Antigua, the capital of Guatemala, is a beautiful city nestled between three volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. Its streetscapes provide an interesting experience for a visitor and there are many things to see. Guatemala suffers from a very high poverty rate and thus volunteers are required throughout the nation in a variety of fields.Photo Credits: andryn2006.
Guatemala has a mediocre education system and English education is not really emphasized. There is a definite need for native English speakers to teach English and share their first-hand knowledge of the language. As a volunteer, you will teach English to both children and adults.
Guatemala has a number of orphanages and many of them are in need of additional help and resources. As a volunteer, you will work with the children, helping them with their daily routine and also teaching them.
Over half of Guatemala’s population is in poverty, and many of these individuals don’t have proper access to healthcare. There are some organizations that are trying to change this, and they need volunteers to help. As a volunteer you will help doctors treat and take care of patients and also help spread awareness about various diseases.
Know Before You Go: English teaching is not widespread in Guatemala, so it is a wise idea to learn some Spanish before you visit the nation. You should especially practice speaking some phrases you will expect to use often at your volunteer placement.
NGOs/Nonprofits: Antigua is home to a number of nonprofit organizations that work on improving situations in the nation. They include nonprofits working in education, healthcare, and human rights.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Antigua
As a volunteer in Guatemala, you are recommended to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid. If you plan on staying in rural areas for a considerable amount of time, also get vaccinated for Rabies.
Antigua is a relatively safe city for tourists. You should watch out for people who try to approach you offering drugs; remember that drugs are illegal in Guatemala. Small thieves tend to target tourists, so be on the lookout for pickpockets.