Guatemala Volunteer Program

Volunteers provide assistance to disadvantaged socio-economic groups within Guatemalan communities, focusing primarily on childcare, animals, health and education.

As a volunteer in Guatemala you can provide love, affection, education and support to children in need.  You will help to improve education in schools ensuring children learn and flourish.  As a volunteer you can practice and teach preventative healthcare, and hygiene.   Depending on your interests you can also contribute to building projects in impoverished communities, or in an animal rights project.  You will also provide education, inter-cultural exchange and understanding in Guatemalan communities.

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What to Expect?

Childcare and Support

At the childcare and orphanage (support) placements, volunteers assist the children with basic hygiene education, homework, organising games and activities, organising workshops and provide the children with love and attention. There are many different childcare placements available in Guatemala, including day care centres, school and orphanages, and many of the children suffer from poor domestic lifestyles and substance abuse in their families. 

Healthcare (working with the elderly)

Volunteers will work in the nursing homes and senior centres in and around La Antigua, with the aim of creating a compassionate and friendly atmosphere for the vulnerable elderly population. Volunteers will provide one-on-one attention, basic healthcare, assist with meal and medicine distribution and organising recreational activities. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own ideas to this placement as well.

Teaching English

At teaching English placements volunteers will be assisting teachers in educating local students in English. Volunteers will assist with workshops, organising educational games and activities and tutoring. Volunteers may also participate in fundraising and the collection of educational materials, and will be placed in either poor public schools, community centres or libraries.


At construction projects volunteers assist with the construction and/or renovation of schools and orphanages and the surrounding grounds. Volunteers will typically be involved with laying bricks, carpentry, painting, laying tiles, landscaping and gardening. The building projects are to help the community improve their schools and orphanages. Be prepared to be patient and flexible, and to get your hands and clothes very dirty.

Healthcare (clinic)

Volunteers work at either one of the rural clinics surrounding La Antigua, or in clinics for mentally and physically disabled children. There are roles for licensed professionals, medical students and pre-med students, however volunteers require at least intermediate Spanish as the staff they will work with have limited English. Volunteers should be aware that the range of activities available to them will depend on their experience as well. Notarized documentation of your medical school, nursing school, or other medical credentials will be required.

Animal Care and Animal Rights

Volunteers assist in the protection of domestic animals such as cats and dogs who do not enjoy the family status as their counterparts in the West. These animals are often neglected and abandoned, and volunteers will provide medical treatment, recreational activity and human contact for the animals. In addition, volunteers may have the opportunity to participate in educational programs for local schools, spay neuter programs, rabies vaccinations, and the construction of dog runs and fencing.

Coffee Cooperative

In the Coffee cooperative program, volunteers will assist with the sustainable production of coffee in a coffee-farming community, in the Guatemalan highlands. Volunteers may be involved with coffee-picking in the fields, roasting the beans and packaging the final product, alongside wider agricultural activities, such as helping in the nursery. As well as various agricultural activities, volunteers will also be involved in marketing of the coffee product to the wider market and with support of the community by helping in reforestation and possible construction projects.

Lake Clean Up and Conservation

In the Lake Clean Up and Conservation program, volunteers will assist to preserve the lake's natural resources by raising awareness and educating the population on the proper use of the lake and its basin. The three main areas that volunteers will be involved in are environmental education, natural resources management and environmental cleanup.

  • Program ID: # 2328
  • duration:
    1 to 2 Weeks
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
    1 to 3 Months
    More than 3 Months
  • location:
    La Antigua
    14° 33' 24.0084" N, 90° 44' 0.0132" W
  • Fitness level:
    Light Impact
  • Closest Airport:
  • Costs From:
    $1000 to $1500
    $1500 to $3000
  • Program Type:
    Community Development Projects
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
    Teach Overseas
    Women's & Youth Programs
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