Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer Abroad in Guatemala

Video and Photos

My CCS family
The dump zone
Climbed a volcano
The 'dump'
Roomies + lovers of service
Here I was painting desks for the school kids. Some of our group painted murals on the exterior of the school and others repainted the walls.
Some of the stunning views seen while riding around on a boat on Lake Atitlan!


Guatemala has been one of the strongest economic performers in Latin America in recent years, yet it has the highest economic inequality in the region with some of the worst poverty, malnutrition, and maternal-child mortality rates, particularly in rural and indigenous areas. In nearly half of the country’s rural municipalities, 8 out of 10 people are living below the poverty line.

On average children attend school for fewer than 6 years in Guatemala, and 26% of children between the ages of 5 and 14 work instead of attending school. Maternal mortality is high in part due to hesitation to give birth in clinics or hospitals with the cost of private health services. Adolescent pregnancies in both rural and urban areas are common and increasing, often impacting women already vulnerable due to poverty and lack of education.

CCS in Guatemala has been working for the past 15 years as a leader in childhood education with the support of our international volunteer base.

Questions & Answers

Hello Jonathan, We worked in Guatemala City for many years in the past. We ran summer programs in Tecpan for the last 6 years, but as of last year, we're now based solely in Tecpan year round.


based on 19 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 8.6
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 19 of 19
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic program in Guatemala City

I had always thought about volunteering abroad but was never sure where I wanted to go. When i contacted CCS, they suggested Guatemala City. In March of 2012, I went there for just one week. Although the trip was much too short, I think it has been one of the most gratifying, thrilling and inspirational experiences by far. I worked in a school for children 3-6yrs. Our group had painted a mural to brighten up the school's appearance. The best part of my trip was meeting new people and learning more about the Guatemalan culture. Before going, I had very little knowledge about the country, culture, etc. What's really great about CCS's program is that not only do they provide you with a comfortable living environment and volunteer placement, but they give you time to venture out on your own/ with other volunteers to places in the city, ie. climb the Pacaya Volcano, travel to markets, etc. This gave me the chance to see and experience the Guatemalan culture for myself. The staff was amazing, making me feel safe and comfortable at all times. Not only would I love to go back to Guatemala through CCS, this experience has been so great that I would definitely be interested in volunteering elsewhere with this organization.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Guatemala City 2007

I was 17 when I volunteered for two months in CCS's Guatemala City placement. It was the best thing I have chosen to do. I met amazing people from all over the world, worked with children in an orphanage that stole my heart, and was able to see different parts of the country that I wouldn't have even known about without the CCS team. Sonia and Virginia were great supports with great personalities. I enjoyed all of the in home staff, the activities, and especially my placement in the orphanage. I am hoping to return some day and do this experience over again!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Fanastic program. Worthwhile work but still feels like a vacation!!

I have volunteered five times with CCS in Guatemala. This last time I worked at a soup kitchen, a home for elderly women, an orphanage for wheel bound children and assisted a nun with her English.

Everyone is so appreciative of the little work that we do. You get to meet wonderful people, contribute in a small way to improving the life situation of the people served.

The staff at the home base (cooks, housekeepers, guards and administrative staff) quickly become family. Local sites of cultural interest are visited during the week and on weekends you are free to visit surrounding areas on your own.

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No, I don't recommend this program

A good experience, but a high price

I spent 2 weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Guatemala City.
We lived in a house with all the other volunteers, which was nice, but not a great way to improve your Spanish if that's what you're looking for.
The work was challenging, but rewarding, and the staff was very helpful.
However, Cross-Cultural Solutions is very high-priced, and if you look I'm sure you will be able to find an equally satisfying program that is much more affordable. For example, I volunteered for 1 month in Costa Rica with Greenheart Travel, and it cost less than my 2 weeks in Guatemala.