Volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala
Have you dreamed of traveling in Latin America? Does the complex history of Guatemala interest you? Would you like to immerse yourself in the culturally rich city of Antigua while volunteering to help others at the same time? You can do all of this when you volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala.
Antigua, once Guatemala's capital, is a UNESCO world-heritage site located near Guatemala City. A vibrant town with a fascinating history, it is comprised of striking churches, bustling markets, spectacular
volcanoes, and welcoming people. Home to the altiplano or “land of eternal spring,” Guatemala is also tropical and also has wonderful wildlife to see and beaches to visit.
Unfortunately, poverty rates are high in Guatemala. Income inequality is acute, with only a few hundred people controlling half the country's wealth. Public education is not free, nor is the educational system well-developed, leading to a high illiteracy rate. Half the population is employed in agriculture, which is disrupted by frequent natural disasters, and other employment opportunities are rare for most of the population. Government corruption also is rampant. Guatemala needs volunteers today more than ever!
This is where you come in, you can volunteer with underprivileged children, teach English in local schools, support conservation work, help improve infrastructure for local communities or join healthcare work. Find a new life purpose, broaden your worldview, and make connections and memories that will last a lifetime.
Request information about volunteering in Antigua, Guatemala and choose a program that speaks to you!
Volunteer In Antigua, Guatemala: Programs
No matter what passions, skills, or interests you bring to the table, we have various projects for you to choose from!
Guatemala has a shocking number of children without families, safe homes, education, or food to eat. Hard-working childcare centers offer these kids refuge, but with so many children to help and limited time and resources, the local staffs can’t keep up with all the kid’s needs. Help is desperately needed in Guatemala’s childcare centers, and that’s where you come in!
We welcome enthusiastic volunteers from all backgrounds and from all over the world to volunteer with children in Guatemala.
If you’re passionate about education and the English language, this meaningful project is a great chance to do what you love while helping children in need. This project teams up with local schools, orphanages, and affordable childcare centers for low-income families to help disadvantaged kids in Guatemala get the education they deserve.
This unique project is a wonderful chance for future doctors and other medical professionals to gain valuable experience in the healthcare field. If you’re looking to learn a lot while you travel and advance your future career, this wonderful educational opportunity is perfect for you.
Help improve the underprivileged communities of Guatemala by taking part in construction and renovation work, and creating much needed infrastructures. Join a like-minded team to make a positive difference in the lives of many disadvantaged people who are in need of basic amenities.
The Exotic Animal volunteer in Guatemala Antigua is an amazing opportunity for those interested in working with wildlife. In this project, you will be working hands-on with exotic wildlife, helping rescue and rehabilitate them. Your support will improve the quantity of lives and save them from endangerment.
Do you want to share your love for animals and participate in wildlife conservation efforts? Visit the project page to find pricing and complete information.
Interested in learning about farming in Guatemala and its impact on the local community? Curious about sustainable farming practices and their role in environmental preservation? Want to make a meaningful contribution by volunteering in responsible farming practices in Guatemala? Join Global Crossroad’s Eco-Agriculture volunteering program in Guatemala.
Volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala: Dates and Fees
Global Crossroad volunteer programs begin every Monday year-round. We still allow flexibility if you have travel constraints. Volunteers can join our programs from 1 week up to 12 weeks.
Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality Antigua, Guatemala volunteer trips. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.
Global Crossroad volunteer opportunity in Antigua, Guatemala application and registration fee costs US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in the USA office).
In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to your host family and project (via the country coordinator). This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and are not for company profit.
Program fees cover:
- Shared Accommodation with host family
- 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
- Airport Pick up
- Special Project Surcharge
- In-country support
- Program Orientation
- Project Management
- Volunteer Certificate
- Discount for returning volunteers
- Weekly Surcharge
Program fees exclude:
- Miscellaneous personal expenses, soft drinks, food, etc.
- Daily transportation
- Airport return transfer
The volunteering programs in Antigua, Guatemala fees cover expenses from the first day of your program to the last day of your program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for any additional expenses.
Accommodations and Meals
While volunteering in Guatemala programs, you will have the rich and rewarding experience of staying with one of carefully selected and welcoming local host families. This is an amazing chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, and to experience a true home away from home while volunteering abroad.
Our host families are socially respected and live in good neighborhoods with clean, comfortable, and safe accommodations for you. Two local meals a day (breakfast and dinner) will be included in your Guatemala volunteer fee.
Study and Learn Spanish
Learn while you travel! Global Crossroad offers volunteers affordable Spanish classes through a partnership with a local Spanish school. This is a great chance to learn a new language or brush up on your skills and will greatly enrich your time in Guatemala. This also allows you to connect on a deeper level with the people you have come to help.
The Spanish school is located close to your Guatemala volunteering program, so you can take classes in the mornings or afternoon and spend the rest of the day making the world a better place! Take advantage of the deal and learn the local language!
Free Time Options:
You’ll have plenty of time to experience all that Antigua has to offer, which is a lot! Antigua is a colorful, historical, and culturally rich city in Guatemala. You will find yourself on picturesque cobblestone streets passing beautiful churches, parks, and marketplaces. Outside of the city are vast coffee plantations and towering volcanoes.
There are plenty of day trips you can take from Antigua on the weekends, such as Lake Atitlan, the Chichicastenango Market, or fascinating Mayan ruins. You can also hike to a volcano, go zip lining, or try bird watching. It is worth checking out the Valhalla Experimental Station (a fascinating eco-tour) or the Chocolate Museum. There’s something for everyone!
Safety and Field Support
When you travel with Global Crossroad, your safety is in good hands. We make sure you are secure and satisfied every step of the way. You’ll receive pre-trip guidance, comprehensive travel insurance, safe housing and healthy food, and more. You’ll also have the guidance of our helpful in-country team any time you need their assistance or support.
Volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala: FAQ
Although Spanish is the official language, it is not universally spoken among the indigenous population, nor does the elderly indigenous often speak it as a second language. Twenty-one Mayan dialects are spoken, especially in rural areas, as well two non-Mayan Amerindian dialects, Xinca, an indigenous dialect and Garifuna, an Arawakan dialect spoken on the Caribbean coast.
You should sign up to volunteer abroad in Antigua, Guatemala for between 2-12 weeks. In general, most countries do not allow those traveling on a tourist visa to stay longer than 12 weeks. If you are set on staying longer, contact a Global Crossroad representative to discuss your options.
If you are under 18 years old, you can still volunteer, but you need to bring a sign waiver from your legal guardian with you.
Major cities have ATM machines, although not all will accept international cards. You can withdraw cash from most international banks from ATM machines, but $2-4 USD surcharges apply for each transaction. MasterCard, Visa, Cirrus/Maestro and American Express cards are usually only accepted at the more expensive restaurants and hotels. Use caution when paying by credit card, as there is potential for fraud. Ensure that you have notified your home bank of your intent to travel to Antigua, Guatemala. This will provide you the necessary information and alleviate any confusion at your home bank regarding international transactions, which can result in a cautionary freeze on your account in some cases.
The quetzal (GTQ) is the currency of Guatemala. It is named after the national bird of Guatemala, the Resplendent Quetzal. In ancient Mayan culture, the quetzal bird's tail feathers were used as currency. It is divided into 100 cents, called centavos in standard Spanish or lenes in Guatemalan slang. The plural can be either quetzales (as it is in Spanish) or quetzals. You can find the current exchange rate at currency website like www.xe.com, or by looking in a newspaper like the Wall Street Journal
Global Crossroad manages food and rooms for our volunteers throughout the assignment; therefore, you will not need more money to pay for these expenses. However, if you plan to take part in activities outside of our organization or buy some souvenirs, you will need to bring extra money. On a side note, you must also remember the fee for visas, which can range from US $50-100 depending on the length of stay. There may also be an airport tax that you pay upon your departure from Guatemala. You will want to determine the amount of extra money you bring based on these factors.
Carrying cash is not always safe; therefore, do not carry a large surplus of cash with you. It is advised that you carry cash in a money belt with some additional stashed in your wallet.
Volunteers should dress conservatively when at their assignments. Jeans and a t-shirt are acceptable. No short-shorts and tank tops please. Remember to consider the regional religious beliefs of Guatemala, which may be extremely conservative and revealing clothing is unacceptable - shorts and skirts must be at least knee-length and no one should show their shoulders.
It is estimated in Guatemala that 50-60% of the population is Catholic, 40% is Protestant, and 1% follow the indigenous Mayan faith. The people of Guatemala respect different cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs and moral concepts. You may practice on your own accord.
Like many other countries in the world Guatemala schools also observe three sets of holidays: school, official and traditional holidays.
- National Holidays
- Jan 1: New Year's Day
- March/April: Easter
- May 1: Labor Day
- June 30: Army Day
- September 15: Independence Day
- October 20: Revolution Day
- November 1: All Saints Day
- December 25: Christmas Day
January: On January 15, the day of the Black Christ is celebrated in Esquipulas.
February or March: Lent processions begin throughout Guatemala.
March or April: Lent and Easter week processions throughout Guatemala: The largest processions occur in Antigua Guatemala on Good Friday.
May: On May 2 and 3, the Day of the Cross is celebrated with colorful traditions at Lake Amatitlan near Guatemala City. On May 9, Jueves de Ascencion is celebrated with traditional music, flowers and prayers at Lake Chicabal. Please be very respectful of this tradition and do not take photographs.
July: July 25 is the town fair in Antigua Guatemala, with parades, music and other festivities. On July 27, the annual Rabin Ajau beauty pageant is held in Coban, with traditional dances and ancestral music.
August: On August 15, Guatemala City celebrates the day of our Lady of the Asuncion; also several other towns, like Solola, where you can see the brotherhood of the Lady of Asuncion passing through the streets of the town with their icon on their way to the church.
September: September 15 is the national holiday to commemorate Guatemala's Independence from Spain in 1821; the largest holiday fair is in Quetzaltenango.
October: On October 20, Guatemala celebrates the overthrow of Dictator Jorge Ubico in 1944 and the beginning of 10 years of revolution government known as the " 10 Years of spring".
November: All Saints Day, celebrated on November 1, is celebrated with unique traditions throughout Guatemala; giant kites are flown in the cemeteries of Santiago Sacatepequez and Sumpango near Antigua Guatemala. Many Guatemalans feast on a traditional food known as fiambre. An unusual horse race is held in Todos Santos Cuchumatan.
December: The town fair in Chichicastenango culminates on December 21 with traditional dances and music.Nativity scenes, hand-made Christmas ornaments and small procession known as "posadas" create a joyful atmosphere during December.
According to TripAdvisor.com you should tip a similar amount as you would in the U.S. Hotel staffs appear particularly appreciative of good tippers, and you are likely to get especially good service in return. If bills in restaurants include the word "propina" that is the tip, i.e., it has been included. If you want to pay more, go ahead. The tipping to get a good service is a wrong attitude that twists the perception of the locals about where is the value of the service they should be delivering. So, it is not advised.
- Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots
- 2 pairs of pants (lightweight)
- 2 T-shirts
- 3 short-sleeved shirts
- 2 long-sleeved shirt
- 3 pairs of shorts and bathing suit
- Lightweight jacket or rain jacket, depending on season
- Layer for warmth, evenings may be cool regardless of season
- Hat or cap
- Towel and personal bath kit
- SPF/sun protection, sunglasses
- Mosquito net
- Bedding (if noted in placement document)
NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is generic information and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly. Participants should consult Global Crossroad or travel advisors to verify this information.
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