Learn Spanish, Sea Turtle & Marine Conservation in Guatemala

Location
Guatemala
Length
2 to 3 weeks
Housing
Host Family Hostel Hotel
Age
18 - 100 years
91 travelers are looking at this program

About This Program

Come to Guatemala for a unique blend of learning Spanish, sea turtle & marine conservation, volunteering, active volcanoes, Mayan culture & adventure!

First week in Antigua - Guatemala’s ‘must visit’ destination filled with history and vibrant culture, enjoying homestay accommodation. Each morning there are Spanish lessons with one day volunteering in a local junior school.

Week two; your cultural immersion continues as you transfer 80km south to the beautiful Pacific coastal village of Monterrico. A busy schedule of Spanish lessons, community volunteering and marine conservation to help you maximize your time.

Week three (optional); sea turtle & marine conservation at ARCAS (Hawaii beach). Focus is the important sea turtle nesting grounds and mangrove forest.

Volunteers pay a fee in order to cover the cost of their stay and contribute to the volunteer programs. It helps us make an impact in the community and provides you with an amazing Guatemalan experience!

Highlights

  • First week in Antigua enjoying homestay accommodation & Spanish lessons before transferring to Monterrico - a cool pacific beachside location famous for sea turtles and unique biosphere.
  • Meaningful volunteering includes volunteering in local schools and sea turtle & marine conservation.
  • Turbo charge your Spanish with intensive lessons during first two weeks - tailored to all levels - combined with interactions with local people through volunteering.
  • A busy program including accommodation, meals, Spanish lessons, volunteering, transfer from Antigua to Monterrico and 24/7 program support.
  • Two start dates per month but welcome to arrive anytime - we also arrange airport transfers on request (1+ hour from Guatemala City).

Homestay accommodation in Antigua in week 1 with time to enjoy and explore this exciting city including full program support to help you optimise your time.

During weeks 1 (Antigua) & 2 (Monterrico) Spanish lessons are usually in the mornings from 09:00 – 11:45 (3 x 45 mins daily Monday to Friday) but occasionally are scheduled for the afternoon to facilitate access to schools where a lot of our volunteer activities will be focused. Spanish lessons are tailored to suit all levels following Cervantes curriculum (beginner to advanced) and are designed to help you interact with the local community.

Volunteering tasks are varied and we enlist junior school pupils in many of our projects – many hands make light work! Part of our objective/legacy is to ensure that today’s kids become model citizens enjoying and respecting the local environment including wildlife to be found in the nearby Mangrove forest, and sea life including turtles that nest here.

During week 3 we move 3km up the coast to ARCAS for a residential volunteer placement. ARCAS is a wildlife rescue & conservation association supported by the Guatemalan government with a primary objective to protect the regions most important seas turtles and to help ensure conservation of the last remaining mangroves in Guatemala.

Volunteers work between 6-10 hours per day and jobs include; maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings, beach cleaning, night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season), transport of food and water, collection of data and releasing baby turtles into the ocean (in season).

What's Included
Accommodation
Activities
Some Meals
Transportation
More info on what's included:

15 intensive Spanish lessons per week in weeks 1 & 2. Full board in weeks 1 & 3. Breakfast & lunch in week 2.

What's Not Included
Airfare
Travel Insurance
More info on what's not included:

Lots of optional extra activities in Antigua and Monterrico. Includes volcano hikes in Antigua, and watersports in Monterrico. Can be arranged at short notice - speak to your Program Manager for more information when you arrive, or ask a question today!

HOUSING:

Your base in Monterrico is El Delfin Hotel – a cool backpacker hostel right on the beach with hammocks, swimming pool and lots of toys (including wifi!) to help you relax and unwind during your free time. The program is quite busy but there is still free time to enjoy a great social life and participate in the many other activities you can enjoy here.

NOTE : though program start date is Sunday you are welcome to arrive early and pay for extra nights bed & breakfast. We are open 365 days a year!

MEALS:

Fresh fruits, scrambled eggs, tortillas and plantains for breakfast served beachside while staying at the El Delfin Hotel.

In Antigua one morning is spent volunteering in a local school. As well as being a classroom assistant you will also assist during meal and recreational periods.

In Monterrico our focus is community and environmental volunteering including sea turtle conservation. We work closely with ARCAS - a wildlife rescue & conservation centre supported by the Guatemalan government with a primary objective to protect the areas vitally important seas turtles and to help ensure conservation of the last remaining mangroves in Guatemala.

Activities include maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings (including 3 hatcheries – 70,000 eggs incubated in 2017), beach cleaning, night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season), transport of food and water, collection of data and releasing baby turtles into the ocean (in season). We also work with local schools to raise environmental awareness and respect for this special place.

Video

Pricing

2 Weeks
$755 USD
3 Weeks
$1115 USD

Hosted by Monterrico Adventure

Guatemala – frankly it’s a winner. Spanning the centre of central America with a foot in both the Caribbean and Pacific seas, it has a string of majestic volcanos running through its core, highlands, mangrove forests, glorious white sandy beaches and...
Tim Poullain Patterson
Program Director
Have a question?
Send Tim a Message

Reviews

93%
based on 4 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Default avatar
Nellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Eventfull but chill 3 weeks

Thanks to monterricoadventure I got to teach english to schoolchildren learn spanish and volunteer one week at a tortugaria (where we fed parrots, took care of turtle eggs and ate AMAZING food) . I enjoyed my stay in hotel delfin where the staff is super kind. The hotel is right by the sea so the view from the breakfast table is amazing. The only downside to the trip was that I happened to be the only volunteer during theese 3 weeks, but I was never alone though! You meet alot of people at the hotel and of course Gabrielle the organisator is great company! If you want to visit other places or do certain activities you can just say so and Gabriel will help you arrange your plans. The program is not set in stone. I recommend visiting antigua over a weekend.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you are here to learn spanish, try to talk to the locals. Everybody here are very kind and eager to talk.
Default avatar
Anne
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Monterrico Adventure

I left Belgium on my own to do a one month travel in and around Guatemala with MonterricoAdventure.
Imagine wanting to go on adventure, but not knowing where to begin. With MonterricoAdventure, you will have the perfect journey. Imagine not having to worry about transportation, tickets, tours, the language, contacts,... but still having the best adventurous time of your life.
One of the best things about this organisation is the spontaneous personality of Gabriel. He was taking so much care of me and has years of experience traveling the world. The personal contact is perfect and even if you are traveling alone, you will never feel like it.
I wanted to combine volunteering and backpacking. This offers you best of both worlds. Thanks to Gabriel, you have a project you can start with, but you can still feel free and bring your own ideas. Working in the school is amazing. The kids and teachers are so thankful for everything you do. And in between the volunteering weeks, you have the chance to go exploring the beautiful El Salvador, lake Atitlan, Acatenango and Antigua. On a short time, you see so much but there’s still time to chill (and party) in the nicest hostels. Gabriel has found the perfect combo of all this.
Also the private spanish lessons from a friendly teacher are recommended.
Prepare for an active, challenging, heartwarming and inspiring journey. Time of my life! Thank you Gabriel and MonterricoAdventures!

What would you improve about this program?
Build a bigger organisation for volunteering so people can collect money and volunteers know where to use it for.
Default avatar
Laura
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing volunteering experience in Monterrico!

I volunteered in the beautiful town of Monterrico for two weeks. At the start of the program I was welcomed very warmly by Gabriel and Grace in Hotel El Delfin (right on the beach with a swimming pool!!). The hotel has a great view of the incredibly beautiful sunset and you can watch it from your hammock! During the first week of the program I took Spanish classes at the local Spanish school. My Spanish teacher, Jorge, got me talking Spanish very quickly. Besides my Spanish classes, I taught English at the Curvina school to kids between 7 and 9 years old. With games like bingo the kids learned English words and they defenitely taught me some Spanish too! On wednesday and friday we cleaned the beach and the mangroves with the kids and locals. You have no idea how much garbage was just lying there in the beautiful nature. That is why Monterrico Adventure also educates the kids and the community to throw there garbage in the trash bin.
During my second week, I volunteered at ARCAS, a wildlife rescue & conservation association. Here, I took care of the parrots, turtles and crocodiles by feeding them and cleaning there cages. The staff also took me kayaking in the Mangrove lake and showed me how to make an amazing smoothie with the cashew nut fruit from a tree that grows in the garden. After my second week I returned to Hotel El Delfin for their Saturday night celebrations with a live band and a lot of cocktails! That was a perfect ending to an amazing volunteering experience!!

Aaron
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun and Friendly

I spent over a week around Monterrico. The town feels small, friendly, safe, and fun. The staff at Hotel Delfin are always smiling and having a good time. After having just met you once, when they see you again they will come up to greet you with a smile and high five. The beach bar has a lively vibe with a great view. The restaurant is open air and right on the beach and a good chill spot to use wi-fi or chat up a new friend. I met lots of interesting people in Monterrico, from other young travelers willing to party, to friendly expats willing to share their knowledge, to locals wiling to chat about life.

FAQ

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