Trips – Ryerson University

Say Si to Spanish: Language & Cultural Immersion in Guatemala


Cost: $1650 CAD + Flight Costs
Departure City: Any
Departure Date:
May 1, 2020
Return Date:
May 10, 2020
May 1 -10, 2020

Antigua, Guatemala

Cost: $1650 + Flights
Participation fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals, and 24/7 in-country support

Trip Overview:

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” Flora Lewis

This trip provides an opportunity for an immersive cross-cultural experience, allowing participants to learn Spanish from qualified instructors, while supporting the English-language development of students from a local bi-lingual school. 

Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about the history and present day context of Indigenous languages and cultures of Guatemala through intimate tours that will take you off-the-beaten path.

Itinerary Highlights include:
  • 25 hours volunteering in local schools to help local students develop their English language skills
  • 15 hours of Spanish language instruction, delivered by El Cambio Language School
  • Homestays with local families to experience local culture
  • Explore the beautiful sites of Antigua (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Lake Atitlan and learn salsa!
  • Visiting the Universidad del Valle Altiplano to learn about the history of the Guatemalan Civil War and the present-day realities of the Mayan people in Guatemala

The program is being delivered in collaboration with Ninos de Guatemala (NDG), where SOS has previously funded the construction of four classroom-building and renovation projects.

Community Profile:
Antigua is a city located in central highlands of Guatemala known for its preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well as a number of ruins of colonial churches. While primary schools in this region are more accessible than in rural regions, the reality is that the government spends less than 3% on education. As a result, the majority of public schools are overcrowded and lack proper resources. Volunteers will have a chance to see this beautiful city and local challenges first hand, while also getting the opportunity to meet with the children at schools operated by our local partner in this region.

Who We Work With

SOS works exclusively with registered non governmental organizations (NGOs) in every country we work in to not only ensure the efficiency of our projects, but to ensure our volunteers have the best experience.

Partner NGO:

Niños de Guatemala (NDG)
Niños de Guatemala (NDG) empowers communities in marginalized areas of Guatemala. They achieve this by providing education that extends beyond the traditional classroom across three levels: students, their families, and the larger community. They run two primary schools and one secondary school fully staffed with teachers, social workers, after school programs and more, serving over 500 children.

What's Included?

SOS volunteers sleep in available community structures (classrooms, community centers, churches), and live as close to the conditions of the community as possible.

SOS works directly with Flight Centre to process all volunteers' Outreach Trip logistics from your travel insurance to your in country needs like clean drinking water and accommodations!

Three meals a day plus clean drinking water and snacks! Meals will consist of rice, beans, tortillas, and fruit/vegetables. Soups, stews, and pasta dishes are common as well. Most dietary restrictions and allergies can accommodated.

SOS works exclusively with registered non governmental organizations in every community to ensure our volunteers have the best experience possible.