Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Guatemala from $310

Video and Photos

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

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 16 - 30 of 42
Winter
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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

Torre
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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Dinoji
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

photo
Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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

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Taylor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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Gustavo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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

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Heather
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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

Read my full story
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Mercedes
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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

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Mitika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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

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Margot
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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Hannah
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

Joshua
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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

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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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

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Chantal
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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

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Madeline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.