Destin-Nation Guatemala: Treating the Tropical Troubles



Forget Costa Rica. Guatemala's rough beauty and powerful history make it the desirable Central American destination for explorers with a philanthropic agenda.

With a diversity of indigenous tribes, like the Maya and the Garifuna, the country has cultural appeal in addition to the obvious virtues of its landscape: volcanoes, mountains, wildlife, ruins and lakes.

Unfortunately, Guatemala also suffers from a wide variety of socio-economic ills. Poverty is rampant. Illiteracy and infant mortality rates remain high and malnutrition is a chronic problem. Organized crime and drug smuggling have also taken seed here, growing up between the cracks in an ineffective government.

Volunteer opportunities in Guatemala are endless, and following these tips should help travelers ensure that their hard work will genuinely help impoverished families, underprivileged children, endangered cultures or jungle wildlife.