Guatemala is a magical place! Amazing beauty and diversity awaits you here in the land of eternal spring. The Pacific coast on one side and the Gulf of Mexico the other, while the middle is dotted with huge volcanoes that scratch the sky. Visit the mesmerizing Lake Atitlan, voted one of the world's most beautiful natural places. Located at 5,000ft / 1500m in a collapsed caldera and surrounded by volcanoes. Or venture into the jungle to encounter the mystery of the Maya at the ruins of Tikal. Or the bustling colonial city of Antigua with its pastel colors, cobblestone streets and cool coffee houses. Beauty and adventure awaits!
The biggest way this course sets itself apart from many others involved in outdoor activities and leadership skills development is the intense cultural immersion. Not only will you camp on top of really big mountains but you will be introduced to a plethora of cultures. Guatemala is home to many Mayan people that make up more than 55% of the population. Images of women wearing brightly colored clothing, carrying baskets on their heads in front of pastel colored walls will be forever burned into your memory. The different sounds, tastes, smells await you.
And since we mentioned sounds, you might come out of this sounding a bit different as well. Not only will you learn invaluable skills in the hills and mountains of Guatemala but you will be introduced to language as well. Spanish is the national language and to help you fit in, the course includes 20 hours (full 30 day course) of Spanish language instruction. This is a far cry from your high school Spanish class full of students. This is one on one! It is just you and your teacher. Your teacher is a native Spanish speaker and will assess your immediate level of language comprehension and go from there. So get ready for your crash course in this colorful language and culture.
In addition to your language instruction and international course location, you will have the opportunity to live with a Guatemalan family to maximize your chance to use your new-found language skills. This course includes your room and board for the duration. You will eat meals and sleep at your Guatemalan family's home, when you are not camping out on the mountain tops in a tent. This is an amazing chance to really be immersed in a different culture and have those vocabulary words actually stick in your head since you have to use your new knowledge. Furthermore, there is always the chance for environmental volunteer opportunities (extended course has 2 full weeks of volunteering).
This course is called the O.L.S.D. and that stands for Outdoor Leadership Skills Development. Naturally to be an outdoor leader, you need some confidence and knowledge…not to mention experience. This is your crash course. Set in lovely-exotic Guatemala, we take you from the classroom to the workroom and finally into the field.
You will follow your instructors on guided trips into the wilderness with real clients. Each time you head out, you will have more knowledge and more experience. Working as an assistant to the lead guide, you will see how a professional trip is executed. Execution starts with planning. We teach you the logistics from start to finish. From how to buy the right gear, to how to properly pack a backpack, setting up a tent, camp cooking, etc., etc. and what you need to take (and more important: What you do not need to take).
This course covers many specific workshops designed to teach essential skills and lessons before you hit the mountains. The idea is, the classroom then practice in a controlled environment, then you can try it with Mother Nature. Following your instructor on an excursion is just the beginning. By the end of this course, the instructor will follow you and you will actually guide the clients with the instructor in tow.
Address: 7th Calle Poniente #17 (7th Street W. #17)
We are located between 5th and 6th Avenues
(Map & Directions)
We are a professional adventure guide operator. This means we are in the business of chaos management and calculated risk. Environmental factors like bad weather or altitude sickness are out of our control, however the OX Team of Pro-Guides are prepared. Professionalism begins with the preparation and paying attention to details. The OX Team feels this begins from the moment you walk through our door and continues with our drivers, our food, our equipment and the overall experience. This is all a part of the ADVENTURE. The Pro-Team at OX appreciate you giving us the opportunity to execute an adventure that is a positive and memorable one, done the right way!