Volunteer Projects in Guatemala with Safe Passage

Video and Photos

Learning English
Learning English
Volunteer Hugs
Volunteer Hugs
Eating Together
Eating Together
Niños Smiling
Niños Smiling

About

We serve families with an integrated program that incorporates healthy living, strong academics, life skills and psychosocial support, creativity, and fun. Our programs are designed so that each affiliate gains the skills needed to obtain a stable job, to be self-sufficient and self-reliant, and to lead their families out of poverty in a dignified and permanent way. Most volunteers work directly with students in any one of our classrooms for students, age 3 years-sixth grade. These volunteers, called Classroom Assistants, work with their assigned teachers each day, supporting the learning objectives of each subject area and providing motivation and individual attention to students to support healthy self-esteem development. Our organization also benefits from volunteer participation in a variety of other departments including Adult Literacy and Social Entrepreneurship, Kitchen/Operations, and Public Relations/Development.

Highlights
  • Opportunity to learn and work with an incredibly resilient population while gaining professional experience
  • Experience of diverse environment, providing potential to dvelop cultural competence within Guatemala and with volunteers from around the world
  • Ideal position for those with a beginner level of Spanish to have a positive impact in a short period of time

Impact

Promote positive change in this unique community, working to enhance self-esteem, improve psychosocial functioning, and academic and financial success of program participants.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A rewarding and life-changing experience with a supportive, friendly team!

I volunteered as part of Safe Passages Health Team. I felt fully integrated into the team of both long-term volunteers as well as Guatemalan staff. My days were busy working alongside teachers and staff members, lesson planning, and supporting students in the classroom. The staff went out of their way to make sure I had a positive experience, and to welcome me into the community. Safe Passage does a wonderful job integrating into the local community in a positive and sustainable way, and they make sure to impart this ethos on their volunteers.
I made incredible friends, improved my Spanish, and learned so much about Guatemala. On the weekends, it felt easy, safe, and inexpensive to explore the surrounding area. Safe Passage is an incredible organization with a strong mission and passionate, creative, welcoming people. I can't recommend this place enough!

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Ditte
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Touching and Memorable Experience

Having worked with both the very youngest children and the very oldest children at the project, I feel I have been given a great insight in their lives and been introduced to their daily struggles in very different ways. Working with children was very new for me, and I didn't expect myself to enjoy working with the very small ones, but you immediately connect so deeply with these children, and after less than one week, I knew that I would never be ready to leave them again.
Being a part of this project is such a special way of traveling, because not only do you feel of use and help make a positive difference in struggling children's lives - you also have your own little community that is always there for you, and among the other volunteers you create friendships shared over and experience that no one else can ever really understand.
I know that once I leave, I will always look warmly back on my time here, and I'm sure, I'll come visit more than once in the future.

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Aleka
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer project full with truely kind people.

I volunteered with safe passage in January 2019 for 5 weeks. Although I only did the minimum amount of time but I could have easily stay longer, there has also been many times since leaving I have concidered returning and defiantly plan to some time in the future. Working with children was some completely new for me and the first day was certainly a realisation but every step was supported by the great staff and other volunteers. I am so great full for the oportunity safe passage has given me. It wasn’t just about the volunteering, safe passage has created a little community with great people who are trying to do their bit to help the world. Every morning when I would walk into the class room and the little 5 year olds with be so joyful and it would remind me why I started this journey. I have also made international friends who I still keep in contact with, I also made a friendship with the local teacher who gives me regular updates on how the little bundles of joy are progressing.

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Kira
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An unforgettable experience

I cannot say enough good things about Safe Passage and the volunteer program. The support that the volunteer team provides ensured I felt prepared and safe as I traveled down to Guatemala. When I arrived at the project I immediately felt like part of the community. I have been working as an english tutor with the high school aged students, and having the opportunity to interact with the students and form meaningful connections with them is unlike any other volunteer experience I've had.
Everyday at the project is different and brings new challenges and opportunities. Working as a part of the international volunteer group has given me the chance to meet and work with people from all over the world. I have greatly enjoyed my experience here and I know that I will be returning in the future to work with this incredible program.

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Janice
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Come make a difference- Safe Passage works with the whole person, the whole family and the whole community

I'm heading into the last week of my 5 weeks with Camino Segura (Safe Passage). I've had a chance to observe how the project works with children and adults through education, health, physical and emotional, nutrition, and how well it is structured to make a difference in the lives of young students living near the city dump. Kids feel secure here, they get an education and so much more, a safe place to learn and grow. Parents are invited in to be part of this opportunity and they know the value of the education their kids are getting.
I love that Camino Segura also provides support through education for teens, ESL, and work projects for young moms, parenting programs, and literacy skills for older adults.
In a country that does not always prioritize education, Camino Segura is a beacon of hope. As Nelson Mandela has said, " No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Education is the great engine of personal development."

International volunteers add an element of intrigue and exposure that regular classrooms don't always have. Come make a difference by sharing your time and talents and be prepared to be transformed by the experience!

Just a word of warning for mature adults who like the relaxed, retired life, the days are long, starting and ending with a 1.5 hour school bus ride to Guatemala city, so be prepared. It makes for a long day. If you do stay with a family, you do come home to a meal prepared for you. Kind of makes up for time on the bus.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The first day overlooking the dump- overwhelmed by the sites, the smells, the stories of devastation - that was challenging.
The very next day, meeting students and seeing so many smiles, along with dedicated staff, made it all worthwhile.
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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

More Than Just a Workplace

I came to Safe Passage a few months after graduating high school for a year of learning Spanish, meeting new friends, and hopefully leaving an impact on a community. However, I quickly saw that Safe Passage is more than just a workplace. Camino Seguro is a community filled with amazing students and teachers. Everyday the students and staff/volunteers arrive at school with smiles, ready to take on the day. These positive attitudes makes SP an awesome and fun place to work. Not only are you teaching kids, but you're learning from some of the most resilient kids and families during your time at Sage Passage. Additionally, the volunteer staff at the project is incredible. They worked with me to make sure I was both prepared before I left and comfortable once I had arrived. I would definitely recommend Safe Passage to anyone looking for fantastic place to work and volunteer!!

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courtney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An incredible and genuine experience

I had an amazing time working with Safe Passage in Guatemala city. The program allowed me to improve on my skills in the areas that I was particularly interested in, as well as create beautiful connections with the staff and community members involved. The community that Safe Passage works with is a very challenging environment, and the volunteer program provides so much support that I felt safe and encouraged the entire time. Donnica was an incredible influence on my time there, she provides such positive and supportive energy, I couldn't have has such a wonderful experience without her.
I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in a challenge where they can provide immediate impact and be involved in a real community.

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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Safe Passage has given more to me than I have given to them

Safe Passage has given more to me than I have given to them. I first came to Safe Passage in January 2017 thinking I would only be there for six months. Almost two years later, I am still in Guatemala, working with Camino Seguro, living a life I never imagined in the best way. In this time, I have gained so much knowledge about the resilience of the community where I work and the abilities of myself as an individual. The staff and volunteer here are so fun and supportive, and the students that I work with as an English tutor ensure that no day is ever boring. It truly is an experience that has helped me grow in a plethora of ways.

Paddy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A new world, a new me

This volunteership has introduced me to a world so different from the one I grew up in. The Basurero in Guatemala City represents a humanitarian crisis, and volunteering here has brought me in direct contact with the parents and children of the local community. In working with them as a maths tutor and primary classroom assistant, I have learned how much can be achieved when we put our heads together, and how the human spirit will fight whatever odds. The volunteer team and staff are a collection of caring, gritty individuals who have been a pleasure to work alongside. I feel like a much stronger, experienced person as a result of my time here.