Affordable Volunteer Programs in Guatemala from $320

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About

Volunteer abroad in Guatemala with IVHQ! Every year, hundreds of volunteers join IVHQ's highly affordable volunteer projects in Guatemala assisting on a range of community-driven projects including teaching, construction work and also animal care. Volunteers can choose to participate on projects for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks are accommodated in either local home-stays or volunteer houses alongside other international volunteers. While Spanish is not required in order to participate on the program, volunteers can enjoy taking discounted Spanish lessons during their time on the program.

IVHQ Volunteer Projects Available in Guatemala:

  • Teaching English
  • Childcare
  • Construction and Renovation
  • Lake Conservation
  • Medical
  • Elderly Care
  • Animal Care/Animal Rights
  • Eco Agriculture Conservation
  • Spanish Learning Course

Highlights

  • Programs available year-round, starting every Monday
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Highly affordable program fees from $310 for 1 week
  • Community-driven projects focused on supporting local needs and delivering sustainable positive impacts
  • Superior support services both pre-departure and while volunteering
  • Free online volunteer training for all IVHQ volunteers
  • Affordable Spanish language lessons available in Guatemala
  • Between 20 and 50 IVHQ volunteers start in Guatemala each month
  • Weekends are free to explore Guatemala with fellow volunteers - visit Pacaya Volcano, Iximche and more!

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

94%
based on 32 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 15 of 32
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Morgan
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Julie
8/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
Shannon
9/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
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

Yes, I recommend
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Jenany
10/10

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

Yes, I recommend
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Deenuka
10/10

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

Yes, I recommend
Winter
10/10

Making My First Volunteer Trip Count

First off, I officially decided to take the leap and register for health care about 1 month before I was due to leave. A co-worker jumped on board about 2 weeks after that. The registration process and introductory things were super easy and helpful. My coordinator at IVHQ was patient and excellent with getting back to me quickly with answers to my many questions.

Once in country, we met with the local team we would work with for that week, Maximo Nivel, and I have to say, they were an incredible group of people who truly wanted to make a difference and helped make my experience there a great one. Special thanks to Jorje who went above and beyond for us, and placed us in a clinic that suited our skills. I really enjoyed the time we spend at the clinic, and one day I'd love to return to help out again.

The city of Antigua was absolutely amazing. It's beauty and charm will grab you, and hold a little piece of your heart. There is SO much to do and see in and around the city. So many shops, markets, restaurants, and landmarks to see. Honestly, I could just sit on a rooftop cafe and stare at the city and volcanoes all day.

One piece of advice I would give would be to just jump in. If you're at a clinic, jump in and do a blood pressure, a temp, a height or weight. Ask to cut gauze for them, if you have spare time. Carry boxes. Ask what the need is, meet it. You're only there for a short time, so make the best of it. Jump in with the culture. The food. The city. The way of life. The pace. The language. Try everything. Go in the shops. Take the tour. Jump in with both feet. You won't regret it.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, my only real issue was with my homestay. I felt like a complete burden on the family and felt badly asking for anything, even though they never directly made me feel that way. I didn't get toilet paper until the 3rd day, even though I asked for it. I felt like a bother when I asked to have a shower. My room was not very clean (mainly the bathroom), and I didn't have one single warm shower (which I realize is a learning curve, and I still couldn't make it work).
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Winter, We're glad that you both took the spontaneous plunge to volunteer! I'm sorry to hear that your accommodation wasn't up to scratch we have followed up with our local team about this, but it's awesome that got stuck into the work at your Medical placement and enjoyed all the beauty Antigua has to offer! ^Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Torre
10/10

Awesome Experience

I had an amazing time during my two weeks in Antigua, Guatemala. My project during the first week was holiday experience where I worked with the elderly, painted a school, and worked with children at an orphanage. During my second week I worked with kids at a different orphanage just outside Antigua. I really loved the holiday experience and getting a taste of a few of the different projects IVHQ has to offer. The staff were all very supportive and quick to respond with anything I needed. The housing was very safe and clean and the staff there were very kind and helpful. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to volunteer, learn about Guatemala, live in a beautiful city, and practice or learn Spanish. It was truly a memorable experience!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Torre, Thanks for your lovely review! It's great to hear that you enjoyed working at a range of different placements over the holidays and found the whole experience memorable. Thanks for being an IVHQer! ^Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Dinoji
9/10

Life-changing Trip

I spent my 2017 holiday season in Antigua, Guatemala, to volunteer with the Holiday Experience project, and it absolutely was one of the best trips of my life. In the 1 week that I spent with Maximo Nivel-Guatemala, I had the opportunity to volunteer at a coffee plantation, an orphanage, and a disability facility. All three of these placements opened my eyes in different ways; I was pushed out of my comfort zone (in a good way), and found myself appreciating all the little things as a result.

I was drawn to IVHQ because they had the most reasonable fees of all the other volunteer organizations I found in my research, but my entire experience with them has been exceptional. They were very responsive throughout my application process and helped to clear my doubts before I officially applied.

I came to Antigua wanting to give back over the holidays, but left with the realization that you don't have to wait for that time of year to do so. This was my first time throwing myself into anything like this, but it definitely won't be my last!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Dinoji, Thanks for your lovely review and for choosing to spend your Christmas helping out in Guatemala! It's great that you found the range of different volunteering placements on the Holiday Experience project eye-opening. We look forward to having you volunteer with us again! ^Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Michael
10/10

Had a Blast in Antigua!

In the summer of 2017, I volunteered in Antigua, Guatemala with the construction group. The work was enjoyable and I felt like what I did had a positive impact on the community. I met a lot of cool people and made new friends. I did quite a few excursions which I enjoyed. The staff was extremely helpful, friendly, and accommodating. Being a vegetarian, I was worried that it would be an inconvenience, but it didn't turn out to be that way. I would definitely volunteer with IVHQ again.

How can this program be improved?
Everything was fine.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Michael, Thanks for your lovely review! It's great that you found the construction work beneficial to the local community and an enjoyable experience. We look forward to having you volunteer with us again in the future!
Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Taylor
10/10

Simply Amazing

The program was simply amazing! Couldn't ask for more. As someone that has been abroad with other volunteer organizations I can tell you that IVHQ is the best. From the freindly staff, affordable prices and the unique range of projects to work on. You feel welcomed from the begining. You may arrive there on your own but you will quickly meet amazing people that will become life long friends. I would recomend this trip to anyone from new travel to the most experienced, the views and experience are spectacular and you wont regret it!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Taylor, Thanks for your awesome review! We are so stoked to hear that you found the Guatemala program to be simply amazing - what more could we ask for! Thanks for recommending IVHQ and we hope you will join us on another program soon!
Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Gustavo
10/10

What are you looking for?

I had the opportunity to connect with my firefighters students, noble people, nice and eager to learn useful tools for their work. And I also have been fortunate to meet other volunteers, who dedicate their vacations, or their entire lives, to work for those who need it most.

I met Wally, a young Canadian, who came to Guatemala to teach English as a volunteer for four weeks. At the end of this period he decided that he did not want to leave, he telephoned his girlfriend in Canada to inform him he was staying, and asked him to take a flight to live with him in La Antigua. They have lived together for a year in Guatemalan lands.

Jass, a young American, volunteer at an orphanage. Originally from Indiana, it is not the first time she performs this kind of noble work. Just a few years ago, Jass was working as a volunteer in Africa; since then, every time she takes some time off work visits a new country, and, at the same time, works for the community wherever she is.

Amanda, a young Australian, came to work as a volunteer five years ago. She returned to Australia for a while, saved some money, and moved to Guatemala. She now volunteers, on her own, with local institutions that require help; in addition, has begun to plan starting a business in La Antigua.

While we were eating in a terrace restaurant, overlooking the famous 'Fuego' Volcano, Jass, the young American, who, by the way, works in an NGO that is responsible for promoting organ donation, asked me: What are you looking for?

She explained to me those who volunteer logically seek to use their skills and/or knowledge to help others. But equally, they do not seek only to help, but also to get help: some kind of response, meaning, or purpose that they do not yet find in their lives.

After finishing my volunteer program I think I can answer that question. I think we are trying to achieve something for our own development, we are trying to become the very best version of ourselves.

How can this program be improved?
I think the program was really amazing, can't think of anything to be improved.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gustavo, Thanks for sharing! It's awesome to hear that you enjoyed teaching English to the local firefighters in Antigua and connecting with other volunteers from all over the world.
Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Heather
10/10

Eco-Agricultural Conservation in Guatemala

I had an incredible time in Guatemala. My host family was incredibly kind and caring, and incorporated me totally into their family. I got the opportunity to work with De La Gente, a coffee cooperative that facilitates direct trade opportunities with local coffee farmers. Every two days we would work with a new farmer, helping him out with whatever he needed done that day: hiking into the mountains to pick coffee cherries, sorting beans at the farmers houses, or washing and drying the cherries. It was a great opportunity to see into the lives of these farmers, and I really felt like we were helping them, as you could see the effects of our work immediately. I had a fantastic time learning Spanish as well, with the farmers in the morning, but I also took classes in the afternoons, and my host family was always happy to converse with me and help me if I needed it! I also got to live with some incredible other volunteers, and they truly made the experience unforgettable.

How can this program be improved?
I honestly didn't find there to be anything wrong with the program. For other volunteers, some intro Spanish classes might be beneficial before arrival, as I was the one volunteer who knew the most Spanish, so was translating for everyone while I was there, and I was fairly comfortable with it, but think it would have been a shame if I hadn't been there and there would have been little communication possible between the farmers and the volunteers!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Heather, Thanks for sharing! We are so glad to hear that you had an incredible time in Guatemala and found working on the Eco-Agriculture project worthwhile. It has been awesome to have you join us and hope to see you again in the future.
Charlotte – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Mercedes
9/10

My Experience in Antigua

I could not say enough amazing things about this program! The staff was so friendly and accommodating, and made sure our experience was worthwhile and smooth sailing. I always felt safe and the homestay was homey and comfortable. The most rewarding part of my trip were the amazing children that I volunteered with. They were so loving and so kind and They truly did more for me than I did for them. I made many amazing memories during this experience. This is my second trip with IVHQ and they didn’t disappoint!

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps we could have been given more food option but overall I wouldn’t complain
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Mercedes, We are delighted to hear that you had a worthwhile and smooth sailing trip to Guatemala! Thanks for joining IVHQ for a second time and we would love to have you join us again.
Charlotte – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Mitika
10/10

Life changing discovery

It was my first volunteer experience abroad, and especially on the (Latin) American continent and I loved it ! Contrary to what I expected, I wasn't really stressed out about leaving because I was well prepared and the IVHQ staff helped me so much during the process.
I stayed in Antigua for 3 weeks and I worked in an exotic animals shelter which was 10 minutes away by bus. I could have never imagined working with so many reptilians, deal with snakes, feed crocodiles (at the Pacific coast) and so on. It made the whole experience even more surreal !
I also took part in Spanish classes 2 hours a day and it helped me so much (even though you can make yourself understood easily with basic words or in English).
The week-ends allow you to take part in bigger activities such as volcano's hiking and visiting further places (Lake Atitlan and Semuc Champey are amazing). If I had stayed longer, I would have definitely went to Tikal though.
The main point is that I felt welcomed everywhere I went and I miss the house and the other volunteers so much, Antigua is magnificent and really felt like home. I intend to go back there but I hope I'll enjoy it as much without this whole volunteer atmosphere which made it so unforgettable!

How can this program be improved?
I can't seem to find anything to improve because my experience was literally perfect! From the IVHQ's and the shelter's staff to the house's staff, everything was handled with professionalism and kindness.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Mitika, Thanks for sharing! We are so happy to hear that you had a positive first volunteer experience abroad. It is great that you took advantage of the Spanish language lessons and it sounds like your placement was perfect for you. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Charlotte – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Margot
9/10

Great Experience with IVHQ in Guatemala

My daughter and I loved our trip to Guatemala through IVHQ. They made the entire process easy; from learning about the country and preparation, to the Animal Care Project we worked on through follow up, everything went smoothly. We were thrilled with the opportunity to spend a week in such a beautiful place with an amazing group of people. The week couldn't have been better. Thank you to everyone involved. We've already been texting with the family we stayed with and can't wait to go back.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Margot, We are so happy to hear that you loved your volunteer trip to Guatemala! It has been our pleasure to help you plan your trip and we can't wait to have you back!
Charlotte - IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend

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 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...