Volunteer in Guatemala | Education, Wildlife Conservation, Medical or Sports

Location
Guatemala
Length
2 to 24 weeks
Housing
Host Family Hostel
Age
18 - 100 years
63 travelers are looking at this program

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.

You can volunteer in:
-Childcare
-Education
-English Teaching
-Turtle conservation
-Environmental preservation.
-Micro-finance
-Medicine and Health.

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
Accommodation
Airport Transfers
Some Meals
More info on what's included:

24 Hour Emergency Assistance

What's Not Included
Airfare
Transportation
More info on what's not included:

Medical Insurance

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.

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.

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Pricing

2 Weeks
$669 USD
3 Weeks
$824 USD
4 Weeks
$1057 USD
5 Weeks
$1204 USD
6 Weeks
$1352 USD
Show More
7 Weeks
$1500 USD
8 Weeks
$1647 USD

Location

Location:
Antigua
Currency:
Guatemalan Quetzal
Weather:
Jan-Mar
81 F / 54 F
Apr-Jun
82 F / 59 F
Jul-Sep
77 F / 61 F
Oct-Dec
75 F / 55 F
Airports:
La Aurora International Airport
( GUA )

Antigua was the capital of Guatemala prior to a major earthquake that left most of the city in ruins. Guatemala city then became the capital, and Antigua city returned into a small town until the whole city was deemed a UNESCO world heritage site. Attractions include monuments and buildings, as they preserve Guatemala's historical beauty and showcase the Spanish influence in the area.

Hosted by Integrated Learning Experiences- INLEX

Integrated Learning Experiences offers volunteer programs , group volunteering and internships in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru and Argentina. Our programs are customized to the participants to create great cultural experiences.
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Reviews

94%
based on 30 reviews
  • Impact 8.6
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
  • Growth 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 6
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 30
Default avatar
Wes
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Education and Learning Spanish in Guatemala

I highly recommend Inlex/CA, especially if you are considering a combination learn Spanish / volunteer experience.

From arrival at the airport in Guatemala City to my departure three weeks later, I was extremely well looked after. I never was concerned about how to get anywhere, how to do anything, or any other aspect of my stay, because the staff at Inlex/CA assisted me with every possible logistical detail and eventuality. The support is second-to-none.

One of the main reasons I chose Inlex/CA for my experience was because I wanted to learn Spanish, and I certainly was not disappointed. During my three weeks, I truly had an authentic immersion experience. With the support of the Inlex/CA staff, my incredible host family, an amazing one-on-one Spanish teacher (a total of 60 hours), and the staff at El Centro Sabor y Gracia, my Spanish went from beginner to advanced in only three weeks.

The volunteering aspect of the programme was also rewarding. I was able to teach English to a small group of primary (age 5 - 8) students, and another group of junior (age 9 to 12) students at the Centro Sabor y Gracia in Santo Tomas. The director and staff of this special project were also very supportive, and the children, although energetic and with a wide variety of learning needs, were responsive and appreciative of the time I spent with them.

The locale (Santa Lucia, Santo Tomas, and Antigua - the #1 tourist destination / jump-off point in Guatemala) was small enough to present an authentic picture of daily life in Guatemala, but it also provided close access to many popular trips around the entire country.

Inlex/CA really did give me the experience I was looking for; it effectively catered to both aspects (volunteering and learning Spanish) of my three-week "holiday."

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Climbing Pacaya Volcano was absolutely incredible. It is an absolute must if you visit this part of Guatemala.
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Asheigh
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience in Guatemala

My experience in Guatemala was exceptional; I learned about the culture, the language, and the amazing people who live here. Throughout my trip, I was challenged with several obstacles that advanced my ability to adapt, problem-solve, and be patient. With the support of Alex, my host family, and the school system I was able to face these challenges and still progress as a student. I feel that leaving here I will have gained so much. The trip was so much fun and I will miss all my new friends dearly, especially the young children I got to meet. I believe that they taught me just as much as I taught them and that is something I will hold onto forever. Ultimately, this trip was an extraordinary learning experience and an opportunity that I am grateful that I got to attend.

What would you improve about this program?
I would make sure that there is wifi in the houses, just because some of the people traveling here are students and they need to do their homework.
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Maile
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Education in Guatemala

I had an amazing experience with this program. To begin, the staff was consistently available and offered advice and assistance each week. They also placed me in a homestay with a family who not only helped me to experience Guatemalan culture but fully immersed me in the Spanish language so that I was able to improve vastly during my time abroad. Second, my internship placement, which was teaching English at a school to children aged 5- 18 years old, allowed me to both teach the students and to learn from them. I was able to teach the students and to learn new methods that I could utilize in my own classes in the United States, and I learned about the students and their culture through teaching. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking to broaden their horizons by experiencing teaching in another culture because it was an unforgettable and worthwhile experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Use as much Spanish as you can and practice every day
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Erica
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical internship

During my time at the internship, I gained lots of valuable information that I otherwise would not have had to opportunity to acquire. Definitely worth it and would recommend to others that may be thinking about doing this program! Cesar, Reyna, and their entire family welcomed me with open arms. They cooked amazing meals, played games with the entire family after lunch, and ensured I had no concerns or worries. I was only about a 20 minute walk away from the Centro de Salud, which is where the internship was held, and I felt very safe both on my walk to work and back home from the Centro. I got involved at the local gym and really enjoyed the atmosphere of Patzun. After my four weeks there’s it truly began to feel like home. I hope I am able to return in the near future!

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Aaron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beautiful, Friendly Guatemala

I interned in a small Guatemalan town for five weeks teaching English at a private school. During my intenship, I developed my abilities to communicate information and build relationships with others in a different language, actively listen to others, reflect on my perspective and privilege, and adapt to new environments and circumstances.
I also took five weeks of Spanish lessons. Doing so improved my teaching a lot because I needed to teach the students English in their language. Additonally, it improved my ability to connect with others, ask them questions, and comprehend their answers. I highly reccommend that interns take several weeks of lessons in-country. Being able to communicate with my host family and students at the school improved my experience exponentially.
Sometimes my days were very long between my internship, Spanish lessons, and prepping for the next day's classes, but I feel like it was totally worth it. I also highly encourage volunteers to make the most out of their time in-country. Being immersed in a new culture can be disorienting, and it can be easy to fall into negative thinking and staying in your bedroom all day. But, in my experience, you will have an unforgettable experience if you try your hardest to stay positive, flexible, and learn as much as you can.
Additionally, the in-country support team was very friendly, helpful and caring. I always felt comfortable with asking them questions or advice. They really care about their interns!
There are also many tourism opportunities in Guatemala. I recommend visiting the city of Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and the Mayan pyramids of Tikal!
Overall, my trip developed me in countless ways. I now feel more confident, experienced, and have a drive positively affect the lives of others.

What was your funniest moment?
I highly recommend that travelers with sensitive stomachs bring medication for so-called "traveler's diarrhea" because I had a funny experience with needing to use the bathroom.
My stomach was upset during a weekend excursion I took to a city called Panajachel next to Lake Atitlan. I was on a bus trying to return to my house, when the bus got a flat tire and needed to pull over. We were in the middle of nowhere, and my stomach was not feeling well. I needed to use the bathroom asap. I considered going behind a bush, but there were none to effectively cover me. I panicked and ran to the closest house. I pleaded to use their bathroom, and the people were more than happy to help me. After I used their bathroom, I offered to pay them for their help. However, they just smiled at me and told me not to worry about it. I thanked them, and they said that they were happy to help.
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Andrew
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A fantastic learning experience

This experience exceeded my expectations! I came with the goal to help others with their English and to improve my Spanish and I feel I have done both of those.

At weekends, I had loads of free time to travel, going to different parts of Guatemela and even visiting other countries! The programme is well organised in that it gives you a lot of rewarding work to do but also a lot of time to relax and do your own thing.

Being placed near the city of Antigua (only 20-30 minutes away) was fantastic. You can't get bored of that place! There is so much to do there, and you can easily book trips from the travel agencies there.

The staff at the organisation are incredibly helpful. The doors of their office are always open and they are willing to help in any way! I would 100% recommend this learning experience to others.

What was your funniest moment?
Learning some Guatemalan words with the students at my school, and teaching them some Irish slang, was really funny!
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Danja
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Day Care Center in Zaragoza, Guatemala - Beautiful place, children and staff

I had an awesome time in the day care center for children from 0 to 6 years in Zaragoza. On my first day everyone was welcoming me very warmhearted. Even though I was obviously nervous I felt very well right from the beginning. Everyone was interested in where I come from and why I want to spend 10 weeks here.
In the beginning obviously it was a little bit difficult. Mainly because of the communication, because my spanish still wasn't as good and I wasn't as confident to speak freely. Still every single woman of the staff supported me a lot.
After about two weeks I really got into it and could finally start enjoying my time with the children. Of course sometimes you also need to enforce consequences due to the children's bad behaviour but all of that was kept within bounds.
What I really enjoyed was that I could also share the mostly traditional and very nutritive meals with the children and the staff. I also got to know how everything works, for example with the money for the food and so on.
The project helped me a lot to improve my spanish skills and also my social skills. I have never had contact with that many children (30 in total) that young before. It helped me grow a lot and taught me to be a lot more patient.
Now that my time in te day care center is over I am really sad. I will miss the children and the staff a lot. They had a great farewell party for me on my last day and really showed me how big the impact was that I had on the children and there lives.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was probably when you keep talking and talking to the children and they still behave really bad. There are just days where you can say whatever you want and it would change anything. You just need to stay patient and don't worry...
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David
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Guatemala - a transformative experience!

My fondest memory was the surprise party that my students threw on my last day of the programme. My most beautiful memory was when I saw the blood red full moon rise at the Mirador de San Lucas Milpas Altas.

I was in a programme that involved teaching English and Maths alongside a Guatemalan Teacher. I was based in small town in the mountains - and lived with a lovely family, who, from day 1, made me feel part of the family.

We got on so well, that we often did outings together at the weekend. Some weekends I would meet up with other volunteers - we went on to visit Antigua, Guatemala City (go with a local!) as well as the towns dotted around Lake Atitlan, which you get to by boat.

INLEX coordinated my stay - they did everything from helping me to get organised pre-departure, to finding the school and the host family. On arrival they provided me with a thorough induction - the advantage of going with an organisation is that someone is there to support you and advise you.

Advice for future Guatemala volunteers: Bring with you a decent supply of hand sanitiser, toilet paper, napkins, wetwipes and, if you can, more than one debit/credit card. Where I stayed, running water would be a bit on and off, and although not amazingly glamorous, those wetwipe camping-style showers are a godsend! This depends on the region, obviously.

Finally: Absolutely do go to Guatemala! It's an amazingly colourful place - not just the clothes and the buildings, but it's got everything from volcanoes to jungles to Mayan pyramids etc etc. You're going to love it.

What would you improve about this program?
Everything about the programme lived up to my expectations.
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William
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Micro finance and Spanish lessons in Guatemala

Overall I really enjoyed my time in Guatemala. I started with 2 weeks of Spanish lessons which were extremely helpful in my travels, here I also got to meet the INLEXCA team who were all very friendly and welcoming, offering lots of advice of what to do in free time and weekends. The micro finance part was good, however as I was only there for a month there was understandably not much I could help with. I still found it very interesting visiting clients and gaining insight to the world of Guatemalan micro finance. Additionally all staff at ADIGUA went out of their way to make me feel welcome and the whole office was a pleasure to work in. The host families I stayed with were both fairly typical Guatemalan households, both very pleasant and helpful in my transition. I also learnt a lot about their culture from spending time with them, one much different to the English culture. I would recommend the programme especially if you’re able to work for several months, the staff of both organisations certainly played a role in how much I enjoyed my time in Guatemala.

What would you improve about this program?
Possibly offer more hands on things to do, although it may have just been because I was only there for a month
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Apolonia
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience in Guatemala

I feel as if I have gained a huge connection to Guatemala. Although I did come to Guatemala as a volunteer and the project was amazing, it was only one part of my experience. I don't feel as if I have visited Guatemala, I feel as if I have lived in Guatemala. I now have a family here who's doors are open to me at any time. I think that I can now call Guatemala my home and get a little rush of excitement if I hear somebody mention the country, similar to when you hear somebody mention your home country while you're abroad. This experience has definitely eye opening and I have noticed that people truly are all the same, despite growing up thousands of miles away; we are not strangers to each other. I would recommend volunteering in a country because you truly get to know the country instead of just ticking a place off a map.

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Toyah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Two Weeks in Novillero

For two weeks I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the town of Novillero in Guatemala and volunteer in the ecological park "Corazón del Bosque". My sister is currently in Guatemala with the program for the second time, so my trip was organized through her and because I could only come for two weeks I did not have an orientation or the Spanish course. The program made it posible for me to stay with her and her host family, which allowed me to communicate and have an amazing experience despite barely speaking Spanish! Everyone I met in Guatemala, whether they were locals, other volunteers or members of the program, were incredibly welcoming and accomodating and made many efforts to make me feel comfortable.

In the park we mainly helped the staff with the opening of a new cafetería and snack store by painting its outside and inside. Other tasks included cleaning up the forest and working in a tree nursery or greenhouse. The atmosphere among the workers and volunteers was almost like a family. As a tip I would encourage future volunteers, no matter how long they are staying or how much of a language barrier there is, to try their best to communicate with everyone and really become a part of whatever project they are working in.

Doing this trip while I am still in high school was an excellent way to prepare me for my own future gap year. I now have a much greater knowledge of what to expect from a volunteering program and living with a host family and am itching to do many more trips like these in the future!

What would you improve about this program?
Because I only came for two weeks I unfortunately couldnt take part in the orientation or the spanish course provided by the program to welcome and prepare the volunteers. I am extremely grateful to the program for organizing my trip with my sister and allowing me to come for such a short time and in an unconventional way.
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Anna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Education Project INLEX/CA - Santo Tomas, Guatemala

Really nice town with great transport links to Antigua and neighbouring towns. Definitely felt very safe for the entirety of my stay. In terms of the project I really enjoyed working with the children, especially those who were so eager to learn English, and appreciated that I got to choose to work in another project. Out of the two projects I would say I preferred the second as I was working with a smaller group of children, and had more responsibility in teaching them. Overall would definitely recommend the project, but would also advise future volunteers to take initiative in involving themselves so as to get the most out of it. Finally, I want to thank my amazing host family for making me feel at home halfway across the world. :)

What would you improve about this program?
I would say that because the school was already running quite a tight ship, at times I felt a bit superfluous, and maybe next time I would try to actively involve myself with the older classes as I was mainly with the younger children.
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Ana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Education Project INLEX/CA - Santo Tomas, Guatemala

My time in Guatemala has been amazing. I loved working with kids in the education project. I formed so many new connections and am so sad to be leaving, but I will be back soon! Everyone from the students, the teachers, my host family, and INLEXCA have gone above and beyond to make me feel at home. This program really solidified my plans to go into social work in a school setting. I feel that this program has given me the opportunity for a lot of professional as well as personal growth. My favorite moments throughout the month have been watching kids do things on their own. I loved seeing them go from not understanding math or being afraid of new experiences to only asking me to double check their math homework and seeing them have the confidence to at least try something on their own. I loved being able to immerse myself and feel at home in the culture of another country. An absolutely amazing experience!!

What would you improve about this program?
I think it would be helpful for the school to have a plan for the volunteers and maybe share the curriculum with the volunteer so that the volunteer can plan and help accordingly. That way there can be more preparation for the day and not as improvised.
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Adam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time in Guatemala with INLEXCA

I spent seven weeks in Guatemala with INLEXCA, an organization that provides volunteers with opportunities in Central America. The first two weeks were spent with Spanish lessons, as I wanted to practice and improve my Spanish a bit. Then I spent five weeks at an ecological park called Corazon del Bosque, where I helped with may different projects, from reforestation to nursery work to painting a store and café. I have no complaints as to how things went during my stay here in Guatemala. In both of the host families I was in, things seemed to go very well, and I was able to connect and get along with all members of the families. At the volunteer project site, the park workers welcomed us with open arms and helped us integrate with the park and find work to do. The program was run very well and smooth, as INLEXCA does a great job making sure volunteers are prepared and well-situated in their respective countries. The organization staff helped me when I had questions and made me feel more comfortable about the whole experience. They do a great job with the host family placement as well, as I had no problems with any of my host families, and even if I did I imagine that the organization staff would be accommodating. I would highly recommend Guatemala and INLEXCA to anyone looking for a good volunteer experience in Central America.

What would you improve about this program?
I don't have any criticisms.
Default avatar
Dana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

FAQ

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