Volunteer in Guatemala

Location
Guatemala
Length
2 to 24 weeks
Housing
Host Family Hostel
Age
Min. 18 years
25 travelers saved this program

Hosted by

Project Coordinator

About This Program

Guatemala is a developing country that needs as much help as possible and this program is designed to help those who need it the most. In the land of trees, volcanoes and amazing cultural experiences, we offer great programs both with groups and individuals.

Guatemala is in great need of volunteers to help it develop. We offer many different projects for a variety of skills and experiences where help is needed.

Highlights

  • Volunteer in Education, Healthcare, Childcare, Wildlife & Marine Conservation and more
  • Visit Tikal National Park and explore the ancient Mayan citadel
  • Challenge yourself with a hike up Acatenango Volcano
  • Enjoy a day of leisure by waterfalls of Semuc Champey

Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, that is why volunteers are needed in the most vulnerable areas of the country. With the help of many organizations Guatemala is improving little by little but there is still a big need in many areas of development.

Volunteers work 4-6 hours per day, Monday - Friday (and are encouraged to spend weekends, holidays, and time off exploring Guatemala's nature, culture, and exotic places.).

Volunteers can work on projects across a number of areas:

CHILDCARE

Guatemala is a developing country that needs as much help as possible. The program is designed to help those who need it the most. Work with children in Guatemala in low income daycare centers, orphanages or in special needs organizations.

EDUCATION

Education is the key to development . So why not teach what you know?
The education program is made around you, basically you teach what you know best, so for example if you are good at math you will be teaching math at a rural school. If you are knowledgeable with computers you will teach children computer skills. The possibilities are endless.

TEACH ENGLISH

English is becoming more and more important in Latin America and is often a way of securing a better job. Working as volunteer to teach English you can help many low income kids learn a tool for their future. A rewarding job that is sure to bring you great satisfaction and a lifetime of benefit to them.

ENVIRONMENT

In developing countries like Guatemala, the natural resources are being destroyed due to poor management and ignorance of communities. Volunteers in environmental projects will help in different natural reserves and parks ,by creating ecological plans and educating locals.

WILDLIFE & MARINE

Help us to protect the Leatherback, the Olive Ridley and the Green turtles who play an important role in the ocean’s ecosystem. You will be working in a turtle nesting and hatchery along the beach where collected eggs are reburied and allowed to hatch under protection. The nesting season runs from June through December, but peaks in August and September. The hatchery releases around 5,000 turtles into the sea every year.

HEALTH & MEDICAL

Low income communities have very limited access to good health services, and this is where this project comes in. We partner with rural clinics that provide free or very accessible services where volunteers can work with local doctors and nurses.

PHYSIOTHERAPY

The health and physiotherapy program is for volunteers with a background in physiotherapy, rehabilitation or occupational therapy. Volunteers in this program can assist one of our partner clinics where many special needs patients are treated to develop their full potential. Some patients are able to come to the clinic, but volunteers will also go on house visits along with staff from the clinic.

MICROFINANCE

You will be working with micro-finance organizations and coops that play an important role in low income communities by giving micro credits and provide help borrowers to manage it.

What's Included
  • Homestay with Host Family (Private Room)
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • Transportation from Airport and to Project Site
  • 24 Hour Emergency Assistance
What's Not Included
  • Travel
  • Mandatory Health/Medical Insurance
Housing

Accommodation is provided and includes placement with a local host family. You will have a private bedroom with shared bathroom facilities. You will be located around Antigua, Guatemala, or in Coastal towns/Mayan highlands.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner are provided seven days per week. Food differs by region, however, beans, rice, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and tortillas are staples in the Guatemalan diet.

INLEXCA´s mission is to strengthen human resources in Central America through volunteer programs, educational tours and internships. In addition to this, INLEXCA provides opportunities to students, professionals, and interested persons from countries outside the Central American region, to better understand the reality and challenges faced by the countries in the region. We work towards :

-Sustainability in the projects and communities that we work in.
-Programs that promote cultural exchange.
-Safe and affordable programs.
-Strengthening and empowering communities.
-Authentic experiences for our volunteers.
-Facilitating education.

Our office was set up by former Peace Corps staff in Guatemala in 2005, who wanted to provide flexible programs that would allow prospective volunteers to choose how long they wanted to volunteer for and in what area they wanted to focus on.

Video and Photos

Pricing and Availability

Reviews

96%
based on 15 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 8.9
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 15
Default avatar
Dana
10/10

Inlex/Ca

Awesome experience all around and perfect for my goals. I was hoping to learn Spanish in a medical setting and this program helped me immensely with this. The family I stayed with was incredible but everyone in Patzun was very friendly and willing to work with me. I hope that I can come back in the future and help out again when I have some more experience. However I have learned a lot about health in this country while I have been here!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Fagan
10/10

My Guatemala Experience

Overall, my experience was as unique as it can get. I had always valued helping others as a valuable human instinct, which is why I'm happy to say that I achieved that during my 2-week stay. What had made my time here special was the persistent attention to a familiar setting. The locals, inlex co-coordinators, my host-family and the teachers at the school that I taught in, all contributed to creating a sense of familiarity which had helped me feel more comfortable and confident in sharing my abilities and thoughts; creating a more authentic experience. Working with children had also made me understand the importance of early child development and how that is bound to influence later life; essentially what one is taught and how others interact with a child will affect later behaviors. To anyone potentially thinking of participating in such a project, I would strongly recommend it since there is nothing more useful and pure than raising the self-esteem of traumatized children; be kind and supporting to them and see the expression on their faces.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Getter
9/10

Medical program in Guatemala

I spent 5 weeks in Guatemala with INLEXCA in the medical program. I was allocated a position in a small clinic near Antigua, Guatemala. Overall I was very content with the program. In the clinic I could work in different parts (administration, pharmacy, doctor´s and nurse´s appointments) according to where help was needed and I really felt like my help and advice was appreciated by both the staff in the hospital and patients. Every week I was given more and more responsibilities and by the end felt completely integrated into the work of the clinic. I feel like everyone could benefit from a medical program like that - from people who have an interest in medicine to fully qualified doctors (like myself). The healthcare system works completely differently here and there is so much to learn. Another integral part of the program is the host family who were just wonderful. They really got me acquainted with the Guatemalan culture and way of living. In INLEXCA the staff was super helpful and easily contactable before the arrival and during my program in Guatemala. I did not take Spanish classes so cannot comment on those. In general, I felt safe and supported by both my Guatemalan host family and the staff at the organisation. Would definitely recommend!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Robert
9/10

Very gratifying experience

Working with the children in 4 different daycare centers and being able to help them in a meaningful way was very gratifying. The appreciation shown by the children as well as the day care personnel was very touching. The host families were very welcoming and living with them allowed us to get a real understanding of what life is like for them. It also provided a great opportunity to learn another language.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Dom
10/10

INLEX - My Guatemalan family

Where to start....

I am back in Ireland now and I am a changed man. I have gained, not only a wealth of knowledge and experience in the environmental volunteering sector, but I have made friends for life and scored myself another family.

My eight week programme began with 2 weeks of Spanish lessons close to Antigua. As a 33 year old, I didn't find this the easiest. My teacher was wonderful, created a fun atmosphere and taught me all the Spanish I know. I was then taken to my project by my coordinator from INLEX - Alex. He was very professional and experienced in all things volunteering and Guate. Alex advised me impeccably for my entire stay and for that I am forever grateful. I still owe you that beer Alex!!

For the following 6 weeks I was placed with a wonderful family in the Western Highlands of Guate in a beautifully relaxed village called El Novillero. I was made to feel like one of the locals by every member of this village and in particular my host family.

The project I was working on is called Corazón del Bosque, an oasis in the highlands. My work involved supporting the full time staff with their duties which included, the maintenance of mountain trails, working in the nursery and the organisation and implementation of an anti-litter project devised by myself and my volunteering partner. Working at Corazón del Bosque was a delight, however due to my limited Spanish and the facilitators lack of English, communication and direction was somewhat tricky. However, following the implementation of our own anti-litter and information project, focus and direction was very obvious.

I can not find the words to describe exactly how I feel following my return from Guatemala. All I can say is that I have been changed forever and that it has been the most wonderful experience I have ever had. I have made friends for life and gained a brand new Guatemalan family in INLEX. The people who I have not mentioned here you know who you are. Thank you for being so supportive and I wish I will see you very very soon!! You are the most amazing people I have ever met. You do such wonderful work, not only helping young travellers to see the world, but the work you support on the ground in Guatemala is incredible. You should all be very proud of yourselves.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jackie
10/10

Take me back!!

I stayed for 3 months, 2 weeks learning Spanish and 10 weeks working with children with disabilities. Its been the biggest and best adventure of my life... so far. Every single person I met has a beautiful heart, from every member of Inlexa to each member of my host families and not forgetting the children and staff at the JT Children Foundation. I felt safe, at home and loved in Guatemala. I got to explore so many places and to see the rich and beautiful culture Guatemala and it's people have to offer. I would do it all over again and not change a thing. If you decide to come along 3 months is not too long, its just enough time to immerse yourself into the culture. Don't be afraid to practice your Spanish, the people there will help you and give it your all!!!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Mandy
9/10

Life changing experience!

The happiness in my heart is as deep as the ocean. Volunteering with those beautiful children and living with my host family for the 2 weeks is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone even if it can be challenging. This entire experience has been incredibly enriching. Guatemala is beautiful and the people are so warm and welcoming.
THANK YOU INLEXCA FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT! you are amazing :) I always felt safe and well taken care of.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Leonie
10/10

Four Months of Learning and Adventure

I learned more about language, life, and cultural assimilation than I ever could have in my ordinary environment. I did a 2 week language course and then worked in an ecological park that works to conserve and protect nature and Mayan Kiche culture. It was very hard work at times and challenging on several levels, which was a great way to grow and learn. Don't shy away from the challenges!
I stayed with a lovely host family and will never forget the friendships I formed and memories I made there.
My time in Guatemala will forever be one of the most valuable experiences I have ever had. I couldn't recommend volunteering and working in another country more highly - for people of all ages! INLEX was incredibly supportive and welcoming, so finding your way and feeling secure is as easy as it can be.
If you want to widen your horizons and become a more aware, conscientious, and understanding person, then this is the way to go.

How can this program be improved?
I could have used a little more direction on tasks or projects to work on. I think I could have been more useful and assimilated faster if the leaders of the park had made clear to us in what ways we as volunteers can be most helpful to them. Sometimes it is hard to analyze that for yourself so a closer cooperation between volunteers, leaders of the project, and Inlex may have been helpful!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Joey
10/10

Great

On our second night on the trip we cooked our own dinner at the La Tortilla Cooking School. Our group had plenty of laughs and had the oppertunity to learn about the food culture of Antigua Guatemala. We made a famous dish called pepian, and even got the chance the makeparty our own corn flour tortillas to eat along with the meal. We were all given a task to help with the coming together of our food, some did better than others, but overall it was an amazing experience that I cannot wait to write about in my journal and share with back home!

Yes, I recommend
Luchi
10/10

Guatemala changed my life!!

Of course I would recommend the health program in Guatemala. This simply changed my life. My stay at the home of a local family was very enjoyable. I received a lot of affection and was treated as part of the family. In the health center I learned a lot and met excellent professionals. Besides, Gloria, Carlos and Alex were very kind to me, they looked after me and cared about my well-being at all times. My volunteering in Guatemala was unforgettable and very important for my career as a doctor.
Guatemala is a wonderful country with very friendly people and beautiful places. On my days off I traveled to Antigua and Lake Atitlan. I felt very safe traveling around the country and met lovely people!

Response from INLEXCA

Luchi! So great to hear from you and thank you for leaving a review for us! I hope you are well!!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Steve
10/10

2 weeks in Guatemala

My stay in Santo Tomas, Milpas Altas was an experience I will never forget. My host family were very kind and couldn´t do enough for me, and the food was excellent.

The school where I was placed was a pleasure to work at and I was allocated a teacher, Ms Edlin, who guided me through the first few days. Gradually she loosened the reins so that I became more and more immersed in the day to day activities and was able to take classes on my own, which was sometimes slightly alarming but always good fun. The students were nearly always kean to learn and were very interested in my accent, where I came from, and the girls were especially interested in my blonde blue eyed son lol.

For 6 afternoons during my stay I spent time at the local EDUSI project which was attended by local children and their parents and was even more relaxed, and very enjoyable.

Altogether it was a great experience and I look forward to the next placement!

How can this program be improved?
Out of a maximum of 9 days at school, 3 were cancelled due to presentations, school elections, other activities, so that a total of maybe 5-6 days were actually spent in the classroom.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sarah
9/10

Trip of a Lifetime

Everyone there was so incredibly nice to me! For example, I went to a coworkers graduation, and as I was waiting for him to grab his stuff, I was making conversation with one of his friends for maybe 3-5 minutes. After only talking for that short amount of time, he invited me to a family trip to the city. Being crazy enough to accept, he picked me up and we went to his aunt's house for the weekend where I was treated like part of the family. There was nothing scary about it; many people just open their homes up to kind strangers. Furthermore, the family I was placed with could not have been sweeter! They truly treated me as their daughter and made me feel as comfortable as humanly possible.

How can this program be improved?
My only critique is to have a clearer explanation of the program on the website. I was expecting to go into a construction project and ended up working in agriculture.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Theresia
8/10

My volunteering experiences in Guatemala

Overall my experience was very positive. I had a lovely 'home' with a 'mum' who was a great cook. I worked for 3 weeks on 2 different projects which gave me the opportunity to experience even more. It suited me well, although I can imagine that not everybody would be happy with it,as it takes longer to familiarise oneself with the people and the work in the projects.
In 1 project I painted a mural with 5 and 6 year old boys and girls in their classroom. The wall preparations I did alone in the afternoons when they were off; I magnified drawings they had prepared; the painting was done with all the children in a couple of mornings - these were quite mad mornings but very much fun and very satisfactory. The finishing off (where they couldn't reach) I did alone again in some afternoons. It was brilliant to see how proud they were of 'their' wall. And the nuns of the school were almost equally excited!
In the other project I assisted in a soup kitchen where twice a week a lunch was prepared for around a hundred children of a very poor area. Although it initially was a bit unclear to me what I was expected to do as the 2 cooks were perfectly able to do the work without me, it was still lovely to help and get to know the project. A typical work (half) day started with tortilla making, then, when the children were coming, play games with them. Next handing out the lunches and finally help clean and wash everything. Before going down to this 'job' I would have Spanish tuition.
I regretted that I didn't speak better Spanish. Although I didn't come totally unprepared, it wasn't enough to be able to have a bit of conversation. As a result it sometimes was a bit lonely as I didn't work with other volunteers, nor did I meet any.
I also realise that 3 weeks is a very short time to volunteer and ideally one should go for a longer time - I am convinced that everybody profits more from a longer volunteering period.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Josefine
10/10

Turtle Project and Teaching

Guatemala is an awesome country with people who are even more awesome! I enjoyed every second being there and made lots of great experiences. They are based on people mostly. The culture is so different and unique that I could never stop asking questions to my mayan hostfamily. You can integrate quite fast when you are open-minded and willing to experience. Working with turtles was one of the best things I have done in my life. The turtle project is really small and in an isolated village but this is just what makes it perfect. You cannot expect luxious but you will find awesome wildlife and experience a whole different way of lifestyle. Spanishclasses at INLEX are good and helpful, so you should take advantage of it because without speaking Spanish you cannot get as close to the people. Thank you for my perfect stay in Guatemala! I will never forget it!

How can this program be improved?
more transparency of money flows.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Felix
10/10

Volunteer in Guatemala

I really enjoyed the program.
I got to live in a Guatemalen family and participate in their daily life.
The project was also fun because I could help little kids and teach English and Math.

How can this program be improved?
There always is a very high amount of self initiative if you want to help. Especially in my project there was not a certain thing where they said: "We need this".
Therefore the program can vary a lot from expectations people have.
Yes, I recommend

Questions & Answers

Interviews

Meet the Alumni
Meet the Staff

About INLEXCA

INLEXCA offers volunteer programs , group volunteering and internships in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Our programs are customized to the participants to create great cultural experiences.