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The northernmost Central American nation is Guatemala. Guatemala is a country of volcanoes, mountains, and beaches. It has coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean and is proud of its Mayan history, evidence of which still remains. Also, they are known for their art, architecture, mathematical and astronomical calendar.
The country is still scattered with Mayan ruins and the locals are very proud of their indigenous culture. It is home to a large number of beautiful tombs, graceful churches, volcanoes and several other tourist attractions. However, it is also struck with several domestic problems for which volunteers from world over are always welcome to help make changes.
The major requirement here is to make people self-sustainable in several fields like farming, construction and education. There is also a dire need for volunteers to take due care of elderly, children and women and teach skills to help them out. The people are incredibly friendly and help volunteers in their work too!
Don't waste lots of time looking around the' net at the hundreds of competing organizations offering volunteer in Guatemala programs, you'll be left confused as to how prices can be so varied, and unsure which companies actually provide a value for money experience. Instead use this handy guide our research team have complied to compare 11 of the best cheapest volunteer opportunities in Guatemala, to save you both time and money!
It is a global organization with Spanish schools setup all over Latin America and Spain. They offer international experiences in education, languages and work fields. They are based in 14 countries since 1971 and offer great volunteer programs here, amongst which Guatemala’s cheap volunteer opportunities are very popular. Their “Experiencias en Español” involves over 4000 participants per year.
Coined is currently based in three locations in Guatemala,offering cheap volunteer programs in Antigua, Hawaii and Peten. Volunteers are encouraged to apply to be a part of Guatemala’s cheap volunteer programs.
Elderly Care (Antigua)
Volunteers tend to the elderly in these organizations and also care for them by just talking to them. Volunteers may also help in cleaning, making beds, and helping with the medicines and ambulation of elderly as well as by spending time with them.
Volunteers help in the education and care of children aged from 0 to 6 years. They should spend time playing with the children and teaching them. These children come from poor or broken families and volunteers are expected to help them out deal with this through love and care.
Disabled care (Antigua)
Volunteers look after children aged 4 to 18 years with special educational needs. These children belong to poor backgrounds, and volunteers help them in developing their mental and motor skills. This will enable them to carry out activities at a partly individual level and to help them carry on with their education.
Nature Conservation (Peten)
This is a great opportunity to rescue marine turtles from egg harvests by humans and make sure that this ancient animal doesn't go extinct. Besides, volunteers will also collaborate in educational activities to teach young kids the importance of species survival and research to improve work on the project.
Volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with children and while teaching them, and with the animal conservation society as well as connecting with the elderly. They reviewed the programs separately for all locations on various volunteer websites and platforms, mentioning Guatemala as a lifetime experience where you get to help people in need of a better quality of life,
Everyone loved that affordable volunteer opportunities in Guatemala offered interacting with people of all ages. They later commented that each day had been incredibly rewarding, and the people they spent time with were equally incredible with their simplicity and loyalty.
I had a fantastic time with COINED. I really liked my host family--they were quite kind to me and flexible with my schedule. I really enjoyed my stay and I'm already willing to go back.- Victoria
Starting from $825 for two weeks, the price varies based on the project, location and duration of your program. However, it still remains a relatively affordable volunteer project in Guatemala. The fee is inclusive of support and advice from COINED staff, weekly tours and recreational activities, COINED tutorship, volunteer project placement, housing, airport transport and orientation.
RCDP Volunteer Abroad is based in Nepal with its volunteer programs spanning far and wide, all over the world. RCDP is a non-political, non-profit, and non-religious company and their motive is to be able to help and assist people regardless of their nationality, age and gender. Thousands of people apply every year to RCDP for volunteering in Cambodia, India, Uganda, Costa Rica, Ghana, and Peru etc. They have around 12,000 active members currently but the number keeps growing every year as more and more volunteers return and new ones also join in, especially in their cheap volunteer programs in Guatemala.
RCDP Program is a low-cost volunteer program in Guatemala. It has multiple projects and each project begins on every 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. Hundreds of volunteers are recruited every year from USA and UK colleges, universities and community organizations. They offer inexpensive volunteer programs in Guatemala’s two locations, namely Quetzaltenango and Xela. Each location has multiple projects that you can join as a volunteer, starting from minimum of 1 week to as long as 12 weeks.
Volunteers’ responsibilities in the orphanage project depend on their own skills and interests. Volunteers may act as mentors and companions to the children, teaching English, helping them with homework, playing various games and sports with them and organizing different fun activities for them to participate in. While this means caring more for the children, volunteers may also have to teach English to the children. Activities for volunteers include games, music, drawing, and imparting health education pertaining to hygiene etc. to help create awareness.
Street Children Project (Quetzaltenango)
The idea here is to try our level best to keep these children off the streets. So volunteers play multiple roles including that of a teacher, teaching English, math and other skills; and as a mentor to the children to help hone their skills. Volunteers also assist in daily routines which may include cooking, cleaning, maintenance and laundry.
Teaching in rural schools (Quetzaltenango)
Volunteers help local teachers during teaching of the English language. Volunteers may give home work, grade tests and help give individual coaching to students who find English hard. Volunteers may also provide expertise in setting the English curriculum, helping in activities which will aid their learning as well as in extracurricular activities. Volunteers may also help the administration with the setup and give advice, as per their skills.
Volunteers are given responsibilities based on their level of education, knowledge, experience, skill and preference. They assist doctors and nurses in carrying out their duties and may also be attached with the staff to help in their work. Volunteers are expected to help in health camps, distribute medicines, counsel patients regarding health issues, provide nutrition and sanitation counseling, and provide counseling to patients in any other arena. Volunteers may also help in tending to minor wounds and injuries. Moreover, they may help in regular chores like taking a patient's blood pressure, temperature, height, weight and other health related tasks.
Women’s Project (Quetzaltenango)
This is a sensitive project where women who have no support or are alone, or do not have enough resources to support themselves live. These women may also have suffered from physical abuse and domestic issues. Volunteers are expected to teach these women ways to help support themselves, combat such issues and become self-sustainable.
While it is a government funded project, volunteers are still needed due to the overwhelming amount of women and the amount of expertise needed. Volunteers may also translate reading materials into English if their Spanish is good, organize projects, write reports and arrange other things.
RCDP is one of the highest rated volunteer organizations largely because of how much volunteers praise and appreciate it on all forums. Almost all volunteers describe it as a rewarding experience that is not only well-organized but affordable too. They also praise the friendly environment and supporting staff members who always help. Several volunteers loved the system of living with host families as it helped them seep deeper into the culture and get a more authentic experience.
Very meaningful experience, cultivate my strong sense of promoting the local life standard and fulfill the people's need. Exactly an unforgettable memory in my life- FrankFei
RCDP is working hard to have affordable volunteer opportunities in Guatemala so that more and more volunteers can join. The fee starts from $100 for one week, and the volunteers' fee is paid directly to host families and projects. Part of the fee covers RCDP’s expenses. The program fee is divided into the registration fee ($269), a weekly fee that includes charges for room, food, coordination, and a project donation.
The registration fee breakdown is as follows:
The weekly fee is divided between the following:
These prices do not include airfare, visa, airport taxes, airport drop, extra expenses on food, mineral water or soft drinks, laundry charges, gifts, daily transportation costs, telephone expenses and immunization expenses.
IFRE Volunteers is non-profit organization which was founded in 2005 in Texas, USA. This is a large organization with over 200 projects in 18 different countries. They have already catered to over 19,000 volunteers, placing them for 12 weeks in Asia, Africa, and Latin America at cheap and affordable rates. IFRE is, specially offering cheap volunteer opportunities in Guatemala.
They work dedicatedly towards establishing a strong bond between volunteers and locals to achieve progress and meet targets efficiently. The volunteer programs are so well organized that they offer an enlightening travel and cultural experience, along with language courses and volunteer opportunities.
Currently, IFRE offers projects in Guatemala and free Spanish lessons to participants volunteering in projects based in Quetzaltenango. Inexpensive volunteer projects in Guatemala are located in Xela and Quetzaltenango. Most of their programs recruit all year round, with placements recommended to begin on a Monday - the dates are pretty much flexible.
Orphanage (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
IFRE volunteers are required to teach English for at least 3-4 hours a day. They may either teach at the orphanage or the day school that the children attend. Apart from teaching, volunteers may also assist in improving personal skills like dressing properly, maintaining personal hygiene and traveling to school safely.
Volunteers may also take part in organizing games for children, sports, teaching arts and crafts. Besides they can also help in organizing inter-school football matches, playing music, as well as teaching subjects such as mathematics, world affairs, hygiene and nutrition.
Street Children Project (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Volunteers here have a responsibility of trying to help children become self-confident and self-sufficient. They may help the local staff in teaching English and supervising or creating games; also arranging extra-curricular activities like arts and crafts, singing, dancing and homework, as well as acting as special companions to the children. Volunteers may also be asked to assist in daily activities like cooking, cleaning, helping with hygiene, maintenance, laundry, helping at bedtimes etc.
Teaching in rural schools (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Volunteers play an important role in helping the local staff and language-based setups teach English to people. They may also design various activities that make it possible to learn English easily. Furthermore, volunteers may also teach skills pertaining to maintaining good personal hygiene, hand hygiene and create awareness of such issues among children.
Health (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Volunteers are placed in large hospitals or rural health centers where their tasks may vary depending on their level of expertise. They may be asked to calculate the patients' vitals such as blood pressure, temperature, height and weight, and also carry out tasks related to the health center activities. They may also lend a hand in setting up health camps where they help in distributing medicines, provide tips to patients on health, nutrition and sanitation, or provide counseling to patients. Volunteers may tend to minor wounds, burns or minor injuries and help in maintaining records of patients and their history.
Women’s Project (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Women here are taught to become independent through various activities. Therefore volunteers will have duties that allow women to attain specific skills such as teaching English, accompanying other women to court trials, helping staff with carrying out daily activities, and helping with educational workshops on reproductive and preventative health, women’s rights, etc.
Volunteers may also help in workshops being held to teach women handicrafts, arts such as cooking and pastry making, and other home economy topics. This particular organization also runs radio and TV programs to educate women and volunteers may participate in planning activities for the TV and radio likewise.
IFRE has been listed among the top ten incredible volunteer abroad organizations because of the amazing reviews of volunteers. They have been voted 4.3-4.8 stars on their Facebook page as well. Volunteers return with the satisfaction of having served the community well, through a thorough approach. They often talk about how enriching the experience was and praise the minimum affordable rates. The volunteer reviews are also available on their website for your perusal.
IFRE offers most the affordable volunteer programs in Guatemala. Their tax deductible fees may be divided into two separate parts:
Volunteers may also pay their fee directly to host families and projects as a part of IFRE's transparency policy. In this way, it reaches the needy directly with no middlemen claiming profit. The program fee is inclusive of three meals a day, accommodation, airport welcome, airport to project transfer among others.
Global Crossroads LLC was established in 2003, and conducts volunteer abroad programs in 18 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Currently, 18,000 volunteers have participated in their program. They not only offer volunteer opportunities in all these locations but also provide the volunteers a wide range of opportunities like internship abroad, volunteer abroad, summer escapes, mini-venture, paid teaching, humanitarian trips and cultural immersion. Their program in Guatemala has cheap volunteer opportunities for everyone.
Global Crossroad offers highly flexible programs, offering placements in specific areas upon special requests of their volunteers. The program ranges from 2 to 12 weeks which can be extended if the volunteers wish to participate in more than one project in a single country.
Orphanage (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Volunteers are free to plan their lessons and activities as they please. The primary objective is to help and assist children in doing their homework, while create a learning environment that is learning-focused. They also organize creative activities and extracurricular activities such as sports, games, arts, drama and others. They may help the project in carrying out day-to-day activities and assist in administrative tasks.
Street Children Project (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Children in this project have been subjected to great hardships and difficulties in their lives, so volunteers have to be extra sensitive and caring. The primary aim is to provide education to the children to help them become stronger and self confident. Volunteers may also organize activities that help in boosting the overall development of the children. They may assist children in their daily work like their homework, the daily activities, personal care, hygiene and food.
Teaching in rural schools (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Volunteers are required to teach English here, to help in developing English-speaking skills. They may also arrange and lead various learning-focused activities, support local teachers in developing the curriculum, teach personal hygiene, healthcare and the importance of sanitation to the locals. They may also help the school as well as the project with valuable and creative advice based on their expertise, helping in fundraising and other administrative tasks.
Health (Quetzaltenango /Xela)
Volunteers here try to be of as much help as possible for the nurses and doctors as well as the local staff. They help in organizing health camps and participate in them and the seminars too. They take patients’ vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight and temperature and chart them. They also take the patients' medical histories and make the locals aware of the importance of personal healthcare, sanitation and hygiene. Volunteers help with immunizations and assist the local hospital in carrying out their administrative tasks.
Volunteers have reviewed it with an 80% rating saying how dedicatedly they provide meaningful, high quality opportunities. Everyone greatly appreciated how flexible the programs were and how accommodating the staff and locals were. It has often been called a life-changing experience by the volunteers since the bonds formed with the students and the local staff there were greatly rewarding.
The affordable prices for volunteer opportunities in Guatemala also encouraged the volunteers to return the subsequent year and refer their friends. You can also read these testimonials on their online website.
I had so much fun! This trip was a great experience, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Everyone was very supportive and helpful, the youth hostel was great, and so was the language program, though it was a lot to learn in one week, and our host family was great. The program itself was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of new people, volunteers and locals alike. Overall, this was a great trip and I wish I could stay longer. - alyssalang
Read more reviews at abroad review.
Global Crossroads offers cheap programs in Guatemala, with the program fees depending on the length of stay as well as the program. Global Crossroads program fees are divided into two separate fees:
The weekly fee covers meals, accommodation, the cost of an in-country coordinator, pre-departure information, certificate of completion and fundraising ideas.
Love Volunteers was established in 2009 in New Zealand and since then have been a pioneer in providing cheap programs in over 35 developing countries worldwide in America, Asia, Middle East, Africa, as well as Europe.
The program fee starts at $200 per week. They work with local organizations and thousands of volunteers every year. Along with providing cheap volunteer opportunities in Guatemala, their program spans a wider area, being present in more countries,
Love Volunteers have affordable volunteer opportunities in Guatemala in various fields. What volunteers contribute directly helps in improving the lives of people affected by political instability, poverty and poor health. The programs include teaching, working with disadvantaged children in a number of facilities, healthcare and medical work, construction, as well as environmental protection in setups made in Santa Lucia. Volunteers will help on one of the following projects in Guatemala listed below.
Teaching (Santa Lucia)
Volunteers will be working in rural schools or after school programs. Volunteers can teach what they know best, assist teachers in their subject of choice and handle a class of their own. Volunteers should be enthusiastic and have at least a conversational level knowledge of Spanish to effectively communicate and teach the children. If they do not, then they may take Spanish classes prior to their placement, or in conjunction with their time in the project. Most of teaching focus is on English as it helps in getting jobs for the locals.
Childcare (Santa Lucia)
Volunteers will work with children under the age of 12 from underprivileged families, providing care and playing with the children to make them happy and aid in their development. They will be teachers of the day-care center and will also have assistance provided. However, activities such as educational games, songs, recreational activities and the program for the week should be planned by the volunteers individually.
They may also help with chores of the house, such as cleaning, cooking, washing hands, brushing teeth, etc. Volunteers should be enthusiastic and flexible.
Healthcare (Santa Lucia)
Volunteers will need to work with several rural clinics, with local doctors and nurses to provide healthcare. The level of responsibility and involvement will vary depending on the volunteer’s experience. Requirements also include an intermediate level of Spanish; lessons can be arranged for those who do not.
Volunteers must have knowledge of or be certified in some field of medicine. Due to government regulations, volunteers who do not have such a background cannot be accepted into this program.
Construction (Santa Lucia)
Construction projects involve help in building houses, water storage tanks, pumps, greenhouses, wood saving stoves, etc. Volunteers will help in the planning and construction of different structures, using appropriate technology and traditional methods. Volunteers should be willing to help in all the physically strenuous work and also speak conversational Spanish.
Environment (Santa Lucia)
Volunteers help by working in environmental projects including natural reserves and parks, creating ecological plans and educating locals. This program is suitable for volunteers who are enthusiastic about wild flora and fauna, and do not mind getting their hands dirty. Volunteers must be physically fit and do not need to be Spanish speakers, although a minimum of beginner level proficiency is advised.
Love Volunteers’ blog is available on their website where the volunteers share their experiences and review the program. Love Volunteers is a highly rated and reviewed volunteer organization. There are many positive online reviews in “go overseas, go abroad”. In these reviews volunteers praise the program and the volunteer projects, talking about how it is one of the cheapest volunteer experiences in Guatemala.
They also talk about the environment that volunteers are placed being safe and of high quality. As a Love Volunteer, they get to help those who need it the most, and work in an ethical and sustainable program that has a real world impact.
It was overall a good experience. Everything came together and was an excellent learning experience. It was challenging, but I wasn't looking for anythinv easy. I recommend for someone who is brave and looking for a challenge. I learned a lot about myself and the county. - Cynthia
Love Volunteers offers inexpensive volunteer opportunities in Guatemala starting from $700 for two weeks for all projects, except healthcare which costs $805. The cost covers food, accommodation, transport, orientation, and in-country support staff during the placement. Volunteers are supposed to pay for their own flights, visas, travel insurance, and vaccinations, as well as any other money they may require. A registration fee of US$249 is charged in addition to the program fees and is valid for 12 months from your first placement.
International Volunteer HQ was established in 2007 and provides volunteer abroad programs in 30 different countries around the world. Each year, thousands of volunteers are placed in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia in South Africa, Bali, Nepal, India, Vietnam Cambodia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and several other places where there are opportunities just like the cheap volunteer opportunities of Guatemala program.
The IVHQ Guatemala volunteer program is located in Antigua and surrounding towns and villages. Volunteers can choose to stay for durations ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. They need to be 18 years or older to participate, and the younger volunteers are allowed to volunteer with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and also provide a criminal background check. There is a free interactive pre-departure training that greatly helps.
Volunteers provide free English lessons to adults and children so that they can learn English which benefits their employment opportunities. Volunteer work consists of teaching small groups of children, teaching local students, setting up workshops, assisting teachers and staff in teaching tasks, and also helping organize educational games and activities.
Volunteers can also participate in cleaning and fixing the teaching areas as well as fundraising, and collecting donations of books and other educational materials. There are no specific requirements for this, and crash courses for ESL (English as a Second Language) are also provided along with educational materials in order to help you get started.
Volunteers assist in teaching children in schools and health centers and are expected to be patient and kind towards them. These children come from families that live in poverty and suffer from drug and family abuse and are in need of attention.
Apart from teaching and carrying out educational activities, volunteers are encouraged to organize activities and games, and play with the children. Volunteers should also organize and participate in educational activities, teach about hand hygiene, personal hygiene and other such awareness topics.
Volunteers are to shadow nurses and doctors and assist them in their work. They may accompany the doctors and nurses and help out in poor communities and orphanages. Their work varies vastly depending on the level of experience but normal tasks like measuring weight, height, blood pressure, talking to patients, taking histories and documenting it can be done by all.
Specific tasks like cleaning wounds and giving injections and sutures, depends on the education and expertise at an individual level. Volunteers should also be able to converse well in Spanish, take the initiative in helping out and be enthusiastic about serving people.
Animal care/animal rights
Volunteers work on these projects is to be able to protect animals and provide human company to them. They may also provide veterinary treatment and organize playtime for the animals. Volunteers also run neuter programs, rabies vaccination clinics and fund-raising events, and also lead educational programs pertaining to animal care in local schools. They also get to bathe and brush the animals, train them in basic obedience activities, walk and play with the them and clean their cages.
Small construction projects may include building dog runs, play pens and creating fences for protection. Other activities that involve volunteers are photography and fundraising.
Construction and renovation
Volunteers work alongside local foremen to build various projects such as home-building, school renovation, orphanage renovation, and building playground and bathroom facilities. The local staff and foremen provide help and guidance along with training. Volunteers should be physically fit and be able to take part actively in labor work.
This is a coffee farming community, where volunteers work with farmers and help provide support. They also participate in every step of growing coffee, including harvesting and the marketing process. Moreover, they work in the nursery; help in picking, removing weeds, planting shade trees and also in the packaging of the final product for local and international sales.
Farmers in this community are also working towards building their own school so volunteers may help them physically as well as in curriculum development.
The IVHQ Guatemala Lake Conservation project is where volunteers help out to preserve the natural resources of Lake Atitlan. Volunteers achieve this by creating awareness and educating the local people about the proper use of the lake and its basin. The Lake Conservation project has three sub-projects which are Environmental Education, Natural Resource Management and Environmental Clean Up. Volunteers assist the environmental educators and the conservation workers working in the management of the lake conservation activities.
Special needs care
Volunteers work in homes and clinics for mentally and physically disabled children and babies to assist with the personal care of the children. They provide specialized attention and help with physical therapy, feeding, clothing, bathing, and organizing crafts and games for playtime. The range of disabilities found amongst the children is wide, so volunteers must come prepared to help with both basic life functions and engaging the children in imaginative games.
Working with the elderly
Volunteers are placed at nursing homes and senior centers to help create a compassionate and friendly atmosphere for the elderly. As most organizations working for the elderly are extremely underfunded, international volunteers are a great source of manpower and support for these organizations and communities.
Volunteers provide one-on-one attention, basic healthcare, and socialize with senior citizens. Volunteers also organize recreational activities, medicine distribution, and meal preparation. Some volunteers have even created exercise programs, song and dance activities, and arts and crafts projects
Being one of the most popular volunteer programs, it has hundreds of reviews on “go abroad” and “go overseas” websites. Volunteers praise the program as safe, responsible and very affordable volunteer programs and give them a chance to make a difference on their part. The fact that it is also an inexpensive volunteer program in Guatemala makes it even more enjoyable.
They say that the locals were very helpful, friendly and kind. The food was good and eating with all the other volunteers and hearing about their day helped them realize how good a contribution they were making.
I had one of the best experiences of my life volunteering with IVHQ. The information and help pre-departure from the IVHQ team was extremely helpful and made me feel very comfortable with the decision I had made to volunteer abroad! The team on the ground in Cambodia were so lovely and welcoming! I made life long friends with fellow IVHQ volunteers and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend volunteering with IVHQ to anyone! - travellerexplorer
With 1 week costing $299, IVHQ offers budget volunteer experiences in Guatemala. The program fees are set based on the destination and the length of stay. IVHQ program fees are divided into the following fees:
Volunteers in Guatemala generally find 65 USD to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.
Maximo Nivel is family-owned and was founded in 2003, working with more than 4,000 participants, students, clients, and travelers every year. They own and manage four different learning institutes located in three countries - Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.
Their aim is to deliver high-quality, safe and affordable volunteer programs in Guatemala. Everywhere they have their setup to improve impact at volunteer project sites. They aim to help people experience the world through education, adventure, and cultural travel.
Maximo Nivel is based in Antigua in Guatemala and offers an inexpensive volunteer experience in Guatemala. Their projects include childcare, wildlife and conservation of tropical coasts and jungles. They teach English to locals, provide healthcare, animal care and help with construction.
In this project volunteers work in orphanages where they help to take care of the children. These children need constant nurturing to help overcome the adverse effects their difficult life has had on them like losing their family to poverty, abuse, and alcoholism.
Volunteers are expected to work and play with them, help keep these children off the street, and provide them with a happy and productive childhood. Depending on individual skills and interests, volunteers act as mentors too, helping children with their homework as well as teaching them English.
Wildlife and Conservation (Tropical coasts and jungle)
Volunteer work in conservation projects involves working in turtle conservation, animal care, reforestation, environmental education & clean up and organic farming. These conservation projects deal with maintenance of rainforests and coastal areas of countries as well as those present in mountains of Peru and Guatemala.
Volunteers help rural communities and small villages here by working on local projects where they work alongside local inhabitants. Project supervisors may also let volunteers work independently depending on their level of experience and expertise and on how good their ability to converse in Spanish is.
Teaching English (Antigua)
English learning rooms are present in these projects at small community centers, orphanages, or shelters for street children where volunteers work. There are also primary, middle, and high school students. At these projects, volunteers assist in teaching regular English to help students with their grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, speaking, writing, and listening. They also tutor the children who need individual attention and help them with their homework.
Volunteers here work in local hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities where they help the local staff. They usually assist the doctors, nurses, therapists, or other medical professionals present there in their daily work. Depending on their medical experience and Spanish language skills, volunteers may do things such as: shadow a doctor or nurse, assist with general check-ups, run medical campaigns, assist at the triage counter, take blood pressure and other vital signs.
Volunteers who are not licensed or who are still completing their training can still help out in this project. They may help by assisting in taking care of the patients, including general care, talking to them, distributing and sorting medications and ensuring the patients’ overall well-being.
Volunteers on this project have the responsibility of working on repairing or building new homes and schools for orphaned children or for rural villages. They are led by professional foremen, architects, and engineers who determine the work program.
Construction work is physically demanding work, such as moving and laying bricks and plaster, painting the building, mixing cement and using it during construction, and various other needs related to construction.
Volunteers have a great time being a part of low cost volunteer opportunities in Guatemala. They have reviewed the program on various sites such as Volunteer Forever, Study Abroad 101 giving it five out of five stars. According to the volunteers they would rank the project very highly, in particular the turtle project.
They described the staff as friendly and the native people amazing. They were introduced to so many like-minded volunteers, able to share houses and participate in great free activities like salsa dancing which was very exciting. Many said they would love to come back again!
I had the pleasure of volunteering for two weeks during the holidays with Maximo Nivel. The icing on the cake for me was the friendly and attentive staff at Maximo Nivel which was a huge relief since I was traveling alone and had never been to Peru. I always felt safe whenever traveling with Maximo Nivel which was very important to me. - Christina
This is a perfectly affordable volunteer opportunity in Guatemala starting from $585. Volunteers can stay for one to eight weeks. This includes shared volunteer accommodation on site and two meals a day.
Build Abroad was founded by Pat Mcloughlin and Chad Johnson in 2013. The founders have a formal education in architecture and a cumulative experience of 20 years in volunteering, both of which have been proven to be the perfect blend in making this organization a success.
Build Abroad trips are flexible and affordable. They are available almost every week of the year in varying lengths – from 1 week to 6 months. They are present in 5 locations currently including Guatemala where they offer cheap volunteer opportunities, and in Peru, Costa Rica, Nepal and Thailand.
They basically provide construction-based low cost volunteer opportunities in Guatemala - in Antigua to be more specific. Aside from volunteering, volunteers are also provided with plenty of time to explore the surrounding area or even take weekend trips to nearby destinations such as lakes, volcanoes, and beaches.
Construction projects are located in Antigua where volunteers work under the locals’ team of architects to build schools, homes, toilets etc. It is a highly rewarding project as within a month an entire school can be set up which in turn serves many generations of children when they study in it. Similarly, volunteers can turn a barren piece of land into a home for a family in just one week.
There are no qualifications needed for this, however if you do have the know-how of traditional building techniques then that is a welcome addition.
Build Abroad has one of the highest ratings ranging from 97% to 100 % on notable sites like Go Overseas, Go Abroad, where volunteers have called the program a leader in construction trips! Volunteers said that they enjoyed working on the construction site, and in fact would have loved to stay for longer and work on more projects to serve more and more people.
Since the staff and locals were very friendly, they wanted to do more for them and tried harder. Despite being an inexpensive volunteer experience in Guatemala, it was an experience of a lifetime for them.
Build Abroad was one of the best travel experiences I've had thus far in my life. The greatest part of this experience was how well our group worked together and how fun loving everybody was. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with. I would recommend Build Abroad to anybody who loves traveling and volunteering. I'm looking forward to the next opportunity I get to work with Build Abroad! - Maddie
Starting from $625 per week Build Abroad is one of Guatemala’s low-budget volunteer programs. Build Abroad provides all accommodation, with hot water being available for 24 hours a day and free access to Wi-Fi at volunteer offices. Local Guatemalan food is provided twice a day for participants at home-stays.
A Broader View Volunteers is a registered non-profit charity founded in 2007 and based in Pennsylvania, USA. Their projects for volunteers allow them to live and work with local people. They are currently working in 25 countries and catering to over 10,000 volunteers. They have a variety of programs with extremely cheap volunteer opportunities in Guatemala.
The program is set in three locations across Guatemala; Quetzaltenango (Xela), Alotenango and Antigua. A Broader View volunteer (ABV) can choose his/her own travel dates and thus decide their program start date.
Teaching English (Quetzaltenango)
Volunteers assume the role of teachers to teach English to primary school children. They help with English lessons, teach sports classes and arts and crafts like painting, drawing, music and dance. Volunteers should be able to converse in Spanish.
Childcare (Quetzaltenango, Antigua)
Volunteers here help the malnourished by providing necessary medical intervention, education, food and a place to recover completely. Volunteers must feed babies, change their diapers, help with lessons and teach basic English to kindergarten. They may also indulge in extracurricular activities like playing games, organizing various sports and creative activities.
As most children here are below 6 years of age, the activities should be tailored around them. This program is suitable for pre-medical students.
Healthcare (Quetzaltenango, Alotenango)
Volunteers work in public health centers offering care free of charge. They help with routine tasks like making charts, examining patients, helping with injections, and shadowing the local medical staff. Volunteers are to bring their own medical supplies such as scrubs, gloves, masks, and stethoscopes. Spanish speaking volunteers with a health back ground are welcome.
Women Empowerment (Quetzaltenango)
You can either volunteer at a mother-child center or in a residential care center for the elderly. The former is home to 60 mothers, girls and young children with the girls and mothers being under 18, and the children aged up to 5 years old. The volunteers are asked to organize their own activities. So volunteers may plan their activities likewise such as crafts, music, sports, etc., whichever they are good at.
This is a year round project. In the latter, residents have no other living options or have been abandoned by their families. Volunteers help with recreational and cultural activities, help prepare food, and feed some of the ladies, and talk to the women there. Volunteers should have the ability to speak Spanish fluently.
Animal Rescue (Quetzaltenango)
The center has 200 animals belonging to 41 species. Volunteers may work directly with the veterinarian staff present there, feed the animals and prepare their food. They may also help with tours that have been arranged, along with maintenance of the park, building, painting and cleaning. Volunteers with some medical knowledge or experience may inject and give oral vaccinations to the animals.
Disabled Care (Quetzaltenango)
This center provides education to people who are visually and hearing handicapped. The education provided includes pre-primary and primary education in classrooms until 6th grade. Volunteers may work as classroom assistants, help children with their homework as well as with classes. They can be invited in both the special education department and the one for primary education. Sign language knowledge is an added benefit to the program.
Volunteers have also given this five stars and a 100% rating. If you read the reviews on Volunteer Forever and Go Overseas, you will find how volunteers always praise this as an affordable program in Guatemala and commend their fast responses. They appreciate the helpful coordinators who made their experience unforgettable. It makes you appreciate the bounties you have in life. With this experience, they feel that they can help others back home.
I had one of the best experiences of my life in Xela Guatemala. I loved helping the people here but more importantly I loved the people. They were incredibly attentive to any need I had, and genuinely cared about my safety! I felt safe in almost every place in Xela because my coordinators and homestay family advised me where to go! This was a great experience, two thumbs up! - Carley
Starting from $895 per week, Broader View Volunteer program offers cheap volunteer opportunities in Guatemala, and the fee is 100% tax deductible. ABV offers advice and assistance with flight planning, affordable travel insurance, as well as procuring a visa if necessary.
Volunteer Registration Fee includes ongoing support from ABV staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, ABV donation fund, airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during the volunteer program period.
Academic Programs International, API, is an educational organization dedicated to providing challenging and enriching study abroad programs for students. It also runs its volunteer programs that cater to pressing issues in each country.
Established in 1979, it is now sends more than 3,500 students and participants abroad every year to 29 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. They feature incredible cheap volunteer opportunities in Guatemala for all volunteers.
API offers cheap volunteer project positions in Guatemala’s Antigua. Volunteers can choose from many projects, including infant and childcare, teaching or tutoring, social justice, medical health and nutrition, environmentalism, and construction.
Volunteers are required to take care of children and teach English. English is an asset to Guatemala as it helps locals acquire good jobs. Volunteers should have a basic Spanish knowledge to be able to converse with children easily.
Volunteers are required to be fluent in English, as they are to teach this language to the students there. As is expected of a teacher, he or she should be patient and kind towards students. The volunteer will be placed as English teachers or assistants and can create any extracurricular activities in sports and arts to make learning enjoyable. The volunteer should know basic Spanish also in order to be able to converse easily.
There are specific qualifications required such as certification for being a medical/nursing student, a nurse, or a physician. Responsibilities depend on the level of training, certification and licensing. Volunteers are expected to help the doctors and nurses to carry out their tasks; provide basic care to patients, take histories and measure vital signs. They may also partner with a therapist or a nurse to help them in their activities and assist them as per requirement.
Environment Conservation (Antigua)
Volunteers help with environmental problems, mainly in rural areas, where accommodation is traditional and therefore very basic. Volunteers may also be required to provide training to project staff and members of target communities. For this purpose a good knowledge of Spanish is necessary.
Volunteers provide manpower and knowledge to build homes, schools and hospitals. They work with local staff there and are instructed by the architects at work. This project requires a certain level of fitness due to the manual work involved. Volunteers should know basic Spanish to be able to converse easily with the locals.
Volunteers have reviewed this program on Abroad Reviews, Study Abroad 101 as a very well organized and as having offered an inexpensive experience. They felt that through each task they had made a meaningful contribution in just a few weeks.
They described their overall experience being above their expectations in every aspect from accommodation to the volunteer projects. Teaching children, tending to the sick and the immersion in different cultures was deeply appreciated and applauded.
The overall experience was great! I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone interested in traveling to Latin America.- Kelsey
Being a budget volunteer program of Guatemala, the fee is only US$685 for 1 week and $495 for each additional week. It includes most meals and accommodation, pre-departure and English-speaking local support, arrival pick-up and transfer, training, orientation and assessment, medical expenses, and life and travel insurance. For volunteers who do not know Spanish, 10-20 hours Spanish lessons have also been arranged for the first week of volunteering in Latin America.
Established in 1989 as a non-profit conservation and development NGO( non-governmental organization ), Frontier has established volunteer programs in 50 countries across the globe. Amongst Frontier’s first projects was the world’s first successful multi-user marine park in a developing country. Volunteers still work there today signifying how durable and sustainable the projects that Frontier develops are.
Frontier has grown to operate over 400 capacity building conservation, community and adventure projects where volunteers help out immensely. Today Frontier is one of the few notable names in offering cheap volunteer opportunities in Guatemala.
Frontier offers low cost volunteer programs in Guatemala in 4 projects, namely construction, teaching, wild animal rescue and sea turtle conservation.
Since volunteers are involved in a range of activities from laying plaster to carrying bricks, to helping in painting, a good level of physical fitness is required in order for them to help out without any issue. They will work closely with local tradesmen and other local staff who are directly involved in the construction project.
Though there are no prerequisites required, it would be of benefit to the locals if the volunteers have background knowledge of construction; which they may share, teach and apply when working with the locals to help them acquire new skills and work better.
Volunteers here work with children to help them learn and educate them, which goes a long way in molding their future and increasing employment opportunities for them. Intermediate Spanish speaking skills are required. Volunteers may help at a local school where they will participate in teaching related activities for the children.
Along with teaching, volunteers may also help to set up and/or run any extra-curricular activities that may aid children's learning such as music, sports or theatre classes. Not only will this make them enjoy but it will also help diversify their curriculum.
Volunteers may also work with children on an individual basis to help them with their homework, give special attention to their weak areas and improve their reading and math skills.
Wild Animal Rescue (Guatemala Rainforest)
Volunteers live and work in the beautiful Peten forest environment, where they have the rare experience of working with animals and their rehabilitation centers. They help with feeding the animals, cleaning animal enclosures and maintaining the trails and assist local staff in making and recording behavioral observations of animals present in the centers which are only found in this region of Central and South America.
They may also help in taking care of animals in quarantine, which basically houses animals just arrived in order to screen them for harmful pathogens.
Sea Turtle Conservation (Pacific coast)
Volunteers work in teams here, working with fellow volunteers who are equally passionate about helping these animals in their habitat. The work involves monitoring and patrolling beaches for turtles, conducting behavioral conservation on turtle feeding, and helping in nest hatching.
Volunteers may also help in the collection of a variety of data on the beach, and help create awareness by teaching about this in schools using relevant materials they have prepared.
This program is a highly rated volunteer project where volunteers feel that the staff and locals took care of all their needs and guided them at all times. While those who taught loved spending time with their students as they were extremely respectful and eager, those on construction also appreciated how kind the locals were.
The animal conservation volunteers felt overwhelmed with the incredible work that was being done. It was an experience loved by every volunteer and being so affordable, were referred to friends and family.
I took part with Frontier for 6 weeks, over the months of February and March. I can honestly say it was a life changing experience, and I whole-heartedly and without reservation recommend it to anyone prepared to work hard and have an amazing time. The opportunities that Frontier provided were really awesome, and it was so amazing to actually make a difference in the lives of our students. The support from the staff members was superb, and they made the whole experience so amazing and highly educational. I hope to return very soon. - Hannah
The fee varies from $945 to $1495 for 4 weeks. It includes pre-departure support and documentation, travel and medical advice along with the relevant documentation. It is also inclusive of a discounted medical kit, free Frontier t-shirt, accommodation throughout the stay, orientation, project training, project equipment and materials, as well as 24 hours available back up support.
These are all incredible volunteer opportunities available in Guatemala for everyone to join. You may get as much information as you require regarding everything about these programs from their websites, helplines and other volunteers. This is one of those rare opportunities to make a difference in the world, so seize it!
If you have experience of volunteering with one of these top volunteer Guatemala organizations, or have chosen one after reading this article do leave some feedback to help others make their decision.
Patricia Hampl July 4, 2016, 7:11 amThanks for such useful information. I will definitely refer to this while making a decision to volunteer abroad. Thanks again!!!