Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Guatemala from $320

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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.

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
  • IVHQ’s Guatemala program is available year-round, offering a start date on every Monday
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $320 - 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

94%
based on 34 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9
Showing 16 - 30 of 34
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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 this program
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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 this program
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Hannah
8/10

AMAZING VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

Volunteering in Guatemala was a life changing opportunity. IVHQ made sure that my safety was put first which was extremely important to me. Being in a developing country there are going to be things that happen, things can happen anywhere really, but IVHQ made sure my safety was top priority. From the program guide to my in- country support I felt they always had my best interests at heart while still making sure I had the most enjoyable time I could while in Guatemala. I visited some the prettiest places I've ever been and saw some breathtaking views of the jungle. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm SO glad I went!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Hannah, Thanks for sharing! We are so happy to hear that you had an amazing time in Guatemala and always felt safe and supported. Thanks for being a great volunteer and we are so glad that you joined us too!
Charlotte – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
Joshua
10/10

Medical Volunteer Experience -- Guatemala

You don't understand the meaning of the phrase, "Take only what you need," until you are in a distribution center in Antigua, Guatemala counting out four pencils, one eraser, and thirty pieces of paper. Although this example may seem minuscule, the theme holds true for many aspects of daily operations at the clinic I was volunteering at, and it left a lasting impact on my life. My awareness has broadened, as I have witnessed first hand the struggles, others go through every day. Everyone has seen pictures or thirty-second videos on the internet, but when a homeless man takes the last few crumbs of your lunch from the trash and eats it, you know the deepest feeling of compassion.

International Volunteer Headquarters and Maximo Nivel provided me the key necessary to unlock a door into the world of compassion through service to others in a village clinic outside of Antigua. The foundation they provided for other volunteers and me to build experiences and memories on is unimaginable unless you have already tried it yourself. I say they provide the key because it is truly up to you to open the door and take a step through and explore, that is, it is up to take the initiative, find meaning in the work you are doing, and arrive at your own conclusions. You can open the door and see an empty room, or you can open the door and discover a whole new world.

How can this program be improved?
Specifically for the medical projects, it would be helpful for current and past volunteers to make a list of supplies or ideas that would be particularly useful, that would be hard to find in the local. With the knowledge of real-time needs, I think I would have chosen more wisely what donations to bring with me. I know when I left, there were things I wish I could have mailed, but I knew that wasn't really an option.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Joshua, Thanks for your wonderful review! It is heartwarming to hear that the Medical project in Antigua, Guatemala helped you to become a more compassionate individual. It has been awesome to have you volunteer with us and we hope that you will join us again in the future.
Charlotte – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Michael
10/10

Changing lives, mine most of all.

My time in Guatemala was nothing short of the most amazing experience of my life to date. If you want to get a new perspective on the world and become a better person go volunteer abroad. Everything was perfect from IVHQ and the Maximo Nivel team on the ground in Antigua. From all the experience I gained working in the medical clinic at Puesto de Salud in Ciudad Vieja to climbing to the summit of a volcano the only regret I have is not having more time. The people are amazing, the culture is vibrant, and the opportunity is life changing. Go live it!

How can this program be improved?
Send me again!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Michael, Thanks for your beautiful review! It has been our pleasure to have you volunteer with us in Antigua and we are so happy to hear that you had an amazing experience. We would love to have you back!
Charlotte – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Chantal
9/10

I'll miss you, Antigua!

Seeking medical experience for med school applications, I hopped on a plane headed to Antigua, Guatemala to volunteer with the medical team with Maximo Nivel through IVHQ. I was nervous and overwhelmed at the thought of traveling alone and forcing myself to meet new people and speak a foreign language, so I kept telling myself to push forward because I seriously needed the clinical experience. Honestly though, my two weeks there ended up being WAY more than I ever expected. Yes, I gained invaluable clinical experience working at El Centro de Salud Santiago (about 45min away from Antigua via chicken bus), but my heart and eyes were opened in ways I never would have imagined. The onsite clinical team didn't have much, but their hearts were bigger than their lack of resources and they helped each patient out to the best of their abilities. I made innumerable friends from all over the world, I was able to communicate at a surprisingly proficient level of Spanish in the clinic and around town (granted, Maximo Nivel's Spanish lessons were AMAZING and I highly recommend them!), and I explored so many places and did so many things that were outside of my comfort zone. I signed up just to check off an item on my med school list, but I walked away with an unreal amount of joy and excitement from the experience overall. Definitely almost cried when saying goodbye to my housemates at the volunteer house. Volunteering abroad has certainly been one of the most humbling and incredible experiences I've ever had in my entire life. If you're scared, it's okay -- just jump in and see where it takes you!

How can this program be improved?
Orientation at my placement was really vague -- I was introduced to the doctors and some nurses, and that was it. Next thing I knew, they were handing me a needle and asked me to vaccinate a patient! As a pre-med student, I did not have the educational nor professional experience to do so. Having a more thorough and specific orientation would be better for next time, so I (as a volunteer) know what to do, and the onsite team knows what I'm capable of!

Also, as a student, it would always be nice if the prices for these things were lower. Then again, I chose IVHQ for their better prices compared to other volunteer organizations.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Chantal, Thanks for sharing. We are so happy to hear that the program in Antigua, Guatemala, turned out to be more that you imagined. Thanks for pushing through your initial feelings of being nervous and overwhelmed - it sounds like you embraced the challenges of your experience and had an incredible time. Thanks for your constructive feedback and we wish you all the best!
Charlotte – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Madeline
10/10

Guatemala May 2016

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Antigua, Guatemala for 10 days earlier this May with IVHQ. I was placed in a clinic in San Antonio, which is about a 25 minute bus ride from Antigua. One day, the dentist I was volunteering with took me to a school to distribute fluoride to first grade students. Even though I did not speak much Spanish, the school kids showed me that love is universal. They were the happiest people that I have ever met, with the biggest smiles and heartiest laughter. It was an experience that I will never forget. The people of Guatemala are the most giving, selfless people that I have ever met. Even though I was only there for a short time, Guatemala felt like a home away from home.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved if there was a little bit more structure. Yes, it was nice to be able to self-structure my stay in Guatemala (outside of volunteering), but I wish there had been more organized activities to help us get to know the other volunteers better.
Yes, I recommend this program
Joanne
8/10

Hola & Hasta Luego, never Adios.

One day, I packed my backpack, left the comfort of my little bubble in Canada, and traveled 6200 kilometers away to a land that spoke an unfamiliar language and worked in a clinic that is far too underfunded for the services it provides. I spent 3 of the most memorable weeks of my life so far volunteering and exploring Antigua and surrounding areas and I have to thank IVHQ for setting me up with the local team in Guatemala. They supported me all along the way with emails checking in with my progress and experiences. The local volunteer company they set me up with in Guatemala was fantastic. While I was in Guatemala I did so many things way out of my comfort zone. I volunteered in a unfamiliar environment, I hiked and camped on a volcano, I hopped in a van and rode to the black sand beaches, and I met so many new and interesting people along the way. I've made new life long friends from many different countries and grown immensely both personally and professionally.

Yes, I recommend this program
Jetricia
10/10

Guatemala Volunteer Experience

Having never been out of the country before or never even gone on an airplane before this trip was a bit intimidating for me, especially since I was going by myself. I braved myself and got on that plane anyways and I am so so glad that I did. This trip made such an impact in my life and even though I was only there for 2 1/2 weeks I feel as if it changed my life. I was about to get a new perspective on things and be immersed in a culture while also helping out. The children that I got the chance to meet were nothing short of amazing. They were kind and sweet and so eager to learn and play. They teachers and day care staff were so thankful that we were there that it made volunteering truly worthwhile. I also got the chance to work at an animal clinic and to work on coffee farms and these experiences were just as fulfilling. Guatemala is a beautiful place and the local team there was so supportive and helpful. There are also tons of things to do in your off time, like hiking one of he many amazing volcanoes, jet skiing at Lake Atitlan, viewing Tikal, or taking an awesome journey at Semunc Champey, whatever you do it will be an amazing experience. Of course there were times That I was scared out of my mind and wanted to just go home to my mom lol. I was stuck at the airport for a few hours because of flight changes and traffic so at this point I was ready to check into a hotel and turn right back around the next day and go home but I'm so thankful I decided to stick it out. Traveling or volunteering solo can seem very intimidating and scary but it is so worth it. It's something I will recommend to any and everyone and I can't wait to go on my next IVHQ trip.

How can this program be improved?
The airport pickups could be a little more structured. Or the drivers should account more for traffic when leaving to pick up volunteers.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sydney
10/10

IVHQ in Guatemala

I absolutely loved my time in La Antigua! I went for my spring break during my sophomore year of college, and I really, truly enjoyed every second of my time there. I volunteered each day in a nonprofit school for kids with disabilities called Vida in a nearby town (Dueñas) and the children were absolutely incredible! So sweet and welcoming! I highly recommend this program to new travelers, high school and college students and even older individuals! Antigua is honestly such a beautiful ciudad! I went during La Semana Santa, which was an absolutely amazing experience as well!

How can this program be improved?
As a university student, I am obviously short on money, so making things more affordable is always a lovely option. Máximo Nivel is really incredible though and I loved the location!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sydney, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a few photos from your time in volunteering in Guatemala. It's great to hear you had such an amazing experience. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Natalie
10/10

Animal care in Guate

I absolutely loved volunteering in Guatemala. Having volunteered abroad before in other places, I know that sometimes it can be difficult to adjust to a new environment, but I felt at home the second I got to my home stay with Marta. To start, the home stay is in the heart of Antigua, which is a beautiful colonial town full of culture, markets, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. There is always something going on, whether it be ladies night at the club (free massages and manicures), free salsa and cooking lessons through Maximo Nivel, movie night at a cafe, bike tours, coffee plantation tours, live music...the list is endless! My home stay mom, Marta, made incredible meals (and there was always more if you wanted seconds) and the house was spacious and clean.

My volunteer placement was through Maximo Nivel, at a reptile rescue sanctuary, Antigua Exotic. Originally I had thought I would be working with cats and dogs, but I'm happy I got to do this instead. When else in my life would I have gotten the opportunity to wrestle an crocodile and hold a rattlesnake! I don't have a bad thing to say about my volunteer project. The project director, Danny, was full of interesting information on amphibians, reptiles, snakes and wildlife in general. Everything was super hands on, but you weren't made to do anything you weren't comfortable with. Really, there isn't a bad thing to say about my volunteer placement.

In terms of travel outside of Antigua, there are so many options. My suggestion to new volunteers would be to shop around and bargain before settling on prices for travel packages and shuttle buses. Travel can be really cheap if you are smart about it. During my five weeks, I went to Semuc Champey (beautiful limestone lagoons and waterfalls), Tikal (Mayan pyramids), did surf lessons in El Peredon, spent the weekend at Lake Atitlan, hiked the Pacayan Volcano, and visited 4 different zones of Guatemala.

Overall, this was an awesome experience, and I'm looking forward to volunteering through IVHQ again (which I am now in Peru!) and hopefully visiting Guatemala again!

How can this program be improved?
I would suggest telling future volunteers to budget a little more for lunches and outside travel. There is a very large time gap between breakfast and dinner, and the restaurants are a little more expensive than what IVHQ suggests.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Natalie, Thanks for sharing your photos and thoughts about your time volunteering in Guatemala. It’s great to hear that you had such a positive experience. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sheri
10/10

Childcare guatemala abroad

This was my first time volunteer travelling abroad so I was very skeptical and approached with caution. I found the IVHQ team to have the informative and best reviewed available with the best prices that went were the funds went to the most appropriate places so I decided to go with them. When I arrived in guatemala city they were there to pick me up with no wait time which immediately calmed my nerves some.They brought me right to my home stay which I was pleasantly surprised with that my family and I had our own quarters (like a mini apartment minus a kitchen) and we would meet at her home for meals. The meals were a nice social event every time as others were staying there as well from all parts of the world for different opportunities in the area. The following day we did orientation where a member from the team came with us the first day and showed us the best transportation options to the placement and introduced us to our placement facility. The workers were very accepting and the children were very loving. We stayed 1 week which barely scratches the surface for this area as there is so much to experience. We spoke very little spanish upon arriving (which is not required) however I wish I had the opportunity to learn more so that I could have taken place in more personal conversations. We brought our 5 year old with us and everything worked out perfect. The travel canada reviews are much more harsh for this area then required. It makes you wonder if the reviewer has been to the area. I recommend travelling smart and safe of course but I didn't feel anywhere like what the reviews advise. I would like to go back again and again and experience more. I truley fell in love. The IVHQ TEAM and the local team Maximo Nivel that handled us in country did a marvelous job together and the staff support is very strong. I highly recommend this experience for anyone wishing to try for whatever reasons your going.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe provide a bit more info as per placement info and home stay info prior to arriving. Bring a first timer it was a little scarey arriving in a country like that not knowing any.after experiencing I would do it again however it was daunting
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sheri, Thanks for taking the time to share a little from your experience volunteering in Guatemala. We are glad to hear that you felt so supported by IVHQ and our local team in Antigua. It's great to have you as an IVHQer and we hope to welcome you back on another program again in the future.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kaylee
10/10

Literally perfect

I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I'm honestly just upset that i didn't stay longer than i did. I got to meet a ton of wonderful people and go on a whole bunch of little adventures! Always ride the chicken bus because it's super fun! Just don't ride it to the airport!!! I was so humbled to have worked with young children and babies with HIV. I got to see how the nuns in the school/orphanage cooked and clean and got to help them with that as well as the child care!

How can this program be improved?
Maybe just get wifi for all of the housing spots; it's hard to be away from family without any contact at all. My cell provider had no service whatsoever.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kaylee, Thanks for your review. We are so glad to hear that you had such a positive and fun experience volunteering with IVHQ in Guatemala. Thanks for being an IVHQer.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Tara
9/10

Best Trip of my Life.

My experience with IVHQ Guatemala was unlike anything else. It not only had an amazing impact on the communities in Guatemala, but on myself. Through my time across the continent I found my passion, had a meaningful impact on many peoples lives, as well achieved new found confidence.
The people that you work with here are so real, so down to earth. It gives you a sense of what life can really be like. A lot of these people have so little, but are willing to give and share so much. When I was volunteering at an afterschool program, I slipped and fell while playing tag with the kids. I scraped up my knee and immediately the kids and own ran up to me, patched me up, hugged me and made sure I was ok.
Some days it felt as though the kids were teaching me just as much as I was teaching them. I realized interacting with cultures all over the world is something I would like to continue for the rest of my life. IVHQ helped me achieve this.
Without their constant support embarking on a journey like this would have been so much more nerve wracking. They helped me a long every step of the planning process, and again whenever I had questions in Guatemala. As soon as I got there I was completely relaxed. I was placed with other people my age, and made many life-long friends.

How can this program be improved?
One problem I had was that I added on a week in El Salvador after my months volunteering. I had thought that I would need a visa extension but was assured by the local staff that it would be unnecessary. As a result I had a hefty fine of $150 USD at the border.
Also food accommodations for vegetarians could be improved. I had to live off of white carbs for 3 months, with little to no vegetables each night. Vegetarian protein was uncommon, which is strange considering how plentiful beans are in Guatemala.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tara, thanks for sharing your amazing experience from Guatemala. We are so pleased that you found your passion and felt well supported by IVHQ throughout the process. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kerbi
10/10

I would go again in a heart beat

My experience in Antigua was fantastic! I was in the medical placement group through IVHQ and my group. We volunteered with a doctor in free clinics and also we were able to shadow him the doctor for the two weeks. It was such a great opportunity to see the healthcare system in another country for insight. To be able to take what I learned from the doctor and experiences I had in Guatemala and apply it to my life as an undergraduate pre-medical student was so great. I also speak Spanish, so this program was a great way for myself to practice my Spanish, not only within the community and with the doctor, but also with my host family. The host family cooked incredible foods, but Antigua also has many restaurants which are incredible. I would love to go back to Guatemala through this program, I learned so much and the atmosphere was amazing.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing, I would like to be able to shadow more doctors in different surrounding hospitals rather than only one doctor.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kerbi, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on volunteering in Guatemala on the medical placement. Great photos as well! It seems like you and your group had a rewarding volunteer travel experience and we hope to have you volunteer with IVHQ again in the future.

Yes, I recommend this program

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...