Partners in Service
a Program of the
Highland Support Project
What is the
Highland Support Project (HSP)
is a 501(c)(3), non-governmental
organization and an Advance
Special of the United Methodist
HSP promotes ongoing and
development of Mayan
communities in the Highlands of
What is Transformational
Transformational development is a
practice based on the idea that poverty is
a process or a cycle that can only be
addressed through the changing of
social, economic, political, and cultural
What is Partners in Service?
Partners in Service is a program of the Highland Support Project that provides North Americans with
meaningful service and learning opportunities while delivering valuable resources to grassroots
What does Accompaniment
mean for those serving?
Accompaniment means Partners in
• Provides technical assistance to
community groups in planning,
administration, and production.
• Provides networking services
between rural organizations and
• Organizes capacity building programs
for regional organizations.
How is Highland
• We have a long-term relationship with the
communities in which we work.
• We work to maximize the benefits to
grassroots organizations and individual
• We focus on efforts that support rather
than compete with local initiatives.
• We develop resources and support
systems that empower rather than foster
What are some Partners in Service projects?
Mayan Arts Program
Why build stoves?
• They channel the thick smoke from cooking fires
out of the home, thereby eliminating chronic upper
respiratory infections, the primary cause of illness
in the region.
• They decrease the amount of money women
must spend on cooking fuel because they are
significantly more fuel-efficient.
• They improve the environment by consuming
less wood than open pit fires, thereby decreasing
• They save women time and energy in food
preparation so they can participate in women’s
• They channel resources directly to families in
need making them agents of change.
Why is there a need for Reforestation?
Decreasing deforestation is very important in improving the quality of drinking water, stabilizing weather
patterns, maintaining topsoil, and combating erosion.
The primary cause of fatality in recent natural catastrophes in Central America has been mudslides linked
directly with deforestation by the ravenous demand for cooking fuel.
Partners in Service focuses on reforesting areas of human occupation.
What is the Mayan Arts Program?
Partners in Service volunteers partner with Mayan schoolteachers to
stimulate the preservation of Mayan culture through the Mayan Arts
MAP is an ambulatory arts program organized through HSP’s network
of participating rural community organizations.
Partners in Service volunteers are given the opportunity to introduce
basic art concepts, including colors, shapes, and forms, to Mayan
Special attention is given to the traditional themes and philosophies of
the Mayan people to build cultural knowledge and pride.
AMA (Highland Women’s Association)
AMA provides the following through women’s small groups:
• Community Organizing
• Health Management
• Popular Education
• Economic Development
Our Richmond store, AlterNatives,
provides North American
consumers the ability to support
Mayan women and children through
thoughtful and socially-conscious
HSP believe that markets must be based on mutually beneficial exchanges. HSP
works to provide the artisans who create the products sold at AlterNatives with a
just and bountiful existence; as well as provide the consumer with the highest
quality creations that are produced and distributed from the heart.
What can be expected on a service trip with Highland
The following is a sample itinerary of a typical eight day service trip:
• Arrive in Guatemala City on flight from the United States
• Drive to the village of Panajachel where team will spend the first night
• Visit famous Lake Atitlan which was formed by the ancient volcanoes that
• In-country orientation and team meeting
Sample Itinerary (continued)
• Boat trip across lake Atitlan- Visit All-natural
Dye Cooperative and an Organic, ShadeGrown Coffee Plantation
Continue service project in partner community
Relax at natural hot spring
Meet with Mayan women’s circle organizer
• Complete service project and celebrate with the
• Drive to the town of Quetzaltenango where
team will be housed for the week in a retreat
• Visit with a Mayan community activist
•Salsa Lesson in Quetzaltenango!!
• Visit Maya Ruins at Iximche
•Travel to the historic capital of Antigua
• Shopping and sightseeing in Antigua
•Return flight to the United States
Travel to partner community for service
Are there health or safety concerns to be
Inoculations. The standard tetanus and hepatitis vaccinations are
suggested. Vaccinations for tropical diseases are NOT required
because we are operating in the temperate highland area.
Health. Your team’s health should not be a problem if precautions
are taken with drinking water, milk, uncooked vegetables, and
Safety. We take the following safety precautions:
• We do not travel after dark.
• We rent ordinary passenger vans with no markings.
• We limit travel to areas that fall within the “golden triangle of
• We check the State Department travel advisories on a weekly
• We maintain ongoing relations with local police departments.
• We hire licensed drivers who are approved by INGUAT to
transport tourists. They are trained in CPR and first aid, and have
working relations with regional security officials.
Where will we be staying?
What will we be eating?
Housing. Partners in Service teams typically stay in a retreat center
called El Refugio. The rooming is double- to triple-occupancy with
communal hallway bathrooms.
There is hot water and the bedding is laundered, and laundry service is
available for a small fee. There is also ample space for team meetings
Food. Teams staying in a retreat center enjoy two meals a day in a
dining hall. The food is prepared in the retreat center kitchen by their
Many organizations, both local and visiting, use these facilities and their
health records are excellent, not to mention the food is delicious!
Lunch will be eaten in the community where service project is being
carried out. We can accommodate any dietary restrictions or
preferences (i.e. vegetarians/vegans, gluten issues, lactose intolerance,
How much does a service trip with HSP
• The cost is $1700 including airfare
• This price includes food, lodging,
coordination costs, and
• The two expenses that are not
included in this price are the cost
of a passport and a $30 exit tax.
Fair Trade Travel
HSP practices fair trade with local
service providers in order to positively
contribute to our partner communities.
It is our commitment to our service
participants to keep our costs as low as
possible to ensure that everyone has
an opportunity to serve.
HSP charges just enough per trip
participant to cover our direct
expenses of facilitating trips.
What devotional programming is available?
• Through its Transformational
Ministries, Partners in Service
helps trip participants explore
the processes and issues of
service in the developing world.
• HSP is pleased to work with
team leaders to develop
additional devotional material
to suit your group’s needs.