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 91 - 105 of 146
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Dominique
8/10

Medical Project in San Lucas

Today was the best day of volunteering so far. I finally connected to people at our clinic and it felt amazing. My partner and I went around blowing up our medical gloves and giving them to the little kids. They were so grateful, and after blowing up one or 2, there were kids everywhere waiting their turn. After we did that it was as if we had given them the best gift and they wanted to play with us. Just the mere smiles on their fact today were worth the whole trip. Everything that went into this, all the planning, traveling, money, etc was all worth it knowing we coulf make their days even a little brighter. Even better than that, their moms were all smiling and laughing watching them play with us. It was incredibly rewarding.

Yes, I recommend
Cooper
8/10

Antigua and Lake Atitlan!

My trip to Guatemala was an awesome experience which allowed me to immerse myself in a completely different culture and get out of my comfort zone. Atitlan was probably my favorite part of the trip where we stayed in san Pedro and traveled around to different cities at the lake. Other than that, Antigua was really cool with many different shops to visit as well as familiar restaurants. The hike up Pikaya was also at the top of my list and is a checkmark on my bucket list. Will definitely use Maximo Nivel for my next travel experience since they were there every step of the way for guidance as well as suggestions for fun activities!!

How can this program be improved?
Have more activities available for the entire group because the people we met that were also traveling were really cool, but we didn't have a lot of opportunities to see them during the week that was coordinated.
Yes, I recommend
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Mackenzie
10/10

Medical Clinic Volunteer Project

Working with Maximo Nivel to volunteer at the medical clinic in Sumpango, Guatemala was an amazing experience and opened my eyes to so many new experiences and things! Maximo Nivel was a really great company to work with and was so helpful for the whole entire process of traveling, staying, and volunteering in Guate. My favorite thing was that Maximo offered their partnership with Guineans Travel which gave us the opportunity to travel around and do cool things such as hike the Pacaya Volcano. Also, Wally was awesome and so helpful and gave us really good recommendations for food and things to do! Besides the amazing travel and vacation aspect of the trip, the volunteering was so worthwhile and opened my eyes to the major differences in healthcare practices. I enjoyed that we got to travel to a new city to work and got to meet so many local people. Overall, Maximo Nivel made my Guatmela experience super smooth and highly unforgetable!

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps include cost of transportation to clinic in the program fee as it was a little more than I was expecting and I would have liked to know up front.
Yes, I recommend
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Cait
10/10

Medical volunteer

Volunteering in Guatemala was an amazing experience! I volunteered at a health clinic where I was able to take height, weight and blood pressure of patients while also helping to diagnose them with their symptoms. Being able to interact with both the nurses and doctors as well as the patients was a really awesome experience and I felt as though I was really helpful to my placement and the clinic. The volunteer house we stayed in was with 25 other volunteers and I am so happy I got to stay there and meet the people that I did, we all became really close during our trip. We hiked a volcano, went zip lining, to a coffee plantation and got to know Antigua really well. Also the Maximo Nivel staff is so friendly and helpful and Wallie is the best :)

Yes, I recommend
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Tanner
9/10

Construction

I had a great time with my experience volunteering with Maximo nivel! They were extremely friendly and always willing to help out in any way possible! All the staff knew my name and had great suggestions for activities to do in my free time and they know all the best places to eat around Antigua. The family I worked with during my construction project had such and always tried to communicate with me despite the language barrier. They gave me hot coco and bread on a very cold day and they also gave me a traditional lunch before I left. The two little boys in the house loved to help me with my work and will put a smile on anyone's face. I felt like i got child care and construction work out of one project! I loved my time here and plan to book more adventures with Maximo!

Yes, I recommend
Laura
10/10

Holiday Project

I had an amazing experience participating in the Niños con Bendición project in December !

Maximo Nivel organized a fantastic Christmas party for the project "Ninos con Bendicion" (an after school kids project)

We had a piñata for the kids, served them local Guatemala food (chuchitos) (oh my God they're so good) also some delicious cake AND we gave the kids presents ! It was a very blessing experience because many of those kids do not get a Christmas and it was nice to see the smile on their faces.

It was a ton of fun and I would highly recommend volunteering through Maximo Nivel. The staff are super friendly and very nice :)

Yes, I recommend
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Wilsy
10/10

Guatemala 2016

My volunteering experience with Maximo Nivel was amazing! My friend and I went for the medical trip for 2 weeks, not really knowing what to expect. We stayed at a hostel with over 20 other students from all over the world. We were provided breakfast and dinner at the house, for lunch we tried several local restaurants, which were great! We took the bus for 30 minutes every morning to go to the clinic we were assigned. We got to practice a lot of our nursing skills and helped there in whatever way we could. We would get back to Antigua around 1pm everyday so we had the evenings and weekends free to explore the city and culture. We went hiking, to local museums, ruins of old cathedreal, a macadamia nut farm, and the markets/local stores. We took a weekend trip to Tikal and Lake Atitlan which was incredible! The staff at Maximo Nivel was so welcoming and caring. They were always available to offer help! They planned weekly activities for us to do as well, like guac and salsa night, Christmas gift wrapping for kids, etc. They were a lot of fun and allowed us to meet people in the other programs. We made sure to not go out alone after 8pm and felt pretty safe. Overall it was a great experience and I would highly recommend it!

Yes, I recommend
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Moriah
10/10

Guatemala Holiday Experience

I had no idea what to expect for my first trip abroad, especially over the holiday season, where all my friends, family, and usual customs and traditions were miles away. To my own surprise, when I first arrived in Guatemala, I was not overwhelmed with anxiety of being boldly confronted by completely foreign culture and landscape. Instead, I fell head over heels in love.

There is so much color and life in Antigua, Guatemala. You can hear it from the music blaring in the streets, and see it in the color draped over every building. Also, with the lush green hills of the surrounding mountains, and sight of the volcano looming over the town, I was easily captivated by this magical place.

I came to Guatemala as a volunteer through the local organization called Maximo Nivel. I didn't have any volunteering experience beforehand, knew very little about the city of Antigua (other than the fact that I would be living there), and had a very limited Spanish vocabulary.

Maximo Nivel did an excellent job preparing the volunteers about the city and the culture. On the first day, they gave a thorough tour of the city, showed us good places to eat, where to find an atm for money exchange, and gave several important tips for getting around and staying safe. They were very caring and accommodating for each of the volunteer's needs.

Finally, the actual volunteering experience, is what really made my time truly invaluable. For the holiday experience, I spent my time working in a few different spots, with a local coffee farmer, playing with children in an after school program, and help building a wall in a local clinic. Even if my volunteering roles sometimes felt small or really simple at times, I still felt a great sense of appreciation from each individual whose life was directly effected. I really felt that I really got to catch, the real glimpse into the heart of the Guatemalan culture and community. Also, it was really amazing realizing you don't need to share the same roots, culture, or even fluently speak the same language to connect with another human being. Sometimes all it takes is a smile, and a little bit of time and energy.

I know this is long, and I could easily keep going. My point is, if your contemplating going, just do it. Don't worry about your job, bills, or your messy room. Those things will always be there for you waiting. Its ok to let them wait a little longer. Go out and experience life the way we were meant to live it.

Yes, I recommend
Keli Kuwahara
Keli
10/10

Antigua, Guatemela- Do it, you'll be super stoked you did!

Volunteering in Antigua, Guatemala with Maximo Nivel was an amazing experience that I would wish for everyone who has the opportunity to experience. The entire Maximo staff was always super friendly, ready to help with anything and everything, super supportive, always responded quickly and was just overall AWESOME. I couldn't have wished for a better team to help me through my volunteering journey.

I chose to volunteer in the coffee farms because it was completely out of my comfort zone, and I wanted to learn and experience something new. Each farmer I had the pleasure of meeting and working with was super sweet, and it was a great time practicing Spanish. It was definitely the most hard labor type work I've ever done, but each day was rewarding and I learned so much about each step in coffee from doing compost in the fields, hauling firewood, to picking coffee, sorting, roasting, packaging, labeling and promoting. The hikes up into the fields were challenging for me, but beautiful and worth it every time. I truly enjoyed all 4 weeks of my placement.

Beyond placement, I also loved that I had the opportunity to meet and connect with people from all over the world. Made lifetime friends, went on weekend trips to visit all the beauty in Guatemala, and there was always something fun to do each night. The people, culture, food, landscapes and everything about Guatemala is absolutely beautiful and I would encourage anyone and everyone to take a chance and experience it through volunteering with Maximo Nivel.

This experience has opened my eyes to a new world, I learned so much more about life and myself, and because the Maximo team was so supportive and caring, I never felt alone and always knew I could go to them for anything. Volunteer in Antigua! You'll be super stoked you did :)

Yes, I recommend
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Silas
10/10

Antigua review

In the summer I went to Guatemala to volunteer in the healthcare program and had the time of my life. I volunteered at Obras Sociales and felt myself becoming attached to the patience and staff there. One of my most memorable experiences was going to Semuc Champey where we went hiking, explored a cave and jumped off a bridge all in one day. I met some really great people from around the world and I plan on returning in the future.

Yes, I recommend
Cinthy
10/10

Vet Pro Veterinarian

I had a great time volunteering with Dr. JP. He cares a great deal for the animals and this techs.
I spent my time working with the dogs he is fostering. I took them for walks, brushed them and sat with them. There was a kitten there with a hurt back, and I tried to help it with walking. I'm hoping it has improved. Dr. JP gets his fosters up to date with vaccinations, etc. He has such a good heart and I think he is a wonderful veterinarian.

Yes, I recommend
Wally
10/10

4 weeks teaching English

I had an incredible experience teaching English in Guatemala for 4 weeks. Maximo Nivel was the organization responsible for arranging my teaching placement. I arrived on a Friday night to my volunteer house and the following morning I was greeted by an employee from Maximo Nivel who gave me a safety orientation about Antigua, Guatemala. It was a detailed power point presentation on safety tips and advice. He even went above and beyond by printing out a map of Antigua and showing me where the best places are to eat, where to exchange money and even took me by foot to show me where the bus depot was located. The next day a different staff memeber Andrea - - gave me and another handful of volunteers an orientation of the building and a walk about around the city. Maximo Nivel did an absolutely phenomenal job assisting me with anything I needed. They are extremely focused on client service and made my volunteer trip a smooth, safe and positive experience. Whether your a first time traveller or veteran backpacker and you wish to volunteer, please take the opportunity to do it with Maximo Nivel. The staff are extremely friendly and very approachable and I would highly recommend this organization to anyone who is eager to make a difference in this world.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kim
10/10

Guatemala Volunteer Program

I spent two weeks in Antigua this summer, volunteering at a medical placement at Casa Maria, an elderly care facility just outside Antigua, and taking spanish classes through Maximo Nivel. I had no idea what to expect when I got off the plane, but the whole experience was beyond amazing!

The Maximo Nivel staff was wonderful and very supportive. They had great suggestions on places to visit over the weekend or in the afternoons (there's so much to do and see!). The volunteer house I was placed in was a great way to meet and connect with other volunteers in Antigua. My host mom was very sweet and made delicious dinners every night.

At my placement, I was with one other volunteer, and we got to help with wound care and taking vitals, as well as interacting with the residents. I knew little spanish going into this, but the placement staff and maximo nivel were all very supportive and open to teaching me things.

Travelling around guatemala on the weekends was an unexpected joy as well- there's so much to do! Visiting Semuc Champey, hiking Acatenango volcano, and seeing Lake Atitlan and Tikal were all highlights for me on this trip. Overall I had an amazing experience- it was a great blend of volunteering, learning spanish, getting to know interesting people, and seeing Guatemala!

How can this program be improved?
Maybe it might be possible to provide a bit more information about placements prior to arrival, just so volunteers have a bit more of an idea of what to expect.
Yes, I recommend
Ginger
10/10

Volunteering at Casa Aleluya Orphanage

My two teens and I left Antigua in the early morning, every day for five straight days. We would hop on the "chicken bus," our newest form of transportation, and head toward "Guate, Guate." We would hop off the bus and ring the bell at Casa Aleluya, a home for precious children who needed love, hands to hold and faces to smile back at theirs. We hope we offered something to these beautiful children because they sure offered something to us. Thank you, Maximo Nivel, for a life-changing experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Glenn
10/10

2 Weeks at an Orphanage!

My daughter & I spent 2 weeks volunteering our time and energy, 5 days/week, about 4 hours per day for an amazing orphanage called Casa Aleluya, near Antigua, Guatemala. Casa Aleluya is an AMAZING organization, housing around 430 kids of all ages. Over the years they've taken in about 5300 kids who were in very unsafe or abusive situations and now have a safe place in which to grow up. They are provided with love, care and respect. They are taught, rather SHOWN how important love and respect are to the health and well-being of both individuals and organizations of which they are a part. Many of the kids go on to attend college or university programs, all supported by Casa. Maximo Nivel was a crucial part of this experience too. The folks here truly care and execute their role with professionalism and alacrity. They are also known to be one of the most inexpensive ways to gain an experience of this kind. Kudos to Phomolo, Nancy, Maritza, Colin and the entire crew at Maximo!

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I recommend is for volunteers to ask for or be provided with a thorough tour of Casa Aleluya. We didn't get the full tour until our last couple of days there. We were blown away by the magnitude, breadth and depth of the entire program. We were placed with the youngest kids, "Los Angelitos", aged 0 to 4 years, I think, but they have an entire school of older kids. Several of the kids met their spouse, got married and continue to serve the organization. It's really an entire community in there! I just wished I'd known about it from the very start. Also, ask to hear the testimony of the founder, Mike, who started this over 20 years ago.
Yes, I 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...