January 9 – 19, 2022
The Umoja Journey is an adventure with purpose that will remain with you for the rest of your life. After you say ‘yes’ to this challenge, the most difficult part of the process will be over, and the fun and excitement can begin. The Umoja Journey is a guided trip across Guatemala. Guests will be travelling in a convoy of Land Rovers, with 4-5 people in each vehicle. The tour takes you on an adventure and highlights the work of International Needs.
To give a glimpse into the development project in Guatemala, to provide funding for the projects guests will be visiting, and to invite you to share your expertise and insight with our development partners.
The cost of the journey is $6,950 per person, some of which may be processed as a charitable donation toward the work of International Needs, if your country of residence permits deductions of this nature. Your donation will cover all travel costs of the trip, as well as funding for the development projects.
This itinerary provides the day-to-day details so you know what to expect, including maps, flights, travel plans, accommodations, activities, and projects. Please note that this itinerary is subject to changes based on preferences of joining members.
Umoja At A Glance
|January 9||Flores||Travel day, Visit Doctors in Guatemala City|
|January 10||Flores||Visit Mayan Ruins at Tikal|
|January 11||Antigua||Leisure day before travel|
|January 12||Antigua||Explore Antigua, Visit Hospital|
|January 13||Antigua||Meet Midwives, Finca Filadelfia|
|January 14||Antigua||Macadamia Farm, Debrief|
|January 15||Antigua||Pacaya Volcano Hiking Tour|
|January 16||Lake Atitlan||Transfer to Lake Atitlan, Relax|
|January 17||Lake Atitlan||Visit Panajachel Markets|
|January 18||Lake Atitlan||Leisure Day|
|January 19||Flights Home||Travel day|
Dates: January 9-10, 2022
Destination: Flores, Guatemala
Guests will fly from Moncton to Toronto, Toronto to Atlanta, Atlanta to Guatemala City, then Guatemala City to Flores.
Guests will spend the next 2 nights at Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, a beautiful spot in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle.
Before flights to Flores, guests will meet with the doctors at the hospital in Guatemala City to learn a little bit about maternal and neonatal healthcare in Guatemala.
After arriving in Flores, guests will get the chance to explore the city then visit the Great Mayan ruins of Tikal. Estimated to have been established at around 900BC, Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. The Tikal National Park encompasses 575 square kilometres of jungle and thousands of ruined structures from the ancient city.
Before flying to Guatemala City, guests will visit the Ixpanpajul Nature Park to see Flores' famous howling monkeys.
Dates: January 11-15, 2022
Destination: Antigua, Guatemala
Guests will fly from Flores to Guatemala City, then drive to Antigua.
FRS GUA 800p 900p
Guests will spend the next few days at a beautiful luxury villa in Antigua.
On January 12th, guests will spend the day touring Antigua, a beautiful city surrounded by volcanoes in southern Guatemala. Later on, guests will visit the city's hospital to learn more about public health care surrounding maternal and infant health.
On January 13th, guests will visit one of the communities supported by the Midwife Training Program in order to get a better idea of the inner workings of the project, as well as to get the chance to meet some of the community's doctors, midwives, mothers and children. A trip to Guatemala is also never complete without a stop at a coffee farm. The Finca Filadelfia coffee tour has run for more than 15 years, and allows visitors to see the step-by-step process of coffee making.
On January 14th, guests will visit the Valhalla Macadamia Farm for brunch and a tour, then reconvene to discuss the developments of the Midwife Training Program, as well as how the program can further improve.
The final day in Antigua will be spent on a hiking the Pacaya Volcano. Pacaya Volcano is the most popular volcano trek in Antigua because of its accessibility, and the hike can be completed in half a day. Here, guests will hike (or ride horses) through the lovely pine forest to the tough volcanic ash and rock, then to the sulfur-smoking cone. When summited, guests will get to see the amazing views of the northern volcanoes, pacific lowlands, and El Salvador.
Despite decades of international aid, maternal and child mortality is still at an unacceptable level throughout Guatemala, and at crisis levels in the rural regions. Midwives attend more than 90% of births in the rural areas, and it has been found that a significant number of infant deaths are connected to a lack of knowledge in handling high-risk pregnancies. The statistics are also greatly impacted by extreme poverty, which has remained relatively constant over the past 20 years.
International Needs Canada is working alongside a number of organizations to develop the Midwife Training Program, a program that targets high-risk pregnancies and transforms the overall state of maternal and newborn healthcare in Guatemala. The goal is to provide training to midwives so that they are able to detect risk factors early, refer the mother to a health care facility, and prevent the deaths of mothers and babies in the rural regions of Guatemala. This program will also provide research in the areas of maternal and neonatal care for the Guatemalan Health Ministry to use and improve upon.
Dates: January 16-18, 2022
Destination: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Guests will drive from Antigua up to Lake Atitlan.
Guests will spend the next coupe of days at a beautiful villa on the water in Lake Atitlan.
Guests will continue on the journey to reach Lake Atitlan. The next couple of days will be spent exploring Panajachel’s bustling markets, the Casa Cakchiquel Cultural Centre (initially a hotel enjoyed by notable figures such as Che Guevara and Ingrid Bergman), and taking a private boat tour. The Lake Atitlan village boat tours take guests on a journey around the lake to explore and visit the quiet and peaceful villages in the heart of Mayan culture.
Dates: January 19, 2022
Destination: Flights Home
After breakfast, the team will head to the airport in Guatemala City to catch flights back home. Sadly, the 2022 Guatemala Umoja Journey must come to an end, but we hope guests will cherish this trip for the rest of their lives, and join us on many more!