skip to Main Content

Break With a Purpose

January 7 – 13, 2024 | Guatemala

Join other UW-Madison students on an immersive trip to Guatemala! As part of this unique experience, we will:

  • Learn first-hand how microfinance can empower people and families to transform their lives through small business generation; see Pres House investment funds directly at work
  • Gain an appreciation of Mayan culture from ancient ruins and modern-day Mayan families
  • Learn about the economy of food, textiles, the educational system, and more
  • Have conversations about wealth and poverty, impact investing, migration, religion, and more
  • Experience the incredible beauty of Lake Atitlan (named one of the prettiest lakes in the world), the majesty of active volcanoes, and the colorful streets of Antigua

This trip is a collaboration between Pres House, Naturally Smart Travel, and Working Capital for Community Needs.

Important Dates

Team Trainings: Sunday, November 5, 7-8:30 pm & Sunday, December 3, 7-8:30 pm
Commissioning at Worship Service: Sunday, December 10, 4:30-6:30 pm
Guatemala: January 7-13
Team Sharing in Worship Service: Sunday, January 28, 4:00-6:30 pm

***Attendance at all the above dates is required for team members. If you are approved to join the team and later learn you cannot attend one of the above dates, you may be removed from the team.


The total cost per student is $2500 for this trip. However, thanks to generous Pres House donors, we are able to subsidize 80% of the cost so students are only responsible for a $500 registration fee. We recognize that students have varying financial resources, so we invite you to prayerfully consider one of three options when you apply:

  • Standard Registration ($500)
  • Standard Registration ($500) + Donation: Families who want to support other students with financial constraints can donate an additional amount. Any additional funds donated are tax-deductible.
  • Scholarship Registration: Students with financial constraints can request a scholarship from Pres House for up to half ($250) of the standard registration fee. 

We will be staying in hotels and hostels vetted by our travel partner, Naturally Smart Travel. Visit their website to learn more.

Sunday, January 7
Travel from Madison to Guatemala City (Flight departs from MSN at 1:20 PM)
Safe Passage Tour, travel to Panajachel, learn about towns around Lake Atitlan
Meet lending partner ADICLA and end borrowers, boat to San Juan la Laguna, lunch at Alma de Colores, walking tour, boat to Iguana Perdida
Optional sunrise hike at Rostro Maya, boat to Santiago, visit La Puerta Abierta, boat to Santa Cruz, Mayan cooking class with Amigos de Santa Cruz
Visit Iximche and learn about Mayan cosmology and introduction of Western religion, travel to Antigua, walking tour
Visit VIDA school to learn about school system and distribute supplies, travel to Caoba Farms, hike to Cerro de la Cruz, Jade Museum
Saturday, January 13
Travel from Guatemala City to Madison (Arrival at MSN 4:36 PM)
* Each evening will include team reflection times; itinerary is subject to change.

BWAP is not a mission trip. We do not go in hopes of evangelizing, converting, or otherwise colonizing the places we go. Rather, we seek to come alongside, listen to, and learn from folks who are part of the communities we enter. We believe that we have more to gain from these experiences than we have to give. As we partner with and bear witness to God’s work in unfamiliar places, we become more equipped to do so in the places we call home.

We also acknowledge that opportunities to learn and grow in this way are a mark of our privilege. As Christian folks living in the United States, we are complicit in many of the systems and structures that create the problems we see in the world. So along with an eagerness to learn and excitement to serve, we also come with humility, knowing that we are not the solution to all the world’s problems. We engage this tension directly and intentionally in our team trainings and trip reflections.

To be part of the BWAP Guatemala team, you must complete the registration form below and submit payment. There is no “deposit” for this trip. Your registration is not complete until we have received your registration form AND your full payment!

There are ten spots for students on the team. Applications are reviewed and approved in the order of submission; we strongly encourage you to fill out your application as soon as possible. Once received, Pres House staff will review your application and respond within three business days. If all ten spots are filled, you can submit your name to the BWAP waitlist; we will reach out directly to folks on the waitlist if a spot opens on the team. Registration fees are non-refundable unless your application is not approved by Pres House staff.

Passports are required to travel to Guatemala. The current processing time can be up to 13 weeks (not including mailing time). If you do not have a passport, you will need to apply for one before October 1. You can apply for BWAP without a passport; however, if you do not have a passport and your BWAP application is approved, you will be required to submit proof of your passport application within three days to secure your spot.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is required for all team members.

All ten spots on the BWAP 2024 team have been filled. If you are still interested in going on the trip, please add your name to the waitlist using the form below. We will contact you if a spot opens on the team. Spots will be offered in the order of waitlist submission.

Previous BWAP Trips

In recent years, climate disaster has wreaked havoc on the island of Puerto Rico. Hurricanes Maria (2017), Irma (2017), and Fiona (2022) — as well as earthquakes in 2020 — have caused hundreds of billions of dollars of damage to homes and infrastructure on the island. Ongoing U.S. colonization has exacerbated the effects of these storms; Puerto Rico has not received the support or attention it deserves.

Though they may seem far from us, the people of Puerto Rico are our neighbors and siblings. For Break With a Purpose (BWAP) 2023, we’re partnering with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Techos Pa’ Mi Gente to aid in the ongoing rebuilding and relief efforts.

To learn more about BWAP 2023 to Puerto Rico which took place January 14-21, 2023, check out the team’s reflections below:

Laura Hyde ~ “Unexpected Connections”
Lauren Pettis ~ “From Learning to Living”
Lydia Larsen ~ “The Cost of Paradise”
Aurora Kuelbs ~ “Deep Roots”
Mei Hippe ~ “Deep Love”
Kevin Lee ~ “What the Great Commission Didn’t Tell Me”
Madelyn Peppard ~ “Three Kings Day, a Four-Day Celebration”

Watch | Listen (Part 1, Part 2)

Learn more about our partners for BWAP 2023:

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance – Puerto Rico
Techos Pa’ Mi Gente

Back To Top