Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Duration: Minimum 2 weeks commitment
Start Dates: We accept applications all year round. Start dates are customizable to suit your requirements.;
Cost: £450 GBP regardless of length
- Volunteer with a local grass-roots charity providing healthcare support to underprivileged communities in Guatemala.
- Work alongside local professionals in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, nutrition and project management.
- Choose projects working with a range of ages, from toddlers to young mothers.
- Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
- Immerse yourself in local life with optional home-stays. Other accommodation options also available.
- Receive dedicated support with our teams based in both the UK and Guatemala.
- Discover optional excursions to volcanoes, waterfalls and colourful colonial towns.
- Learn Spanish with 25 x pre-departure lessons included* (see Costs section)
- Affordable volunteering. One set fee with no hidden costs.
- Volunteer at any time of the year, with flexibility over length of stay.
This project works with local Guatemalan communities which have limited access to medical facilities and healthcare. Immerse yourself in local life with 25 x pre-departure Spanish lessons included.
Known as the ‘Land of Eternal Spring’, Guatemala has unparalleled natural and cultural beauty. Yet, it also suffers from one of the world’s highest rates of malnutrition and infant mortality rates. Leading causes of death include treatable conditions. A lack of government funding has left public hospitals and clinics without essential supplies and in particular, rural indigenous communities are neglected.
We have partnered with fully-vetted local organisations and charities which provide healthcare to underprivileged communities in the region of Quetzaltenango. Many of these organisations operate like regular hospitals carrying out medical procedures and dispensing of supplies.
There is a need for volunteers from a wide range of healthcare backgrounds including nutritionists, doctors, nurses, dentists and project managers. We will match your skills and interests to areas where you can make a lasting change and benefit to the host organisation.
Projects range from disease screening of indigenous families to assessing the nutritional level of malnourished local children. There are also opportunities to focus on health education, including setting up personal hygiene workshops so that health problems can be easily avoided.
Volunteers will work closely with local professionals and there is an invaluable opportunity to learn about the way of life of local Guatemalan communities. Volunteers are also encouraged to collaborate their own skills and knowledge with charity staff and there are opportunities to create your own community-based healthcare projects.
25 x pre-departure Spanish lessons are included which will allow you to immerse yourself in local life and make a real difference to the lives of local people.
On arrival in Guatemala we will hold a welcome induction in the city of Quetzaltenango, where you will be staying. This is a chance for you to meet our staff and get to know your neighbourhood. If you have chosen a home-stay option, we will ensure you are well settled in with your host family.
The next day we will introduce you to the charity and its staff, who will explain to you the ins- and outs of the charity’s operations. During your placement, no day will be the same and you will be working closely with the charity staff in delivering healthcare projects which could range from carrying out medical procedures for local communities to setting up workshops promoting healthcare awareness.
The placements are generally Monday to Friday, with flexibility to work full- or part-time. There may be ad-hoc requirements to volunteer on some weekends.
The host organisation will work around your schedule and provide free time, where possible, if you would like to do extracurricular activities or travel excursions. Quetzaltenango is renowned for the quality of its Spanish tutors and if you would like to learn, we can help incorporate Spanish lessons into your daily routine.
This hands-on experience will allow you to learn so much about Guatemala from locals itself.
Travel & Accommodation
Whilst travel and accommodation is not included in the project price, we can arrange this for you at cost price, with no added fees.
You will be given a personal placement adviser who can organise accommodation to suit your preferences, from hotels and apartments, to local family homestays. Homestays are usually approx. £55 per week, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We can also organise travel excursions across Guatemala.
- Age: 18+
- Minimum commitment is 2 weeks
- Passion and enthusiasm for volunteering in healthcare
- Medical or healthcare background – we accept medical students too.
- Different projects require different levels of Spanish language skills: from no previous knowledge to advanced. We will provide 25 pre-departure Spanish lessons for all volunteers.
- Full travel & medical insurance
- Necessary vaccinations
- Necessary flights & visas
Cultural Tour Add-On (Optional)
Join an optional cultural tour of Guatemala, before or after your volunteering placement!
Delve deep into Guatemalan life with a customised itinerary covering travel, cultural activities and volunteering. This tour will enable you to gain a greater understanding of this diverse country and its people. Includes a local English-speaking guide. Tour length and itinerary can be customised.
- City Tour: Your guide will take you around the city of Xela (Quetzaltenango), visiting the centre and markets. It is an opportunity to pick up anything you may need.
- Artisanal Textile Workshop: Visit a women’s cooperative that was formed after the Civil War and makes artisanal products so that its members can lead a more sustainable life. You will visit their typical clothes museum and also receive a 2-hour workshop on how to weave using the traditional looms. Take home the cloth you have weaved.
- Tortilla-Making Class: Learn how to make tortillas which is a staple amongst Guatemalan food. Eat it with local cheese and other typical foods.
- Charity Visit: which works with indigenous communities on a variety of issues such as LGBTQ rights, women’s rights and migration. Have lunch with a representative of the organisation. After lunch, watch a documentary on the history of Guatemala, set in a coffee farm you will visit the next day, followed by a Q&A session.
- Organic Coffee Farm Trip: Travel to a coffee farm run by ex-guerrilla fighters from the civil war. Day activities include:
- Seeing how organic coffee is produced.
- Waterfall and viewpoint hike. (Easy to medium difficulty).
- Gain first hand experience of what the civil war was like from ex guerrilla fighters.
- Stay Overnight and have dinner with a family in rural Guatemala. Experience the difference in lifestyles in comparison to city-folk.
- Volcano hike: Leave early morning for a hike.You can choose between a hard and easier option:
- Santa Maria: Hard hike 3-4 hours up a volcano with stunning scenery.
- Laguna Chicabal: Easier hike through a rural town and up a less steep volcano. There is a lake in the crater of the volcano which people use for Mayan ceremonies.
- NGO visit: Learn about the brainwashing behind chemical farming and its effects in Guatemala. In the afternoon visit a charity that carries out organic agricultural projects. Take part in their field projects and have lunch in Tierra Verde.
- Evening activity options of:
- Salsa lesson
- Spanish language lesson
- Chocolate-making class
- Participate in a Mayan ceremony and learn about its significance.
- Free day in Xela
- Farewell dinner with host family and guide.
For prices and enquiries, please get in touch with us.
£450 GBP regardless of project length
* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a £150 deposit
**** The remaining balance is due at the earliest date of either (a) 30 days from payment of the Deposit, (b) date of your first Spanish lesson with us.
Project Fee includes
- Personal Placement Advisor
- Tailored project with a fully-vetted charity in Guatemala
- 25 x one-to-one Spanish lessons (taken pre-departure and online)*
- Pre-departure placement preparation
- Welcome induction in Guatemala
*Spanish lessons are given by an experienced tutor from our school and taken before you leave for Guatemala. Connect in an online classroom where you can see and speak to your tutor. Learn from any location convenient for you with flexible scheduling options. Lessons can start once full project payment has been received.
What’s not included:
- Airport pick-up**
- Medical & travel insurance
- Food & Accommodation** (home-stays usually include 3 meals a day)
- In-country travel and excursions**
**Whilst the below is not included in the project price, we can offer full assistance & support. All starred points (*) can be arranged by us at cost price with no added fees.
Premium Support Upgrade
We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.
We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.
Note: Map coordinates are approximate