Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare
year round, start and end dates are flexible
Combine your passion for animals with doing good by helping improve the lives of street dogs. The volunteer project in the animal shelter in Guatemala is located in Quetzaltenango (also known under the name of Xela). It is the second largest city of Guatemala, regional capital and an important cultural and economic center. Xela is located in the picturesque highlands at 2300 meters (7,500 feet) above sea level.
As a volunteer, you will be working with an organization made up of a group of people who are dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of outcast, abandoned, and neglected animals. They provide the animals with food, medical assistance, rehabilitation, and a new home in order to give them a better chance of survival.
The organization’s main concern is to protect and rescue dogs that would otherwise live in unbearable conditions on the streets or on chains in backyards. The organization also provides educational work for animal keepers regarding their responsibilities when caring for and training animals. It also teaches them to immediately report abuse. To achieve these goals, they founded a non-profit organization, which allows them to act as an organizational unit and launch more activities for the rescue of animals and their well-being. Currently, about 35 dogs are part of this project (number varies and serves as a guideline only!)
The stray animals that are rescued from the streets are often sick and have been victims of abuse, including females with pups.
The animals are cared for and placed in a new home where they receive love and affection, allowing them to properly grow and develop. Depending on their needs, the rescued animals are given basic veterinary care, vaccinations, disease treatment, sterilization, removal of parasites, baths, socialization, feeding, and more.
The volunteer work in this project in Guatemala may include the following tasks and responsibilities:
- Feeding the animals
- Administering medicines
- Animal care (bathing, combing, etc.)
- Helping with the vaccinations
- Taking dogs for walks
- Playing with dogs
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
An important part of our volunteer work programs in Latin America is providing an intense, rewarding experience that exposes you to the everyday life and culture of the host country. Therefore, our volunteers live in homestays so that they can immerse right into local customs, taste authentic meals, and experience the life of Guatemalans first-hand. You will be amazed by how quickly your Spanish skills will improve each day.
Our homestays are carefully screened and selected, and some hosts have many years of experience hosting foreign guests. You will stay in a single room and your bathroom may be private or shared. Full board is included from Monday to Saturday.
Not every homestay has internet, but there are internet cafés in Quetzaltenango.
Quetzaltenango, also called “Xela” is the second most important city in Guatemala, regional capital and an economic and cultural center and is located in the picturesque highlands of Guatemala at an altitude of 2,300 meters (7,500 feet) above sea level. It has a beautiful backdrop of volcanoes, including the towering Santa María with its active lava dome “Santiaguito”.
The city is known for classicist buildings such as the House of Culture and the restored Theater. In the city itself you will find colorful markets where the Mayan women of the surrounding villages offer their goods and handicrafts, cultural centers, museums, as well as beautiful plazas and parks, where you can relax and watch the hustle and bustle.
Xela is located about 210 km (130 miles) northeast of the capital Guatemala City and about 150 km (93 miles) northeast of the pretty tourist town of Antigua.
The surrounding area invites to various excursions and activities. So, you can visit archaeological sites, enjoy the beautiful landscape in the warm waters of the thermal baths, do outdoor sports, climb volcanoes and other mountains and get to know the authentic Guatemala life on the markets of the surrounding small highland villages. A special feature of the area are brightly painted churches that bring a splash of color on the respective plaza.
The average daily temperature is 18 °C. The coldest months are December to February. The rainy season is from May to November.
Spanish at communication level. For optimal preparation for your volunteer work in Guatemala, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts. This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by our partner organization in Guatemala located in Antigua.
Depending on the day of arrival in Guatemala, the program includes one to three nights in Antigua in a single room with a host family (full-board expcept on Sunday).
Before you leave for the project site, you will take part in an orientation talk with our colleagues there.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project with Stray Dogs in Guatemala includes:
- Single room in Homestay (full board from monday - saturday)
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Elaboration of your internal application profile
- Volunteer Work Placement in Guatemala
- English-speaking in-country support
- Welcome meeting in Antigua
- Escort to the volunteer project on the first day
- Handbook Guatemala
- Intercultural guideline
- Certificate of participation
- Information regarding suitable travel insurance
- 24/7 emergency number
Application fee: US$ 120
Program fee: US$ 530 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Each additional week: US$ 130
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.
Note: The pictures do not give an exclusion of the current animal population, as this can change at any time.