JOIN RAINBOW WORLD FUND ON A HUMANITARIAN JOURNEY TO GUATEMALA - July 4-13, 2019 dates
Learn about the cultural, historical, spiritual, and political realities of the developing world.  Explore human rights issues with a people whose traditions span centuries of development.

 Stunning Lake Atitlán - a body of water in a massive volcanic crater in Guatemala’s southwestern highlands. The lake is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will stay on the lake's southern shore.

Stunning Lake Atitlán - a body of water in a massive volcanic crater in Guatemala’s southwestern highlands. The lake is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will stay on the lake's southern shore.

Travel With A Purpose

  • Learn about the cultural, historical, spiritual, and political realities of the developing world. 
  • Explore human rights issues with a people whose traditions span centuries of development.
  • Experience ancient, colonial, and modern influences that have molded cultures of unique strength
  • Meet with members of the LGBT community, artists,and leaders in many fields
  • Learn about a transgender "underground railroad" that helps transgender women from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras get a new start in life
  • Visit medical clinics, art institutions
  • Meet survivors of the 36 year civil war and hear their stories
  • Participate in Mayan spiritual rituals with local Shamans
  • Help deliver medical and educational supplies ... be forever changed.
 RWF volunteers at Project Safe Passage in Guatemala City.

RWF volunteers at Project Safe Passage in Guatemala City.

 Tz'utujil men in Santiago Atitlán.

Tz'utujil men in Santiago Atitlán.

The Rainbow World Fund Guatemalan Journey is an educational and cultural experience. We will learn from Guatemalans about the realities in their country by visiting projects that serve the Guatemalan people and engaging in social, cultural and artist exchanges. The trip includes visits to diverse communities, meeting with leaders from a variety of fields, and spending time with the LGBTQ community to learning about their struggle for their civil rights.  We will experience great Guatemalan hospitality and there will be plenty of opportunities to practice your Spanish. The program strives to connect participants with the realities, struggles and hopes that Guatemalans experience each day. We also hope to bridge connections with Americans and Guatemalans in order to build understanding and partnerships. This will be RWF's eighth trip to Guatemala.

 Arco Santa Catalina in beautiful downtown Antigua. The iconic archway dates to the 1600s.

Arco Santa Catalina in beautiful downtown Antigua. The iconic archway dates to the 1600s.

 Beautiful Antigua, the former colonial capital of Guatemala, has many Cathedrals and historic building.

Beautiful Antigua, the former colonial capital of Guatemala, has many Cathedrals and historic building.

 Visiting the Women in Solidarity Clinic in Guatemala City. The surgical lamp is a gift from Rainbow World Fund.

Visiting the Women in Solidarity Clinic in Guatemala City. The surgical lamp is a gift from Rainbow World Fund.

Save A Life

Rainbow World Fund has been visiting Guatemala since 2004.  Since then over 100 RWF volunteers have delivered 7000 pounds of medical and school supplies valued at over $900,000 along with over $130,000 in grants. Some of the many projects that RWF supports include a women's clinic in Guatemala City, an orphanage in Santa Apolonia, a water project in the Mayan village of Tapesquillo, a school in Santa Cruz del Quiché, Project Safe Passage at the Guatemala City garbage dump, projects that support the LGBT community in Guatemala City. Trip participants are asked to collect medical and school supplies during the months prior to departure. Each person is allowed two 50lbs bags plus carry-on baggage on this international flight. We encourage people fill their suitcases with life saving supplies that we will distribute in Guatemala. We will provide guidance on what medications to collect. Our groups have made a huge difference in the lives of hundreds. These vital supplies come from doctors and hospitals in the U.S. that we contact before our trips. We also bring down over the counter medications and vitamins. Simple medications like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Imodium, and Hydrocortisone cream are beyond reach of most Guatemalans and are greatly appreciated. The antibiotics, anti-fungals, diabetes medications and HIV medications all mean the difference between life and death in Guatemala.

 We will visit several schools - these boys were perfect hams.

We will visit several schools - these boys were perfect hams.

 RWF meeting with LGBTQ activists in Guatemala City.

RWF meeting with LGBTQ activists in Guatemala City.

 Guatemalan girls in their traditional clothing from the town of Santa Catarina Palopó on Lake Atitlán.

Guatemalan girls in their traditional clothing from the town of Santa Catarina Palopó on Lake Atitlán.

We will be traveling as a humanitarian aid group and our itinerary reflects this. Each journey is unique and we are still creating the itinerary for the trip.

Our current itinerary begins in Guatemala City where we will visit projects that serve the LGBTQ community including OTRANS a nonprofit that services the transgender population. OTRANS runs a defacto "underground railroad" that helps transgender woman from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras find safety, supportive community, and work. We will also meet with REDNADS a leading LGBTQ civil rights nonprofit. We will visit the Women In Solidarity Clinic and learn about the many challenges that Guatemalan women face. While in Guatemala City we will also visit the headquarters of international nonprofits and sites of historic and cultural significance.

 Guatemala City viewed from the Carretera a El Salvador neighborhood.

Guatemala City viewed from the Carretera a El Salvador neighborhood.

 Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National  Palace  of Culture) in Guatemala City also known colloquially as "Palacio Verde" is the headquarters of the President of Guatemala.

Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace of Culture) in Guatemala City also known colloquially as "Palacio Verde" is the headquarters of the President of Guatemala.

Guatemala Map.png
 Market Day at Chichicastenango.

Market Day at Chichicastenango.

Next we will travel to Chichicastenango, a town in the El Quiché Department, known for its traditional K'iche' Maya culture. 98.5% of the municipality's population is indigenous Mayan K'iche. We will visit the 400-year-old church of Santo Tomás and be there for the famous outdoor market - the largest in Central America. We visit schools, villages and humanitarian projects in the surrounding area. We will then head south to stunning Lake Atitlán - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will stay on the southern shore of the lake in the town of San Lucas Toliman. There we will participate in a ancient healing ceremony with a Mayan Shaman. We will meeting with humanitarian aid workers, visiting forestry and farming projects and attending a religious service co-led a by a Mayan and Catholic priest.   We will meet with historians and learn about the 36 year civil war (1960-1996) and how it continues to impact the country. We will visit the town of Santiago Atitlán and learn about the many forms of mysticism practiced there.

 Tikal was one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Situated in the department of El Peten, this site is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park. In 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Tikal was one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Situated in the department of El Peten, this site is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park. In 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 Maximón, a Maya deity in Santiago Atitlán

Maximón, a Maya deity in Santiago Atitlán

After we leave Santiago Atitlán we will travel east to La Antigua Guatemala aka Antigua, a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well as a number of ruins of colonial churches. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala and as the Spanish colonial capital for a time. It has been designated a  UNESCO World Heritage Site. The nearly 500 year old city is surrounded by three volcanoes - it is like being transported back in time. Antigua will be a base for us to visit many humanitarian projects and sites of cultural interest. There will be time for an optional trip up to the northern jungle to visit the Tikal - a city and cultural center for ancient Mayan civilization. Many beautiful buildings have been uncovered and many more wait to be discovered. Among the many Maya sites in Central America, Tikal is perhaps the most breathtaking because of the scattered impressive pyramids and buildings which have been restored in an area with many more ruined buildings still enveloped by the jungle.

 Amberjoy Leonard with children at an orphanage in San Antonio.

Amberjoy Leonard with children at an orphanage in San Antonio.

 We will have the opportunity to visit Mayan villages and learn how they have maintained their customs and traditional way of life.

We will have the opportunity to visit Mayan villages and learn how they have maintained their customs and traditional way of life.

Every trip is unique. Here are a few of the many highlights from past trips: 

  • Help deliver humanitarian aid
  • Learn about life on a coffee plantation
  • Sit with a weaver as she designs fabric of brilliant color and listen to her dreams for the future
  • Visit schools, medical clinics, and the other institutions
  •  Shop at the the largest outdoor craft and art market in Central America
  • Meet with the mothers of the civil war disappeared
  • Encounter a variety of lawyers and activists working for human rights
  • Dialogue with religious leaders and ecumenical health care workers in marginalized areas of Guatemala City
  • Learn about US foreign policy and the School of the Americas
  • Visit ecological areas and learn about the fair trade and organic movement
  • Make friends with other LGBTQ and cool straight people who are traveling with you on this journey
  • Use the journey as a path for personal growth, transformation and healing with the help of our facilitators
  • Learn about the reality of street children
  • Participate in dialogues with diverse communities discussing LGBTQ issues
  • Spend time with a Mayan Shaman - participate in an ancient healing ritual
  • Journey underground through sacred Mayan ritual caves
  • Be inspired by, Julia Esquivel, poet, theologian and human rights advocate
  • Shop at the the largest outdoor craft and art market in Central America
  • Visit REDNADS - learn about HIV care and services
  • Visit the Women In Solidarity Clinic - learn about the healthcare system
  • Deliver supplies to orphanages and children's homes
  • Tour the historic center of Guatemala City, including the Cathedral and National Palace
  • Hear the stories of the  survivors of the 36 year civil war
  • Spend a few days in colonial Antigua where the architectural glories of the past provide the setting for the struggles of today
  • Reflect on the war history in the Quiche in an afternoon with the local leadership
  • Spend two days on Lake Atitlán area getting to know the local community
  •  Meet the founders and members of internationally renowned NGOs
  • Witness religious rituals of the local people in Santiago Atitlán
  • Visit Art and Historical museums and other places of cultural interest

 Vibrantly painted school bus are everywhere in Guatemala. They are the primary mode of transportation for goods and people between towns and cities.

Vibrantly painted school bus are everywhere in Guatemala. They are the primary mode of transportation for goods and people between towns and cities.

The trip cost is $2,350 and includes all hotels and accommodations, in-country transportation by private van, all meals, gratuities, translation and guide services, speakers fees, entrance fees to special events. It does not include round trip air transportation from the USA. Participants have the opportunity to take optional day trip (via airplane) to visit the Mayan ruins and juggle at Tikal. Our guides for the trip are two American Catholic Sisters who Rainbow World Fund has worked with for many years. These inspiring women lived in Guatemala during the civil war and have served the Guatemala people for many years. They have amazing knowledge and connections that make our journey extraordinary.  If you are interested in this trip please click this text and send us an email ASAP to set up an interview.

 A Mayan weaver with her daughter. Backstrap weaving is a part of the culture of the western highlands of Guatemala. Young girls begin learning how to weave at about 7 years of age.

A Mayan weaver with her daughter. Backstrap weaving is a part of the culture of the western highlands of Guatemala. Young girls begin learning how to weave at about 7 years of age.

 The Hero Twins from the Popol Vuh - a cultural narrative that recounts the mythology and history of the K'iche' people who inhabit the Guatemalan Highlands.

The Hero Twins from the Popol Vuh - a cultural narrative that recounts the mythology and history of the K'iche' people who inhabit the Guatemalan Highlands.