Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Guatemala from $310

Video and Photos

I made a friend
I made a friend
Antigua
Antigua
Our view on the way to the clinic
Our view on the way to the clinic
work site
work site
city view
city view
lake view
lake view
Chicken Bus
Chicken Bus
Santa Catalina Arch
Santa Catalina Arch

About

Trusted by 90,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Guatemala and 40+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 12 volunteer project options in Guatemala and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house or homestay, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Guatemala, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Guatemala program is available year-round, offering a start date on every Monday
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $310 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 20 and 50 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Guatemala each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 90,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Questions & Answers

Hi Henry, The program fee for two weeks is $515, add to that either $50 - $55 a week (depending on if you want a 2 hour small group language class or a 1 hour private one) which bring the total to around $625. Hope this helps!

Reviews

95%
based on 42 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 15 of 42
Default avatar
Steve
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Antigua, Guatemala

I had a wonderfully meaningful experience volunteering at a day care center in Dueñas, Guatemala. I stayed with a local family in Antigua, one of the most beautiful and safest towns in Guate.
IVHQ was very thorough in preparing us for the trip and Maximo Nivel, the onsite contact, was excellent at making sure we were taken care of during the duration of our stay. They were organized, professional and very hospitable.

I enjoyed taking the famous chicken bus to Dueñas then working and playing with the children at the day care center for four hours each day. I assisted them in their daily assignments and meals and even played songs for them with a ukulele I brought. I also learned a lot from my Spanish instructor who was patient, funny and very organized.

I’m glad I decided to stay and extra few days to unwind after the volunteering portion of the trip, as Lake Atitlan was the perfect destination to end the trip on.

I left Guatemala feeling changed for the better and felt I made a difference to the children I met, as they certainly made an impression on me. I look forward to working through IVHQ again in the future and highly recommend them for anyone interested in volunteering.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn as much Spanish as possible prior to the trip.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your review, Steve! Our program in Guatemala is very popular due to the meaningful volunteer projects and amazing local team and it's great to read that you had a similar experience! Awesome to hear that you also joined one of our Spanish language classes - it really does help when your Spanish knowledge is limited! Thanks again for volunteering with us and we hope to have to you travel with IVHQ again sometime soon. ^Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Default avatar
Alexis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Wonderful Volunteering Experience!

I would highly recommend IVHQ Guatemala for anyone who is interested in volunteering abroad! As a premedical student on the medical project, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Mis Anos Dorados in Jocotenango, which was a free local day center for seniors 60 and older. In the facility's clinic, I helped to perform physical exams, take vitals, and consulted with the health care professionals at Maximo Nivel regarding patient concerns or other more serious medical conditions. I formed memorable relationships with many of the abuelitos at the clinic. They always brightened my day and even consoled me on my last day when I was sad about having to leave them! After volunteering, I also took Spanish classes in the evenings, which helped a lot with my Spanish at my volunteer site. In addition, my host family was so kind and professional. The meals were always delicious and the placement was comfortable and safe in Antigua. I found the Guatemalan culture so fascinating, and there was plenty of things to do during my free time such as trekking up Cerro de la Cruz! Thanks to IVHQ, I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people on the medical project. The support from both IVHQ and Maximo Nivel was wonderful as well. They were always there with advice when I needed it, both prior to my trip and while in-country. I had an unforgettable week, and I know you will too if you volunteer in Guatemala with IVHQ!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would encourage you to take every opportunity you get to interact with the locals and community, as your time there will end before you know it!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Great to hear from you, Alexis. It's fantastic to read that you have a positive experience in Guatemala. Taking advantage of the Spanish lessons and great trekking opportunities is certainly a must-do during your visit, so it's great to hear that you made the most of these experiences. ^Kate - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Default avatar
Eline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at dog shelter Abaj Tacalik in Guatemala

I have volunteered before with IVHQ in Sri Lanka. This year I decided to go to Guatemala and work out in a dog shelter. I have had an amazing experience as the people and dogs at my placement were so nice and lovely. Patty takes care of 70 dogs in and around her house and does an amazing job in vaccinate/castrate them, take care of the wounded and feeding all of them. I am grateful for being able to help her out and fundraising money to rebuild part of the shelter and providing food and vaccines.

Antigua is a lovely city, my host family was super nice and during the weekends we had enough time to travel and stroll around the city.

IVHQ has helped me with preparing for the trip and in country it was the staff at Maximo Nivel that supported me and provided me with information. I can highly recommend anyone wanting to do something good with their spare time to volunteer. I have had the time of my life!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open-minded and believe in your own abilities to make a (small) change! Look at the resources you have available and try to make the most out of it!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Eline - I'm glad to hear that you have had such a great experience in Guatemala, and awesome that you have stayed connected with your placement and and continuing to help out from overseas! Your passion for helping these dogs is evident and your dedication is impressive. Good luck with your next adventure, and we hope to hear from you again soon! Kate - IVHQ Program Manager

Default avatar
Brian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Construction and renovation project in Antigua, Guatemala

I wanted to take my 15 year old niece on a volunteer trip to another country while she is still young. IVHQ was the perfect choice! The experience was everything we hoped for and more. The staff was very professional and any concerns I had were quickly put to rest after our first day in Antigua. We were also provided with many opportunities to experience other parts of the country (which we took advantage of) while we were there. We were able to hike up a volcano the weekend before we started volunteering and visit a beautiful lake the weekend after we volunteered. There was also time in the afternoon each day for us to explore Antigua, which was where we were based. The price was very reasonable too for such and memorable experience and we are already talking about doing another IVHQ trip next year!

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, nothing. The IVHQ staff and facilities far exceeded what I was expecting.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks so much Brian for sharing your thoughts with us around your time on the IVHQ Guatemala program! It sounds like you were able to make the most of your time in Antigua and had some very memorable experiences alongside your volunteer hours! Please note that you are welcome to volunteer with IVHQ again at anytime so don't be a stranger! Kate - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Alessandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Child care program In Guatemala

I went to Guatemala for one week to Volunteer in the child care program. It has been the BEST experience that I have had in my life, I was looking to travel but also to do something special with and meaningful, this trip had that and so much more. I love how everything was very organized and clear from the time I applied online, my arrival to Guatemala and until know after returning home. I had the opportunity to meet people from different countries and cities from the USA, learn from a new culture, and met amazing teachers in the daycare program. I cannot wait to go back and spend more time in Antigua through this program, I will definitely stay longer than a week there is so much to see and learn.
Thank you so much for this wonderful experience.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks so much for sharing this great feedback around your Guatemala volunteer program with us! IVHQ programs do definitely strike the perfect balance between travel and doing something with meaning so it is nice to see you were able to have this sort of experience. All the best for the future Alessandra and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Kate - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Francesca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dog care in Guatemala

I got the opportunity to work at a dog shelter that had 90 dogs! It was amazing and i fell in love with so many of the affectionate doggies. I got to help them in a meaningful way by providing them with water I had to carry from a nearby well. The lady who runs the shelter was very appreciative and welcoming. Of course I also took the time to explore guatemala itself and I got to ride a horse for the first time, up a volcano!! The most beautiful place I went to was the Earth Lodge ahhh so peaceful. A tip I'd give to volunteers is to make the most of your evenings/weekends and do as much sightseeing as you can and be very attentive on your orientation day as you have to usually travel to your placement by yourself. Also practice the local language

What would you improve about this program?
Get someone to travel with volunteers to placement
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Francesca thank you for letting us know more about your amazing time in Guatemala with IVHQ! You have definitely provided some handy tips in your review and I am sure these will help future volunteers. Please know that you are welcome back anytime and I know the team enjoyed having you there with them - all the best! Aydan - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Ava
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Guatemala

It is hard to put into words how amazing my trip to Guatemala was. I am absolutely in love with the people, culture, everything about this country. I have done similar volunteer projects in the past, and I’ve learned that going in without any expectations will help you ge the most out of this experience. This time, I did a one week childcare project in Antigua, Guatemala. Monday through Friday, I would be at a childcare center in a town 30 minutes away from Antigua from 8 am to noon . The kids were so loving and affectionate. The moment I stepped into the classroom, I was surrounded by kids all trying to hug me. My job was to help the teachers with any task they needed, help the kids with their projects, and play with them. It was so fun! Since volunteering was over at noon, I had the whole day to do other things. The staff at Maximo Nivel were so helpful with setting up my desired excursions and answering my numerous questions. I stayed with a lovely host family. They provided everything I needed and served delicious meals. I also met some other super cool volunteers through Maximo planned events. The Guatemalan cooking class and salsa dancing were my favorites. I highly recommend them! Before arriving to Guatemala, I highly suggest learning some basic Spanish. It makes everything much easier and more enjoyable. Overall this was a trip I will never forget. I loved it so much!

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I would improve about this program is, they should promote it more. Most people who volunteer at Maximo Guatemala do medical projects, which is awesome, but the childcare needs volunteers too. They don’t get nearly as many as the medical. The kids at the childcare centers are absolutely wonderful and deserve more attention and love.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Ava, we really appreciate you leaving this review and it was awesome to read about all the different aspects of the IVHQ Guatemala program that you enjoyed! All the best for the future and we would love to have you join us again sometime, so don't be a stranger! Aydan - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Jackie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Antigua

The stay in Guatemala was great. Every view was like a postcard. My friend and I stayed with the best host family. They were so understanding, sweet, and the meals were the best. I was able to practice my Spanish the whole trip. I loved my site, I was teaching at a school in San Antonio. Amazing kids with so much potential.
My advice for volunteers would be to stay open minded, be aware of your surrondings, and always be respectful of the culture and people. Also, do take Spanish lessons or take every opportunity to speak Spanish. The locals loved it when I at least tried. And explore the town, there is so much to see. Do: take the chicken buses, go hiking, try new things, eat authentically, and go to the markets.
Additionally, keep yourself busy at your site. Overall, my site was a bit disorganized and I had to occupy myself a lot. Because of this, we found new ways to help by fixing their computers and shopping for supplies. If you are teaching, get creative and be engaged because they kids will enjoy that.

What would you improve about this program?
I would only suggest that the volunteer site for education be more organized and structured with the ability to do more work. Thus, creating a larger impact. However, my site coordinator Lydia was energetic and passionate. I did still enjoy the site and I’m grateful they had us. I would suggest volunteers to occupy themselves and be hands on. We created new ways to stay busy such as fixing computers and buying school supplies.
Emily Hope
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Guatemala

Volunteering with IVHQ was one of the best experiences that I’ve had. Before leaving for Guatemala, the IVHQ team answered all the questions that I had about my program. After I left, they followed up and made sure that the local team was in contact with me. During my trip, IVHQ checked in with me to make sure that everything was going alright with my project placement and my accommodation. They were even in contact with me when I got back to make sure that my trip went smoothly. I highly recommend volunteering with IVHQ for a structured and safe volunteering experience.

Default avatar
Colin J
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly Recommend

This was my first time traveling to Guatemala & Central America. It is also one of my first times traveling alone. Like most I was a bit skeptical before arriving. With the support from the team and active social media groups I was able to meet people before going over. There is also an abundance of information on the website and via the program managers. Upon arrival, everything was ready to go. The on-site team were very professional and knowledgeable - Even for organising trips and tours after volunteering hours. This was a brilliant trip.

Default avatar
Morgan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First Day in Antigua

I felt the support as soon as I left the airport. It was very helpful to have someone there to pick me up and take me where I needed to go. It avoided a lot of initial confussion and frustration. I was shown my placement and it is beautiful. The women there are very nice and helpful. It is awesome to live with people who are volunteering and spend time traveling with them. I can already tell I will be making long lasting friendships.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

It is nice to hear that from the moment you stepped off the plane you felt well supported by our local team in Guatemala. Meeting new people is always a highlight of the IVHQ volunteer experience so it is amazing to hear that you made long-lasting friendships during your time on the program! ^Aydan - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Default avatar
Julie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer Commencement

I arrived to Guatemala yesterday and have had Maximos support since arrival. Our orientation was fun and our group felt comfortable asking questions.
My homestay is in a safe location and my room includes a bathroom which is great.
Antigua is a great place for volunteers as it is friendly and safe during the day and there is always someone available to help.
I think its wonderful that Maximo offers a contact for outside of hours.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for leaving this review, Julie. It is great to hear that upon your arrival in Guatemala you felt well supported and very safe - this is what we strive for on all of our programs. Antigua certainly is an awesome destination to volunteer in and of course, you are welcome back anytime! ^Aydan - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Shannon
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun & love in Antigua!!

I was super nervous before going on my solo adventure to Antigua, Guatemala. However, as soon as I arrived I felt anxiously excited and yet still very peaceful. Everyone involved in the program was nice and welcoming. They set me up in a great home with great people and I really enjoyed my project. I learned so much about myself and really grew as an independent person. I can't wait to go on another trip with IVHQ!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to know my exact job before I arrived. It's a bit expensive, the shuttle bus to the airport should have also been included. I believe more money needs to go to the families and people of the projects that we are working for, for example, one of the daycares really needed a roof. That is something that could be donated by IVHQ. Just a suggestion. But, overall, a great time.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

We very much appreciate you sharing this review about your time in Guatemala. It was nice to read that you felt so welcomed on your solo adventure and that you were set up in a great homestay with friendly people! Also, thank you for your suggestions on how we could improve the program, we certainly do our best but love volunteer's insights as this helps us make our programs even better! Once again thank you for the awesome review and just as you can't wait to go on another IVHQ volunteer trip, we can't wait to have you join us again! ^Aydan - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Default avatar
Jenany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Volunteering time in Antigua, Guatemala

Buenos Días! My experience with International Volunteer HQ, Maximo Nivel was wonderful. It's always been my dream to volunteer abroad and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. During my two weeks in Antigua, I volunteered at an orphanage and at a construction site where I had the opportunity to assist in building a local medical clinic for the Guatemalan population. Throughout my volunteer journey, I was constantly learning something new about the Guatemalan culture, environment, and meeting new people from around the world. What I loved most about my volunteer experience was there was always something new happening every day. For example, I had the opportunity to participate in creating Alfombras for Semana Santa with the Maximo Nivel staff and volunteers. This allowed me to meet new people and learn about the beautiful culture. My host family was amazing! They were accommodating and very understanding. The staff at Maximo Nivel were wonderful, sincere, and accommodating. They made my experience even more enjoyable. Maximo Nivel offered various classes, programs, and excursions for volunteers that were engaging, interactive, and simply fun. Although having a background in Spanish was not necessary for my volunteer projects, it was sometimes difficult to speak to the locals so please keep in mind to learn a bit of Spanish before you volunteer in Antigua. I also took donations with me and it made a huge difference for the Guatemalan community. Overall my experience with International Volunteer HQ, Maximo Nivel was amazing and rewarding. The fact that I was able to create an impact on thousands of lives during my time in Antigua simply made me realize that I can do more in other countries. I recommend those of you that want to make a difference in the world to check out IVHQ. Thank you International Volunteer HQ, Maximo Nivel for making my time in Guatemala surreal!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for letting us know more about your amazing time in Guatemala! We love that you were constantly learning new things and meeting new people - this is an important part of volunteering. It is inspiring to hear that you found the program to be a rewarding experience, and personally felt that you had such a positive impact on the Guatemalan community, I am sure they loved having you! Thanks again for your great review, and please know that you are welcome back anytime. ^Aydan - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Default avatar
Deenuka
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Guatemala Medical Program

Hi, I'm Deenuka from Toronto and I just got back from my two week volunteer medical position from Guatemala. To sum up my experience- it was amazing! I went with no expectations and came back super happy. I worked at a local village at a family care clinic called Mother Theresa. The difference in medicine from North America to Guatemala really did open my eyes. I got to see a whole new side to Medical are that I have never seen before. The people of Guatemala are so generous, welcoming and are so grateful for any help that they receive. My favourite part of my trip was when I got to go to a old age home and do complete check ups. The elders were so happy and appreciative of all our help. Initially the thought of setting up this volunteer position was daunting, I didn't know where to start. IVHQ did such a thorough job giving us simple steps and guild lines to follow to make our registration process seamless. Any questions I had they got back to me within a day. The project managers on site- Maximo Nivel were also amazing. They were so helpful and accommodating and made sure we felt welcomed. Although I was in a different country that I've never been to before, I had comfort knowing that I had such warm people around. Over all, the whole experience was a positive one from setting up the project to physically being there to volunteer. Thank you IVHQ and Maximo Nivel for making such a positive influence and allowing me to be apart of it.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Deenuka, Thank you for sharing this amazing review. It was great to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your time on the Guatemala program, especially your time with the elders providing them with complete check-ups. The elders appreciate this very much so I am happy that you got to be apart of it, along with seeing a whole new side to medical. Our aim is to make your volunteering journey as stress-free as possible so I am glad IVHQ and our local team in Guatemala made you feel comfortable in a different country. Once again we greatly appreciate the awesome review and hope that you will join up with us again in the future! ^Aydan - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

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.

About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 50+ destinations. Over 100,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the past 12 years,...