Location
  • Guatemala
Length
52+ weeks
Classroom Audience
Early Childhood Middle School High School

Program Details

Classroom Audience
Early Childhood Middle School High School
Weekly Classroom Hours
15
Age Min.
21

Pricing

Starting Price
540
Price Details
Three months volunteering for just $540!

So much is included in our volunteer program so all you need to think about is your impact in the community:
- pre-departure information and support,
- background check,
- airport pick up,
- uniform,
- induction and tour of the community,
- safe, secure, supportive working environment,
- onsite health clinic,
- support from our department directors,
- 24/7 support from the volunteer office,
- 3 cultural activities, monthly support meetings,
- transport to and from the project,
- certificate and recommendation letter on completion,
- Presidential Volunteer Service Award (US only).
What's Not Included
Accommodation Meals
What's Not Included (Extra)

Accommodation is vetted but the volunteers pays separately, directly to their host family.

Jun 02, 2023
Jul 17, 2023
11 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

For as little as $4 a day for the first six months and completely free thereafter you can volunteer with children and youth in Guatemala. Our volunteers are an integral part of our program; a key element included in our planning. Without volunteers, we're not complete.

Our volunteers are experienced ESL teachers who dedicate time to educating and nurturing our students. They are responsible, kind people who, through their care, help develop these young people whilst having the adventure of a lifetime.

Working 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, our English teachers will either join a local teacher, helping them give the English classes each week, focusing on pronunciation and accuracy in English or, they will lead their own classes, supporting the older students learn English.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • You can join the program on Mondays throughout the month.
  • You will have the opportunity to work with an incredibly resilient population whilst gaining professional experience.
  • You will work as part of a Guatemalan team, fully integrated into a professional academic environment.
  • You will experience the beautiful culture, traditions and languages of Guatemala.
  • You will have a strong support team around you, 24 hours a day.

Popular Programs

A volunteer working one-on-one with a student

This role has been created for an ESL-trained volunteer who would like to join us as a support teacher for our middle school grades 7-9. This is an opportunity to work alongside our locally trained ESL teacher working in large classrooms to support them teaching the curriculum. You will be asked to work alongside them whilst teaching the grammar and reading classes and take lead when teaching the conversation
classes; it is likely you will work closely with those students struggling in class.

A volunteer working one-on-one with a student

This role has been created for an ESL-trained volunteer who would like to join us as a support teacher for our preschool and elementary. This is an opportunity to work alongside our locally trained ESL teacher working in large classrooms to support them teaching the curriculum. You will be asked to work alongside them whilst teaching the grammar and reading classes and take lead when teaching the conversation
classes; it is likely you will work closely with those students struggling in class.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Benefits 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Facilities 4.75
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Default avatar
Paddy
5/5
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.

Pros
  • Chance to help a local community
  • Well-structured, effective organisation
  • Opportunity to improve Spanish
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Diego Andres
5/5
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.

Pros
  • Human Contact
  • Meaningful Impact
  • Improvement of Problem Solving Skills
Cons
  • Demanding
  • It involves challenges that are really difficult to be prepare
29 people found this review helpful.
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!

Courtney
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience and love living in Antigua

I am currently volunteering at Camino Seguro and I have loved every moment. They have a great saftey network established in the area that you work which is important as the community can be a dangerous place. There is such a huge ammount of support when you need it, and the project is so fulfilling to work within.
You are able to adapt what you are doing to all your skills and they are very flexible.
My spanish has improved immensely as you work with mainly Guatemalan employees, this experience has helped me move from a beginner in spanish to intermediate within a couple of weeks.
I also love living in Antigua as it has such a vibrant and fun community.
Thanks for having me Camino Seguro!

84 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Kajetan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

I worked as a long-term volunteer with 2nd / 3rd grade children at Safe Passage from July 2005 till July 2006. Since then, I have visited the project several times for shorter periods in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and each time was amazed by the rapid progress of the organization and the children that it takes care of.

Main tasks of the volunteers include assisting the Guatemalan teachers in their respective classrooms (helping children with their homework, organizing art lessons, workshops, games, etc.), teaching a particular age group in the highly interactive English program, organizing sport lessons in the Sports program or taking over long-term roles such as IT teacher or responsible of the project’s library. Volunteers receive a formalized training at the beginning of their stay and are placed to make best use of their capabilities.

The personal impact volunteers have obviously depends on the length of stay – long-term volunteers are able to develop a much more personal relationship with their colleagues, the children and their families, meaning that their guidance and help – especially in difficult periods – becomes extremely valuable. At the same time, short-term volunteers introduce fresh ideas, offer new perspectives and are absolutely necessary to “keep the project going”. In any case, the volunteering experience at Safe Passage is extremely rewarding – teachers, children and families are very welcoming and open, the working atmosphere (with extremely motivated volunteers and staff from all over the world) is great and realizing how little it takes to contribute to making a huge difference in so many lives is a great lesson by itself.

During my various visits, I have witnessed constant improvements of the program: It nowadays not only targets children, but also their families and the entire community – parents can join the literacy program and community events are organized throughout the year. Furthermore, normal school education is complemented with sports, art and health programs; violence / drug prevention programs and professional psychological support for some of the children are other very important components that have been added in recent years. Even more impressive is the personal progress of many of the kids enrolled in the program – it is great to see how some of them develop into real personalities and young leaders in their community and finish school with ambitious plans for life.

From a donor’s perspective, it would be nice if the impact of the program (number of students graduating, etc.) could be measured on a regular basis. While personal accounts and stories are certainly inspiring and important, impact metrics would help to make the work even more transparent.

75 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers