We arrived in Antigua the first night and stayed at a hotel. We had that evening to explore the area. The hotel was nice and conveniently located to the square. The next day we were shuttled in reliable comfortable vans to Las Buenas Nuevas, the compound that we stayed at for the trip in Panajachel. There were 13 of us in 2 homes and we had plenty of room. The homes were very clean and comfortable. The location was wonderful...we looked out at Lake Aitlan with 2 active volcanoes on either side across the lake. The complex was gated and very safe. On the way to Panajachel we had the opportunity to stop at the Chichicastenango market. I enjoyed this time to explore and experience an open market in Guatemala.
I can't say enough good things about Mission Guatemala and the work they are doing in the community. Our hosts, Tom Heaton and Dave, re-enforced the fact that with any opportunity to interact with the children or people of the area, stop your work and just BE THERE! They are very down-to-earth and you feel like you know them from the beginning of the trip. They made this just the best mission experience! The food at the compound we were served was terrific!!! I had prepared myself for the type and amount of food that I might be served while I was in Guatemala, but I'd have to say it was worth 4 stars. Tom and Dave also took us to dinner one evening at a local restaurant with a marimba show.
On the last day we traveled to Guatemala City to a hostel. Four of us were in one small bedroom (it is a hostel so we were prepared), but the location was only 1 minute from the airport! The food was also very good. (The owner of the hostel was perhaps not the most organized, but he was personable and a great cook!)
Overall, I just couldn't have asked for a better trip!!! The people and children of Guatemala will always have a place in my heart. I learned so much from Mission Guatemala. Thank you!
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
interacting with the local community, especially the children. By the end of the trip everyone could see the results of their work in this community by the construction assistance that we provided... a fence, doors for bathrooms, furniture (beds, tables, shelfs) and rebar support for a food kitchen.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
have decisions made ahead a time about what supplies would be needed for each activity and have them available at the time of our arrival.