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 121 - 135 of 150
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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
Default avatar
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
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Katrina
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Daria
10/10

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 :)

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
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Sunan
10/10

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

Yes, I recommend
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Alexandra
10/10

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!!

How can this program be improved?
A lot of people don't know about it.
Yes, I recommend
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Nicolás
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
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mark
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend
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Brandon
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
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Nick
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
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Denise
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
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Natalie
10/10

Most Meaningful Travel Of My Life

My fourteen year old daughter inspired our journey to Guatemala and it was one of the best experiences of my life. When asked what she wants to do when she graduates from high school, her response has always been that she wants to help people. It seemed a volunteer vacation would be a great way to explore that.

From the time we arrived in Guatemala, we received excellent support from the staff at Maximo Nivel. A volunteer orientation was held the first day where we learned about the city of Antigua, safety, travel opportunities, Spanish class options, etc. A staff person from Maximo then led us on a tour to help us orient ourselves and pointed out banks, shopping, restaurants and other useful information.

Later that day we met with another Maximo staff person and he took us via chicken bus to our placement at an after school program in San Antonio. He showed us where to get on and off, how much to pay and how to find the school we'd be working at. We were introduced to the director of the program and then stayed a bit observing and basically hanging out to get a feel for things.

Our two weeks working at the school were incredibly satisfying and fun! Maximo's advice about being flexible is important to remember. This was not a US after school program, it was much looser. Be prepared to have some ideas on how to help with Math and English, especially if you don't speak much Spanish. It was challenging in the best of ways and every effort we made was truly appreciated.

We were in a home stay with the most amazing family! Everyone I've spoken with has been very happy with their accomodations and meals.

I could go on and on about how wonderful our experience was, but the main thing is if you're reading this and considering doing it, I strongly encourage you to go for it!! It was the experience of a lifetime and we look forward to working with Maximo Nivel in their other locations!

How can this program be improved?
Advice for future travelers...

Stay a bit longer if you can to do some sight seeing. We learned of many tours and trips once we arrived and we were amazed by how many cool things there are to do here!

For those that don't speak Spanish, I highly recommend taking a week or more of Spanish classes. It's cheap and the instructors are top notch. Even learning some basics helped us tremendously.

Bring those small packs of tissue for public bathrooms!

Be open and have fun!!!
Yes, I recommend
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Jennifer
10/10

My experience in Guatemala

Guatemala changed my view on life. I had the most inspirational trip and am so glad that I had the privilege to come and be apart of the amazing experience. I learned so much about the culture, people, and beautiful areas surrounding Antigua and I was only here for a week. This trip has helped me figure out what I want to do when I graduate college and has helped me develop a certainty for how much help I am capable of lending out a helping hand. This is by far the best trip I have ever been on and working with the children in the orphanages was a great experience. I wouldn't of had as much fun and knowledge about this trip if it wasn't for all the help I received from Maximo Nivel and for that I thank you.

Yes, I recommend
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Amy
9/10

Thank you!!!

Thank you to Maximo Nivel for a wonderful time in Guatemala. These past 2 weeks were great! I enjoyed getting to expierence another culture, meeting tons of people from all over the world, sightseeing, and most importantly volunteering at Casa Aleluya with some amazing children! You guys do a great job of making sure we have all the appropriate documentation prior to leaving for Guatemala. The support throughout the two weeks to ensure that I was getting the most out of my trip while remaining safe in a new location was great! I wish I knew about this program when I was younger! The orientation process was alittle slow when I first arrived, I felt like I wish I knew a little bit more about how things would begin [ such as volunteering is only a half day so you have time to do afternoon trips for sightseeing] but once everything got started it seemed to flow really well! Thanks again!!!

How can this program be improved?
More information on the volunteering. If I knew that I was only volunteering for half days I probably would have volunteered for a longer period of time and not done the mini adventure.
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...