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Travel to Guatemala with children

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Travel to Guatemala with children

Hi,

We are planning a trip to Guatemale for the summer of 2012.

We would like some feedback regarding any issues of safety as we have heard there is increased violence in Guatemala.

Also, we would love to hear any recommendations regarding places to visit.

Thank you.

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Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
9 replies to this topic
New Orleans...
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1. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

Hi!!! my name is Lesly born in the U.S. but raised in "guate" as the locals call it. I reside in Louisiana now. I took a trip last year in July with my daughter who was 10 at the time and other family members, all women. before I took my trip I stopped watching the news and any info on internet cause it was creeping me out... we were there for three weeks an it was awesome. We went to Antigua, Panajachel in Solola, Xelaju in Quetzaltenango, Semuc Champey in Coban, Livingston in Izabal. I will also recommend the ruins in Tikal.

I'm not going to deny it, Guatemala has its violence like any other country. I do recommend to dress very simple, nothing flashy, no jewerly. Be very aware of your sorroundings and were you exchange your $$$. Try talking to other tourists or foreigners to see how they to things.

Besides that... enjoy yourselves. Have fun and a safe trip.

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Antigua
Antigua
Sacatepequez Department, Guatemala
Panajachel
Panajachel
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Quetzaltenango
Quetzaltenango
Quetzaltenango Department, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,254 posts
328 reviews
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2. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

I missed this thread when it started - maybe too late for the original poster. Here's my list of personal safety guidelines from a previous thread (this comes up a lot):

____________________________________________

Sometimes I travel alone, sometimes with one or more of my kids and/or my husband, sometimes with a group in tow. I don't feel overly paranoid but have never had a problem and would like to keep it that way.

Here are my concessions to safety when I travel in Central America:

:: I avoid the big cities as much as possible

:: I don't "party"

:: Where recommended I take specific transportation (ex: Hedman Alas in Honduras, avoid chicken buses on the mountain runs in Guatemala, take taxis after dark)

:: I know where I am and where I'm headed and make major transitions with plenty of daylight left

:: I don't wear jewelry (not even my wedding band) and try not to flash camera equipment or money around

:: Some trips I carry a “throw down wallet” with an expired card or 2 and the day’s cash in it

:: I keep important documents and cash under my clothes (except what I need for shopping, buses, etc. for that time period) and keep close watch on my things, especially in crowded places and when I’m tired

:: I ask locals about safety in an area - evenings, hiking, etc.

:: I travel really light so I don't feel vulnerable getting my bag off and on buses, shuttles, etc.

:: I continue to build skills in Spanish

______________________________

My link for photos and trip reports is below in case you're interested. Happy trails!

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

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Honduras
Honduras
Central America
Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
Lake Atitlan
Destination Expert
for Lake Atitlan
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241 reviews
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3. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

I work with families who are visiting Guatemala with children of all ages. Just this week, we have had a dozen kids ranging from 4 - 15 years of age. Every parent who considers bringing their children to Guatemala goes through the same thought process after reading the State Dept. warning etc. And every parent who ultimately decides to bring their children are happy that they decided to travel here in spite of the warnings.

Check some of the comments / reviews from the local tour operators, focusing on those with families. You will find loads of positive comments. Then if you wish, you can send the families a private message for more detailed and personal contact.

What I find especially rewarding for families is to have the children look for cultural exchange opportunities. This week we are organizing a small group of visiting children to join the local children on a school field trip to the Atitlan Nature Reserve. This is only one example of opportunities that could exist.

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Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
Hotel Atitlan
Hotel Atitlan
860 Reviews
Panajachel, Guatemala
Palma de Mallorca...
1 post
1 review
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4. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

Hi I have just read your input about travelling with kids. I am planning a trip with my 2 daughters to Guatemala for jan2013 and would love to arrange cultural exchanges.They speak fluent Spanish and are aged 9 +12. We have yet to book our trip as we will be travelling Central America for 2 months. WOuld you be able to leave your contact details??

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Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
Pietrasanta, Italy
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4 posts
30 reviews
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5. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

I I'm Chiara , I write from Italy, we would like to go in messico belize and guatemala for about 2 month december and jennuary,

can you tell us if there are dangerous, also if it's ok with our children 10 years old, we travel every years with her, but sometimes, the people told us this plece it's dangerous and i would like to know if it's trou or just a thought, sorry for my bed english...thnk's for you answer

Antigua, Guatemala
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450 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

You'll be fine. We took out teenage daughters a number of times and let them go alone as well.

There are dangers everywhere so you just have to be careful and use common sense. Guatemala is wonderful and you'll have a blast.

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Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
Toronto, Canada
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1 post
29 reviews
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7. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

Hello I am Maria, we are planning trip to Guatemala March 10-19 with two kids 7 and 12. We are experienced hikers and world wide travelers and I loved your idea of local exchange program. how does it work? where I can get more information about it? It would be great if you could help us organize this trip!

Thank you

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Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
Lake Atitlan
Destination Expert
for Lake Atitlan
Level Contributor
1,076 posts
241 reviews
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8. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

Maria, We have already been in touch directly, but I will answer your question here on the Forum for others to benefit. There are lots of opportunities for children to experience cultural exchange with local kids. Some examples are the excellent Ninos de Bendicion program in San Antonio Aguas Calientes (near Antigua). Nancy Hoffman of Guatemala Reservations can make the arrangements. The soccer fields are always a place that kids from all around the world can find common interests in the game of soccer.

At Lake Atitlan, connect with one of the local NGO's that focus on children's education such as Amigos de Santa Cruz (I work with this foundation). This could provide an opportunity for you to learn about the local communities and engage with kids from the villages.

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Antigua
Antigua
Sacatepequez Department, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan
655 Reviews
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Seattle, Washington
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1,120 posts
27 reviews
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9. Re: Travel to Guatemala with children

Thumbs up for Amigos de Sta. Cruz. It's well-run organization. There's also a new library at Tzununa, not far from Sta. Cruz.. Maria from the Lomas de Tzununa hotel may be able to connect your children with an activity there, and the hotel is a great place to stay for a family.

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Lomas de Tzununa
Lomas de Tzununa
316 Reviews
Tzununa, Guatemala
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