About the Program
Guatemala has reopened to international arrivals. See the 'Additional Info.' section for procedures in place during the pandemic.
This important project was developed to fill a great need in the community. Families desperately needed an affordable and safe childcare option so they could gain employment or work on their land knowing their children were safely looked after, and being educated. This program was developed to ensure these disadvantaged children were cared for and received a quality education. Volunteers enrolling in this amazing childcare program will be working with small children under the age of 12 from poor and underprivileged families, providing day to day care as well as spending time playing with the children, having fun and working towards their development. It is essential that volunteers are enthusiastic and flexible as this program needs motivated volunteers who love caring for children and are willing to dedicate themselves to a number of tasks to enable the successful running of the centre.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide free childcare to marginalised families in the Antigua area
- Provide a fun, quality educational experience for children to allow them to thrive
- Improve the future prospects of some of Guatemala’s most impoverished people, and help them to break the poverty cycle
- Provide a cross-cultural experience for all involved in the project
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an essential role in the ongoing viability of this program, assisting parents to work and support their families, allowing marginalised families in poverty-stricken Guatemala to seek a brighter future. This is a heart-warming project for those with a caring nature who wish to help the youngest, most disadvantaged members in the community. Volunteers who are flexible and keen to participate in a diverse range of child care activities will thrive under this program. While they will have assistance, volunteers will be in charge of planning educational games, small excursions, songs and the program for the week. This program empowers volunteers to take the initiative, to be creative and organize games for the children. It also allows volunteers to provide true hands-on care to the children, with tasks such as cleaning, cooking, washing hands and brushing teeth. The children, program staff and international volunteers will also gain a greater understanding of different cultures and ways of life, and help them to understand the world in which we life.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Playing with the children
- Helping staff in day to day tasks
- Helping to prepare meals for the children
- Helping children develop confidence and self-esteem
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the ongoing support and development of marginalized and at-risk children of Guatemala. This highly interactive and varied project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare, as there are many ways you can assist. However, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Volunteers on this project will need an understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
- Vaccination Certificate
Antigua Guatemala is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. Antigua Guatemala means "Ancient Guatemala" and was the third capital of Guatemala. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua is a growing tourist destination in Guatemala as it is close to Guatemala City but is much calmer and safer, with more tourist oriented activities. Central Park (Parque Central) is the heart of the city and is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. It is also possible to take buses from Antigua to many parts of Guatemala, many travel agencies offer shuttles to the main touristic places: Monterrico beach, Atitlan Lake, Coban, Lanquin (Semuc Champey), Tikal or even Copan in Honduras.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs typically start every 1st and 3rd SUNDAY of each month. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 6 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
One week placements are considered on a case by case basis and the pricing is $385. Contact us to inquire.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Guatemala, you will collected at the airport (or bus station) by a member of the local project team and taken to your accommodation. Here you will be welcomed by your host family and settled into your new surroundings.
On Monday morning you will be collected and taken to the local team offices where you will receive a full project and safety orientation. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then be taken to your projects site where you will be introduced to the onsite project team, ready to start work. Easy!
- Project Arrival Day: SUNDAY, 8AM TO 10PM
- Project Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival Airport: La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala (Code: GUA)
Arriving on another day? Pick-up is included in the fee the Sunday start dates. Another day is $50 extra.
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers in Guatemala will stay with a local Guatemalan family which is a great way to be immersed in the culture. All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have experience hosting international volunteers. The home-stays are in safe neighborhoods, and are within a 15 to 25-minute walk or 5 to 10-minute bus ride from the project sites. All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have extensive experience hosting international volunteers. Depending on the time of year it may be necessary to share a room with other volunteers, but private rooms are often available upon request (additional fees may apply). Volunteers will be provided access to a shared bathroom. Host families are often happy to wash clothes for volunteers for a small fee to cover the additional electricity, though mostly volunteers will use a local laundromat. Wifi is available at most host family houses, however we ask volunteers to remember access to this service is a privilege and may be limited at times. A multitude of internet cafes are available throughout Antigua.
Breakfast and dinner will be provided throughout the placement, including weekends. Guatemalan food typically centers on the key ingredients of corn, chillies and beans. A traditional dish is tamale which consists of a starchy corn-based dough wrapped in a leaf and steamed. The sweets made in Guatemala are well known, containing condensed milk, nuts, fruit and honey, they are considered a delicacy. Volunteers in Guatemala have the opportunity to savor these and other delights in the homes of ordinary local people famed for their friendly dispositions.
Staying for an additional night or two?
Totally fine! It's only an extra $13pp/pn to do so.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Changes due to COVID-19
Guatemala is open to international arrivals with the following requirements:
- Passengers must provide a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test result issued no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
- Facemasks must be worn in public spaces
Keen to learn Spanish?
Spanish lessons can be arranged in conjunction with volunteering. A block of 20 hours (ie 4 hours per day Monday - Friday) is US$129. This can be paid directly to the local team when you arrive.