Central America

Quetzaltenango, better known as Xela, is Guatemala’s second city and exemplifies the intersection of its colourful indigenous and ladino cultures. It was and remains a home away from home for me and plays host to an interesting variety of NGO’s, Spanish schools, and progressive intellectual and political personalities. It also sits in the ominous shadow of Volcan Santa Maria, a dormant giant that has nevertheless left an indelible mark in the minds and bodies of OGG’s participants.

Antigua in the ominous shadow of Volcan Agua
 Antigua, known to me as Guatemalan Disneyland, was once the country’s capital and remains a colonial jewel nestled between 3 of Guatemala’s most iconic and notorious volcano’s (Agua, Fuego, and Pacaya). After bursting out the doors of OGG’s first Chicken bus, sharing stories about its colours and characters, the group settled into Hostal Holistico, a cute little refuge in the city’s centre, where they would be staying for the next 3 nights. 

On July 5th, trip leaders Ben and Jay were thrilled to finally welcome the rest of the crew to Guatemala City and officially kick off the second ever Operation Groundswell Guatemala program. After a day of flight arrivals in the capital, the eleven of us...

After several months of planning from Toronto, Operation Groundswell Guatemala trip leaders Ben Sampson and Jay Wall headed to Guatemala in mid-June for two weeks of in-country preparations affectionately known as pre-con. They visited communities across Guatemala to finalize logistics of transport, accommodations, activities, and...

Today, with 8 weeks until the official start of Operation Groundswell Guatemala 2011, I'm celebrating an anniversary. One year ago, I arrived in Guatemala City as a member of the OG Guatemala 2010 crew. Whether I expected to or not, I began to fall in...

I can´t believe how quickly the trip has gone by! Given that we haven’t been all that good at writing blogs (!) , why don’t I do a quick recap of our past five weeks! (I´m sure you´ll hear more details upon our return!) Our first...

Hi all Guatemala followers, Just wanted to give you a quick update. I spoke with the team yesterday and all seems to be doing well still. They will be giving a full blog post soon but for now please know that they are all safe and...

Hi faithful followers, David Berkal here, writing from OG-central. I have just touched base with Dima and Jonathan, our two Guatemala trip leaders and they have asked that I post for them. You may have seen on the news that there have been some torrential rains...

Hi everyone, It all begins. We will be writing blog entries weekly to capture what is happening in our group over our time here in Guatemala. Participants are eager to share their experiences and keep you, the reader, abreast of our adventures and the things we...