Volunteer Abroad in Guatemala
Guatemala is known for its spectacular volcanoes, lakes, and mountains, as well as for its strong Mayan and Spanish influences. Indigenous Mayan culture is very visible in Guatemala, due both to the numerous Mayan ruins dotting the countryside and to the fact that Mayan communities have kept many of their traditions and customs alive, even as the country modernizes. Guatemala has had a difficult political history, but after being torn apart by a decades-long civil war during the second half of the 20th century, it is proudly emerging as a strong economic and political power in Central America. More than half of Guatemalans still live below the poverty line, however, and there is a great need for volunteers who wish to contribute to this country’s future.
Live in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Participants volunteering in Guatemala will live and work in the city of Quetzaltenango, or Xela for short, which is located in a mountain valley in the southwest of Guatemala.
In the evenings and on weekends, volunteers can explore the city of Quetzaltenango or take an affordable bus ride to visit other parts of Guatemala. Quetzaltenango makes a great base for getting to know Guatemala: it is big enough to offer plenty of activities, restaurants, and services for visitors, but it is less touristy than many other cities, offering volunteers an authentic Guatemalan experience. Quetzaltenango is also known for having retained a strong Mayan influence, and volunteers have the opportunity to learn about Mayan culture and traditions firsthand. Volunteers with an adventurous spirit will enjoy hiking and exploring several nearby volcanoes and hiking trails.
We offer volunteer placements in Guatemala in the following fields:
Housing: Volunteers stay with host families, where they share space, build relationships, practice language, and learn about traditional culture, food, home rituals, and customs. Host families are welcoming and friendly, usually middle class, and are hand-picked by the World Endeavors team to ensure that placements provide a safe and positive environment for the volunteer. Housing accommodations are modest, safe, and clean, but may differ from Western norms in terms of space or amenities. Volunteers usually have their choice of a single or a double room, and are expected to display respect and consideration for the host family. Living with a host family ensures total immersion in the culture, which can be both challenging and rewarding, but ultimately provides the most authentic experience of the host country.
Dates: The volunteer program in Guatemala is flexible in duration. Admissions are rolling, and programs can begin on any Monday throughout the year.
Duration: Participants can choose any duration between 2 and 12 weeks.
Cost: See our website for program fee information
How to Apply: Our application deadlines are set at 16 weeks prior to your desired program start date. Visit our website at http://worldendeavors.com/apply to start your application.
**Always check our website for the most up-to-date program information.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR ALL JHU APPLICANTS
There is a dual application process for this program:
Students must complete the Hopkins application by clicking on the green "Apply Now" button
Students must complete the program application, which you can access on the program website. Please make sure to abide by both the Hopkins and the program deadlines as they may be different.
APP FEE NOTE:
Hopkins students do not need to pay the World Endeavors application fee. Complete the online application through the second page and then click 'Save & Exit'. This will bring the application to the attention of a World Endeavors advisor, who will reach out to you via email by the end of the next business day to collect additional information.