VOLUNTEERING IN GUATEMALA
Have you always wanted to travel the world and spend some of your time helping others through a volunteer program? The first thing you should do is to think of the things you would like to do during that experience abroad. Don’t miss the chance to see exotic and unique places, to visit cities with great stories and to help others. If the above criteria is on your list to do while traveling abroad, consider taking part in our volunteer programs in Guatemala.
Volunteering is an experience that allows you to put your knowledge into practice and improve your skills. At the same time you will support communities, children and young people while they’re working on their personal and professional growth. Therefore, international volunteering is a unique way for you to learn about new cultures.
First and foremost, volunteer programs in Guatemala have been created to benefit the most vulnerable children and youth of the population with whom we work.
This is general information, you will find specific information on each project in its section. Depending on each program, different information will be included and there will be different arrival and cooperation timetables.
PROGRAMS IN GUATEMALA
All volunteer projects in Guatemala are available:
- Between January and December. It’s worth mentioning that this is within the school period of Guatemala.
Volunteer programs in Guatemala begin on Mondays of each month.
Our volunteers work from Monday to Friday on shifts from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm, and from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
The day usually starts with breakfast around 6:30 am and the projects open at 7:30 am.
Classes are normally attended by children between the ages of 5 and 15.
Volunteers who participate in our projects in Guatemala stay with host families selected by the organization. The families offer a safe, comfortable place with rooms shared with other volunteers of the same gender, shared bathrooms and common areas. They will welcome you with open arms and treat you as another member of the family.
Accommodation with the selected host family includes the following:
3 daily meals from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays only breakfast is provided and Sunday meals are not included. If you require a special diet for health reasons, the family will be notified.
Meals are not included during the following celebrations:
- 24 December – Christmas Eve
- 1 January – New Year’s Day
- Easter – Good Thursday and Good Friday (March or April)
- 1 May – Labor Day
- 25 June – Patronal Feast of Antigua Guatemala
- 30 June – Army Day
- 15 September – Guatemalan Independence Day
- 15 August – Patronal Feast of Jocotenango
- 1 November – All Saints’ Day
Adventure Volunteer encourages people over the age of 18 to spend a bit of their time helping others. The projects we work on are adapted to volunteers who want to travel alone, in groups of friends, families, university students and couples. If you are 17 years old, you can participate with the permission of your parents or legal guardian.
As a volunteer you must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Be of legal age.
- Willing to actively participate in educational and social activities that require your commitment.
- Capable of working in a team. This is important, as you will be working with other volunteers and people from different cultures.
- Be empathetic as during your volunteering you will meet people with limited resources, different lifestyles and different work rhythms.
- As a volunteer you will also have to be flexible.
The cost of the volunteer programs in Guatemala starts at €585 for the first 2 weeks. Each additional week costs €180.
WHAT IS INCLUDED ?
- Airport pick-up
- Accommodation in selected host families
- Orientation and induction day to the program
- 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team
- Program monitoring and evaluation
- Volunteering certificate
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Flight to Guatemala
- Visa, if necessary
- Medical Insurance
- Internal transport
- Return to the airport on the last day
- Extra meals or drinks
- Trips inside or outside the country
ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION
As soon as you arrive in Guatemala, the local coordinator will pick you up from the La Aurora International Airport, which is located in the capital city of Guatemala. You will then be taken by public transportation to the family home, where you will stay until the end of your project.
Depending on what time you arrive, you will be given the orientation the same or the next day. We will tell you in a general way the basic rules of the house and the place where it’s located. We will also explain all details of the program that you will take part in.
Accommodation in the homes of selected families includes three meals a day. You will share a room and a bathroom with other volunteers of the same gender and there will be common areas in the house, as well. Each volunteer will also have keys for access to the house.
The weather in Guatemala tends to be warm and mild. The average temperatures are around 17.2 °C. March is the driest month and June is the wettest. January has the lowest average temperature of the year, 15.6 °C. Throughout the year, temperatures usually vary by 2.8 °C.
The country’s official currency is Cordoba. You can use both local currency and dollars during your trip. However, it’s recommended that you exchange the currency in the country of destination. You can also go to your bank or withdraw money with credit cards in Guatemala.
Your flight must have as its final destination the La Aurora International Airport, where you will be picked up and transferred to the family home.
Flights cost between 600 and 800 euros depending on the season. You can find flights with the following airlines: Iberia, Delta, American Airlines, United and Copa.
In Guatemala, you will find many beautiful places surrounded by nature, culture and traditions. While in Sacatepéquez, enjoy a unique day without having to go too far.
Considered one of the best-kept cities in Central America, one of the most attractive places in Sacatepéquez and the most important for Guatemala. You can appreciate the architecture of the cathedrals, temples and streets that will make you feel as if time had stopped in past.
Among the most attractive and visited places of Antigua Guatemala are:
- San Pedro Hospital Church and Capuchinas Convent
- Hermitage of Santa Cruz
- Ruins and Church of the Society of Jesus
- Church of San Agustín y la Merced
- Arch of Santa Catalina
- Ruins of San Francisco
CERRO DE LA CRUZ
If you are a photography lover and would like to get to know Antigua Guatemala in a different way, don’t miss a walk to the Cerro de la Cruz. It’s named after the cross that is located on the hill, which gives a unique view of the city.
TIKAL NATIONAL PARK
To take a tour of the Tikal National Park is to travel in time. It’s considered one of the biggest cities of the Mayan civilization. Many visitors take the whole tour in one day to immerse themselves in this immense and attractive city that hides many mysteries.
One of the most visited tourist destinations in Guatemala. The walks take place in locations surrounded by forests. The view from its summit is impressive for its nature and unique landscapes.
How many hours a day should I stay in the project?
Generally we ask volunteers to work a minimum of 3 or 4 hours a day.
Do I have to bring school supplies?
Although it’s not obligatory for the volunteer to bring school or didactic material for the project, everything that is brought is very well received as resources are limited.
How much money should I bring for my trip?
The cost of the project covers accommodation, meals and airport pick-up on the day of your arrival. Usually the volunteer spends between 10 to 20 dollars a day. In case you make some excursions or buy some souvenirs, you should take a little more money according to the trips you want to make. In Antigua Guatemala you will find many ATMs, but you should check with your bank before traveling and verify that you can use your card abroad.
What should I carry in my suitcase?
We recommended carrying a backpack as it’s more comfortable for traveling, comfortable shoes or sandals, light but not tight pants, T-shirts, light jacket as nights are usually cool, hat, sunglasses and mosquito net.
The first thing to do: From the moment you fill out the registration form for a program in Guatemala, your place is reserved for 7 days.
Step 2: To confirm your place definitively, you must pay a deposit of €150 within these 7 days. Once the deposit is paid, your place will be guaranteed and you will formally become part of the Adventure Volunteer family.
Step 3: As soon as you pay the program deposit, we will send you an email to confirm that your place is safe. After that, you will receive another email with additional information explaining everything you need to know to prepare your trip. The rest of the payment is made one month before you join the project.