Auto Safari Chapin!

On Thursday, June 24th, the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy embarked on an adventure to Auto Safari Chapin in Escuintla, Guatemala. Given that many of the students have never left Quetzeltenango, it was a drastic change, to say the least. With two school buses filled with K-12 students, we descended from the cool highlands and into the humid coast. Throughout the studentsautosafari‘ four hour journey, they were given information about the different communities that they were passing through, such as the local economies and the Mayan languages that are spoken in each area. The first part of the safari consisted of all the students staying put on the buses while observing exotic animals, such as lions and giraffes, from afar. Students moved from one side of the bus to the other as fast as they could so as not to miss any opportunities to take photos. After the “auto” part of the safari, the students got off the buses and were able to start the pedestrian portion of the trip to see animals such as parrots, ostriches, and pumas in an up close and personal zoo-like setting! The trip ended with lunch accompanied by a few refreshing hours of swimming in a pool located within the animal park.

The Asturias Academy considers field trips to be an integral part of every student’s educational experience. Spending time outside of the classroom interacting with the real world is invaluable to growth, and we are certain that providing the students with an intimate interaction with the natural world was significantly enriching. That being said, the best part of the whole day was seeing how the students marveled at the novelty of seeing animals for the first time in person. The looks on their faces were priceless and sharing that experience with them was incredible.

Christ United Methodist Church Visits the Academy

On July 2nd, the Asturias Academy had a volunteer group from the United Methodist Church in Rockford, Illinois come help teach our students about the importance of HEALTH: the Academy’s generative theme for the month of July. Not only was the group comprised of UMC members, but many of them were nurses and nursing students who were able to provide valuable knowledge. With them, they brought great enthusiasm and $5,000 worth of medical supplies for the school’s health clinic project. The group helped students learn about proper hand washing, toothbrushing, and taking care of their eyes. The group ended their week by organizing and labeling all the medical supplies they brought with them, so that the Academy’s new health clinic can operate as efficiently as possible.


In addition to volunteering with the Academy’s children, the Development team here at the Asturias Academy made sure that the group enjoyed Guatemala to the fullest extent. Upon arrival, the group was taken to a coffee plantation to see just how some of the best Guatemalan coffee is harvested.  After days of volunteering, the group was taken on excursions to neighboring towns around Xela. The first town they visited, Salcaja, is a weaving village in Guatemala where prominent Guatemalan textiles are made entirely by hand. The group was also taken to a nearby town called Cantel, where they visited a glass factory and learned about the local crops and farming methods. Last but not least, the group went to beautiful Lake Atitlan on the last leg of their trip, where they kayaked and rode horses amongst breath-taking scenery.

To learn more about EDUturismo visits, please send an e-mail to