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antje duvekot(Aunt-yuh Doo-va-Kott)

Antje Duvekot

ANNOUNCING Volunteer Trip 2020!!!!

I am extremely excited to announce the third annual Antje Duvekot Volunteer Trip 2020. Once again, I will be taking a group of 10-20 volunteers to Project Somos in the beautiful highlands of Tecpan in Guatemala, where the group will live, work and learn for a week. Circa 12 of us came along last winter and about the same the year before and it was nothing short of magical! None of us knew each other going in and we left as fast friends. So of course I'm gonna do it again! It’s becoming one of the things I begin to look forward to each year. This year, I have partnered with a larger organizational team and we are hoping for a slightly larger turnout than the first two years (cap 20 people). Maybe you want to come this time? :)

WHEN: Saturday, February 22nd - Sunday March 1st, 2020 (we will be at the project from the 23rd - the 29th). The night of the 22nd will be spent convening at the Hotel Barcelo in Guatemala City as we arrive on our various flights into Guatemala City. The Barcelo is a lovely 5 star hotel right by the airport. Myself or our tour guide Lydia will be at the airport to greet you when you arrive. The next day, we all travel together by private shuttle from the Barcelo hotel to Project Somos (approx. 2 hour ride). We depart Project Somos on Saturday, February 29th and we spend our last day in the historical city of Antigua (a UNESCO World heritage sight nestled at the bottom of three giant volcanoes!). We fly home on March 1st. Of course, you can choose to stay in Guatemala longer or arrive beforehand and do some extra traveling. Let us know if you need help setting up extended travel. There is staff for this.

WHAT: What exactly is it, you ask. So Project Somos Children's Village is an incredible project and place (I have been 5 times now). Located on one of the more gorgeous spots on this planet, it was founded by a Canadian couple, Heather and Greg, and it supports the local Mayan community in a variety of ways: by providing quality education and healthy food to families in need, programming and schooling for children who were previously falling through the cracks of the Guatemalan system, support for the children’s families through vocational training and opportunities, as well as parenting classes in topics like nutrition and hygiene, medical and dental help, employment for the community and so much more. The project also focuses on sustainability and green technologies. You can check them out at and at for a more complete picture!

THE ITINERARY: Our group will live in dormitory style volunteer housing at Project Somos. It is a really beautiful and comfortable space and while the rooms are shared (2 - 6 people per room) it's pretty comfortable living in my opinion! Delicious fresh organic cuisine is prepared for us every day. Evening programs and free time take place in the cozy community space after dinner. Every morning after breakfast, we congregate and the various jobs for the day are announced. To keep it interesting, you can volunteer for a different task in the morning and afternoon. We split up into small groups. Tasks vary from planting to painting, playing with the kids, light construction, food prep, harvesting, really whatever needs done. No need to be in amazing physical shape; there are plenty of low key tasks too! Most days, we will work during the day and relax at night. In addition to musical interludes during the day, I’ll provide an evening concert just for the volunteers on one of the nights :) Spontaneous jam sessions, games, stargazing, chats and just relaxing in the evenings are inevitable. There will also be one or two evening presentations and/or documentary nights about the project, Mayan culture, Guatemala, the cycle of poverty followed by questions and discussion with Greg and Heather. Mid-week we visit the local market (think gorgeous handcrafted textiles) as well as Iximche, the impressive ruins of a Mayan kingdom abandoned in 1525. On the way back from the project, we visit a coffee plantation and receive a tour, and we have our last day in Antigua, the old colonial capital city of Guatemala. So that's the trip in a nutshell.

COST: Everyone is responsible for their flights. A roundtrip from Boston to Guatemala City is around $500, as an example. Most everything else is covered by your trip payment. Room and board at Project Somos for the week includes lodging and 3 meals a day (beer, wine and candy available for purchase). We'll also spend a night at the Hotel Barcelo (arriving) and one night at a hotel in Antigua on the way out (both included). Further included are insurance, shuttle transport, admin costs, cooking staff tips, trip to the ruins and market, our personal guide Lydia (who will be with us the whole time) and 3 meals off site when we are not at the project as well. The grand total for all of the above comes to $1,017. This covers virtually all on-the-ground expenses and you shouldn’t need much money beyond that. Lastly, every volunteer is asked to raise and contribute a $600 donation. This goes straight to the project and keeps the project running!! In sum, the total cost of the trip per person comes to $1617 plus flight. I realize this is a good chunk of change for many. We can help you come up with fundraising strategies! Consider launching a GoFundMe page or similar charitable collection. People love to be part of something charitable, so don't be afraid to ask! :)

MISCELLANEOUS: No shots are required for this trip, however typical recommendations for Guatemala include Hepatitis A&B, Typhoid fever, MMR and Tetanus-Diptheria. There is no malaria in this area (virtually no mosquitos!). Guatemala has Zika, but again we’ll be in the highlands with quasi no mosquitos, so I personally don’t feel the need to take any medications against mosquito-borne diseases on this trip. Of course this is a purely personal choice! The weather in February is usually gorgeous (sunny, dry, low 70's) but nights can get cold; We will send a pack list as we get closer. There is a one hour time difference from EST so no jet lag :)

There is room for 20 on the trip. We will fill the trip on a first come first serve basis and subsequently start a waiting list. I realize that it might take people a bit of time to decide. Whenever you are relatively certain that you will be able to come please email Arne, our designed communications operative at with your name and hometown/country and let him know you want to sign up! He will let you know whether there is still room on the trip and, if there is, he will direct you towards making a non-refundable $200 deposit that will officially secure your slot. Arne can also answer any questions you might have about the trip. The $200 deposit will carry forward toward your trip payment. Should you have to pull out, rest assured that this deposit will go entirely to Project Somos and the Guatemalan children it cares for and thus will not be wasted! Once you are signed up, we will keep you updated on impending deadlines and further trip details. Your final trip invoice will be due December 1st and your $600 charitable donation will be due January 1st. Please note that this is not the trip for bringing very small children, but teenagers are welcome!

I am really excited to meet everybody and perhaps see some returnees, too!
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions whatsoever.
Looking forward to seeing you in Guatemala!
Antje Duvekot

For photos of previous trips