My Favorite Memories from our trip to Guatemala with #CoEdGuatemala.

By Posted in - Central America & Instatog & Personal & Photography Posts & Photos & Travel Blog & Volunteering on August 1st, 2012

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Last week we were in Guatemala with a fantastic non-profit, Cooperative For Education.

We had an amazing time traveling through the country and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the education system in Guatemala. We also saw magnificent vistas, tasted amazing new foods and saw an intimate side of the country we never would have seen on our own.

Over the next several weeks we’ll be sharing our Guatemalan experiences with you. We’ll also be letting you know more about Cooperative for Education, all the hard work they have been doing to eradicate poverty through education and how you can volunteer with them.

I really can’t state enough how great of a time we had on this trip. We both came back glowing and honestly we didn’t really want to come home at all, we loved it that much. We have a ton of photos to pour through and stories to write but I wanted to get an Instatog post up right away so you could see some photos of our adventure through Guatemala with the wonderful program created by Cooperative For Education.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite memories from our trip.

1. Guatemalan Foodie Delights

This top photo is a favorite of mine – Randy took it and I love the emotion that he captured. We were able to visit a home of a Guatemalan family and this photo was taken in their kitchen as they showed us how to make homemade corn tortillas. This was one of my favorite activities on the trip and as you can see from their laughter and smiles, this was a lot of fun and a truly unforgettable experience.

Guatemalan coffee is some of the best in the world and on this trip we were able to take a tour at Finca Filadelphia coffee plantation to see how coffee is made (it takes a lot of work!).  I also ate the world’s best pancakes on this trip that were made of blue corn with Macadamia nut syrup. Yum!

2. Surreal Vistas & Unforgettable New Friends

In order of the photos below we saw the beautiful, lakeside village of Santiago, ferried across Lake Atitlan, relaxed in a hammock outside our casita at Hotel Posada de Santiago, took in the colonial architecture of Antigua and met the fantastic Ann & Emmy (along with the rest of the staff) at Cooperative For Education.



3. The Kids!

I saved the best for last! The entire reason we went on this trip was to meet some of these little cuties and learn about the work that Cooperative For Education is doing to improve literacy in Guatemala. Did you know that for every 10 Guatemalan children that enroll in primary school only 2 will graduate high school? Even worse, the majority of them will drop out between first and second grade. As a result the literacy rates in Guatemala are the lowest in Central America and most adults cannot even read or write their own name. Cooperative For Education is changing all of that and the work they’ve been doing is nothing short of miraculous. We’ll have plenty of information coming out about them including interviews, photos and statistics of the Guatemalan education system but until then here are some great pics of the kids we met last week. Enjoy!


(The second shot below is of Randy giving a speech at Panajxit Cooperative School about the importance of learning computer skills. We were at this school to inaugurate their new computer lab provided by Cooperative For Education so it was a perfect speech. Go Randy!)


Have you ever been to Guatemala? Have you ever been on a service trip during your travels? Have you heard of Cooperative For Education before? Please tell us about your adventures in the comments below!


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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(14) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Pamela -

    August 1, 2012 at 8:33 am

    What an amazing experience! I can’t wait to hear the rest of the stories 🙂

  • Sherry Mills -

    August 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I was a participant of this tour and am honored to be in the background of several of these beautiful photos. Guatemala truly is a magical place & its children deserve the opportunities programs like CoEd can offer them!

  • Beth -

    August 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    CoEd is an admiring endeavor. Wish all the best for the program.
    Guatemala looks so beautiful from the pics.

  • Antoinette | love.antoinette -

    August 2, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Beth I LOVE this post! As someone who goes on medical missions often, Guatemala has been on my radar for quite a bit. And seriously, anything that involves improving children’s literacy and computer skills is simply amazing, and so are you two! Glad you guys had a blast! Oh, and by the way, that blue corn pancake with the macadamia nut syrup just sounds waaaayy delicious!

  • Mike -

    August 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I think what you guys did is awesome and hope that my wife and I can contribute in a similar manner in foreign countries. I can’t imagine how great tasting Macadamia Nut syrup is. I am salivating! I loved the array of colors in the women’s dresses also. Kudos for your effort and as always “Safe Travels” !!!

  • Catherine Jones -

    August 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Sounds like a great experience and very worthwhile! Amazing photos as well

  • Karen -

    August 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I haven’t been to Guatemala and haven’t heard of the Cooperative For Education. But I can say that this is a good way to reach the children and promote education. By the way, reading your post is both enlightening and heartwarming.

  • Michelle -

    August 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Education is key for these kids to get out of poverty. What a good cause!

  • Lauren, Ephemerratic -

    August 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Such a touching and enviable experience. I work with nonprofits at home in the U.S. and so tend to neglect seeing that side of the countries that I travel to. I’m definitely losing out with that approach – no more!

  • Brooke vs. the World -

    August 5, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Wow, your photos are just awesome, and this looked like such a great trip — especially the food! Guatemala — must return at some point 🙂

  • Sky -

    August 5, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Incredible photos! This made me so “homesick” for Guatemala. I’ve been twice, both on service trips with my school and I’ll be returning in January for a few months to volunteer at a school. The children there are so incredible!

    Did you happen to journey anywhere near the town of Joyabaj or did you stay mostly in the bigger towns/cities?

  • Audrey | That Backpacker -

    August 7, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Nice sneak peek! 😀 The photos look stunning.
    And seeing the photos of the children brings back memories from volunteering in Bolivia.

  • Callie -

    August 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Those kids are so adorable! That hotel with the hammock’s not bad either…

  • Kristin -

    August 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    It looks like it was a great experience, and for a good cause too! It’s so cool that you got to spend some time with a family there and learn how to make tortillas.

    What a stunning place, too. All of your photos are stunning.