Women & Girls Empowerment


Duration 10 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 14 - 18
Experience Indigenous Voices & Women Empowerment


Rising Voices: Women and Girls Empowerment in Guatemala

Guatemala II

Guatemala is rich in culture and history yet grapples with poverty, inequality, and political instability. The theme of girl's empowerment is particularly relevant in Guatemala; it has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world, and girls are often subjected to discrimination, sexual abuse, and forced marriage. Through deepening our understanding of the region and the challenges, students develop skills to become effective advocates for change.

“Amidst the volcanoes and lakes, Guatemala's landscapes whisper ancient stories, where the echoes of Mayan civilizations resonate through time.“


“In the heart of Central America, Guatemala echoes with the resilience of its people and the beauty of its landscapes.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Students depart for their international flights and are warmly greeted by Envoys educators upon arrival. After a safety briefing and team-building, the group explores the surrounding area and enjoys a welcome dinner, experiencing the first taste of local cuisine.

Day 2

Our first full day in Panajachel is spent exploring the town. We visit la Iglesia San Francisco, the local market, and have a typical Guatemalan lunch. In the afternoon, students tour a Mayan and Olmec archaeology site, providing us with an introduction to indigenous traditions and culture.

Day 3

We immerse ourselves in a cultural exchange at a local school, followed by lunch and sharing our own school traditions. Afterward, we delve into Design Thinking, collaborating in small groups to tackle contemporary challenges for women and girls. We later enjoy a picnic dinner together.

Day 4

We visit a coffee plantation managed by De La Gente, students tour the farm and interview farmers who were involved in the civil war. This cooperative only employs ex-guerrilla fighters and provides a unique insight into our program. Later, we return to the hotel for our last night in Panajachel.

Day 5

We take a boat to San Juan La Laguna and check into our new accommodations. We participate in an indigenous-led mural tour of the city, have lunch and later meet a women’s weaving collective. We spend the afternoon swimming in Lago Atitlan and return to our hotel to refresh and have dinner.

Day 6

We hike up La Nariz before sunrise, enjoying views of Lake Atitlan and a mindfulness activity. Midway through, we reflect on our growth as travelers. After lunch, we join a Mayan Women’s Cooperative for a weaving workshop.

Day 7

We head out from San Juan La Laguna to Antigua. After checking in to our hotel, we head out for a guided walking tour of the city from a women-owned tour company. We’ll have a traditional Guatemalan lunch and then participate in a cooking class in the afternoon.

Day 8

We embark on an early volcano hike from Antigua, choosing between Pacaya Volcano or Acatenango. After marveling at Guatemala's landscapes, we return to Antigua for downtown exploration, shopping, and bargaining. The day ends with a final dinner and ceremony

Day 9

Our morning consists of a full program debrief and reflection workshop so students can process their experiences, recognize each other’s contributions, and prepare to share our learnings and growth with our family and school community. We then head to the airport for our international travel home.

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Lenses of Inquiry


Collective Action

Students explore challenges facing girls and women in developing countries like Guatemala, linking them to US issues. Through Design Thinking, they identify and refine solutions, realizing they have a role to play in increasing women’s rights and equity worldwide.


Global Citizenship

In-country lessons on empathy and cross-cultural understanding give students the skills to engage with the unfamiliar. Through Envoys’ in-country networks, students explore the culture, history, and identity of Guatemala. During the final days they create ‘action plans’ to share their experiences.


Positive Dispositions of Difference

We explore cross-cultural understanding, challenging preconceived notions about poverty and breaking negative stereotypes. We focus on the things that bind us: our common values and humanity. Students experience a reality outside their own, and learn there is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way of living.


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