Volunteers Around the World has been operating in Guatemala since 2006. Our site in Guatemala is located in San Pedro la Laguna, along the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlan.
San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala
Lake Atitlan is listed as one of the 10 most beautiful lakes in the world. It was formed when a volcano erupted 84,000 years ago and left a giant crater. The crater later filled with water and formed the immense lake we know today. The lake is surrounded by three massive dormant volcanoes. The crater rim and volcanoes are covered in tropical trees and offer incredible views.
Lake Atitlan is surrounded by several Mayan tribes that speak different Mayan dialects including Tz’utujil and Kaqchikel. The Mayan culture is still very predominant in the culture. The language, dress, and “tranquilo” life style add to the incredible beauty of the region.
There are no roads that circle the entire lake. Most transportation around the lake is done by boat, although it is possible to travel between certain towns by car.
In October 2005, Hurricane Stan caused extensive damage around Lake Atitlan. A massive landslide buried the lakeside village of Panabaj, causing the death of possibly 1,400 residents and leaving 5,000 homeless. In 2010 Tropical Storm Agatha dropped more rainfall causing extensive damages to the region resulting in dozens of deaths. Since then roads have been reopened and travel in region has returned to normal.
Guatemala is an outdoor adventurers dream. Everything from mountain climbing, volcanos (dormant and active), beaches, river trips, ruins, and more are there to be experienced.