Volunteering in Guatemala’s Orphanages

I really wanted a different type of vacation. One where I could still get away from the cooler weather of Canada but where I could have an unforgettable experience. In particular I have wanted to do something that allowed me to give of my time to kids in need. After 2 months of extensive research I have found a short itinerary where I hope to accomplish all of this.

I am bringing my two young teenagers with me and we are going to visit two orphanages in Guatemala. One in the East and another 20 minutes from Antigua in the West. We hope to share and learn from our experiences with these young Guatemalans. We also plan on posting stories and photos as they occur depending on our access to internet connections.

Day 1 – Dec. 3, 2009 Guatemala City
Our first day really was a simple, long travel day. We stayed at the conveniently located Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel so wea were able to sleep in until 5:30 am before dragging ourselves out of bed. We had wisely checked in for our flight the night before since we were at the airport. All we had to do is drop off our one checked bag and make our way through the rats maze of security at US customs. I was a bit frustrated however as they wouldn’t let me eat my oranges at the customs desk… they said it was too late, I think they wanted lunch.

Our flight to Houston was about 4.5 hours followed by a 5 hour layover in Houston before continuing on our 2.5 hour flight to Guatemala City.

In Guatemala City we had made some prior arrangements to be picked up at the airport by an Orphanage staff member. Since or flight arrived at 10pm it was a hassle free and convenient way to start our visit in Guatemala. We are not spending our time in Guatemala City but our first night is being spent in the city orphanage office where two small rooms, some beds and a private washroom are located for volunteers stopping for the night. It is a simple and clean place to stay complete with a wireless internet connection. In the morning we will be taken to the bus station where we will take a 4 hour bus to our first orphanage in Eastern Guatemala.

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