Maximo Nivel Guatemala, like anywhere else has many positive qualities, and some negative also. Anyone can admit that no where is perfect, so at this point, I will simply summarise the positives and negatives and say that I am of a neutral position.
I have travelled to 23 different countries and volunteered locally in Australia, and internationally in India, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia and Guatemala to name a few. I have had almost exclusively positive experiences, some of the best times of my life have been volunteering overseas. But with Maximo Nivel, things were slightly different.
I am very willing to admit that the organisation has many good traits. They take the safety of their volunteers extremely seriously, which in areas such as South and Central America is imperative.
The accommodation was the best I have ever experienced in my volunteer tours. While it was basic (as one would expect when volunteering), it was comfortable, the food was good and I felt well looked after.
I volunteered in their healthcare project, and was placed in an orphanage for people with additional needs which was very well run, resourced and most satisfying.
In saying that, my positive experience was compromised when I was subjected to some pretty appalling discrimination on the back of my epilepsy at the face of their director of international programs.
I reported the incident at the time to the country manager who could not have been lovelier about it. However, the woman in question never so much as apologised to me for treating me in such a manner, making me think that she did not/does not believe she had done anything wrong. I was not the only person to have an issue with this woman’s attitude and aggression towards the volunteers, indicating a pattern of behaviour.
EDIT: My initial review of Maximo Nivel Guatemala was very negative, however I have since had some very positive correspondence with the country manager who apologized profusely and assured me that measures were being taken to ensure no future volunteers would be treated in the same manner that I was.
As I stated, Maximo Nivel Guatemala has some very positive traits. It is well organized, takes the safety of volunteers seriously, the programs are all highly valuable and well run, the accommodation is safe and comfortable. Most of the people working for the organization are deeply good and hardworking human beings.
While my experience was not excellent, I am willing to give it another chance, and hopefully I will be able to write a much more positive review in the future.