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 147 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 106 - 120 of 147
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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
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Kelty
10/10

The joy of Nuevo Amanecer

We went to Guatemala with an open mind about where we would be placed and what we would be doing. Our main goal was to give our teenagers a different outlook on the world and their impact and experience in it.
Nuevo Amanecer was the opportunity of a lifetime. We were absolutely changed for the better having worked with the children and the adults in this after school program. The family that started it saw a need and decided to fill it.
The children were a joy to interact with. They were all from families who had very little but to see their joyful faces each day, you would not know it. They were all eager to learn, eager to experience all that was offered. The fact that our spanish was limited was not much of an obstacle because the children were excited to learn some english words and we all managed to communicate.
I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking to give back. You will get so much more than you give.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Noel
8/10

Casa Aleluya Orphanage

My family and I volunteered at an orphanage called Casa Aleluya; we had a great time working with the children, and experienced what an amazing place Casa Aleluya is for the orphans. We worked with the younger children, from babies to 7 years old. The children enjoyed our company, and we enjoyed spending time with them. There are about 450 orphans living at Casa Aleluya, from babies to young people attending college and working with the younger children.

Yes, I recommend
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Laura
10/10

Cultural Wow!!

I had no idea that all of the women in Guatenala actually wear all of the colorful clothing every day. I thought it was for celebration days only. In Guatemala we were able to explore different cultural groups, hear new languages and learn how these women weave their own clothes using natural dyes. Many cooperatives have gotten started with help from the huge amount of tourism to help those women begin their own companies. They use the money to send their children to s school. It was a very educational experience.

How can this program be improved?
The home stay had too many students for one house. There were people and noise all over the place.
Yes, I recommend
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Molly
10/10

Our Amazing Time in Guatemala

We traveled out to a remote area, where the citizens were very isolated, without access to healthcare. It had been a year since most of the people had seen a doctor. It was touching to see how much they really needed the care of the doctor, and the anti-parasite medication that was administered. There were many kids there who loved to play soccer. During a quieter time, I went and played soccer with the kids. I loved playing with them, and doing as much as I could to try and help them be healthier. Maximo Nivel surpassed all my expecations. Jorge is an absolute joy to work with, and works endlessly. I would recommend this program to anyone, and I cannot wait to go again.

How can this program be improved?
Leave a water filter in the communities to use.
Yes, I recommend
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Elizabeth
10/10

Great program support for volunteers and great coordination with local community organizers

While we were only in Antigua for a week, Jorge from Maximo Nivel was able to coordinate with community organizers in several neighborhoods so that we could participate in make-shift, on-site clinics requested by the communities. In the morning we attended Spanish classes and in the afternoons we went to a clinic site with the program director, an amazing organizer from Guatemala who works with the volunteers, community organizers and a local doctor. Each clinic was in a different location- one in a three-room school, one in a neighbor's one room house, one was in a 15 x 15 corrugated tin church with a dirt floor, one at an orphanage, and another in a house. The doctor provided primary care while the program director provided the needed medications selected from several suitcases full of donated medications. The members of our group were not medical professionals (the students were pre-med) but we were able provide anti-parasitics, vitamins, toothbrushes and toothpaste and hygiene education. The strength of the program to me was in the relationship between the program director and the communities he serves. He was able to create a very meaningful experience for the members of our group while, I hope, also providing some needed resources in the community.

How can this program be improved?
It would be good if we could leave something that might create a longer-lasting improvement in health such as enviro-filters or macademia nut trees (they produce high-calorie, high-protein nuts year round) or financial resources for the community organizers.
Yes, I recommend
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Caleb
10/10

Wonderful experience!

I decided to volunteer with Maximo for my first international trip abroad and it was one of the best choices I've made. I volunteered as a nurse in a local non profit nursing home and worked alongside nurses feeding, changing, cleaning, and interacting with the patients. I also helped clean the nursing home and help the nurses with miscellaneous tasks.
Maximo offered many activities that allowed for volunteers to meet one another such as salsa night and guacamole. There were also many day and weekend trips that were relatively inexpensive for the weekends.
All in all, this trip was the best I've ever taken and a great way to spend one month of my summer.

Yes, I recommend
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Janelle
10/10

Medical Campaign In Guatemala

I had such a great time volunteering for the medical Campaign in Guatemala. We were a group of nursing students that spent a week travelling to areas that didn't have access to healthcare. Everything That Maximo Nivel had to offer was great (transportation, accommodation, Spanish classes, support, daily activities, friendly staff). The doctors and other staff that worked with us during the medical trips were amazing. The whole experience was very rewarding and was such a great learning experience! I would definitely do this again in the future and would recommended spending extra time exploring Guatemala because this country has a lot to offer (Climbing volcanos, swimming at Semuc Champey, visiting local markets, relaxing at Earth Lodge, Walking around Antigua, Surf lessons at El Paredon Beach).

Yes, I recommend
Zaineb
10/10

What an experience

last year was my first year going abroad and volunteering, this was also my first time in Latin America. I'd say this to all my friends and family and say it again and again, it is by far my favourite, most rewarding and best experience I ever had. The staff are phenomenal, the locals are the most welcoming, and you receive more than you give, because that's how the Guatemalans do. I can't wait to go back again and again. Thank you thank you thank you for everything.

How can this program be improved?
More hands on experience for medical campaign. Better Spanish prep before the campaign begins
Yes, I recommend
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Jenny
10/10

Antigua exotic-Guatemala

I spent a week in Guatemala at the Antigua Exotic reptile sanctuary and reserve. I absolutely loved everything about it, I got to feed and handle all types of reptiles from turtles, snakes, lizards, crocodiles and many more. Eveyone I met in the house I was staying in, the place I volunteered at and the people within the organization were all so nice and helpful. I felt like my time spent volunteering was greatly appreciated by the workers and owners of Antigua Exotic and they were kind enough to take us with them for the day at their crocodile reserve. It was the most amazing experience to help catch and move a crocodile, I will never forget that! They also fed us a purely traditional Guatemalan cuisine made all from plants on the reserve. I got to totally immerse myself in their culture and day to day life. I'm so thankful for my experience and the impact I've made!

Yes, I recommend
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Bill
8/10

IVHQ/Maximo Nivel Antigua Program

Great time. Very well organized. Antigua is a great walking town -- if you don't mind cobblestones. There were opportunities to work on several programs. I did eco-farming and teaching English. The language program support is also very good. Maximo Nivel arranged for tandem English/Spanish learning with natives that I found very helpful. I was concerned about how arduous the farmwork would be, but it was not bad at all and they have a marvelous mild climate at that altitude.

How can this program be improved?
It might be good to be housed with other Maximo Nivel volunteers, though I know that's not always easy to arrange.
Yes, I recommend
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Jennifer
10/10

A really great experience

I spent four unforgettable weeks working with coffee farmers whose land is on the slopes of Volcan Agua. February is the harvest season and we spent our mornings picking the beans, laying them out on the roofs in the village to dry, or painstakingly sorting them before helping to pack them into huge 100kg sacks for export. We helped roast and grind the beans for sale locally and made sure the labels were stuck on straight.
The most memorable part, though, was getting to meet and talk with the farmers themselves. Eduardo, Miguel, Manuel and Lesbia (the only female member of the cooperative) I thank you for letting me work alongside you. I am in awe of how much work and care you put into producing every bag of 'shade grown Guatemalan coffee'.
On a more practical note, much of the success of the programme was due to the professionalism of the people at De La Gente coffee and at Maximo Nivel. I knew there were people I could completely rely on to sort out any problems. I found the Spanish classes intense, interesting and our teachers were excellent. Finally, I'm way older than most of the volunteers but I never experienced any ageism from anyone, staff or fellow volunteers, that I met.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to know how the quite substantial programme fees that I paid to IVHQ were divided out and what proportion went to the members of the cooperative.
Yes, I recommend
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Danielle
10/10

Great Program!

I signed up for my project through International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ) and volunteered through Maximo Nivel in Guatemala. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone looking to volunteer or travel abroad and experience life in another country. Not only was I able to explore this beautiful country but I was also able to gain the most rewarding experience working with the children at Casa Aleluya. I absolutely loved my placement and the children were so thankful and appreciative for anything you did for them. My only regret is that I was not able to spend more time volunteering in Guatemala because I felt that I could have made a much bigger impact than I was able to in the two weeks that I was there. I also found great friends who lived in my volunteer house and made many great memories. This was definitely an experience I would recommend to anyone and I hope to have again soon.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change about this program is the holiday project. I wish that I could have been in my actual placement at the orphanage for the entirety of my stay because I would have felt that I made more of an impact but the holiday project still was a lot of fun and I was still able to do good work while I was there.
Yes, I recommend
Dante
9/10

Volunteering with IVHQ - Maximo Nivel Guatemala - Childcare Project

I've been involved in volunteering since a few years ago and this program has been awesome! Definitely the childcare project in Guatemala has been one of my best experiences abroad.

I wanted to travel to Guatemala to get more volunteering experience and due to closeness from my country.

Since the first time that was in Guatemala, I received an excellent support from the Staff at Maximo Nivel. I was staying in Antigua, who is located just 40 mins from La Aurora Airport. I love this city, it is compact, colorful, unique, charming, full of historic buildings, churches and museums, and easy to walk around.

The childcare project in which I was working during that week is located in a little town called San Antonio de Aguas Calientes, just 30 mins from Antigua. The first day, I arrived by chicken bus with another member of Maximo. She showed me how to get there, how to find the project and so on. She introduced me also the program members and all kids from ‘Ninos con Bendicion’. I spent an incredible and amazing week with them, all of them are fun and loving, by the way they always give big hugs :)

I really recommend this project with IVHQ- Maximo! I want and hope to come back in the future!

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to stay longer!
Yes, I recommend
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Flora
10/10

Amazing experience!

My time with Maximo in Guatemala was amazing. I am so glad I got to volunteer with them at Casa Maria elderly care facility. Everyone where I volunteered were so kind. I miss getting to see their lovely and caring faves everyday. We did all kinds of things with the residents there, like coloring and playing bingo. They loved it almost as much as we did. I hope to come back soon!

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...