Play360, Guatemala March 2017

Quetzaltenango, -
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Play360, Guatemala March 2017
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quetzaltenango, - -

Map and Directions

Building Playgrounds Where There are None & Helping Others to Do the Same
Service Project in 
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

This March, Play360 ( is offering an exciting 8-day service learning program to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  Experience Guatemala’s people and culture in a meaningful way as our team works with the local community to build a school playground.  As we engage with the local culture and community, you will play an essential role in furthering Play360’s mission of training organizations to build low-cost, sustainable playgrounds in order to improve education in the developing world. The unique playgrounds designed by Play360 are colorful, dynamic, and interactive.  Play360 playgrounds provide opportunities for:

  • students to learn essential social skills like cooperation and innovation;
  • teachers to expand and enliven classroom curriculum with accompanying lesson ideas; 
  • parents and community members to become empowered and involved with their children's school.

The 9-day service learning program consists of five days of playground construction and teacher training.  Remaining days will be spent touring the wonderful sites of Guatemala: visiting hot springs, exploring Mayan villages, ziplining and hiking in the Atitlan Nature Reserve, and visiting the colonial town of Antigua (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). 

This Service Learning program is part of Play360's successful training model to train non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local schools how to create their own learning resources.  Many schools throughout Guatemala lack books and teaching resources; Play360's model trains organizations to build large-scale learning resources (playgrounds with an educational curriculum) as well as small-scale (classroom resources).  To date, Play360 has assisted with the construction of over 64 playgrounds through training workshops in 10 different countries including Peru, The Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, and Guatemala.

Following this training, the community will be responsible for building additional playgrounds at nearby schools.  Funds raised by program participants will help pay for these new playgrounds and will create a ripple effect of positive change for children and communities in Guatemala.  

Working Together

A unique experience to step away from the comfort of your everyday life, you will broaden your perspective, learn about a different culture, and be of service in a meaningful way. You will contribute your skills and talents to help create positive, tangible change in an impoverished community. As an active participant in this team experience, you will learn and reflect with the group on the experience’s challenges and rewards. Your service in Guatemala will be a transformative experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.  

This journey begins at home - before you travel to Guatemala - with your fundraising efforts, and continues even after you return as you share the story of your experience with your community. Each participant on a Play360 service learning program is responsible for paying the program fee ($1,500). The program fee covers your accommodations, food, in-country transportation, and park fees. The fee does not cover your international airfare; you are responsible for these costs.

Additionally, each participant commits to fundraising at least $1,000 to cover the costs of building the playground and to support the continued work of Play360 and subsequent playground builds in Guatemala and beyond. We will support your fundraising efforts by setting up a fundraising website for you and by providing you with fundraising ideas and information about Play360. You will share our mission with your community and give family and friends the opportunity to contribute to this exciting project. 

About Play360 (

Who we are: Play360 is a nonprofit that trains local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in developing countries to build low-cost educational playgrounds to improve learning environments.  

What we do: To promote the value of free play in child development, our playgrounds provide large hands-on learning equipment; small-scale learning resources; and, a matching curriculum and training for teachers. Using an asset-based approach, we help NGOs look to their own communities for resources – local materials (like recycled tires), local tools, and local skills. Similar to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Play360 encourages NGOs to ask for investment by parents and community volunteers in the form of sweat equity.  

We scale up our work by bringing together several NGOs at the same time.  In return for Play360's training, each NGO commits to build at least 3-5 subsequent playgrounds when they return to their towns and villages.

What we have accomplished: To date, Play360 has assisted with the construction of over 64 playgrounds through training workshops in Peru, Haiti, Thailand, The Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, and Guatemala.

Play360 is run by Executive Director Jon Racek. A graduate of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, California, Jon is currently a faculty member at Indiana University. He has successfully managed numerous trainings and builds in over eight countries. Having previously resided in United Kingdom, Australia, and Thailand, Jon now lives with his wife and two daughters in Bloomington, Indiana.


Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • A $500 deposit is due when you register.  Checks can be mailed to:

    1202 East Wylie St.,
    Bloomington IN 47401.

    Checks should be made out to “Play360”. Please include your name on all check memos.
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