• Guatemala

Program Details

Year Round


Price Details
Volunteers must find and pay for travel to and from the project. Volunteers must also cover pre-travel medical expenses (i.e. vaccinations) and language school if they are not yet conversational in Spanish.

• No fees to volunteer!
• Free room and board, access to limited health care, and international health insurance.
• A monthly stipend of ~$50 to $100 USD
What's Included
Accommodation Meals Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Equipment SIM cards Some Accommodation Some Activities Some Meals
Jul 18, 2018
Sep 04, 2012
4 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Do you love children? Are you interested in serving in Latin America for a year? NPH USA helps screen, place and support volunteers who serve for a year or more in one of the nine homes of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH): Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Bolivia, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. For the last 60 years NPH has provided a loving home to orphaned, abandoned and at-risk children. Children are not up for adoption, but live in a family environment where they receive love, education, health care, and life skills.

Volunteers commit for a year, and have a job on site during the day. Most volunteers work in education, administration and health care. In addition to their job, volunteers spend time with a group of children each evening. Volunteers live in community with other international volunteers from around the world.

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here.

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 2 reviews
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  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 4.5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Wish I could go back.

Best year of my life - This program had a huge impact on my life, personal development, and my current work and aspirations. I made friendships with the girls and other volunteers that have lasted long after the program's end, and I've already been back to Guatemala twice to visit.

If you're someone who likes adventure, and is willing to give your all for a year - but get a lifetime of experience back in return - this is the program for you.

26 people found this review helpful.
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Photo of Carrie Daut
Yes, I recommend this program

If you want to volunteer abroad in a professional role, don't look anywhere else.

My one-year volunteer commitment: January 2010-January 2011

**Note: For a quick summary of this review, scroll down to the ** at the end.

My volunteer job was to be the full-time Communications Officer. I worked in the onsite office from 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday. I created content for and managed our website, so a typical day involved writing stories, conducting interviews, taking photos, answering emails, writing newsletter content, updating the website, promoting content via social media, and more. For someone who is interested in journalism or communications as a career, it's difficult to find volunteer abroad opportunities so closely related to your interests, so this was a perfect fit for me! In addition to really enjoying my job, I also felt like I had an important impact on the organization. My articles and photos were used to fundraise throughout our international offices. On one occasion, a story I wrote about an older child inspired a donor to pay for this child's entire university fees. In another example, a story I wrote caused a child to go from zero sponsors to five in just a few short months. Bottom line: I definitely felt like I was making a tangible difference.

Friends of the Orphans has excellent support for its U.S. volunteers. Before you leave, they walk you through all the necessary paperwork steps. You receive handbooks on what to expect, as well as lots of online resources/current volunteer blogs to browse. Each leaving volunteer participates in a phone conference with a volunteer coordinator and former volunteers -- where all questions and concerns can be answered. Additionally, if you live in a city where Friends of the Orphans has an office, the office staff is another great resource. During your volunteer year, the U.S.-based Friends of the Orphans staff checks in on volunteers and makes themselves available for any needs. (In-country there will be a separate support system, headed by another volunteer coordinator.) Returning home, Friends of the Orphans also does follow-up emails and phone calls and assists each volunteer with their transition home. Bottom line: I felt supported and encouraged every step of the way!

Onsite fun = in Guatemala, you'll be living with 20+ other volunteers and 300+ kids. From holidays to festivals to sports to downtime spent goofing off, there is never a shortage of fun. Offsite fun = the Casa San Andres home in Guatemala is conveniently located about 20 minutes from Antigua, Guatemala. The backpacking capital of Guatemala (and possibly of Central America), Antigua is THE place for food, bars, dancing, meeting tons of travelers, visiting gorgeous colonial ruins, shopping, etc. It's also the jumping off point to travel anywhere else in the country/region. Bottom line: you're expected to work harder than you ever have in this volunteer program, but there can be just as much fun if you want it!

There is NO COST to volunteer with this program. On top of that, you receive free housing, 3 free meals a day, free access to an on-site clinic, and a monthly stipend. My stipend in Guatemala (January 2010 - January 2011) was $50 US per month. That doesn't sound like much, but when my housing and food is already taken care of, $50 US gets you pretty far in cheap Guatemala. You won't save up money by the end of your volunteer year, but you can definitely break even. If you plan on spending lots of money on travel/vacation, a couple thousand bucks saved up will be MORE than enough to last your year. Bottom line: This is the most economical year-long volunteer program out there. I challenge you to find a similar program with no fee to participate.

Onsite, conditions are very safe. The entire campus was enclosed by a fence at the far edges, and there was a 24-hour guard on duty. On onsite clinic was open 24 hours a day. I always felt extremely safe on the property. Offsite, you obviously need to use common sense when traveling alone, at night, on unknown streets. But in general, the small town near Casa San Andres was very safe and very friendly. People knew us and were always quick to help. Guatemala is quickly becoming a tourist-friendly place with better infrastructure, so it's easy and safe to get around. I personally never had any problems with safety during my year.

Overall experience:
Great professional experience. Low cost. New language learned. Tons of new friends. A new "family" in Guatemala (300+ people big). Amazing travels. Great support. Good balance of hard work and free time. I LOVED my experience volunteering with this organization, and I would highly recommend it.

**I just committed to 2 more years with this organization. I leave later this month. If that doesn't tell you how I felt about my volunteer experience, then I'm not sure what could. :)

27 people found this review helpful.
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Questions & Answers

We can accepted 2 parent families for a year of service in our Honduras home.