Venture Guatemala 2024

      Guatemala City, Guatemala

      Ventures by Jodi Morris
      • Email address verified
      15 reviews
      Mar 11 - 18, 2024
      Group size: 6 - 10
      Venture Guatemala 2024
      Guatemala City, Guatemala

      Ventures by Jodi Morris
      • Email address verified
      15 reviews

      Mar 11 - 18, 2024
      Group size: 6 - 10

      About this trip

      Go beyond tourism. Connect as a global citizen. Forever change your perspective.  

      Guatemala brings visions of green mountains, coffee farms and brightly-colored colonial buildings and textiles. The largest country in Central America, Guatemala is home to Latin America's tallest volcano (Tajumulco), deepest lake (Atitlán) and its largest export (coffee) is consumed across the world. 

      When you connect to female leadersstudents, changemakers, entrepreneursyou see the country more deeply.

      In the early 2000s, Dr. Denise Dunning lived and worked in Guatemala. Founding Rise Up in 2009, she and the team actively supported young Guatemalan leaders like the late Veronica "Vero" Buch working to help indigenous girls in the highlands stay in school. Vero and her peers targeted the issue of child marriage. Their work led to the nationwide legislative ban on the practice in 2015. Though Vero tragically passed away in 2023, leaders like her daughter Melody are more passionate than ever about advocating for girls’ rights (video story). 


      This is a unique opportunity to travel with Denise and learn from young female leaders in Guatemala. We meet Rise Up leaders working to end child marriage and prevent gender-based violence; who advocate for girls' rights, access to education, and reproductive rights. We explore the stunning natural landscape, enjoy outstanding food and drink, and meet new friends who share the economic, social and cultural changes impacting Guatemala's future.

      During the 7 night trip, we fly in/out of Guatemala City and travel via hired vehicle to Panajachel along Lake Atitlán, Quetzaltenango ("Xela"), Antigua, and Chimaltenango. The week includes group meetings and activities, food and cultural excursions, and a forever-memorable feat of a volcano climb. Our visit is during Easter season, with weekend vigils and processions making for the most special of experiences. Pre or post-trip, we encourage participants to travel to Guatemala's most famous Mayan heritage site, Tikal.

      Experiencing Guatemala as part of an immersive travel experience, we are attached to its story.

      Rise Up is partnering with Leadership Council member and global venture guide Jodi Morris to offer this exclusive experience.


      While Guatemala is the most populous (17 million) Central American country, many in the U.S. are less familiar with its recent history—a transition to democracy following a long internal conflict that includes a 36-year civil war (1960-1996) and Guatemalan Genocide where over 200,000 Mayan people were killed or went missing (learn more) A democratic constitution was adopted in 1985, and a democratically elected government was inaugurated in 1986. More recently, anti-corruption Presidential candidate Bernardo Arévalo delivered a surprise defeat to the incumbent President Alejandro Giammattei and assumed office in January 2024 (read more plus recent MSN article shared by Michelle and Maya Health).

      Currently, Guatemala is at the center of U.S. immigration initiatives. Through government and private initiatives, Guatemala is a hub of Central America innovation and investment, centered in the Guatemala City/Antigua corridor. Sustainable farming practices of new crops are growing, though coffee continues to make up 40% of Guatemala’s agricultural revenue. 

      This puts Rise Up’s work in context. In Guatemala, gender equality remains a challenge. Countrywide, 33% of 6th-grade girls don’t enroll in 7th grade (in some areas 50%). But when they do, they're more likely to graduate than boys. Rise Up's support of leaders advocating against gender-based violence and child marriage and for health and reproductive rights are both key to furthering gender equality.

      Important Trip Details

      - Ideal Participants are curious, adventurous, globally-minded travelers, including Rise Up Leadership Council (LC) members.

      - Group Size is a minimum of 6 and limited to 10 to create a community-building experience. 

      - Per Person Trip Cost for 8 days/7 nights lodging, transportation, meals and beverages, excursions and tips is $4195 per person. For solo travelers, a single-supplement applies. Optional Tikal excursion extra.

      - Health Considerations include heat, humidity and altitude. For their own safety and comfort, participants should be in good health. COVID vaccinations are recommended.

      - Your Venture Host is Jodi Morris (

      Given the custom nature of this venture, itinerary details are subject to change.

      Reservation & Cancellation Policy

      To reserve your spot, make a $1000 USD non-refundable trip deposit. You'll receive a confirmation upon receipt of payment. Full payment is due 60 days prior to the start of the trip.


      We understand that unforeseen circumstances can occur. For cancellations made more than 60 days prior to the trip, we will gladly reimburse you, less your non-refundable initial trip deposit.  Any cancellations made less than 60 days prior to the trip will incur the full 100% cancellation fee.  We always recommend the purchase of travel insurance, which typically covers trip cancellation fees. For more information, see Terms & Conditions.

      Travel Basics, Health, Insurance


      Visas are not required of U.S. citizens traveling to Guatemala.

      We highly encourage U.S. travelers to register with the U.S. Government Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and to review the pages for the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala and the U.S. Department of State Guatemala.

      Medical Recommendations and Immunizations

      For COVID-19 information related to Guatemala, please see the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala website. All participants to follow the travel protocol recommended by the WHO, CDC, the Guatemalan authorities and individual businesses while in-country. 

      We recommend that participants review with their doctor any medical vaccinations. For more information on immunizations needed or recommended for travel to Guatemala, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. The CDC does not cite malaria as a risk in the regions we will travel.

      Health & Travel Insurance

      We recommend that participants purchase travel insurance, or ensure their regular health insurance plans cover travel-related illnesses and injuries. Insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. A reminder that Medicare does not cover international medical expenses. Participants to provide health insurance information as part of trip registration. 

      Even if you have health insurance covering international travel, we strongly recommend you also obtain coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, curtailment, and personal property. Two options are Travelex and World Nomads. Consider which plan is best for you.  

      Guatemala Background Info

      Guatemala Travel Basics

      • Money Major credit cards accepted; ATMs widely available; local currency & USD accepted
      • Currency Quetzales (GTQ); $1 US = 8 GTQ (or 200 GTQ approximately $25 US)
      • Weather & Climate Tropical. Climate is typically humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands. March is dry season. Expect temperatures in 80s (daytime) and 60s (nighttime). Be sure to bring a jacket/sweater for cool nights and mornings, sun protection for daytime, and rain jacket/umbrella for occasional rains
      • Elevation  5000+ feet 
      • Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type 120 V / 60 Hz / plug type(s): A, B
      • Major Languages Spanish. Guatemalans also speak 22 Maya dialects
      • Religions Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Maya
      • Time Difference UTC-6 (+2 hours from Pacific, during Standard Time)
      • Potable Water Bottled water is recommended. for drinking (even teeth brushing). Please bring a personal water bottle for refilling throughout.
      • Population  17 million (split urban/rural)
      • Government  Current President of Guatemala is Bernardo Arévalo 
      • Safety Always be aware of your belongings, especially when on public transportation, or in markets or crowded downtown areas of larger cities. Avoid walking alone at night.
      • Transportation  Uber is widely available

      What’s included

      • Hotels
        Seven nights at 5* hotels (AC Hotel Guatemala City, Hotel Atitlan, Good Hotel Antigua). Includes Monday, March 11 (pre-trip).
      • Meals
        Breakfast, lunch & dinner each full day except lunch on one day. Breakfast on own the final day. Dinners include wine, beer & beverages. Water to be provided throughout (bring water bottle).
      • Transportation
        Airport pick-up if arriving on March 11. All inter-city group transportation.
      • Entrance Fees & Tours
        Entrance fees, tours and tips included.
      • Translation
        Translators for Rise Up site visit days

      What’s not included

      • International Airfare
      • Passport & Visa Fees
        Guatemala does NOT require a tourist visa for U.S. citizens
      • Airport Transfers
        Airport transfer for (non-March 11) arrival and departure paid by participants directly, based on individual schedules.
      • Add'l Tours/Entrance Fee
        Costs for additional tours or entrance fees beyond those listed on itinerary are NOT included
      • Personal Items
        Laundry, communications, tips for housekeeping, additional tips for guides & drivers, etc.
      • Tikal Excursion
        Tikal Excursion extra

      Available Packages

      Double Occupancy

      Double occupancy is for two people at 5* hotel and will typically include 2 beds, unless one is preferred.

      Deposit: $1,000
      Single Occupancy

      Single occupancy is for one person at 5* hotel and will typically include one bed.

      Deposit: $1,000

      Available options


      Tikal Mayan Architectural Heritage

      For those interested in a pre-trip or post-trip Tikal exploration, Guatemalan travel host Tania Salazar can arrange a Tikal excursion. Cost is $650 (double occupancy), $720 (single occupancy). Fee includes roundtrip flight from Guatemala City to Flores, private transportation, park entrance fees, two night hotel. All meals on own. Payment to be made to Tania in-country.

      Arrive in Guatemala City's La Aurora Airport (GUA) on Saturday, March 9 and take short flight to Flores' Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS). As a post-trip excursion, depart on March 18.

      Note baggage limits for domestic flights are a maximum of 10 pounds (4kg) for carry-on and 20 pounds (9kg) for checked luggage. Additional fees for excess weight apply.

      Driver Sandry Castillo meets you upon arrival in Flores. You will spend two nights at the Hotel Villa Maya. This elegant hotel is located within a tropical estate, on the edge of the Petenchel and Monifata Lagoons. White-tailed deer and peccaries are bred in the grounds, and the hotel features a luring outdoor pool. Dinner on your own.

      In the morning, enjoy breakfast on own before being picked up by Sandry and local guide Byron for your guided tour of Tikal. Tikal National Park has the best-known and most representative Mayan city in all of Guatemala. More than 3000 structures have been counted, of which only 20% have been excavated. There continue to be mysterious new findings as recent as 2021 (National Geographic).

      Enjoy lunch on own at Meson Restaurant inside the Park. In the afternoon, depart the Park and return to relax at Hotel Villa Maya, enjoying dinner on your own.

      The following morning, enjoy breakfast on own at the hotel before returning to Flores' Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS) for your return flight to Guatemala City's La Aurora Airport (GUA).

      Your Organizer

      Ventures by Jodi Morris
      15 reviews
      Let’s venture beyond standard tourism. When you connect to others’ stories, you begin to think differently about your own. I’m Jodi Morris. I’m a venture guide to high-achieving seekers. My passion is connecting people and ideas so that we maximize our impact. I'm a success coach and curator of global ventures—small group travels designed for the curious and impact-minded to awaken our thinking. The people I’ve met through global travels have changed my life. I love seeing the same for others. Let's Venture!


      Rise Up Guatemala 2024 was a deeply moving and memorable experience. I was immersed in Guatemala's history and rich culture. Our expert guides shared ancient Mayan history, as well as post-modern civil history - the real and raw version. This unique trip revealed a beautiful mosaic of hardworking, humble people living in an untamed, rugged landscape. One of the many highlights also included a deep dive into the good work of the Rise Up organization which is providing life changing skills and tools for girls to advocate for their futures. It was an inspiring and uplifting experience to witness girls and young women throughout the countryside change policy with grace and gratitude. In addition to being part of a dynamic and interesting group of fellow travelers, it was also a physically challenging experience as we hiked the popular Pacaya volcano only to be rewarded with a surreal pizza making experience over an active vent. Only Jodi Morris of Venture Travel could put such an exciting itinerary together! Rise Up Guatemala 2024 was my 4th travel experience with Jodi and I look forward to my next Travel Venture! Forever enriched, Pam Silvaroli.
      By Pam S for Rise Up Guatemala 2024 on Mar 28, 2024
      Well-organized with a thoughtful agenda. Good attention to detail. Good mix of activities/sites/experiences.
      By Victoria G for Rise Up Guatemala 2024 on Mar 23, 2024
      Jodi curated an incredible learning experience seeing Rwanda through many different lens. After a quick overview of where Rwanda has been and where Rwanda is now, Jodi brought together an amazing collection of leaders, entrepreneurs and students to paint a picture of where Rwanda is going next. Highlights: attending a community event post-umaganda to hear what's top of mind (everything from marital spats to calling on every adult to be responsible for the children of the community), meeting the future leaders of Africa as they embark on their life journeys, wandering the mountain villages and seeing children learning how to use the Microsoft suite. If you're looking for a well-rounded deep-dive into Rwanda, Jodi is the best guide!
      By Michele L for CGG Experience: Rwanda 2023 on Jun 30, 2023
      Jodi Morris has done it again and I'm not sure how she will top herself, however I have no doubt that she will. Rwanda 2023 was a life changing trip for myself and kids. We experienced things that one can only dream about. We had the opportunity to participate in Umaganda, a countrywide community service program designed to unite and strengthen the nation at a local level. We were also immersed in the fast-paced entrepreneurial sector bringing new ideas to life to overcome challenges. Additionally, we spent time at the newly constructed African Leadership University, engaging with bright minded African students determined to change the world with their amazing ideas and leadership. Because of Jodi's connections and friendships, we were invited into the thriving art scene, dined with the dynamic Minister of Infrastructure and enjoyed a delicious lunch in the home of two American expats intent on bringing their dream to life by building Virunga Mountain Spirits, a potato vodka distillery, run by women and 100% sustainable. It was a magical journey, renewing my sense of resilience and curiosity. Pam Silvaroli
      By Pam S for CGG Experience: Rwanda 2023 on Jun 29, 2023
      Traveling with Jodi and Connecting Growth Globally is a life changing experience!!! The CGG trips are not like any other group trip experience! Each trip combines history, culture, and sightseeing with meeting lots of wonderful, innovative, and bold young people who are finding new ways to move their country forward through education, activism, and business. For me, it is all about the people and it is exhilarating to see how much energy and creativity these young Guatemalans are bringing to making a better future for their country despite experiencing some pretty rough times in the not too distant past. And the people who sign up for these trips are adventurous, fun and interesting, too. I also learned a lot from them! Sign up for the next CGG trip! You won't regret it!!!
      By Lee Ann P for CGG Rise Up Guatemala 2023 on Apr 04, 2023
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