One of the most noticeable aspects of Quetzaltenango is its volcanoes. These include: Santo Thomas or Pecul (3,505m/11,566 ft), Lancadón (2,747m/9065 ft), Siete Orejas (Seven Ears) (3,370m/11,121 ft), Zunil (3,542m/11,689 ft), and Cerro Quemado (3,197m/10,550 ft). The Chiquibal Volcano (2,900m/9,570 ft) is unique for the lake located within its center, which is considered sacred due to the clouds that are said to be spirits moving over its waters, and swimming is, by tradition, forbidden. The active volcanoes in the department are few: only Santa Maria (3,772m/12,448 ft) which suffered an eruption in 1902, and Santiaguito (2,500m 8250 ft) which is a lateral crater formed after an eruption of Santa Maria in June, 1992. -from HFHI Global Village department
Thermal springs of Las Fuentes Georginas
With its vibrant university population and rich history, Xela is known by many as Guatemala’s cultural hub. Orient yourself around the Parque a Centroamérica and take in one of Latin America’s only gothic-inspired city centers. Stroll through the always vibrant Pasaje Enriquez to get a feel for the city’s nightlife and culture. With a great local music scene and a number of intimate venues, attending one of city’s many daily concerts is a must.
If you’re curious about the massive volcano that looms over your every step in the city then perhaps a climb to the summit of El Volcán Santa María is in order. Or if you’re just looking for an escape outside of the city and don’t feel like summiting an active volcano, check out the less intimidating El Baúl. A trip to the nearby thermal springs of Las Fuentes Georginas in nearby Zunil is also an highly recommended and affordable trip. And if you want to take a break from the chilly highlands and get a taste of Guatemala’s tropical coast, drive an hour and a half to check out the top-flight aquatic and amusement parks of IRTRA near San Felipe, Retalhuleu or keep going and spend a day at the beach in Champerico.
Volunteers are welcome to explore the country before and/or after their Global Village trip - at their own expense and safety risk. If you join our team, you can make a difference by helping build a Habitat home with a family in need and then enjoy an adventure in the beautiful country of Guatemala!
Christ-follower. Army wife. Mompreneur. @Habitat_org Global Village Team Leader. Crab claw lover. Advocate for adequate shelter, releasing children from poverty and ending human trafficking and slavery.