Trips – Laurentian University

Strengthening Educational Foundations: School Renovation in Santa Apolonia


Partnering Organization:

  • SEED Alliance Proudly working together since 2012 on 18 community development projects in Guatemala.


Cost: $1,300.00 + Flight Cost & Travel Insurance
Departure City: Toronto, St. John's and Ottawa
Departure Date:
May 3, 2019
Return Date:
May 11, 2019


The ceilings of the school buildings in the community Santa Apolonia, in Guatemala, are in very poor condition with holes where the ceiling and walls meet and on the roof itself.  This problem is exacerbated by water leaking through the ceiling during the winter season, which lasts from May to October, when it rains heavily. The spaces in the ceiling created from the leakage have also allowed for the cold air during winter to enter the building. These conditions affect the learning and working environment for students and staff. The school board would like to build more classrooms to accommodate the growing number of students, but the need to replace the roof of the current structure is immediate. Through the installation of a new roof, the water leakage issue will be resolved, and will bring the school board one step closer to their goal of improving the conditions for the entire school.

The Junta Escolar (School Committee) is planning to have the roof replaced prior to the arrival of the SOS volunteers, so SOS volunteers will be responsible for building a dividing wall between a current classroom and the principal's office, painting the walls where the roof is being replaced, renovating the interior of the school, and renovating the principal's office.



  • Volunteers will stay in the home of a local community member. Volunteers will be required to sleep on the floor, and be equipped with electricity and indoor plumbing.
  • Meals will consist of rice, beans, tortillas, fruit/vegetables, and some meat.
  • SOS groups generally work for about 6 hours a day, for 4-5 days of the 1 week Outreach Trip.
  • Every group is overseen by a foreman during construction days and any work requiring technical training will be financed by SOS
  • You’ll have the late afternoon/evenings and two Rest Days throughout the trip to relax, explore the local area and participate in the local community.
  • During Rest Days, your group will visit the scenic Panajachel. Known for its location on, and views of Lake Atitlan, Panajachel is one of the most popular of the 11 towns surrounding Lake Atitlan. SOS volunteers will travel to Panajachel, tour the famous Calle Santander, and take a boat tour to San Juan La Laguna. In San Juan, they will be met by Casa del Tejido, who will provide a coffee production and textile production tour.  Casa del Tejido offers a variety of products made by the Maya artisans, using 100% cotton, natural colors, creative designs and high quality products for a fair price to support the Mayan families of San Juan la Laguna. Visit for more information.


What's Included?

SOS volunteers sleep in available community structures (classrooms, community centers, churches), and live as close to the conditions of the community as possible.

SOS works directly with Flight Centre to process all volunteers' Outreach Trip logistics from your travel insurance to your in country needs like clean drinking water and accommodations!

Three meals a day plus clean drinking water and snacks! Meals will consist of rice, beans, tortillas, and fruit/vegetables. Soups, stews, and pasta dishes are common as well. Most dietary restrictions and allergies can accommodated.

SOS works exclusively with registered non governmental organizations in every community to ensure our volunteers have the best experience possible.

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