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Pachaj Cantel
All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: Unlimited
Category: Other
Host ID: 46084
Country: Guatemala

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Last Updated: July 16, 2018

Up in the cornfields of Pachaj in Cantel (10km from Quetzaltenango), Armando has created an inspiring project to combat environmental degradation and stand up for indigenous rights. The Chico Mendes Reforestation Project (El Proyecto de Reforestación Chico Mendes) is a community-run initiative that provides a unique opportunity to work in solidarity with a rural village while living with a local family and learning about environmental justice issues.

Chico Mendes is a non-profit organization; all proceeds from Spanish/K'iche' classes, group trips, and treks go directly back into maintaining the project. Individuals and groups are welcome to come and stay at the project for a minimum of five days, although many stay for a few weeks or even months. Every volunteer lives with a local family and is provided 3 meals per day and a private bedroom for Q150 per day (Q100 for meals + Q 40 for private room + Q 10 donation). Please contact Armando for more information about group trips and check out our website for details about language lessons and treks.

In the mornings, volunteers work with local Pachaj students to collect seeds and natural compost, water and weed in the nursery, plant seedlings, and transplant larger trees in the forests. While work varies depending on the season, there is always plenty to do! Afternoons may consist of time with host families, language lessons, or other activities. Weekends are generally rest days and homestay families welcome volunteers to join in community activities.

Chico Mendes is located only 20 minutes away from Quetzaltenango/Xela, the second largest city in Guatemala. Although nearby, the village of Pachaj feels far removed from the bustle of urban life. Mountains surround the Cantel valley and beautiful trails wind through precious, forested corridors. Friendly locals enjoy meeting visitors, and some will practice basic English with you. Spanish and Maya K'iche are the regional languages.

To continue growing stronger and fulfilling our goals, protecting the environment and empowering the next generation of indigenous Guatemalans… WE need YOUR help!

We hope you will consider volunteering with us. Contact us to join our community, get your hands dirty, and plant some trees!

Please message us in Spanish if possible. We will use Google Translate to respond to messages in English and other languages.

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