Volunteer Teaching Program
Guatemala's borders are open, however, this program remains on hold for now in the best interests of the local community and volunteers alike.
This wonderful project was created with the goal of helping to improve the English speaking abilities of the residents of Guatemala. English is becoming increasingly important in Latin America to securing employment. An ability to speak English is hugely beneficial to youth, allowing them to pursue further education opportunities and to seek employment where English is an advantage, such as the tourism sector. Working as a volunteer teacher means you can help many low income children learn a tool that is vital to their future success. Volunteers enrolling in the Teaching and Assisting in Schools program in Guatemala will meet lots of great children and teenagers eager to improve their English and learn new skills. Volunteers will assist teachers in their subject of choice, and will have the opportunity to handle a class of their own in various levels and age groups. Volunteers will either work in the morning or afternoon depending on which school, subject and classes they are assigned. Volunteering on this project will truly make a difference to the lives of children facing a bleak future. By helping these children improve their English skills, a whole new world can open up for them.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide free lessons to children and youth to help them improve their English language skills
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills
- Improve the future prospects of some of Guatemala’s most impoverished people, and help them to break the poverty cycle
- Expose volunteers and children to different people and cultures
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an essential role in the ongoing viability of this program. Without volunteers to offer their skills and time, the program would be unstainable. Through the help of international volunteers, many of the most marginalised children in poverty-stricken Guatemala now have hope for a brighter future. This projects requires volunteers to be enthusiastic and have at least a conversational level knowledge of Spanish in order to be able to effectively communicate and teach the children. If volunteers do not have a working Spanish level, they can opt to take Spanish classes prior to their placement, or in conjunction with their time in the project. Volunteers will be working in rural schools or after school programs, where they will be part of a team of teachers.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Teaching English and other subjects to children attending the school
- Helping teachers plan their classes
- Assisting other teachers and volunteers in classes
- Helping teachers conduct environmental awareness classes and self-esteem workshops
- Teach income generating skills
- Help other teachers translate materials
- Create games in English for the students and spend time playing with students
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for children through the power of education. This project best suits those with experience and/or qualifications in the field of childhood development and education, though volunteers who simply wish to explore an interest in this field are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist in the classroom. Whist not mandatory, completing a TEFL course prior to joining this project would prove to be highly beneficial. Volunteers on this project will need an understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively with staff and students. 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
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 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
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)
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.
*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.
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.