top of page


"We do not claim this will be a "life changing" experience, but we do believe it will help students become who they're going to be... faster."

- Joe Fontana, Global Leaders Co-Founder


Trees Planted


Clean Cookstoves Installed


Hours of service


School Rooms Built


Single Family Homes Built



Most days in Guatemala start with several hours volunteering on a service-learning project. Participants choose between cookstove installation, reforestation, work on a coffee farm, or service in a local hospital.

GL International’s service-learning philosophy is also one of humility – participants are not there to fix a problem or to help the helpless. They work alongside Guatemalans on projects the local community has deemed valuable or necessary, learning about the potential for solidarity and service within the Central American contexts. For that reason, service projects often change from one year to the next, as our local partners work with the community to identify where need exists.  GLers have much to learn from their Guatemalan counterparts, and by working together – building team bonds and strong relationships – they do. GL staff, along with host country staff and student work-team leaders, develop meaningful and challenging discussions and reflections to help participants unpack and understand the experiences they have.

The biggest goal of service learning abroad is that our students step out of their comfort zones. After their year-long participation in service and leadership at home, they have developed the skills, awareness, openness, and confidence to act. Service-learning abroad is an opportunity to put those skills into practice in a much different context. By overcoming new barriers – different language, different cultural background, different values – students are even more empowered to lead the charge to any challenge, and effect positive change.


  • Start their journey by connecting with their GL family during a 2-day leadership retreat here in Fort Collins.

  • In Guatemala, GL students stay with a safe, friendly and experienced host family who will welcome us to their home and share traditions, culture and meals. Many of the families have hosted GL students for more than a decade!

  • Choose from four meaningful service projects, including reforestation in the hills of Pastores, constructing clean cookstoves, connecting with patients at Hospital Hermano Pedro, or working on a small coffee farm.

  • Develop and enhance their Spanish speaking skills with one on one Spanish Language instruction with our amazing Guatemalan GL Teachers.

  • Dive into the culture with salsa dancing lessons, and the chance to witness a traditional Mayan wedding ceremony.

  • Learn about the politics of coffee, as they interview small coffee farmers about the cultivation and export.

  • Explore a deep cross-section of Guatemalan life with a tour of the Guatemala City Dump, a tour of a local nonprofit, and the intersection of Mayan tradition with modern life on a visit to Antigua.


bottom of page