Mayan People of Cantel, Guatemala

Cantel, Guatemala

K'iche' Mayan People

Xperitas partners with the NGO, La Asociacion Wajxaqib Aj, the Mayan Center for Peace/Centro Maya Para la Paz, whose goal is to fortify solidarity and peace in the communities.

Site Specifics

Cantel Altitude: 6,600 ft.
Airport: Guatemala City (GUA)
Typical Foods: Rice, beans, chicken, fruit, soup
Lodging: Homestay
Language: Spanish, K'iche'
Transportation to Site: Meet at airport in Guatemala city. In country transportation to Antigua.

A Brief History of the Community

Teams live and work with the small Mayan village of Xecum outside of Cantel, located in the highlands of western Guatemala, an area rich with dense vegetation where the vast majority of Maya live in small scale agricultural production. The indigenous Maya population in and around Quetzaltenango continues to experience rural poverty and institutional and social discrimination.

In the past, Xperitas teams have worked on a variety of projects with the Mayan Center for Peace, including construction, gardening, painting, weaving and other community projects.

CP Philosophy

Xperitas is committed to deep and intentional relationships with our primarily indigenous community partners. Projects are designed and led by the community and serve as a vehicle for cross-cultural learning. Participants agree that cultural exchange is the primary purpose and most important aspect of the program. As an organization we have cultivated sustainable relationships with our partners that are long lasting; it is important that our participants engage with the community respectfully and honor our partnership.

What will we do? Sample Activities

Because Xperitas CP programs are led by our partner communities, every program is unique. The day-to-day activities will be determined and led by the community and as a result participants experience an authentic immersion experience. Based on past programs, here are some activities you may engage in:

  • Experience the day-to-day agricultural lifestyle against the backdrop of the Santa Maria volcano.
  • Collaborate on community efforts like mixing cement, painting or working in the Mayan community center.
  • Learn about traditions such as Mayan weaving, spirituality and the K'iche' language.
  • Build relationships by sharing stories, cooking or playing games with host families.
  • Reflect on shared experiences with the team and developing knowledge of the community.

Extend your Trip Ideas

Many past participants have extended their stay in Guatemala to explore other enriching activities. While we are not a provider of these services, we may have recommendations and contacts near the site who can assist you with your trip extension. Contact Xperitas for more information.

Here are some ideas for other activities you might enjoy:

  • Work on your Spanish skills at a language institute in Quetzaltenango.
  • Visit Tikal National Park, one of the largest archaelogical sites of pre-Columbian Maya civilization and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Relax at a cafe while exploring one of the many colorful villages alongside Lake Atitlán.

Contact us to learn more about programs to Cantel.