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!
- 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).
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 per week in weeks 1 & 2. Full board in weeks 1 & 3. Breakfast & lunch in week 2.
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 & 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 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.