Trips – University of British Columbia

Ecology and Environmental Field School: Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Change


Partnering Organization:

  • SEED Alliance Proudly working together since 2012 on 18 community development projects in Guatemala.


Cost: $1,430.00 + Flight & Travel Insurance
Departure City: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, St. John's and Ottawa
Departure Date:
May 1, 2019
Return Date:
May 12, 2019
SOS volunteers with interests in ecology, biology, and environmental education have the opportunity to travel to Chuinajtajuyup, in the department of Totonicapan, for 12 days to learn from, and collaborate with, local farmers on impacts of climate change. Chuinajtajuyup is located in a dry corridor of Guatemala vulnerable to droughts that are further exacerbated by climate change, resulting in migration, a lack of food security, and a high degree of poverty. In the search for alternatives, the community has adopted different agricultural technologies such as: diversification of crops, soil conservation structures, drip irrigation systems, crop protection structures and the use of small-scale renewable energy. Volunteers will visit local farmers to familiarize themselves with and discuss the current issues and concerns that community members face, and see the current agricultural initiatives put in place by the community. Community leaders will also present the actions and implements they have taken to combat agricultural issues as they are exacerbated by climate change. Over the course of the Trip, volunteers they will visit areas that have been affected by soil erosion and degradation, and excessive tree clearing, to witness the obstacles that negatively affect the community’s agricultural efforts and productivity. In the mornings and early afternoons, volunteers will work with and investigate the water pump and irrigation systems, crop management and protection structures, and renewable energy systems implemented on the land parcels in the community.   In the late afternoons and early evenings, volunteers will brainstorm ideas to improve the current agricultural systems, and develop new ideas for more sustainable and energy efficient agricultural practices and technologies.   At the end of the Trip, volunteers will be expected to give presentations on the ideas, practices and technologies brainstormed to the local farmers and community association board members.



  • Volunteers will stay in a cultural center in the community, 3 km away from the agricultural plots they will visit. Daily transportation will be arranged by SOS’s partner NGO. Volunteers will have beds, toilets, and showers, and be supported by a host family.
  • Meals will consist of rice, beans, tortillas, fruit/vegetables, and some meat.
  • The specific itinerary will be shared closer to the date of departure, however 2 days will be spent travelling from and to Canada, 8 days will be spent in Field School, in the community, and 2 days will be spent on Rest Days.
  • During Rest Days, groups will visit the scenic Panajachel. Known for its location on, and views of Lake Atitlan, Panajachel is one of the most popular of the 11 towns surrounding Lake Atitlan. SOS volunteers will travel to Panajachel, tour the famous Calle Santander, and take a boat tour to San Juan La Laguna. In San Juan, they will be met by Casa del Tejido, who will provide a coffee production and textile production tour.  Casa del Tejido offers a variety of products made by the Maya artisans, using 100% cotton, natural colors, creative designs and high quality products for a fair price to support the Mayan families of San Juan la Laguna. Visit for more information.




What's Included?

SOS volunteers sleep in available community structures (classrooms, community centers, churches), and live as close to the conditions of the community as possible.

SOS works directly with Flight Centre to process all volunteers' Outreach Trip logistics from your travel insurance to your in country needs like clean drinking water and accommodations!

Three meals a day plus clean drinking water and snacks! Meals will consist of rice, beans, tortillas, and fruit/vegetables. Soups, stews, and pasta dishes are common as well. Most dietary restrictions and allergies can accommodated.

SOS works exclusively with registered non governmental organizations in every community to ensure our volunteers have the best experience possible.

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