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 76 - 90 of 150
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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Jasmine
10/10

Special needs care at Virgen del Socorro

It's hard to put this experience into words. It was eye-opening, exciting and pushed me out of my comfort zone. Guatemala is a beautiful country with beautiful people.
My volunteer placement was at Virgen del Socorro, which is a care facility for up to 250 people with varying levels of disability. I had low expectations as to what the facility would be because there are issues with caring for special needs in Canada. Boy, was I wrong. The facility was incredible. It was clean, it was spacious, and it was full of various resources from computer labs, to schools, to arts and crafts and music rooms. The staff at the facility are indescribable. They were phenomenol with the residents, and were always around with a smile desite the difficult environment. It was quite inspiring to see how the staff had welcomed the residents into their hearts and each staff seemed to have a special bond with each of the residents.
As incredible as the staff are, they are stretched thin. A significant number of the residents required a certain amount of one-on-one time that is just not feasible with the staff on site. That is where volunteering comes in. I was able to assist in the "Belen" and thus double the amount of residents seen one-on-one. It made a difference.
I would highly recommend Virgen del Socorro as a volunteer placement. In the short time I was there, I knew I was helping in a meaningful way, and it was very fulfilling.
Until next time Guatelmala! Adios!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Marie-Pier
9/10

Guatemala 2017

I did the medical program in Santa Lucia, Guatemala in January 2017. It was not my first time in America Latina, but it was my first volunteering, and I don't think that I could have found a better program and location. The staff at Maximo Nivel is simply amazing: they are bilingual (which is reassuring), they are enthusiastic and energetic. On my first day volunteering, a member of the staff came with me at my placement, showing me how to get there with public transportation. This was very appreciated since the "chicken buses" in Antigua can be pretty scary (very crowded). At my placement, I was doing the pre-consultations with another volunteer; I weighed them, measured their height, blood pressure, temperature and pulse. I really think that my volunteering was helpful to the medical staff, since we were more efficient and more patients could consult with the doctor in a single day. Maximo also organized free activities where you had the chance to meet people/volunteers from all around the world; an example is the guacamole (delicious) and salsa night. I personally think that one of the key elements that can definitely improve your experience abroad is learning the local language (at least the basics), since it will allow you to communicate more easily with locals, thereby making your trip even more amazing.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Elizabeth
10/10

Amazing

Having signed up to work in animal care, I was advised that as I was spending the Christmas holidays there, I would be partaking in the 2 week holiday experience programme.

My first two weeks were spent working on a coffee farm, in an orphanage for disabled children, construction (we built a wall and made a door way in an existing wall to create a new vaccine room in a hospital) and working in an elderly home.

After that I spent 6 weeks in a vet clinic. It was fantastic! Our time was spent socialising dogs that are waiting to be homed, Standing in for consults and operations.

I also did an extra week, working with exotics. That involved handling snake, lizards, crocs/alligators.

I also met SO MANY amazing people. I'm pretty sure I've made some friends for life through working with Máximo. The other volunteers in my home stay and the staff at Máximo were just really fantastic people. I didn't want to leave.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Gaby
10/10

Maximo Guatemala is amazing!

I have traveled a lot, but this was the first time doing it alone and doing it for volunteer purposes and it was an experience that I will always cherish. I volunteered at a daycare in San Lucas with kids between 8 months to 4 years old by feeding them, playing, and doing various learning activities with them. I was there for 2 weeks and wish that I could have stayed a month longer. The care takers there truly love the kids and definitely need help.

I stayed with a host family at a big house in which I had 7 other housemates. In the 2 weeks that I was there, I realized how close my housemates and I had become. It felt like we were a little family. We got along so great, had dinner together every night and hung out together every chance we could. We always had each others back and it was so hard to say goodbye to them.

Everyone at Maximo Nivel was amazing and great to talk to. They are so caring and helpful and I have continued to stay in touch with them even after coming back home to LA. I honestly believe that if you want to volunteer abroad, this the organization to do it with.

Yes, I recommend this program
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April
10/10

K-Pets in Guatemala through IVHQ

I spent a week in Guatemala volunteering at a local veterinary clinic called K-Pets. One other volunteer and myself would travel to K-Pets by bus every day from our volunteer house. While at K-pets we would assist with surgeries, clean pet cages, and groom and walk dogs. Everyone at K-Pets was extremely kind and helpful. Dr. Karen Soto would explain what she was doing while performing surgeries or consultations. Dr. Soto speaks English very well and was always more than willing to help me communicate with non-English speaking staff because my Spanish was minimal to none. Despite the language barrier and no former experience working with animals my time there was very rewarding to me. I hope that I can go back again in the future and help at K-Pets. The animals are all very friendly and enjoyed seeing us every day. There are very few vet clinics in the area and the need for help is desperately needed. Maximo Nivel also supplies the clinics with supplies if needed and helps as much as they can throughout the stay. The support they offer is always available and they always check in to make sure that everything is going well.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amandine
10/10

AMAZING!!!

Such an amazing experience volunteering in Antigua, Guatemala. 3 weeks wasn't enough, I wish I could have stayed longer!
Maximo Nivel was great! Loved the people who worked there (especially Mimi, Wally and Andrea).
I volunteered at Casa Aleluya with infants/toddlers. Such a rewarding experience! I miss their little faces.
There is so much to do and see in Guatemala... My favorite memory was probably climbing Pacaya Volcano. Stunning!
I was going through a lot before deciding to go volunteering and this experience changed my life forever...

Thank you so much Maximo Nivel!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ikjot
10/10

My volunteer experience with Childcare in Guatemala

It was my first time volunteering abroad, and I would say that IVHQ and Maximo Nivel did the beat job helling me and supporting me. Nothing brought more joy than seeing the smiles of the children when entering the facility. It was truly a great experience, and I would not change it for the world! I hope to soon come back to the friendly faces, and volunteer more in Guatemala. IVHQ and Maximo Nivel have done such wonders to help around the world, and I surely want to keep up and be apart of the change.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Maybelle
10/10

Antigua, Guatemala

With this being my first experience of volunteering abroad, I can honestly say that I'm tremendously happy I chose Guatemala, and Maximo Nivel to work with. It's obviously not easy to step foot into a different country with minimal knowledge towards their language and customs, but with everyone's support, I was able to adjust with ease. The tías at my placement were patient because they knew my Spanish wasn't advanced, and put in so much effort into communicating with me nonetheless. Every child had a huge smile on their face as soon as I walked into the room, which warmed my heart because despite their individual situations, they acted as if they had the entire world. No one judged, but instead tried to help in every way possible. This goes for the staff at Maximo Nivel as well. The ambiance was truly something special, which is why this trip for me is definitely one for the books. I only hope that others would give an opportunity like this a chance because I promise they won't be disappointed.

Yes, I recommend this program
Jessica
10/10

Special Needs Care Project, Guatemala

I truly have no words to express the way in which this project has impacted me, and not a day goes by that I don't dream of my return! During my week spent in Antigua, I volunteered in the special needs care project where I assisted in stimulating and supporting patients with various physical and intellectual disabilities. My lack of Spanish made communicating difficult at times, but the nurses and other staff members were patient and understanding. My time spent in Guatemala has changed my life in ways too large for me to fully comprehend, but above all it has inspired me to take a global perspective on my future career path and broader the location of my studies and services. Maximo Nivel provided me with the UTMOST support throughout my journey, and although I only spent a short amount of time, they soon became my family. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone seeking a challenge and a passion to make a change. I assure that participants will not be disappointed!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Allison
10/10

Nursing Students in Guatemala

Having the opportunity to work in local clinics within Antigua, Guatemala was an invaluable experience, and Maximo Nivel helped to make the experience smooth and successful. As a group of nursing students, we were able to help with a variety of patients, and work side-by-side with doctors, nurses, and nutritionists. This not only allowed us to see the healthcare system within Guatemala firsthand, but gave us the chance to make an impact on several individuals. The focus on prevention strategies and optimal nutrition for children within the communities especially proved to go a long way. We were so blessed to have the chance to work within such communities.

Yes, I recommend this program
Porscha
10/10

Amazing experience!

The in country staff are amazing and so helpful with everything, regarding other places to stay, top things to see/visit, local eateries, every question I had-they answered!! The placements were wonderful and you can see the real impact Maximo is having! I was on a holiday program, where you are with multiple placements since not all of the organizations are running regular hours due to the holidays. I was able to see a little of everything, I highly recommend it!

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...