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 61 - 75 of 150
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Dana
10/10

Maximo Nivel Guatemala

I went to Guatemala with Maximo Nivel in January and really loved it! I was originally signed up to stay for 4 weeks and extended my stay to 11 weeks. It is a really great program and the staff are super friendy & flexible. They allowed me to change projects multiple times, so I got to experience teaching English, working on a coffee farm, and construction. The project that was most impactful for me was teaching English at Jardin de Amor, a non profit school located in the rural town of Santa Maria de Jesus. By creating plans for the class and working with lots of different grade levels, I learned a lot about teaching. The kids were incredibly welcoming and loved having us there!

I lived in a house called Casa Shekina. Most of the families host around 4 people per house, but Casa Shekina is more of a volunteer house and it had 10-15 people living there at a time, depending on the week. There were both male and females living there, and the rooms were shared between 3-4 people of the same gender. We were provided with breakfast and dinner everyday too. I really enjoyed living here because I met a lot of people in the house, and I even got to practice my Spanish with Lopez, the night guard.

In terms of safety, I took caution at night. When walking around at night, especially as a female, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and try to walk with a partner or a group. Also, when riding the bus to your placement, make sure you keep your belongings protected. Antigua is a pretty touristy town, so there are lots of police there and it feels safe. During orientation, Maximo Nivel will go over safety and address any concerns.

It was really fun to take trips on the weekends! I got to climb two volcanoes, go to Lake Atitlan, visit El Paredon beach, and swim in Semuc Champey. There are lots of organizations around Antigua that help travelers with rides to places, and give different packages that include a hostel, ride, tour, etc.

Overall, my time in Guatemala with Maximo Nivel was truly unforgettable and I am really glad that I decided to go. I made so many friends and learned to value many things. I was really nervous to travel to Central America alone as an 18 year old female, but I felt very welcomed and was ready to have a good time!

How can this program be improved?
It would be nice to know which family you are living with and your program name before the trip so that you can be less anxious.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Willis
10/10

Guardería San Lucas

I spent a month working with a daycare in San Lucas just outside of Antigua, Guatemala. This experience changed my life in more ways than one. It provides all people with an amazing opportunity to lend a helping hand to those who need it while simultaneously allows you to create incredibly close relationships with both the children in the daycare and the amazing staff who work so hard at the daycare every day. During my month there, I was able to greatly improve my Spanish speaking while also immerse myself in the amazing people and culture that Guatemala has to offer. I will never forget the people and places I encountered throughout my time there and cannot wait to return as soon as possible. This was truly a life changing experience that I could not recommend highly enough.

No, I don't recommend this program
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christina
10/10

La Amor De Patricia

Our placment was a perfect fit. The place is clean and well organized. The kids are happy and always laughing. The women (tia´s) who care for the children are loving, kind, and helpful. Daily activies consist of reading books, playing with legos, and roller blading. Come prepared to take initative pitch in, and have a great time organizing games, or helping out around the house. Our placment exceeded any/all expectations. Riding the bus to our placment was enjoyable and fun. The children will leave a bigger impact on your life then you could have imagined.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Skyler
8/10

Animal Care

I volunteered in Guatemala for five months straight out of highschool and it was without a doubt the best decision of my life. The volunteering was absolutely amazing. I worked at two different places while there, one a exotic shelter and the other a vet clinic, both of them were fantastic and I got to do things there that I would never have the chance to do anywhere else. The people I met also played a huge factor in how amazing the trip was, I stayed in a volunteer house and made so many friends and all the workers at Maximo are so fun to be around! If you are looking into volunteering anywhere I highly recommend Guatemala, it will definitely become your second home.

Yes, I recommend this program
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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program

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...