Guatemala Humanitarian Tour

High school students, parents and friends (ages 14 and up) are invited to go on an exciting, life-changing…

Guatemala Humanitarian Leadership + Adventure Tour

Spend a week working alongside Mayan Guatemalan families and learning how to make an impact, with Cultiva – a program to reduce the malnutrition crisis.


You’ll also have plenty of time to explore the culture and beauty of Lake Atitlán.


Tour Dates: July 5-13, 2019


This itinerary is subject to change.

Morning devotionals will be held each day, while in country.

Friday, July 5

Flight to Guatemala, evening arrival, overnight stay in hotel in Guatemala City.

Saturday, July 6

Morning shuttle to Quetzaltenango. Visit Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple; Baptisms for the dead; Shuttle to Casa Cultiva in Panajachel.


Sunday, July 7

Attend local ward. Go on splits with missionaries serving in the area. Free time to relax or explore Panajachel and tour the food market, Catholic church, Santander street, and Lake Atitán. Group activity and guided journaling after dinner.


Monday – Tuesday, July 8-9

You’ll head to the homestead in morning for a quick tour before heading out to the worksite. Help install garden boxes with local Mayan families. Back to Panajachel for dinner and some humanitarian leadership activities.


Wednesday, July 10

After breakfast, take a boat to San Juan to tour an art studio, textile co-op, medicinal herb garden, and make your own bar of chocolate before heading back to Pana for dinner and more humanitarian leadership activities and learning.


Thursday, July 11

You’ll do the same activities you did on Monday and Tuesday, with the exception of dinner. We’ll have a Guatemala culture night at Casa Cultiva, complete with home cooked food by the locals.


Friday, July 12

Time for adventure! Spend the morning on a zipline tour and short hike to a quaint beach of Lake Atitlán. The rest of the afternoon is yours to rest, shop, or do more hiking.


Saturday, July 13

Return to Guatemala City and fly home.

View the Participation Packet for detailed itinerary, packing list, and all tour details


Reserve your Spot

This tour is now full.

All volunteers must submit the following:

Volunteer Waiver and Release Form 2019

Students must either be enrolled in the Ensign Peak Academy High School Program, or at least 14 years old by July 2019, to attend this tour. Parents and friends are welcome to register as well. 

Ensign Peak Academy high school students, including students entering 9th grade in August 2019 may earn 0.5 high school credit by attending this tour, and by completing the pre-tour and post-tour modules in Canvas.

Tour Reservation Deposit: $100 Deposit (Non-refundable)

Tour In-country Cost: $1100 (This covers lodging, all meals, transportation and travelers insurance.) The $100 deposit will count towards this cost.

Airfare: Students are responsible for their own airfare. We found a low cost flight from Las Vegas, through Mexico City, to Guatemala City. It is through Seach for Las Vegas to Guatemala City, July 5-13, leaving Las Vegas between 1-2 pm Friday and arrives in Guatemala 9:55 pm. It includes a long layover on Mexico City on the way home, and actually arrives in Las Vegas at 11:50 am on the 14th. Many students have already purchased this flights and several adults, including Ruel Haymond will be on this flight, as the chaperone.

Payment Option: Divide the balance into monthly payments, to be paid in full by the end of May.

All humanitarian trip expenses paid to EL Humanitarian are tax deductible!

Mail a check with this Reservation Information Form to:

EL Humanitarian
9593 N. 4380 W.
Cedar Hills, Ut 84062
You may also Venmo the funds to RuelHaymond@el-humanitarian

Tour Leaders

Ruel Haymond

Ruel Haymond

Ruel Haymond is passionate about mentoring youth, and loves teaching, learning, and discussing truth. He earned a Bachelors of Arts, Family Science & Spanish, Utah State University; and Master of Science, Instructional Technology, Utah State University.

He and his wife Tresa  have seven children and two grandchildren. He loves spending time together with family. His hobbies consist of praying, repenting, thinking, reading, speaking, playing, traveling to serve, making food, improving my husbandry and fathering, and striving to be a partaker of the “divine nature”.

Carolyn Marriott

Carolyn Marriott

Carolyn Marriott has a passion for learning and teaching. She is the current Spanish and US Geography Mentor for Ensign Peak Academy.

Besides homeschooling her own seven children since 1993, she has years of experience teaching youth in church and academic settings. Recognizing the value of contributing to and gaining from a community, she and her children have participated in homeschool groups in Washington and Utah where she has taught a variety of topics from Spanish, to U.S. History, to Economics. Currently, she serves as chair of Lighthouse Commonwealth of Iron County.

Carolyn has traveled in Chile, Central America, Europe, Canada, Argentina, and the United States, broadening her appreciation for the beautiful world and its people. She served a mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received a BA in Spanish from Brigham Young University.

Currently, Carolyn lives with her husband and youngest daughter, Lizzy, in their historic home in Beaver, Utah. She loves gardening, eating chocolate ice cream, reading, going on long walks; and she now understands why grandparents brag about their grandkids so much.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the trip safe? We take this very seriously and recognize this is a big question for many participants. We have taken all precautions to make this trip safe of our participants. Greg Jensen lives full time in Guatemala with his wife and five children. He has been bringing groups of families and youth to Guatemala for over five years. Participants stay in safe hotels, including the volunteer housing for Cultiva International. All transportation is private and with responsible drivers.

Do I need to get vaccinations? No vaccinations are required to enter Guatemala. Talk to your family physician for any specific questions about vaccinations.

What if I get sick? If someone were to get sick or injured, we have direct local access to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc. The travel medical insurance, which we include in the cost of the trip would cover any cost incurred.

Do I need insurance? We include medical travel insurance in the cost of the trip. This covers any emergency medical or dental expenses, as well as emergency evacuation or repatriation.

What is the lodging like? Lodging for participants is in Casa Cultiva’s volunteer housing. Casa Cultiva is private and secure and it is not open to the public. All rooms have three beds and a full bathroom with hot water. Three participants of the same gender will share a room. Depending on flight times, there may be a need to overnight in Guatemala City. We use a safe, secure trusted motel near the airport. All participants would be accompanied by the adult leaders.

What is the food like? Breakfasts are provided by Casa Cultiva and include things like Guatemalan beans and eggs or pancakes and fruit. Lunches and dinners are either dine in at Casa Cultiva, at a local restaurant, or provided in the field on service days. All food is washed and prepared using modern practices. The food is delicious and healthy. We do not serve a lot of processed food. We will make sure you have plenty of food. We will also provide safe drinking water at all times.

What will we do for service projects? Cultiva International teaches self-reliance principles to local Mayan families. They teach a ten-hour nutrition and garden box program where Guatemalans can work and earn their own garden box. We will be working with these families to help them install and plant their new garden box they have earned. We will be with these families at their homes, and get a unique and personal view into how they live.

What is the in-country transportation? All in-country ground transportation is in private, modern vans with trusted, professional drivers. This includes rides to and from Guatemala City, as well as transportation on service days.

Is this a tourism trip? No. This is not a sightseeing trip. We will see and experience many amazing things and have some awesome adventures, but this week is more than that. We will learn about ourselves, about effective humanitarian work, and be directly involved in hands-on service.

Do I need to know Spanish? No knowledge of the Spanish language is required. There will always be Spanish speaking leaders available to help.

Do I need a passport? Yes, a valid passport is needed to travel to Guatemala. At the time of travel, it must have at least six months left before it expires. This can take time to receive, so you should order your passport as soon as you are accepted.

Do I need a visa to travel to Guatemala? Yes. When you arrive in Guatemala, your passport will be stamped, giving you a 90-day tourist visa.

Will someone be at the airport in Guatemala City when I arrive? Yes. Cultiva personnel will be at the airport to personally pick up each participant.

How much luggage can I bring? Each participant is allowed one checked suitcase or bag, and a carry-on bag, such as a backpack. If your carry-on is slightly too big, they will make you check it in, (so your child will need to have a credit card to pay for it).  It is best to make 100% sure that your carry-on meets the airline size limit requirements.

What should I bring? Please see the Packing List below.

Can I wash clothes during the trip? There are no washing facilities for participants. Please plan accordingly and bring enough clothes, especially socks and underwear.

What is the weather like? Temperatures are mild year round. We recommend wearing pants on work days. Short sleeves are fine. Have a sweatshirt or long sleeves. It can be cool on rainy days and in the evenings.

Is there a specific dress code? The culture in Guatemala is conservative. Shorts need to be longer (no short shorts). Shirts should be short-sleeved (no cap, sleeveless or tank tops) and long enough to cover the midriff fully when arms are raised. Make sure slogans/imprints on clothes are appropriate.

How can I pay for souvenirs and other expenses? You can get money for souvenirs in two ways. You can use your debit card at an ATM machine. Notify your bank before you come. You can exchange $50 and $100 bills locally. The bills cannot have any writing or any tears or ripped corners. They are very strict about this. $50 to $100 can buy quite a bit here as far as souvenirs. Credit cards are not accepted at all souvenir shops. If they do accept it, there is a 5-10% fee.

Expedition Packing list

  • Passport
  • Water bottle (1 liter minimum)
  • Toiletries (bar soap and shampoo are provided)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Notebook or journal and pen
  • Personal medications in original containers
  • Backpack for day trips
  • ATM card (optional)
  • Earplugs for noisy roommates (optional)
  • Phone or camera (optional)
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Work shoes (don’t need to be boots)
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Rain jacket or rain poncho (or both)
  • Sweatshirt
  • Shorts
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for hiking (can be the same as work shoes)
  • Hat (optional)
  • Long pants (for two work days)

Temperatures are mild year-round. We recommend wearing pants on work days. Short sleeves are fine. Have a sweatshirt or long sleeves available because it can be cool on rainy days and in the evenings.

The culture in Guatemala is conservative. Shorts need to be longer (no short shorts). Shirts should be short-sleeved (no cap, sleeveless or tank tops) and long enough to cover the midriff fully when arms are raised. Make sure slogans/imprints on clothes are appropriate.

Pack your most important items and a couple changes of clothes in your carry-on luggage. We have had to deal with delayed luggage with volunteers before.