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 146 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 61 - 75 of 146
Tessa
9/10

Obras Sociales de Hermano Pedro - Virgen Del Socorro

Volunteering at Obras was invaluable. The staff take care of the patients here 24/7 and are outnumbered in their care. Volunteers are not the ideal solution to this, but we are an extreme help in making sure that the patients get love, attention, and care on a day to day basis. To anyone looking to take care of people with disabilities in any capacity, this is a brilliant place to gain experience. I highly recommend staying for at least 4 weeks to learn the social dynamics of the place, as well as the individual personalities of all the patients.

Yes, I recommend
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Sophie
10/10

Medical and Childcare Projects

I volunteered for one week in a medical clinic and one week at an orphanage helping with childcare. I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life and learned so much in just a few short weeks! The staff at Maximo are SO helpful and I never felt like I was "alone" there because I constantly had the support and friendly faces that are so appreciated when traveling alone. As a brand new RN I enjoyed assisting the nurses triaging patients along with performing vaccinations and well check-ups for children. At the orphanage I helped the kids learn their numbers and colors, which also helped with my Spanish! I met so many amazing people through the volunteers I was working and living with, and I couldn't have better things to say about the staff at Maximo Nivel. This will not be my last volunteer experience with them, and definitely not my last time in Guatemala!

Yes, I recommend
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Elizabeth
10/10

Amazing Experience!

I went to Guatemala with a group of 16 people and we worked with IVHQ in Antigua. It was such an incredible experience. We volunteered with a coffee co-op and with different farmers each day. We were able to really help make their lives easier for the week due to our sheer volume and the types of tasks. While we were only there a week, it felt like so much longer. And two months later, I cannot stop thinking about the trip. It really was an amazing experience filled with manual labor, incredible people and new perspectives. It was challenging, humbling, and got everyone in my group out of their comfort zones. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone and everyone. IVHQ and Wally offered amazing support and made the trip as seamless as it could be!

Yes, I recommend
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Henry
9/10

Great Intro to Guatemala!

Thanks to Wally and everyone at Maximo Nivel for making this an amazing experience! Volunteering at the coffee cooperative really helped me get a better understanding of the different steps in the coffee-making process, and I developed a new appreciation for all the work that goes into each cup of Joe. My favorite part was getting to know the coffee farmers and Guatemalan people on a more personal basis and hear what their lives are like, though the stunning beauty of this country (especially Lake Atitlan) couldn't be beat! I'm already looking forward to my next trip to Guatemala!

How can this program be improved?
The program's pretty great as it is! But maybe more of an orientation of Antigua on the first day would have been helpful.
Yes, I recommend
Emily
9/10

An amazing value-driven experience

Thank you SO much to Maximo Nivel in Antigua for an incredible week volunteering at a coffee farm cooperative. We were able to see each stage in the process while also contributing in a meaningful way, and most importantly we were able to discuss and ask the tough questions of how we can make a lasting impact. Post-program, the experience has allowed me to notice ways in which my spending dollars impact the perpetuation or disruption of the current system (that all too often takes advantage of farmers, especially in Central-American countries). Awareness is key, but lasting change is sustained by a personal investment. Thank you Maximo Nivel for challenging my beliefs and making that investment in us with your graciousness and intentionality.

Yes, I recommend
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Andrea
10/10

Thank you.

Traveling to Guatemala for five months straight out of high school was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I experienced and learned so much more than I could have imagined. The people of Guatemala had the biggest impact on my life. Guatemala became my home for five months and the people my family. Maximo staff members were always there for me and ALWAYS cared about my health and well being. Danny from Antigua Exotic and JP from Vet-Pro were incredible to volunteer with and not just as role models, but as friends who also cared so much about me. A piece of my heart with always be in Guatemala, it changed my life and I'll be forever thankful. I would recommend Maximo Guatemala to anyone and everyone who wants to travel and volunteer abroad, you certainly won't regret or forget it.

Yes, I recommend
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Elizabeth
10/10

Experience of a Lifetime

Volunteering with Maximo Nivel was one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life thus far. From the arrival into Guatemala and throughout my whole stay, the staff at Maximo were enthusiastic and always willing to help. Maximo did a great job at matching me with my volunteer placement, and that was definitely the highlight of my trip. I had the opportunity to volunteer at a medical clinic in Santa Catarina, where I worked in the triage area of the clinic, vaccinated people who came to the clinic, and shadowed a local physician. I learned so much from my time at the clinic, and the entire experience was incredibly rewarding. While I was only there for one week, I genuinely felt that I made an impact and everyone I encountered was incredibly grateful for the work I did. It was truly a humbling experience, and a perfect opportunity during my year off between undergraduate and graduate school. My only regret is not staying there longer, but that gives me more of a reason to come back again!

Yes, I recommend
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Molly
10/10

Volunteering at K Pets!!

Volunteering with Maximo and being placed at K Pets for animalcare has been so much fun!! A day in the project usually involes starting the day by taking Negra and Negro for a walk. The dogs are always so excited for their walk, its a great start to the day and the team at K Pets really appreciate it. We then usually either help out grooming the dogs or sit in on some of the operations Dr Soto performs, giving her help when needed. Everyone at K Pets is super lovely and the dogs are all adorable! Its such an awesome project to get involved in! Make the most of it and dont be afraid to ask where you can help out!
Have lots of fun!

Yes, I recommend
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Coraisma
10/10

Teaching English

Excellent Support!
From missing my flight in Mexico City (layover) before heading to my destination Guatemala, the staff contacted me and made accommodations to pick me up from the airport at a late night time. My placement was awesome, heart touching and a great life experience. Being able to teach at a poor elementary school was great to me, I was able to reflect in life and value everything from home. I highly recommend this program because the staff is really nice, supportive and friendly!

Thank you Maximo Nivel for everything on my stay in Guatemala!!

How can this program be improved?
Have a day of excursion.
Yes, I recommend
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Giselle
10/10

See you later Guatemala

After my incredible volunteer opportunity in Antigua, I now consider Guatemala my second home. As a young women I am constantly told to not travel alone, yet to a foreign developing country far far away from home. My six weeks with Maximo were the best six weeks of my life that I will cherish forever. I find myself constantly talking about my great experience volunteering with Vet Pro through Maximo. This trip overall gave me an itch to travel more and see the world. I always felt safe and comfortable with the other volunteers in my volunteer house. I formed great friendships that continue to strive after leaving Antigua. I miss waking up every morning and going to my volunteer site!!

When I left it wasn’t a goodbye, but simply a “see you later Guatemala”.

Yes, I recommend
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Stephanie
10/10

Niños con Bendicion Project 2017 through Maximo Nivel

For the second time in four years, I was able to return to return to Antigua, Guatemala through the Maximo Nivel School, and I am tickled to say that Maximo Nivel set me up with the same childcare project as the last time that I was in Antigua, at Niños con Bendicion in San Antonio Aguas Calientes.

Niños con Bendicion, or "Children with Blessing" was created in 2006 by Lesbi Chavez and her husband, Juventino Guaran, so that the impoverished children of their village of San Antonio Aguas Calientes could stay in school and receive a quality education while strengthening their own cultural and familial ties. They began with their own 2 children and three others and Q300 in their own home. The program provides the children with a place to go after school, while their families are still working. The alternative is what the majority of kids in Guatemala do after the third grade, and that is work in the family business, or out in the farm fields.

Their dedication to the children is infectious, and Lesbi and Tino created this educational sanctuary and home for the children out of their deep spiritual belief that the direction for this program came to them in a dream from God. Thanks to sponsorship and donations, the children are able to attend local schools during the day, and then receive tutoring help with schoolwork and a nutritious afternoon snack each day. Financial support for the Program comes from yearly school sponsorships, calendar sales, donations, and other fundraising endeavors that Lesbi & Tino involve the children in. The children come from poor families, where the family business and putting food on the table is priority. Little support is able to be provided at home because the parents frequently do not know how to read or write or complete basic math problems. A local elementary school teacher and a music teacher are two of the permanent volunteers who work in the facility, and other volunteers are constantly needed to help gather and direct the energies of the 32 children who now attend Niños con Bendicion.

In the last 4 years since I was here, the program and the facility have grown immensely, as they have been able to include several more families of children, and assist some of the families financially when one or more parents were not able to work, and they began construction on their new facility. As well, 4 of the older children are now attending University or trade schools via scholarship programs with Niños con Bendicion. I am so proud of the kids for working that hard and staying in school in a culture where furthering your education and obtaining a degree is not necessarily the norm.

Maximo Nivel made this trip possible and I am grateful for all of their help and organizing, as well as the friendships with the staff, other volunteers, and project staff that this trip strengthened wonderfully!

How can this program be improved?
I know that this is helpful, but honestly, my two trips here with the MNAntigua staff have been terrific and I have had no problems at all. Thank you very much!
Yes, I recommend
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Louis
10/10

Highly Recommend

This 1-week trip may have been one of the most rewarding and best experiences of my life. My only regret was not being able to stay for 2 weeks. However, being a dedicated college student, a 2-week stay was a little bit unrealistic for me. But do not let that sway you towards not going, even if it is only for 1 week! It's hard to put into words how positively impacted I was after traveling through Maximo Nivel. They do a fantastic job of finding local organizations and do an even better job of taking care of all the essentials (e.g. housing, food, travel, emergency situations) so that it's not necessary for you to plan for or worry about those things. This means you'll be able to enjoy your time spent here all the more!

Yes, I recommend
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Amirah
10/10

Such a fun experience!

I've travelled a lot with my family but this was my first time venturing out by myself. Guatemala seemed like the perfect choice - and it was! I was part of the holiday program (2 weeks) and what a wonderful experience it was. Maximo Nivel was incredible, so friendly, and extremely resourceful and helpful. I was so nervous to go on a trip by myself but Maximo Nivel made me feel so safe and prepared before and throughout the trip. One of my favorite memories was the trip to Tikal, a definite recommendation!

Yes, I recommend
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Paul
9/10

Childcare and Spanish Learning

fdMy two weeks spent in beautiful Antigua as a childcare volunteer and student of Spanish through Maximo Nivel exceeded my expectations across various spectrums. Nightly dinners with my host family, commuting and working with locals during the week, and weekend excursions to Lake Atitlan and the Pacific coast all amassed to a well rounded cultural immersion that was truly unique and genuine. Working with children at Guarderia San Lucas, a daycare located 20 minutes from Antigua, was both rewarding for me and much appreciated by the community. The last day of work I left with a heavy heart and a smile, knowing I would miss the ninos and ninas I met over the two weeks, while feeling so grateful for the experience and the impact it will have on my worldview.

Spanish class was intimate and tailored to my needs as a student. My teacher combined structured exercises with more informal opportunities to practice conversing, which was an effective learning method for me. In addition to class, I was glad I took advantage of the free tandem language exchange, which allowed me to practice my Spanish and make a friend along the way. I leave two weeks of intensive classes and tandem exchange feeling more confident about my ability to speak the language, and motivated to continue learning.

From day one when I contacted the International office at Maximo to learn more about their programs, to the last day when I said goodbye to the local staff in Antigua and thanked them for all their help, I couldn't have been more impressed with their professionalism and friendly demeanor. They anticipated all travel and accommodation needs, and went beyond expectations by providing recommendations for leisure activities and being genuinely interested in each of their clients. The staff was extremely welcoming, and made it clear that they were available at any time should you need something, which was especially reassuring as a solo traveler.

Antigua is a beautiful place, nestled between volcanoes and enriched in culture and history. It's conducive to learning Spanish, and a great launch point for weekend excursions should you choose to leave town. I'm glad I made the decision three months ago to book this experience, and I look forward to future experiences helping hardworking Guatemalans and learning with this organization Antigua.

Yes, I recommend
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Kaitlyn
10/10

Veterinary Clinic Volunteer Program Guatemala

My experience with Maximo Nivel was better than I envisioned. From the staff and fellow volunteers to La Antigua itself, I immediately felt welcomed and at home. I spent the duration of my visit in Guatemala volunteering at K-Pets, a local veterinary clinic located a short 10 minute chicken-bus (a colourful and lively school bus) ride away in Ciudad Vierja. Contributing to the safety and care of the dogs and cats in Guatemala hits close to my heart and it was obvious that the staff at the clinic felt the same way. The staff I was working with had hearts of gold and clearly loved each animal that came through the door. Despite the entertainment of playing charades, I definitely recommend brushing up on your Spanish to better communicate with everyone. Doctor Karen cares tremendously for the animals and has even provided aid to stray animals in need (a common sight in Guatemala as dogs and cats generally aren't domesticated) - regardless of there being an owner to pay for her services. As a dog owner myself, I rarely experience this selflessness in North America and am honoured to have contributed to such a genuine clinic.
Outside of volunteering I was able to engage in many activities including a run up to the breath-taking view at Cerro de la Cruz as well as a hike up Volcan Pacaya. For a less physical activity I definitely suggest exploring La Macadamia, a macadamia nut farm not too far from Antigua with some of the tastiest pancakes you can find!
In one short week I have met people and made memories that I will cherish indefinitely. My time with Maximo Nivel in Guatemala has left me feeling fulfilled and excited to plan my next adventure.

No, I don't 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...