-->Adventures and volunteering program in Guatemala and Colombia

Tropical Adventures is a leader in sustainable adventure travel. Our Amistad Program was born on October 1999 in Guatemala by Canadian citizens group, and started sustainable tourism programs. This is a combined program, adventures and volunteering, may include: Reforestation, natural resource management and conservation programs; school and latrine building, and access to drinking water. We help children institutions to provide for the physical, mental, and educational needs. Also we help the orphans and disadvantaged families in Guatemala and Colombia. You can help the needed communities by our sustainable tourism program development. We provide a safe and uplifting environment for volunteer and traveler groups as they come to serve or visit Guatemala and Colombia. *Look our realizations.

Amistad Project offers a wonderful and unique experience for you students groups in Guatemala and Colombia. They are oriented by a responsible approach; they will meet indigenous populations and live a human and memorable experience while aiding the community. We offer you a combination of a sustainable tourism package and a volunteer program experience. We have contact with several local organizations (social, education, health and nature projects) in which you can help as a volunteer. This is a combined ecotourism circuit where the students will discover the secrets of the Mayan people by having amazing and once in a lifetime experiences; but also, involvement to social actions for communities in need.

What Is Voluntourism?
Voluntourism is the integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination with the traditional elements of travel and tourism - arts, culture, geography, history, and recreation while in the destination.

Do you like to travel or want to gain valuable experience in the community development field? Are you interested in building your resume’ or developing leadership, administrative, or facilitation skills?  Do you have a desire to serve, learn and experience the world? Canada Amistad Project offers a variety of valuable internship opportunities including long-term, spring break, summer break, and short-term volunteer internships. Fly in to assist with a service-learning trip for a week or a weekend or stay a while by applying to join our long-term volunteer internship program. Interns may help with administrative and field operations or assist with community development initiatives and voluntour projects in Guatemala and Colombia.

Through Amistad Program, visitors explore the natural beauty of the highlands of Guatemala while enjoying immersion in the local culture and working with Mayan villagers on community development projects facilitated by our local partners in Guatemala, an integrated rural development organization working in more than 250 communities throughout Guatemala. More than 75 school and adult groups have worked in Guatemala since 12 years. Canada Amistad Project volunteers have helped villagers build community projects, gardens, agriculture, playgrounds, and schools or assisted with irrigation and conservation efforts.

Participants have enjoyed visiting traditions tour in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, and participated in an educational community walk to meet with local residents in their homes. Presentations and community dialogues on important relevant topics including migration, the Civil War, sustainability, microenterprise, and more, have also proven to be highlights of learning and exchange. Additional customized trip options may include a boat tour of Lake Atitlan, climbing Pacaya Volcano, lunch on a coffee plantation, horseback riding, a Mangrove tour, an afternoon at Monterrico beach, zip line adventures, or a visit to Ixchel cultural center, Ixcimche ruins, a turtle sanctuary, or the Popul Vu museum and much more.

Cultural immersion and service activities offer valuable opportunities to interact with local communities and learn through hands-on projects. We’ll meet a Mayan family for support the family, cooking typical meat, making handcrafts and play with younger siblings, it’s a unforgettable experience !

What is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable Tourism is tourism that strives to minimize its impact on the environment, to respect local people and cultures, to offer economic benefit to local businesses and communities, and to provide a memorable experience for travelers and protects destinations for future generations. Using small-scale lodging, local transportation, supporting locally-owned businesses, and incorporating community-based ecotourism projects into tours are some ways travel can work towards sustainability.

What does a sustainable trip look like? Using efficient local transportation where possible, which also provides more interaction with local people

Staying at locally owned accommodations and supporting local businesses, so that the money you spend stays within the families and individuals you encounter along the way, enabling them to grow their community.

Encourage the preservation of cultural heritage by appreciating, but not altering, archaeological sites, sampling local cuisine, and learning about traditional customs and belief systems.

Visiting local community projects. This will give you a greater understanding of the issues facing local people and learn how individuals are working to strengthen the heath and viability of their communities. You may also have a chance to volunteer and give back during your visit.

Support fair trade by purchasing goods directly from the individuals who have made them.

Sustainable Operations and Initiatives
As a leader in sustainable adventure travel, we are dedicated to offering low-impact tours that bene?t traveler and host alike. We work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts. While our sustainable tourism policies and operator standards are constantly evolving, our commitment to socially and environmentally conscious travel has been with us since the company's inception.

Tour Operation
We work closely with all our partners to ensure they operate in accordance with our

Ecotourism Operator Standards: Employ local guides, suppliers and operators in the destinations we travel.

Homestays are incorporated where possible.

When provide private transportation on our comfort and overland tours.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites and community-based ecotourism initiatives are incorporated into our tours.

Instead of staying in large foreign-owned all-inclusive resorts or hotel chains, we aim to support the local economy by staying in small-scale hotels where possible; otherwise, the best feasible option is employed.

Tour Leaders, Porters and Local Guides
We take pride in hiring staff that represent Canada Amistad Program in a responsible manner, as they are the ones who have the biggest direct impact on how your tour is run. To ensure quality leadership amongst our employees:

We employ local guides, suppliers and operators in the destinations we travel as they are able to provide our travelers with an insight into local customs, culture, history, flora and fauna.

Tour leaders receive training in low-impact travel practices.

Tour Leaders must possess First Aid certification upon being hired.

Tour Leaders are encouraged to assist in researching socially and environmentally responsible operators and community-based tourism initiatives that can be incorporated into our tours.

Supporting the Protection of Children from Exploitation in Colombia and Guatemala.
We are partner with Childsafe Colombia and Guatemala in effort to combat child sex tourism and exploitation. Our tour leaders attend training workshops with Childsafe, that cover the main problems street children face in Colombia and Guatemala and provide recommendations of ways they can help protect children during their trip.

Giving Back to the Community
While much of the focus is on ensuring travelers are provided an enriching experience, the same goes for the communities we visit and the cities we work in. Sustainability is at the core of our type of travel both near and far. One of our long-standing community-based initiatives 'at home'.

An exchange program can be arranged with us between young Guatemalan or Colombian peoples and your country. The program is one or two weeks long and bring together young people (ages 15-18). Our programs usually include a family stay.