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Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health

Service Learning Opportunities

Potential FNDH Student Service Learning Activities in Guatemala
 Mayan FamiliesJabel TinamitDr. Francisco MendezSHARE
Assist with pre-school meal preparation
English tutoring
Reading tutoring
Basic Nutrition lessons: child through adult
Focused Nutrition lessons: breastfeeding, reproductive health, sanitation and food hygiene
Community gardens
Cooking classes
Assist in medical clinic
Diabetes education
Adult work training programs
Teach Computer skills
Teach Leadership skills
Elderly food program
Empowerment classes for females
Community health assessments
Assist with medical home visits
Physical activity programs
Disease prevention programs


Potential Cultural Activities: Each of the villages in the Atitlan region offers unique opportunities. This is a sample of available activities:

  • San Marcos: hike up to see a Mayan traditional altar
  • Santiago: hike to Mayan temples and ruins, church where Father Rother (American Catholic priest) was murdered, beading shops, visit Maximon (historial Mayan deity), Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum
  • San Pedro: famous local painter, visit with Mayan midwife
  • San Juan: natural dyes, weaving cooperatives
  • San Antonio: pottery making, textile shops
  • Solola: women's weaving cooperative
  • Chichicastenango: world-famous market day, Church of Santo Tomas (400 years old) 
  • Santa Catarina: hot springs, onion fields, corn plantations, flower fields
  • Atitlan Nature Reserve
  • Antigua: original colonial Spanish capitol of Central America, numerous historical colonial church ruins,
  • All villages: traditional processions during Holy Week
  • Excursions to other Mayan villages and Mayan architectural ruins arranged by official partner SHARE
Joy's Story

Joy with Can-Rodrigues family and their new stoveI think everyone should consider going to Guatemala because it is an inexpensive but educational way to get outside of Kansas, get some practical experience in your field, and learn how others live. There are opportunities like working with kindergartners, providing nutrition to the elderly—even shadowing a local physician or helping him in in his clinic. It was surprising and sad to find that so many people there are suffering from malnutrition—it really gave me more motivation and encouragement to be there. I think the biggest thing I took away is that we need people to go back. Guatemalans are making a long-term change in their communities rather than short-term fixes and we can help bolster that change. Your experience will not only benefit the people of Guatemala but also benefit you as a student and as a person.