the markets, talking with a traditional Maya healer, explore ancient Olmec sites, and enjoy the gracious hospitality of our Maya host families at Lake Atitlan.


*All enrollment applications will be reviewed and approved by Winona Senior High School prior to acceptance.

*Enrollment is limited to 20 student participants.

Enrollment Deadline: April 1, 2019

On this expedition, students will:

  • Explore the cobble-stoned streets of Antigua, venture into markets, and enjoy delicious local cuisine

  • Travel by land and sea to villages surrounding the epic Lake Atitlan region - a historic volcanic lake surrounded by volcanoes and the most densely populated indigenous Mayan villages of Guatemala

  • Spend time with locals, learn traditional Mayan medicinal practices, practice cooking techniques and the art of creating an array of weavings using all plant-based dyes mixed by hand

  • Have the opportunity to practice speaking Spanish, learn salsa dancing, experience a traditional Maya sauna and spend time with village elders and children

  • Earn course credit for participating in this experiential-learning course in Guatemala

8 Day Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Guatemala / Settle into Antigua

The group flies together to Guatemala City Airport where your bilingual guide joins the group. Everyone then travels by private bus to the colonial town of Antigua. Students will have a time to settle into the accommodation and complete orientation before enjoying their first authentic Guatemalan meal.

Day 2: Explore Antigua

Spend the day exploring the historical and artistic sites of the world-famous city of Antigua, Guatemala. A walking tour of the Antigua will visit highlights such as the local markets, the infamous iglesia de la merced (iconic church of peace), Parque Central (central park), ruins of Santa Clara, and much more. Students then visit the local choco museo (chocolate museum) to participate in a cacao bean-to-bar chocolate cooking workshop. Students will each create and have a chance to enjoy their own maya chocolate creations. Dinner takes place at a local restaurant before returning to the accommodation for the evening.

Day 3: Head to Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan

Venture on private bus through the Guatemalan countryside ending to the village of Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Take a boat from Panahachel to San Juan de La Laguna, where the group will settle into their new accommodations in the local maya village. The group will be greeted by their host families and enjoy storytelling celebrating Mayan history over a delicious locally prepared meal.

Day 4: Traditional cooking class / Medicinal plant workshop / Temazcal

Take part in a cultural and medicinal plant workshop where students will be making their own lip balm from local plants. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a cooking class to prepare a traditional Mayan meal. The group then relaxes in a traditional Mayan Temazcal (sauna) before settling in for the night.

Day 5: Meet with Mayan elders / Visit a women’s cooperative / Basket weaving /

Meet with village elders to lean about Mayan history and the civil war. Visit a local women’s cooperative and learn how they dye the cotton by hand with local plants, learning how to use material from nature to make a basket/clothes/blankets and more. Each student will have the opportunity to weave their own scarf using traditional back-strap weaving looms, assisted by their Maya teachers.

Day 6: Explore the village on San Juan de Laguna / Mural storytelling

Local villagers join the group on a tour of the many murals painted on all the buildings and businesses telling the story of their history. Students will learn about local community practices and explore ancient Olmec ruins.

Day 7: Panajachal / Antigua / Dancing / Celebration

After venturing by boat from San Jose de la Laguna, students have the opportunity to enjoy the street-lined markets of Panajachel before returning to Antigua by private bus for the final night’s celebration dinner and dancing.

Day 8: Fly home

Students arise early this morning for a private transport bus to the Guatemala City Airport to return home.

Guat 8.jpg


Housing will be at a hostel and eco-retreat. All rooms will be shared with the same gender.

Hostel in Antigua

Eco Hotel MayacHik


What's Included: lodging, supplies, all meals within Guatemala, private local transportation within Guatemala, educational programs and activities, guides, and airfare to/from Guatemala City.

What is not included: travel to/from airport in the US, souvenirs, passport, travel insurance. 

*Enrollment for this program is limited.

*All enrollment applications will be reviewed and approved by Winona Senior High School prior to acceptance.

Enrollment Deadline: April 1, 2019


There will be a number of fundraisers set up and run through Winona Senior High School. More information will be presented at the student/parent meeting on Wednesday, March 6th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

Important Forms 

Please sign and submit forms to Jen Herdina at

or mail them to: Global Treks and Adventures 1934 Gilmore Ave. Winona, MN 55987.