Safe Passage Teaching Jobs in Guatemala

Safe Passage/Camino Seguro

Why choose Safe Passage/Camino Seguro?

Safe Passage is a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization. Established in Guatemala City in 1999, we are a Pre-K through 9th grade school that is fully accredited by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. We provide comprehensive and integrated programs that foster hope, good health, educational achievement, self-sufficiency, self-esteem and confidence within a safe and caring environment.

We work to mitigate underlying factors that contribute to poor educational outcomes and bring hope, education, and opportunity to these children and families. By utilizing a holistic approach that expands the definition of education, we provide over 600 students annually with a combination of services.

We transform lives by providing students in the Guatemala City garbage dump community with an excellent education, a higher quality of life, and pathways to a job with dignity so they can achieve a better future for themselves and their families.


Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An incredible experience

Volunteering here was an incredible experience.

I spent about a year and a half volunteering at Safe Passage (Camino Seguro, as it's called in Spanish) in 2018 and 2019. I worked principally as a mathematics tutor and teacher in the adult education programme, which is set up for the adults in the local community who have returned to school to complete their secondary education. Additionally, a couple of mornings per week I helped out in one of the primary school (colegio) classes.

The work was challenging yet engaging. The teaching I did was mainly in small groups -- often one-to-one, sometimes one-to-two or one-to-three -- and once per week I taught a larger class. Volunteers can choose from a range of activities; those who decide to teach are typically given a fair amount of autonomy in selecting what to teach and how to structure their tutorials. Of course, this was a real responsibility, but I found allowed me to tailor the sessions to each student's level and style of learning.

Working with people from the local community made a lasting impact on my worldview. These people live in difficult situations, socially and economically. The school is situated in the community surrounding the Basurero ('Garbage Dump'), which is one of the poorest parts of Guatemala City. Nevertheless, the people I worked with were warm-spirited, welcoming and kind, and I greatly enjoyed the working relationship that we formed. From them I learnt a lot about the tough reality of their situation, but also took encouragement in their desire to complete their education and work through the difficult circumstances facing them. To be part of a project that helps people break the cycle of poverty was a rewarding experience.

Also, the volunteership was a great chance to improve my Spanish. Volunteers spend the working day interacting entirely in Spanish -- be that with the adult learners, the teenagers in the Oportunadides programme, the children in the colegio, or the members of staff. My Spanish benefited enormously; this is a super choice for anyone looking to hone their Spanish chops. (Though I would recommend that you have a good grasp of the basics before beginning.)

Volunteering here was one of the most formative and educative chapters in my life. To those looking to volunteer in Central America, to explore a country like Guatemala beyond the touristic sites, to be part of a programme that makes a real difference to a local community, Safe Passage is an organisation I can absolutely recommend.

  • Chance to help a local community
  • Well-structured, effective organisation
  • Opportunity to improve Spanish
Default avatar
Diego Andres
Yes, I recommend this program

English Teacher at Safe Passage

I believe that what sets this program apart is not only the chance to teach English but also to impart meaningful knowledge. Typically, volunteer teaching opportunities come with restrictions on what can be taught within the designated volunteer time. However, Safe Passage grants you the freedom to create your own curriculum based on the progress and English proficiency level of the students. This allows me to have a real-life opportunity to see the impact of my teachings in action. Also, this freedom allowed me to learn how to prepare better a real life, and how to deal with the day to day challenges of teaching.

  • Human Contact
  • Meaningful Impact
  • Improvement of Problem Solving Skills
  • Demanding
  • It involves challenges that are really difficult to be prepare
Response from Safe Passage/Camino Seguro

Diego it was so lovely having you here, thank you so much for your time and meaningful impact. We hope we'll see you back here again one day. Abrazos!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at Safe Passage set the foundation for my career

I volunteered at Safe Passage for two years (2010-2012). The students and families served by the organization are truly inspiring and getting to know them through work at Safe Passage was a true gift. The organization is making a difference in the lives of those it serves--the students I knew when I volunteered now have jobs and families of their own. The other volunteers and staff I worked with became lifelong friends and colleagues who I am still close with today personally and professionally. The skills I learned as a volunteer laid the foundation for my career in international development and program management and have been invaluable. I actually now serve on the board of directors of Safe Passage.

  • Structured
  • Professional
  • Rewarding
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Safe Passage Review

Safe Passage is a special place to my heart. Being able to work with the very resilient students surrounding the Guatemala City dump and their families, is something unmatched and truly an honor. I had the pleasure of being a math and language tutor for 9 months at the program. The program taught me more than I was every able to teach the kids. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to visiting the program in the future. There are many incredible supporters of the program that allow it to grow into such a success starting with Henley Denning's dream.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A rewarding and life-changing experience with a supportive, friendly team!

I volunteered as part of Safe Passages Health Team. I felt fully integrated into the team of both long-term volunteers as well as Guatemalan staff. My days were busy working alongside teachers and staff members, lesson planning, and supporting students in the classroom. The staff went out of their way to make sure I had a positive experience, and to welcome me into the community. Safe Passage does a wonderful job integrating into the local community in a positive and sustainable way, and they make sure to impart this ethos on their volunteers.
I made incredible friends, improved my Spanish, and learned so much about Guatemala. On the weekends, it felt easy, safe, and inexpensive to explore the surrounding area. Safe Passage is an incredible organization with a strong mission and passionate, creative, welcoming people. I can't recommend this place enough!


Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

In my junior year in high school, I participated in a Support Team with my school to work with Safe Passage for a week. During our time there, we spoke with the executive director and several program coordinators and gained incredible insight into the organization and its objectives. Inspired by the message and the laughter and resilience of the students, I returned after graduating from high school for 6 months as part of my gap year.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I received a pamphlet and a handbook prior to my arrival, and the volunteer director aided with finding a homestay. However, all the expenses were from my own savings, as I was not going in affiliation with any school or college. It helped that I had prior experience with the country and the program from my visit with the support team, but the volunteer director was incredibly helpful with any questions I had.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Try to come in with an open mind and be adaptable to any changes in scheduling or roles at the organization. Safe Passage is constantly growing according to the different needs of its students and the community, so be flexible to whatever adjustments that might be made during your time there. Also, patience is an incredible asset, especially when working with kids.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

On an average day, a volunteer wakes up at around 6 am to get ready for the 7 am bus for work. Depending on which age group the volunteer works with, they will go to their respective buildings and work from 9 am arrival to 4 pm, with lunch sometime between 11:30 am to 1 pm.

In terms of the work itself, it depends on the age of the children. In the Jardin, volunteers assist teachers with taking care of the 3-6 year olds. In the Colegio, volunteers assist teachers in their classroom with maintaining order and helping students with their work. In the CRE, volunteers tutor/teach students in a variety of subjects from English to Chemistry. Then, at 4 pm, volunteers all return to Antigua from the capital on the volunteer bus.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear before going abroad was living on my own, especially as I was only 18-year old when I first arrived in Guatemala. I had experience with living away from my parents because I had attended a boarding school; however, I had never been in a situation where I had to shop for groceries, cook for myself every day, pay rent, and fix shower heads on my own. After breaking a blender and eating hardboiled eggs everyday for a month, I adapted to the situation and learned how to do many things for myself, mainly cooking unburnt, flavorful food.