Volunteering in Guatemala

The Land of the Maya!

As the largest country in Central America, Guatemala has a lot to offer. Whether climbing an active volcano, making a detour to the picturesque Lake Atitlán, or exploring countless trekking routes that lead through the jungle passing ancient Mayan ruins. Any adventurous heart will beat faster in Guatemala when it comes to exploring this diverse land. From a cultural point of view, Guatemala is also an absolute hotspot in Latin America, as the majority of its population still has ancient traditions that are strongly influenced by their Mayan ancestors. Guatemala's history cannot be imagined with the Maya - the indigenous people of the country, since they influence the everyday life in the country to this day. But Guatemala is not only known as the land of the Maya, but also as the country of origin of delicious highland coffee and for its well-preserved colonial cities such as Antigua, which attracts many visitors with its beautiful architecture.

Why is Guatemala so interesting for Volunteer Travel?

There is a lot to discover in Guatemala. The most famous sight of course has to do with the Maya: the ruins of Tikal in the north of the country. There are ancient buildings and temples and palaces testify the influence of this city until the 9th century. On the way to Tikal, you can hardly avoid a stop in the lovely town of Flores. Definitely worth a visit is the imperial city of Cobán, which is located in the lowlands and is the ideal growing place for coffee. The city of Chichicastenango, which is almost 6,600 feet above sea level, offers a paradise for art lovers, souvenir collectors and delicatessen fans with its dazzling and colorful markets. Not to forget the two coasts of Guatemala, that are ideal places for those travelers who need summer, sun, beach and sea. The Monterrico area, located on the Pacific coast, is still THE insider tip for every Guatemala fanatic. Would you like some Caribbean flair? With its palm-rich beaches, reggae music and its inhabitants, the Garifuna, who also like to orient themselves on the Jamaican lifestyle, Livingston offers the perfect destination.

A volunteer work in Guatemala offers you the opportunity to experience this country and its friendly inhabitants up close.

Why should I work as a volunteer in Guatemala?

Not only does Guatemala have something for every traveler, it is still one of the poorer countries in Latin America. Unfortunately, this is particularly visible in the health and social area. Many institutions that work for children, the socially disadvantaged or the sick must do so with little financial and material help. In these projects and institutions, any kind of help is not only desirable, but also urgently needed.

With volunteer work abroad, not only can you personally gain a lot of experience, you can also help in the right place, where help is necessary. Your support is of great importance, as every helping hand is needed. Many projects would not be possible to sustain without the numerous volunteers. We have different volunteer projects in Guatemala. It’s up to you to decide in which area you want to get involved.

Volunteering abroad has many advantages, not only for the local people but also for you. Working as a volunteer adds value to your CV and can positively influence your future career path. Even though you may not be working in your desired profession during your volunteer work, your commitment is testimony to the fact that you have so-called "soft skills" that are of great help in later job search. Many employers reward you if you have cross-cultural know-how, tolerance, adaptability, intercultural understanding and team spirit. These skills are needed in international teams and working in our globalized world. A foreign experience as a volunteer in another country, makes you more interesting!

What types of volunteer work are available in Guatemala?

As diverse as the country itself, so diverse are the volunteer opportunities in Guatemala. In addition to many social assistance projects with children, adolescents and the sick, there are also meaningful projects in the fields of construction and development work. In addition, numerous animal welfare projects are offered, which are dedicated to the rescue and release of endangered animals.

With the large number of volunteer projects being offered in Guatemala, it may be difficult to make a decision. Before deciding on a project, it is important to first understand what area you would like to work in and what purpose you want to support. Define for yourself what are your strengths, interests and abilities. Do you feel like working with children, animals or commuities? Also, think about the area where you would like to volunteer. Close to nature? In a city? In the countryside? At the coast? In the mountains? In the jungle?

For each aid project you will find a detailed program description on our homepage. You can also read about the volunteer tasks and activities that you will perform during your volunteer service. So, you can check again if the volunteer project really fits in with your ideas and expectations. In the section “quick facts” of each volunteer program you can find more about minimum stay, working hours, type of accommodation and meals, minimum age, climate, location, etc. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us anytime.

Where are the Volunteer Projects in Guatemala located?

Guatemala is known for its tropical climate. Weather conditions vary depending mainly on the altitude. In the highlands in the south and west, which is mostly volcanic origin, there is a rather temperate climate. In the lowlands, in the north, there is a hot tropical climate. Guatemala's rainforest is characterized by hot and humid temperatures, especially during the rainy season and warm temperatures in the dry season. The two coastal regions, the beautiful Pacific coast in the southwest and the stunning Caribbean beaches in the northeast, are part of the lowlands.

One of the most beautiful colonial cities in Latin America is Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in close proximity to Guatemala City. It offers its visitors numerous attractions, magnificent Renaissance buildings, picturesque churches and many museums waiting to be discovered. In Antigua and the surrounding area, we offer volunteer projects in the areas of child protection, social work, community development, health and construction. The protection of native animals is an important issue in Guatemala and so we also offer various projects in this area.

Our projects are spread over several locations throughout the country, including Xela (Quetzaltenango), the second largest city in Guatemala, located at 7,900 feet above sea level and surrounded by the mighty volcanoes of Santiaguito, Siete Orejas, and Cerro Quemado. Another location is the city of Flores, whose original center is located on an island in the lake Petén Itzá. Another project location is Monterrico, on the beautiful Pacific coast in the Hawaii region.

We offer volunteer projects in Guatemala in the following areas:

This link will take you to the volunteer opportunities that we offer in Guatemala
 Volunteer projects in Guatemala

What language skills do I need to become a Volunteer in Guatemala?

An important requirement for volunteering in Guatemala is language skills. English is a great way to communicate abroad since you will meet a lot of international people who speak English. However, it is also important that you speak the native language Spanish. At least you should have a good basic knowledge, because with your volunteer service in Guatemala you will get as much contact as possible with the locals, to experience their culture and way of life, to get to know their traditions and to communicate with them. Only when you speak the local language, you can get the most out of your volunteer travel abroad.

Your Spanish skills are limited to "hola" and "gracias"? Then we advise you to study Spanish in Guatemala in our language school in Antigua. Even if you already speak some Spanish you can improve your Spanish skills in one of our advanced Spanish groups. Aside from learning Spanish, a language course is the ideal opportunity to meet like-minded people and socialize quickly during your stay abroad.

In Guatemala we offer language courses in the following city: