Guatemala’s ‘must visit’ destination Antigua is a place of rare beauty, major historical significance, vibrant culture and a global hot spot. Your first week is spent in Antigua enjoying homestay accommodation with 3 meals daily in the center of town. Each morning Monday to Friday there are 3 x 45 minute Spanish lessons with one morning volunteering in a local junior school to start your immersion into life in Guatemala and to prepare you for volunteering in Monterrico!
Your cultural immersion continues in week 2 when you transfer 80km south to the beautiful Pacific coastal village of Monterrico. A busy schedule of Spanish lessons and volunteering help you maximize your time here, before you transfer (3 week program only) a few kilometers along the coast for your final week volunteering with ARCAS. ARCAS are a wildlife rescue and conservation centre who do important environmental and conservation work focusing on the vitally important sea turtle nesting grounds and mangrove forest.
- First week in Antigua enjoying homestay accommodation & Spanish lessons before transferring to Monterrico - a cool pacific beachside location - for final two weeks volunteering in a local community right on the beach.
- Meaningful volunteering including placement at sea turtle sanctuary
- 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)
What to Expect
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).
15 intensive Spanish lessons
Housing & Meals
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!
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 an ‘umbrella’ project has been developed whereby kids accumulate stamps for 6 different ‘activity types’ during the year. As a reward, at the end of the year up to 30 of the most enthusiastic junior volunteers will enjoy a trip to Pacaya volcano and Antigua! Our job is to motivate them by effective communication in the schools and timetabling activities – with fun stuff tagged on! Our focus is community and environmental volunteering including sea turtle conservation.