The Ceiba Difference


We appreciate that your time in Guatemala is every bit as much a social interaction as it is an educational endeavor and we encourage you to explore and discover while you’re here!

As you can see in other pages on our site, there are a lot of pieces that make up a whole Ceiba experience. From service-learning to distance education, with focused language fluency and cultural excursions, students are encouraged to interact with every experience as an opportunity to learn about themselves, their communities, and the connections that bring the world together. Ceiba offers an experience unlike any others for high school students available in Guatemala, as it incorporates the best intentions of volunteering with the wealth of intellectual development of studying abroad – all pulled together to make Ceiba much more than either of these activities alone.

How is Ceiba different than these? To be sure, there are important distinctions to be made between the Ceiba experience and traditional volunteer and exchange programs. To ensure that we remain true to the rapidly-growing trend in the US towards experiential learning, we have been very clear to design a program in close collaboration with our local organization partners and participating schools that encompasses a true commitment to hands-on learning while also maintaining the academic component so Ceiba students sill graduate on time from their home schools with a tremendously strong and unique experience to add to university and job applications. The essential difference between Ceiba and volunteer or study abroad programs is that Ceiba offers sustained activity within one community which ultimately allows for deeper reflection and knowledge-building, whereas volunteering provides short-term activities for the sake of exposure and studying abroad incorporates academic progress without any service activity. Think of it as the difference between being an intern versus a temp. We are committed to facilitating a rich, rewarding, and memorable experience for you that will develop the intellect and skills to help you in whatever you choose to do for all the next steps of your life.