Volunteer in Guatemala with Maximo Nivel - Best Rated Projects

Video and Photos

Laundry
Laundry
New friends
New friends
My turn
My turn
Jf3
Jf3
Jf2
Jf2
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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

96%
based on 153 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 121 - 135 of 153
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Jenny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Bill
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
It might be good to be housed with other Maximo Nivel volunteers, though I know that's not always easy to arrange.
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Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Danielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Dante
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to stay longer!
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Flora
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Katrina
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever!

Volunteering in Antigua was amazing. My host family were a major highlight. They were friendly, funny, helped me with anything I needed plus the food was great.

I volunteered in construction and it was hard work but very rewarding. Freddie (Site manager) was a great boss. He taught us so much about construction that I am now a pro at hammering nails:) He made it fun and interactive. It was so easy to get along with all the volunteers and have a good time. By the end of my stay it was cool to see the progress we had made and had the sense of achievement.

Highly recommended.

What would you improve about this program?
.
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Daria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer in Guatemala

I was completing 2 volunteer programs in Guatemala, Antigua with Maximo Nivel - teaching English and Eco-agricultural projects both lasting 2 weeks.

Skills and memories I have gained while assisting Maximo in their aim to support local communities were invaluable. Being a novice in this kind of experience did not matter a bit because support and guidance were always there. Of course, independence and self- initiative are the key factors to be a volunteer. But the experience I had was all-round fulfilling! Big thanks to the local team :)

What would you improve about this program?
The events that bring together volunteers could be slightly more improved. There were many people who I never got a chance to meet because they were living outside our volunteer house. This is especially notable during quite times when many volunteers are scattered around Antigua. More of the team building activities like salsa night would be excellent.

The salsa night itself is a popular event but hosted in a tiny room - not being able to fit many of those who want to participate and preventing people from coming back due to extraordinary hot and sweaty atmosphere by the end of 2 hour session. Maybe moving it down to an open space terrace could improve the problem.
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Sunan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with IVHQ - Maximo Nivel Guatemale - Eco-Agriculture Conservation project

I spent two weeks in Antigua Guatemala (4/26 -5/8, 2015), volunteering with IVHQ - Maximo Nivel Guatemale - Eco-Agriculture Conservation project. The experience with the projects - farmers, staff of the organization De La Gente, and the staff with Maxino Nivel, is so amazing and previous, way beyond my expectation. Everyone, local or not, is welcoming, cheerful, concerned and helpful. The Spanish classes are very educating with knowledgeable and professional instructors.

Two weeks seem to be short, and I didn't have enough time to explore more the surrounding. I am sure I will come back - to Antigua!

Thank you for each and everyone I met in Antigua! Thank you all with Maximo Nivel! Mimi and Phomolo, your happy faces made each of my days :), miss you guys!

Best,
Sunan

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Alexandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Eco-agriculture

I worked with the de la Gente coffee cooperative and it was an amazing experience to really see how the coffee farmers do their work. Not only do you work on their plots of land, but they also invite you into their homes so you can see the entire coffee process from picking to sorting the beans. It really helped me improve my Spanish because you can get a lot of practice speaking with the farmers. Even if there is a language barrier the farmers are so grateful to speak with volunteers to tell them about their experience, family or coffee! I felt like I learned a lot here!!

What would you improve about this program?
A lot of people don't know about it.
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Nicolás
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Two Months in Antigua

Honestly I had a blast volunteering through Maximo Nivel and I can't imagine doing it through another organization. I was here for two months and in my two months I volunteered on a coffee farm and taught English. I really enjoyed both of my projects and I really felt useful and like I was helping out. While I was there I stayed in a volunteer house and it was clean, big, and it definitely became my home away from home. It also gave me the opportunity to meet some awesome people.
In my free time I was also able to explore Antigua, relax, and even take Spanish classes that were offered through Maximo. The teachers, as well as the Maximo Nivel staff were friendly and incredibly helpful.

What would you improve about this program?
I really don't have any complaints. I really did enjoy my time here. There were tons of projects to be involved in and the staff was awesome.
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mark
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

amazing holiday program

My two friends and I had decided that during the Christmas holidays we wanted to help other people. . We searched the web for the best international volunteer program and we found great reviews for Maximo Livel,so we decided to trust them. We had never seen Guatemala and Antigua seemed like a great destination. The experience was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! We cannot be more happy with the choice we made. The Maximo Livel staff from Jean to Beth to Jeorge helped us with everything we needed and we felt like home, away from home. We did the Christmas program, which meant we were able to work on different projects, from assisting the elderly, to playing with kids in local orphanages, the painting local homes. We had arrived in Guatemala with the idea of helping people in need and we are leaving as changed people. I personally will never forget this experience and I highly recommend it. The only small negative was that my homestay was not as comfortable as we were hoping. We stuck it out for the week, but if you aren't comfortable with where you are staying, just tell the staff and they will move you immediately. Buena onda!

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Brandon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The month my life changed!

Not only did I have the time of my life, but in just 3 short weeks my life changed for the good! Maximo showed me what an adventure really is. My trip was so EPIC that I didn't even stay in contact with my family or friends back home ... I was engulfed in a world that was unlike anything of my own or anything else I've experienced. Culture, adventure, experience and memories is what I took from this trip and nobody will get anything less than that I GUARANTEE it !! I spent 10 days living on a wildlife conservation and took care of animals that wouldn't even be allowed as pets in my own country. I climbed the ancient ruins of Tikall. I zip-lined along side two different species of monkeys. I climbed a volcano and roasted marshmallows over lava rocks. I learned how to surf and fire spin in El Salvador, which now is a new hobby of mine. I even tried to Salsa with my house mother!
Nothing was short of excitement and adventure which is what the fantastic Maximo team offers and will make sure is given to each and every volunteer. I'm just biding my time until I come back and see my GUA family again. Truely missed, and because of this entire experience I NEED to be back out in the mighty jungle!
MAXXIIMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for the EPIC win!

What would you improve about this program?
If I could change one thing, it would be to have stayed longer. I definitely thought 3 weeks would have been long enough since I've never left home by myself before but the fun took the time right out from under me!
Next time I have to stay longer because then I would consider my whole experience to be nothing less than perfect.
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Nick
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience and a trustworthy program

2 months ago I was like most of you reading this as I scanned Google for companies that organized volunteer experiences. I landed on Maximo Nivel because on paper it appeared to be the most value for your buck. Although I did fear problems because this company was unknown to anyone I asked. I was truly relying on reviews found online. So if this sounds like you, let me reassure you in saying everything will be okay if you pick this company. They had my back all the time as I was in Guatemala and made it so that even though I was in a foreign place, I could come into the office and feel safe with people I could trust.

What would you improve about this program?
Parents get worried, even if you are 18 or older. It would be better if Maximo provided a number for the house you are going to be staying at before your program begins.
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Denise
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Guatemala

My experience in Guatemala was completely amazing! I was able to volunteer in two different orphanages. The children here were so loving and not only that, but I was able to learn so much from them. They have truly made a difference in my life. I was so grateful that my spanish speaking skills came in handy since I was able to communicate with them, with no problem. Not only was the experience of working in the orphanages great, the different activities that Maximo Nivel arranged for us were a blast! Maximo Nivel always made sure we felt safe and comfortable while in Antigua and truly made us feel at home! I had an incredible experience thanks to the different projects and activities Maximo arranged for us.

What would you improve about this program?
Over all the program was great! I would of liked to spend more time within the project, meaning that instead of just volunteering for half of the day we would have the option of doing full days. This way we could do a little more.