Local Volunteer Projects in Guatemala

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About

Maximo Nivel provides great volunteer programs in Antigua, Guatemala. Maximo is a locally-based organization and you work directly with local projects, get involved, and make an impact!

University credit is available for our service learning programs from our official School of Record: California State University-Monterey Bay

Volunteer placements include:

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 150 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 16 - 30 of 150
Kelli
10/10

Better Than a Dream Vacation

Having only a week in Antigua, Guatemala, I was very concerned about having enough time to see enough. My Spanish was nonexistent and that was another fear factor. Juan Pablo, JP, made all those fears go away. He talked of where to eat, what to see, and brought us to the market to try the local fruit safely. It's like vacationing with a best friend, local guide, and helper all in one.

JP, owner of vet pro, is the nicest person I've ever met and he is the best part of my whole week's experience. He talked about the customs, the language, encouraged trying to use Spanish, brought up safety concerns, encouraged trying new things, spoke English, and genuinely cares about every person (and animal) he meets.

When Maximo Nivel brought in the Ocelot from Antigua Exotica, he didn't ask hesitate to help. He covered all costs and the Ocelot had a full recovery. When countless people come in with animals, he takes care of them, even when those additional costs are the difference of him having nice equipment or an actual table! He always puts others first. He always cares.

How can this program be improved?
The clinic could use updated equipment, but that is something that will happen in time. Even the microscope must be over 50 years old and has humidity built up in the lens. This is rather expected for the city, but I hope to see Vet-Pro receive more funding to help reach their goals.
Yes, I recommend
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Brandi
10/10

Holiday Experiance

I went back and forth on buying my plane tickets for this one week experience because it's not real until you buy the nonrefundable flight! The second I was off of the plane and saw the view from the walk; I realized how silly I was. I never did a study abroad during my undergraduate years in school and was doing this trip to satisfy my wanderlust while helping wherever I could.

I've read a ton of reviews that state one week simply isn't long enough. Not long enough to make a difference or to truly immerse yourself into the culture . I'm here to tell you this is not the case. My short time in Antigua and surrounding areas was simply amazing. I didn't save the world but I know my presence brought smiles and laughter to the kids I worked with and relief to those who did this everyday. Culturally, Maximo Nivel made it so easy to jump right into things. My second day of the volunteer week I went to an amazing FREE salsa dancing and guacamole tasting. I still move like a robot but it was fun and a great way to enjoy the music while enjoying the nightlife. The staff made this cultural transition easy by offering assistance and support when needed. I never felt afraid or lost because I knew I had this amazing team behind me all the way.

Also, Antigua is such a walk-able city that I walked everywhere and explored everything. I checked out some museums, went on an amazing Coffee Farm tour via the tour company at Maximo Nivel, ate a ton of good food, and met some really amazing people.

To make an already long story short. Do what you can and don't be afraid to just jump in with both feet. My thoughts were, if i hate it...it's only one week. I've been home less than two weeks and am already planning my next experience because I miss it!

Yes, I recommend
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Melissa
10/10

Holiday experience

Through volunteer work I had the opportunity to know and contribute to different places where a lot of help was needed. During two weeks I had the opportunity to visit and help at a coffee plantation, help and play with children at two different orphanages, organizing parties, providing food, gifts and sharing time with the beautiful children. I also visited a special needs place with an amazing facility. It was really impacting realizing that there were very few staff for the amount of residents at the facility. Also, I had the chance to visit an elderly place where we helped the staff to distri ute food, drinks and played and spent a quality time with the abuelitos. Being able to help and share my time with others made me happy. I really want to thank Maximo Nivel for making this experience special, enjoyable and unique.

Yes, I recommend
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Tony
10/10

Incredible Experience with Maximo Nivel in La Antigua Guatemala

Its difficult to express how amazing my time volunteering here has been! Learning the culture, an opportunity to practice my Spanish, daily fun, beautiful sites and most importantly helping people. I found the program through International Volunteer Headquarters and was able to spend 1 week working in an orphanage, a school and a retirement home in beautiful Antigua Guatemala.
It is strange to think how much volunteering benefits the volunteer the most, and in unexpected ways. So many eye opening experiences full of incredible joy my only regret is that I can´t stay longer.

How can this program be improved?
The program is incredible as is I would only like to see it grow and continue to allow more people to experience it!
Yes, I recommend
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Dean
9/10

IVHQ Guatemala - Holiday Experience

The Holiday Experience program at Máximo Nivel has been a very eye opening experience. As someone who has volunteered with IVHQ in the past, I am very grateful to have participated in this meaningful program. I did a variety of different tasks, from construction to working on a coffee farm to childcare. The most memorable moment was definitely working with the disabled children and being able to see how others live their daily lives that contrasts from a typical western lifestyle. Overall, I highly recommend this program to anyone as it is very memorable and meaningful experience to take away.

How can this program be improved?
Program was satisfactory.
Yes, I recommend
Lily
9/10

exchange of knowledge and love in Guatemala

I participated in the program of childcare in Guatemala. This organization is very structured and welcome. We worked with children of elementary school. I fall in love with them from the first seen. They are very friendly, sweet, and smart. I was suprised by many of the kids of their talents. They are outgoing when we do outdoor activities. They are super sweet when they bring drawings and handcrafts. There are so much more to discover from these wonderful children. And the family of this organization is very nice with big heart. They appreciate life and all the books and materials I brought to them. They would do everything to help educate these children. I would suggest anyone who come here, be prepared to get your heart melted here with lovely smiles.

Yes, I recommend
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christina
8/10

Guatemala Experience

The service project at Itzapa, Antigua is catered to children{s after-school hours wellness and education. The project family and host is extraordinary people. The children are amazingly caring and gifted. I wish all of them can succeed and go out and see the rest of the world. I was very much inspired by the host and the children. I received so much love and kindness from everyone I{ve had the chance to interact and communicate with. They{ve opened up my heart and have shown me the pathway to meaning and impact. I feel such love for the children and I sincerely hope they can have the best in this world.

How can this program be improved?
More activities related to the academics
Yes, I recommend
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Julia
8/10

Construction

Maximo Nivel provides many wonderful services throughout the greater La Antigua community, including child care, medical, language, construction etc. I have participated in a number of service programs with other organizations, and I am happy to recommend Maximo Nivel as well. Maximo is more affordable than some volunteer organizations, and while the lodging is more modest, the overall experience is very rewarding. Participating in the construction project was amazing. I learned new skills, gained an even greater appreciation for manual laborers, and could really see the tangible results of our work.
This organization has an obvious passion for service, and it provides individuals and groups the opportunity to give back while also learning a different language in a beautiful and unique setting. As a mother of three and one of the older volunteers, I appreciated the way I was included even though most of the volunteers are college-aged. Maximo also offers one-week projects as well as more intensive programs, so there is something for everyone who genuinely wants to serve and learn.

How can this program be improved?
Better communication with schedule changes and perhaps more regular visits to home placements for quality assessments.
Yes, I recommend
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Morgan
9/10

Construction program

During my two weeks in La Antigua I did the contruction and renovation program and it was so much fun. We took the bus everyday to and from placement and it was so inexpensive! Locals are so nice and always made room for us to sit on the crammed buses. The program itself was a lot of fun too. I learned so many cool skills from my program manager like mixing concrete and laying cinder blocks. My favorite part was that we were able to see the wonderful progress each day that we made. Maximo Nivel does a great job at welcoming volunteers and finding good mentors for their programs in the contruction project. I also loved that no matter what time of day it was, I could take a short walk to the main office and run into at least one of my friends, or talk to someone new. This city is so beautiful so it makes you love going by foot for almost everything. The staff is funny and accommodating and I loved doing this work through Maximo. They do a great job at connecting volunteers and making such amazing realtionships.

How can this program be improved?
Better communication around holidays especially because the schedule changes so much, but other than that there is really nothing I would change. One thing I would suggest is when the walking tour is being given, maybe pointing out some landmarks to be able to know when to make turns, but this is mainly because I am directionally challenged, haha!
Yes, I recommend
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Nichanan
9/10

Great experience at Maximo Nivel in Antigua, Guatemala

I would really recommend this program. I would say it was a once in a lifetime experience. I did not have an expectation before coming to Antigua. I had the opportunity to volunteer at two different projects: medical program, I worked with a dentist in a free clinic and then for two more weeks I had a chance to work in the orphange. They were such different yet amazing experiences, words cant describe.

Yes, I recommend
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Brianne
9/10

Doing my part to make the world a better place, paso a paso!

Earlier this year I FINALLY finished my master's degree and was awarded a fellowship to work with under-served populations. I took this opportunity to take an epic multi-purpose 8-week trip abroad to celebrate, relax, study Spanish, and volunteer in Guatemala. Through Maximo Nivel, I took Spanish classes and volunteered with mentally and physically handicapped children, adolescents, and adults. Picking my volunteer project was no easy task because Maximo Nivel is involved in so many amazing projects throughout Guatemala. I definitely plan on volunteering again in the future so I can check out some of the other volunteer projects. For this trip, Maximo Nivel made sure that my volunteer team were prepared in every way. At no time did I feel uncertain or unsupported in my work. Additionally, the staff at the EVS were supportive and helped to ensure that we acclimated to the daily work flow. Being in such an environment really shows how much I take for granted in my life. Things that might seem simple, like having friends to talk to and family to hug. Many of the people I volunteered with were excited just to have somebody to talk to and spend time with. I went in thinking I would be able to practice my Spanish and use some of my clinical skills (I am a counselor) with the kids and adults. Instead, I found myself a student of life. I helped in many ways and made connections with many of the residents at my project site, but I think I learned more from them in the end. I returned home with an expanded perspective and new awareness. My experience was so life-changing that I am currently getting things in order to be able to go back and stay for much longer. As an added bonus, the staff were awesome and many of them have checked-in with me since my return home and have offered to help as I prepare to head back!

Yes, I recommend
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Laura
10/10

My Experience

I had an amazing time at El Amor de Patricia, the staff were amazing and supportive, and clearly doing their best with the children there. Ive never been so touched by a group of people in such a short amount of time. It is truly an amazing organization! The kids were amazing and had great manners, and the nannies were extremely loving and compassionate to the children and to me, they remained patient even though there was a language barrier between us!

Yes, I recommend
Emma
10/10

Hogar Amor de Patricia

I chose to volunteer with the Childcare Program and it was my first time volunteering abroad. Although I only stayed one week, I made friends and gained an amazing experience. Maximo Nivel made me feel comfortable to approach them with any questions and made me feel informed and safe. I was placed in an orphanage named Hogar Amor de Patricia and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The children were sweet and the nannies were very sweet as well. I would tell anyone to definitely step out of their comfort zone and give volunteering abroad a try because I am sure they will fall in love with it as well.

Yes, I recommend
Ale
10/10

Voluntariado en Guatemala.

TRANSLATION:
In Antigua I had the opportunity to do two projects, with rescued dogs and with children with special needs. Very different projects but I am very satisfied with both. With the dogs, I had the opportunity to take them for a walk, pet them, clean their cages and play with them. A super fun experience! With the children I felt that I grew as a person since I could understand and play with them. I'm going to miss them, too! The whole experience of volunteering was very rewarding. I got to know the Guatemalan culture through the host family and being able to live with other volunteers.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:
En Antigua tuve la oportunidad de hacer dos proyectos, con perros rescatados y con niños con necesidades diferentes. Muy diferentes proyectos pero estoy muy satisfecha con los dos. Con los perros uve la oportunidad de sacarlos a pasear, acariciarlos, limpiar sus jaulas y jugar con ellos. Una experiencia super divertida! Con los niños sentí que crecí como persona ya que pude entender y así jugar con ellos. Los voy a extrañar demasiado! Toda la experiencia del voluntariado fue muy gratificante. Conocer la cultura de Guatemala por medio de la familia de acogida y poder convivir con otros voluntarios.

Yes, I recommend
Lynsey
9/10

my experience

my overall experience with ivhq was extremely positive and fufilling. i feel like i made an impact on the lives of the children i worked with and grew from the experience. i would come back to guatemala again because of the experience i had with ivhq. i was able to learn about the culture and feel connected to everyone i worked with. the otther volunteer and i were able to donate 6 plants for the children to care for a grow long after our time with them.

Yes, I recommend

About Maximo Nivel

Máximo Nivel (Maximum Level)—The Intercultural Center of Latin America

Máximo Nivel is a family-owned, social enterprise founded in 2003. Our three intercultural centers are locally-based organizations focused on international education and cross...