Situated between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, GUATEMALA is a land filled with mountains, active volcanos and incredible Mayan ruins. A thousand years ago the remarkable Maya civilization flourished, and its ruins dot the landscape. Today more than half of Guatemalans are descendants of the indigenous Mayan peoples; most live in the western highlands and are poor subsistence farmers. By contrast, the rest of the population is Ladino (mixed Maya-Spanish ancestry) and concentrated in urban areas. Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems along with its rich Mayan past make it an excellent destination for any student group.
SAGE OFFERS an in-depth experience of indigenous life in Guatemala. Witness the production of beautiful Mayan textiles with Mayan Hands, a fair trade women's weaving cooperative. Discover the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal. Feel hot magma under your feet while hiking at the base of active volcanoes. Learn about wildlife conservation first-hand while watching nesting sea turtles and live iguanas. Practice your Spanish with locals on the colonial streets of Antigua or Quetzaltenango. Plant trees in a micro-enterprise nursery with Trees, Water & People, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping local communities sustainably manage their resources. Visit Santiago Atitlan, an indigenous community on the shores of volcano-rimmed Lake Atitlan, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.