TESTIMONIALS


"Thank you for the single most important and fun trip of my life..."
-Gap-year participant

"My months spent in Antigua and at Lake Atitlan under your guidance, love, and support, have been some of my dearest and influential moments of my life. You provided me with unparalleled opportunities to explore and acclimate in Antigua, support Hospitalito through Spanish translation and general medical aid, and share my passions for dance, gymnastics, and yoga with Mayan children at La Cambalacha. Thank you for standing by my side during this personal transformation and for becoming my family along the way."
-Post-college participant

"The combination of good communication, attentive care, and extensive local expertise made our collaboration with Magic Carpet Rides a great success.  I wholeheartedly recommend Markus and Laura to any travel group interested in an authentic, connected experience of the cultural and natural riches of Guatemala.

Markus and Laura were highly attentive to the unique needs of our student group.  They were generous with their time and expertise, responding quickly anytime we had a question or concern.  Every stage of trip planning, execution, and follow-up was handled with professionalism and kindness."
-High school trip leader

"What a wonderful experience.  I don't have words for how much it meant to us...  My brother didn't stop talking about how nice it was and how he had never experienced something so special in all of his travels around the world.  I haven't travelled as extensively as him but I would have to agree."
-Family participant


"I want to remind you guys of how significantly you impacted my year abroad, and its outcomes. I think about you all the time and I remember how grateful I am that you gave me such an incredible experience in Guatemala. (It will always be one of my very favorite places in the world.) You helped me with the creation and shaping of my own philosophy ... In life you learn something from everything, but those conversations we used to have gave me some of the most valuable perspective I have ever experienced. I will always be so appreciative of that. "
-Gap-year participant


"My time with Magic Carpet Rides changed my life and made me who I am today.  I hope you know how much I appreciate everything you did for me."

-Gap-year participant


"One doesn't have such a deep and meaningful experience in an unfamiliar place without some help cracking the surface, and you sure helped us with that."                                            
-Professional participant

"Not a day goes by that doesn't require knowledge or wisdom I gained with you during MCR... You continue 
to teach me things about myself even in your absence of my day-to-day life.... I can't thank you both enough for the doors you have opened for me.  I mean it from the bottom of my heart, thank you. "

-Gap-year participant

"This experience was new, unforgettable and very fun.”
-High-school participant (on volunteering)

"We loved it and it exceeded our expectations.  An experience that has changed us and that we will always remember…. You were all so helpful in planning our trip and giving advice.  You made it the special trip that it was.  Thank you."
-Family participant

"It was truly an honor to collaborate with you two... It would not have been the success it was without your guidance, input, and love for the same thing that we do here at SSIS."

-High school trip leader

"Thank you so so much for making my experience in Guatemala so awesome and so much fun!  I learned a lot about myself, and couldn't have done it without you guys! "
-College participant

"I arrived home safely yesterday after a FANTASTIC trip!!!! I cannot thank you enough for all the support and help you gave me.  I do not even know where to begin describing all I saw, learned and was able to participate in.  My final week with the Bomberos was incredible! Never would I have imagined what an ambulance ride in Guatemala City would be like! 
I loved staying with Teresa and Arturo... what great people!  I would fully recommend for anyone who has the chance to stay in their home and share that experience.  Please let them know how much I appreciate their hospitality and friendship:)

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cannot express it enough!  I hope you are blessed with the best fortune in all of the amazing projects you are working on. Sending hugs and thanks!"
-Professional participant


"...living in San Juan La Laguna changed me forever."
-High-school participant

"I cannot quite explain what a unique and enriching experience it is to share the everyday lives of this family; we are a little part of something very special in the world right now and we will never forget it.  Our host-mother and leading lady, makes sure that we are always happy, always full and always having the very best time.   She is an ambassador for San Juan and you would struggle to find a woman with a bigger heart."

Read more here: http://idreamofdesign.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/438/
-Professional participant


"The highlight of our trip was a 3 day home stay in San Juan La Laguna, on the shores of Lake Atitlan. We arranged this through http://www.magiccarpetrides.com/index.php. The owners are Markus and Laura, a very delightful couple. The homestay provided the children (and us) a real opportunity to connect with people during our visit. They made instant friends with 3 of the children. Language barrier made no difference. They played constantly and there was much laughter. I had the opportunity to cook with the mother and the father took us all on a beautiful hike. Accommodations were very simple but clean. I came upon Magic Carpet Rides through an NYT article I found on-line. The travel writer described his stay (with the exact family we stayed with) and I knew this was just what I was looking for. During our 10 days, we had so many wonderful experiences, but I know that this 3 day stay is what made the trip extra special for our Guatemalan born children. If you are an adventurous spirit, I highly recommend doing this - works for singles, couples or families."
Read more here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2025177

-Family participant

"My family was kind, good natured, and welcoming in a wholesome and authentic way that I have never seen in America."

-High-school participant

"Thanks so much for choosing this great family for us!  This is such a cool organization that you’ve founded!  Good for you!  I don’t see any other way to really get to meet the local people and understand their way of life and the community at large.  The home-stay, although short, was by far one of the highlights of our trip!  Thanks again!"

-Family participant

"I truly had a fantastic time with Graciela and company.  I hope I can come next summer again! We wove and went to a wedding and hiked, and dyed thread and ate and talked ..."

-Professional participant


"They were so appreciative to have us there, and it felt amazing to help out.
"

-High-school participant (on volunteering)

"I can't tell you how much I admire the choices you have offered: climbing mountains, seeing volcanoes, swimming, waterfalls, Spanish lessons with local people, visiting local families, dancing, cooking, sightseeing, learning about the culture and especially Mayan history.  Well, I have never known of such a well-planned, varied, and irresistible trip.
"
-Grandmother of a gap-year participant


"You took our 'little boy,' taught, fed, led, followed, watched, encouraged, listened, guided and cared for him in a way that he could blossom and grow and become a man—as corny as that sounds. I am so proud of him, I could cry!"
-Mother of a gap-year participant

 

"Thank you for always being there for me and supporting me in everything. You are two of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life and I have matured so much and grown so much just by knowing you. I look up to both of you so much and you are my heroes.  THANK YOU!  I believe in MCR and everything it stands for.  I'm the better for it."
-Gap-year participant


"The MCR program is living up to the highest of expectations. Thank you for putting so much heart, soul, and tender loving care into your first semester.  [My daughter] speaks highly of you and I SINCERELY APPRECIATE quality people who have a passion and tireless energy for their work."
-Father of a gap-year participant


"[The MCR student I worked with] is intelligent, thoughtful, professional, helpful and enthusiastic.  I was constantly impressed by her as she was significantly more mature than her age.  She is a delight to work with and will be excellent in whatever she chooses to do."
-Partner community service organization


"Thank you so much for having the confidence in us to host your students.  We are so grateful for the happiness they bring us.  We hope you will always come back."
-Mayan home-stay mother (translated from Tzu'tujil)


"One of the things that I treasure the most is meeting people like you.  It is one of the biggest opportunities that the school offers me."
-Administrative Director, partner language school


"My whole life I have always felt like 'I am too young to do that.'  Finally, I learned that you can never be too young to achieve... I was just recently thinking about how much it means to do volunteer work when you are able to actually connect with the people instead of just coming in as another foreigner to volunteer for a few days.  I also want to thank you guys again for the crazy experiences! I was just telling a little four-year old boy I babysit that I swam with sharks! Hahaha, great accomplishment!"
-Gap-year participant