• Guatemala
    • Xela
1 - 4 weeks

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Summer Winter
Host Family


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Mar 02, 2020
Jun 07, 2018
6 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Participants in our programs are delivering healthcare and health education, hands-on every day. They are not watching, shadowing or observing and they are not conducting research. They’re making a difference!

Shortly after their arrival in the Guatemala City airport, the students will travel as a group, including GPSA staff, to Quetzaltenango, also known as Xela. Though Xela is the center of activity for the program, students live with GPSA staff in groups of five or six with a host family in villages outside of Xela. Living with a host family creates a perfect atmosphere to practice Spanish and learn and experience the Guatemalan culture.

For their clinical service, students are divided into teams led by trained college graduates (premeds from Duke, Johns Hopkins or similar universities) or faculty. Students learn to facilitate several medical interventions and screenings and complete an important introductory cultural and language training.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Work at a local health center and deliver healthcare related to non-communicable diseases.
  • Learn to facilitate medical interventions and screenings (how to measure infant height and weight, how to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate, etc.).
  • Receive intense language training (one-on-one lessons, two hours per day) focused on Spanish. Fluent Spanish speakers will study one of the local Mayan languages.
  • Live with a host family in villages outside of Xela.
  • One to four week programs are offered in the summer and winter time.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Guatemala Review

Last summer, I traveled to Xela, Guatemala with Global Public Service Academies. I lived with a host family, two other GPSA participants, and two Duke students. We attended Spanish and culture classes in the morning and worked in a clinic (mostly taking glucose and blood pressure measurements) or volunteered at local schools (giving health lessons in Spanish) in the afternoon. We provided hands-on health care to 603 patients. I became close with everyone, improved my Spanish, and experienced a short but meaningful immersion in another culture. I would highly recommend this program!

What would you improve about this program?
I think the video tests before the program were complicated to use.
27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

GPSA Guatemala

I went to GPSA During the summer of my junior year in high school. Before going I knew that I was in some medicine but did not know how I would interact in a clinical setting. While in Ecu during the summer of my junior year in high school. Before going I knew that I was interested medicine but did not know how I would interact in a clinical setting. While in Guatemala, I met the most amazing people and had a wonderful experience. The Spanish lessons offered at the school in Xela helped improve my Spanish speaking ability is far beyond what I could learn in school. Overall I think this program is very well organized and well run and I think that anybody interested medicine should take this opportunity.

30 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers