Volunteer in Guatemala with Maximo Nivel - Best Rated Projects

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Maximo Nivel has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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About

Maximo Nivel offers volunteer abroad programs in and around the quaint, colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala, as well as on the Pacific coast. Maximo Nivel is a locally-based organization that partners with local projects to ensure maximum impact for residents of the community. You can choose to volunteer for as little as one week and as long as one year, with a new start every Monday. Commit to just one passionate project or try several during your time in Antigua. All program fees include airport pick-up, a welcome orientation at the institute, 24/7 in-country support, and much more. Be confident in knowing you’re supported from the minute you email or call in for information until you complete your program. We’re happy to answer any of your questions or concerns and can even connect you with past volunteers to get an insider’s perspective.

Highlights
  • New volunteer programs start every Monday year-round
  • All-inclusive—shared accommodations, meals, and many extras
  • Academic credit available
  • No Registration or processing fees
  • 24/7 in-country support

Travel Grants Available for a Limited Time!

Ready to work as an English teacher abroad? Register today for our award winning TEFL Certification in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru and apply for a special travel grant.

Popular Programs

Working with Kids  in Guatemala

Homelessness and poverty have left many children in Latin America without access to proper education and a loving environment. Maximo Nivel’s childcare projects aspire to change children’s lives by providing caring and nurturing volunteers to work, study, and play with them.

Teach English in Guatemala

Maximo Nivel’s teaching English projects serve underprivileged schools and communities—people who want to learn English, but who do not have the financial means to do so.

Sea Turtle Conservation in Guatemala

Sea turtle conservation programs begin with 2 days in San Jose, Costa Rica or Antigua, Guatemala. This is an important step to be sure you go through orientation and prepare for your project.

Construction projects in Guatemala

Maximo Nivel’s construction programs focus on community development. Construction projects may include building or repairing homes, adding classrooms to schools, or making structural improvements to clinics.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.59 Rating
based on 153 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 41 - 48 of 153
Winnie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Guatemala

I volunteered with Maximo Nivel through IVHQ and had an amazing experience. The construction project was challenging and encouraged us to really push ourselves. I also enjoyed staying at the volunteer house. Breakfast and dinner were provided, and it was interesting to hear the experience of other volunteers. I highly recommend for anyone looking to give back & learn valuable skills at the same time.

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Nada
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Family Guatemala experience

Our family of five took our first group service trip which far exceeded our expectations. We worked on the construction of a medical clinic with Fredy, who was an amazing leader! Our kids, 13,11, and 9 all were an integral part of the project. Fredy would assign them each jobs that suited their abilities. We were all eager to get to our job in the morning because we knew we were making a difference. Four hours/day was perfect because we were then able to explore antigua and the surrounding areas. Maximo Nivel helped facilitate our travels by offering ease of access to an excellent travel company, Outdoor Outfitters. We had a chance to hike Pacaya volcano, explore lake Atitlan on bike, kayak and hiking, visit the coffee farm and do a chocolate factory tour. Our host family was wonderful. We never felt unsafe or unsupported. We are looking forward to our next volunteer experience and hope that it can be as wonderful as this was!

What would you improve about this program?
Can't think of anything!
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Amber
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Coffee plantation

Overall, this was a fantastic experience. Working with local farmers and their families was inspiring and insightful, while also being fun. The families we worked with were incredibly friendly and were willing and open to answering all of our questions. It felt great to be able to help them in their day-to-day routines, as well as in their coffee businesses. I learned a lot about the coffee process from growing to selling, and how the local farmers are involved.

What would you improve about this program?
Give people the option to not have to stay with a family, or to at least not have to have all meals there (paid for). Our host was not that friendly and while having breakfast there was fine, I didn't see the point in having dinner there since it wasn't with the family. I have stayed with families in similar situations in similar countries, and this was at the bottom of my list of experiences for friendliness, cleanliness, and quality.
Morgan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer in Antigua

I have been in Antigua for 6 weeks now with Maximo Nivel. This has been an experience of a lifetime. Maximo helped me with literally any quesiton I had and made me feel comfortable in a new and foreign place. For my project, I was placed in Ciudad Vieja with medical and as a nursing student, I have learned so much in the clinic. I have learned how to do triage, give injections, and communicate with patients in Spanish. One of my greatest challenges was getting sick for over two weeks, but Maximo was so accomodating and helped bring in a doctor multiple times and set up tests for me as well. They do really care about each of their volunteers and will help with whatever we need. Overall, my experience with Maximo and their medical program was outstanding and I would recommend this program to anyone who was interested.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that for people staying over 3 weeks, there should be check ups for the volunteers every two weeks or so because I know some of the volunteers may be too nervous or scared to come to Maximo on their own with any complaints.
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Billy John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First best experience in Central America

If you ask me what I miss most about College, it was studying abroad. Specifically, study abroad in Guatemala. I have never been outside of the outside of the US and I have always wanted to travel to central and South America.

Initially, I wanted to go to Japan or one of the other major study abroad choices that our program offered year round. However they quickly filled and our program opened up three more choices: Guatemala, Morocco, and Portugal.

I decided on Guatemala considering my passion for wanting to learn more about the history and culture of Central and South America.

I came with so many preconceived ideas and was on my toes during the beginning of the trip. However, that all quickly changed after attending the Maximo Nivel Orientation. The staff there made us feel welcome and gave us a thorough rundown of the city. Wally (our Maximo volunteer lead) and his colleagues provided guidance to our volunteer locations and ensured us that if we ever needed anything they would be there- and they were.

I specifically volunteered with special needs children so that I could utilize my background skills and knowledge as a Kinesiology: Pre-PT major. The location was about 45 minutes away via chicken bus (fairly cheap fare) and the ride was exhilarating- roads filled with potholes and at times, the chicken buses were filled over capacity.

The kids at "Los Gozoso" orphanage were so fun to work with. At first, the staff and children were hesitant to open up, but after observing that we were really there to help, they eventually warmed up to my friend and me. We usually began our day helping the children with arts and crafts activities and then got to play soccer before lunch. I was able to perform stretches on a child who was spastic and work with a sweet autistic child.

I think what made my experience unique is that it allowed me to positively alter my views in life. After leaving the airport and driving to Antigua, Guatemala, you get to observe the busy city as well as the rural areas and see what life is like. I had several instances where I was able to interact with the people of Guatemala despite the language barrier. This is especially true in the orphanage where my little knowledge of Spanish was just enough to help me communicate with the teachers. When I played soccer with the kids, I noticed that the ones who could walk and run included their friends who were differently-abled. With what little these kids had, they utilized to the fullest. I truly enjoyed making them feel loved and leaving them with smiles on their faces.

Overall, I wouldn't trade my experience volunteering in Guatemala for anything. Wally and his staff made our experience comfortable and memorable. This was totally out of my comfort zone but I conquered and enjoyed it. I encourage you all looking to volunteer abroad to do the same! To the people of Guatemala, I will see you soon!

What would you improve about this program?
N/A.
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Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

DO IT

Booking this trip was one of the est decisions I have ever made. Guatemala was so so warm and welcoming, I have fallen in love with the country. Being able to volunteer with the children was so amazing, even tho we could'nt speak to each other somehow we found a way to communicate and have fun with each other. Maximo was so so helpful from the start to finish of this trip, I am SO happy i booked with them. Whatever we needed before or after our trip they were more than happy to help. Guatemala is filled with stuff to do, day and night. Two weeks was not near long enough! If you are considering this program, DO IT!! I promise it will change your life.

What would you improve about this program?
The only complaint I have is not knowing the address of our homestay before we arrived! My family wanted to know and it made it complicated when entering the country
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Meredith
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beyond Belief

I went to Guatemala during the Holiday Break and I am still awe struck by the staff, the experience, the impact and the indelible imprint this experience has left on my life. Maximo Nivel had an outstanding staff and the passion exuded in every breath.

Wally, Maritza, Andrea you are incredible and deserve so much for how you are leading this company and changing the world.

I want to bring my twin boys back next time to show them the delights of this program and the people.

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Margaret
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I need to return

I absolutely loved the work I did with Las Obras Sociales! I had experiences that are going to stay with me forever. I mainly worked with the children and the physiotherapists. I absolutely fell in love with all of the kids and cried when I left. Most of them cannot talk but they have a special way of communicating and really reaching your heart. The physical therapists were absolutely amazing, they were welcoming and they were ready to teach you and make you feel comfortable and welcome. Unfortunately some of the nurses are not as welcoming, and many of them enver ended up warming up to me, but I still absolutely loved working at Virgen del Socorro and I am planning to return some day, hopefully soon, in order to see the amazing patients that I came to adore and love.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the only thing that could improve the program is if the nurses were more warm and welcoming.