Bountiful Children's Foundation

Holy Week in Guatemala

Apr 12, 2023 | 2023, Guatemala, News, NutriTours | 2 comments

A large group takes a humanitarian trip to Guatemala during Holy Week. The Heatons along with others enjoy visiting Antigua, Lake Atitlan, the Mayan ruins in Tikal and more. With more than 20 people traveling in the NutriTour, the coordinators rented a bus. Included are some photos from their trip…

Setting off on our NutriTour bus

Bountiful NutriTour Bus with our family on board.

Visiting the Patzicia Community

The group helped deliver supplements to the families in the program in Patzicia and  taught the mothers to use mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) tapes to track the progress of their children as they recover from malnutrition. They also got to play games with the children. The group also did a service project in the city where they helped to paint lines to make a basketball court.

Painting lines on a basketball court in Patzicia Guatemala
Painting lines on a basketball court in Patzicia Guatemala
Painting lines on a basketball court in Patzicia Guatemala
Painting lines on a basketball court in Patzicia Guatemala
Painting lines on a basketball court in Patzicia Guatemala

Hike to Volcano

The group then took a hike up to a volcano near Antigua. Tamie says, “it felt like a fantasy world with the mist and the lava rock all around. There was also a natural lava rock oven that was hot enough to melt the groups marshmallows without a fire.”

Hike to volcano near Antigua Guatemala
Hike to volcano near Antigua Guatemala

Holy Week Celebration

The group also enjoyed Antigua during Holy Week. The city was draped in purple to celebrate. “It was inspiring to see people carry floats and heavy musical instruments around the streets all day in the hot sun to celebrate Jesus,” Tamie says. The women carried Mary’s float while the men carried the other floats. The streets were carpeted with pine needles and flower petals.

Antigua Guatemala streets carpeted with pine needles and flowers

Antigua streets carpeted with pine needles and flower petals

Virgin Mary float being carried by women
in Antigua during Holy Week

Women carrying Virgin Mary float in Antigua Guatemala

Lake Atitlan

The group stayed by Lake Atitlan, which is thought to be the Waters of Mormon mentioned in the Book of Mormon. They took a boat tour to San Juan La Laguna and did some cliff jumping. The group said the cliff jumping was a fun and refreshing break.

Hotel Rio Escondido

One hotel was especially memorable for the group. Hotel Rio Escondido had a beautiful river and a miniature zoo on the hotel grounds. Everyone wished they could stay one more night. There were a variety of animals. A Coati stole the show though as it would hold your finger. They have the nickname of a hog-nosed raccoon because of their appearance.

Visiting the Community of Peten

The group was able to help distribute supplements to families that are in the Bountiful program in Peten. The volunteers also brought sensory blocks for the younger children who seemed intrigued by the shapes, colors, and textures of the blocks. Group members also enjoyed playing games with the children such as duck, duck, goose, musical chairs, and the hokey pokey.

Visiting the Coban Community

The group visited families in Coban. The sensory blocks that were given to the children were made by volunteers in Utah. They also helped distribute supplements and played games with the children at the LDS church building. Some in the group then rode on trucks the last 45 minutes as they travelled to Semuc Champey. Semuc Champey was described as dreamy.

Visiting the Coban Community

The relaxing waters of Semuc Champey, Guatemala

Mayan Ruins in Tikal

The group said it was fun to see the unique foods being sold at the markets while they were waiting to go into the ruins. Some of the kids are pictured with a pigs head. The Mayan Ruins in Tikal are in the northern rainforest of Guatemala and have over 3000 structures. One of the temples at the site is on the 50 centavo note in modern Guatemalan currency. They found holes in the ground that were ancient food storage pantries. The group mentioned that the Mayan tour guide was a lot of fun and knew a lot of information.

Final Stop – Hotel Mansion del Rio

The group’s final hotel was Hotel Mansion del Rio in Rio Dulce. There were so many activities to keep the group busy. The group also enjoyed kayaking on the river. The final magical moment was celebrating one of the volunteers, Harmony’s, 18th birthday with a Tres Leches birthday cake.

Playing foosball at Hotel Mansion del Rio in Rio Dulce
Coatie holding hands at hotel Rio Escondito Guatemala
Bountiful volunteer Harmony celebrating 18th birthday Rio Dulce Guatemala

18th birthday party for Harmony,
a Bountful Children’s Foundation volunteer

Hyrum, one of the teenagers in the volunteer group, shared his thoughts about something that changed him on the trip, “I saw a little old man with a cane carrying a basket of fruit up a hill to get to his house on a mountain yesterday. I’ll never complain about my life again. Well, I mean, I will, but I won’t have any grounds for it.”

Tamie, one of the moms in the group, shares, “Now that we are home it’s nice to be able to brush our teeth with tap water, throw our toilet paper right into the toilet, have abundant access to smooth roads, garbage cans, clean water and enjoy warm showers again! We have come home more appreciative for all we have but also wonder how much of what we have is actually necessary and how we can share more of it.”

How grateful we are for these volunteers taking time to bring hope to our brothers and sisters in Guatemala!


  1. Angela Johnson

    Thank you so much for your service in Guatemala. We sure appreciate you!

  2. Shaela

    Such beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing your experiences and helping us feel like we were part of it.


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