Travel to Guatemala to complete an internship! Guatemala will excite the nature-lover or history buff. The entire country of Guatemala reads like an encyclopedia: people (both indigenous and those echoing their colonial ancestry), places (ruins of the Mayan Empire as well as quickly-developing cities) and sceneries (landscaped brimming with rainbow-colored wildlife and plants). The people are as diverse as the ecosystems found throughout this Central American country. Guatemala is a perfect place to travel and complete an internship.
IFRE invites you to join its internships in Guatemala program. Explore the country, serve poor children and communities and enrich your life. Share your love and passion with others.
To get a head-start on your Guatemala internship program, take a few moments to contact us by email for more information, including travel dates, fees and more. We look forward to hearing from you.
INTERNSHIP PROGRAM FEES & DATES:
Start Dates: Our programs start every Monday, although we allow for flexibility due to travel constraints.
Ifre’s fees for volunteer programs and internship programs are the same. Ifre volunteers offers the world’s most affordable internship programs. When you join our internship program, you pay your fee directly to host families and projects. In this way, we ensure that your money goes for you or the people who need it (not for the organization's profit).
Ifre internship fee comprise of two separate fees. An application fee of $299 USD (covers advertising, staff/office expenses, etc.) and a nominal weekly program fee (covers room/board, field support, etc). You can visit the following link for details on fees and dates:
Additional costs for interns:
International flights, visa application/extension, daily personal expenses on beverages/entertainment daily transportation, laundry, telephone, immunizations.
Poverty, abuse and alcoholism have left many children in Guatemala without families, depriving them of the parental love and care they need. IFRE’s orphanage internship projects in Guatemala aim to change these children’s circumstances providing caring and nurturing interns to work and play with them. Manpower and resources to support these orphanages are scarce. Your assistance helps keep these children off the street and helps provide them with a happy and productive childhood.
Interns in a Guatemalan orphanage, depending on individual skills and interests, may act as mentors and companions, helping children with their homework and teaching English, but your love and support are the most important elements for these disadvantaged children. Interns at orphanages provide care for the children, help them with their homework and organize workshops and playtime activities. You may work with other interns and/or teachers. Most orphanages receive either boys or girls, though there are a few that receive both girls and boys. The children – ages 5 to 16 years – value your care, attention and friendship. In IFRE’s program, interns primarily help orphans with basic English skills and by organizing creative, extra-curricular activities such as game, singing, music, drawing, etc. This program is the perfect place for interns looking for opportunities to share their love, passion and skills with these very-unfortunate children. Many interns joining orphanage Guatemala program as life changing and rewarding. This is the perfect project if you want to serve humanity or share your love, passion and time with children deprived of their parents love and care.
There are no specific qualifications needed to join IFRE's internship orphanage project in Guatemala. However, interns are expected to be flexible and patient, as well as possess a passion and love for orphans. While Spanish is preferred, it is not required
AN INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
IFRE interns in orphanage projects in Guatemala teach English (3-4 hours a day) either at the orphanage or the day school the children attend. Interns assist with day-to-day skills: dressing properly, personal hygiene and travelling to school safely. Interns may also organize games, art lessons, singing, dancing as well as other creative, educational and extra-curricular activities for the children. This may include training groups in sports, teaching arts and crafts organizing inter-school football matches, playing music, as well as teaching subjects such as mathematics, world affairs, hygiene and nutrition. The possibilities are truly endless. Some participants will assist in the care of the children who cannot yet attend school as well as lend a hand through food distribution, kitchen work and garden maintenance.
TEACHING ENGLISH IN RURAL SCHOOLS IN GUATEMALA
Teaching English in Guatemala is increasingly vital to the country’s youth! The number of English-speaking tourists visiting Guatemala increases every year. As in most countries in Central America formally inhabited by the advanced civilization of the ancient Mayans, Guatemala’s tourism industry sees annual increases in visits to its numerous ruins. Additionally, the global economy is becoming more and more dominated by English. In order to compete globally and even locally for lucrative jobs, Guatemalan youth must speak English.
Furthermore, bilingual employees (especially those speaking BOTH Spanish AND English) are in rising demand. With Spanish spoken in many regions throughout the United States, it is plain to see how valuable dually fluency in Spanish and English can be.
English programs are not strong. IFRE places interns in various schools throughout Guatemala to assist local teachers attempting to effectively teach English.
No specific qualifications are required to join the teaching English project in Guatemala. However, interested individuals should have a passion and desire to teach younger children (and occasionally teenagers) and be comfortable fulfilling the role of English-instructors and/or teachers' aides. While Spanish is preferred it is not required. All interns are encouraged to be flexible, patient and adaptive.
AN INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
Interns assist school-based local educators and language institutes with pre-established English curriculums involving younger students throughout Guatemala. Young students dramatically benefit from the contributions of proficient English-speaking interns willing to dedicate their time and efforts. Interns can expect to assist in developing conversational and grammatical English skills. Interns may also lend their personal English expertise with design of language activities for younger learners.
Administrative duties of educational institutes may also require intern support or recommendations. Additional education of younger learners pertaining to issues of personal hygiene and sanitation may also be necessary.
WORK IN A MEDICAL/HEALTHCARE/HOSPITAL PROJECT IN GUATEMALA
Immersing in the often outdated healthcare industry of a still-developing country can often be overwhelming, but is ALWAYS an eye-opening experience for anyone. While healthcare professionals attempt to keep pace with the advances of modern medicine, there are massive amounts of Guatemalans who do not have access to basic healthcare. IFRE's internship projects in Guatemala place interested medical/healthcare professionals to support the often-intimidating front line.
Healthcare project interns in Guatemala’s can expect to supply beyond the “know-how” of their training (no matter how in-depth or basic), but can also expect to share their proactive attitude and innate abilities. The citizens of Guatemala face shortage of supplies and resources as they battle various diseases thought obsolete or remedied in western countries. There are limited flu shots and things as simple as antibiotics are in short supply. Medical/healthcare interns are greatly welcomed in these projects to share their time, knowledge, skills and support with the almost-crippled and ever-so-demanding healthcare industry of Guatemala.
Interns/interns who are interested in joining our internship health program must possess healthcare certification, such as an ID as a medical student, EMT or paramedic certification or nursing or physician's credentials. We do not permit interns without medical credentials to work in this program due to the potential risk. The hospitals require a copy of your resume, clearly documenting credentials and education, before your arrival to the project. Projects will also require an official copy of your credentials.
AN INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
Job responsibilities for medical project interns/interns in Guatemala vary dependent on education, skills, experience and qualifications and on the community’s current needs. Interns/Interns are not permitted to perform major exams or surgeries. Most often interns help doctors or work as their assistants. As a medical intern in Guatemala, you could be placed in a large hospital or small rural health center. Most of the hospitals (regardless of size) have many departments: Emergency, Gynecology, Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, Hematology, Endocrinology, Oncology, Internal Medicine, Clinical Pathology, etc so an intern may be placed in any department, but skills/qualifications will also be considered. Interns may also take patients’ vitals: blood pressure, temperature, height and weight, and carry out health center tasks. You also assist in health camps, distribute medicines, provide tips to patients on health, nutrition and sanitation or provide counseling to patients. You may provide treatment for minor injuries or wounds and document patient records. The tasks and activities vary day by day!
FIELD SUPPORT AND SUPERVISION
How does IFRE help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication? Do you visit me?
Once your internship program begins, our local staff members stay in constant touch with you. However, interns staying far from our Quetzaltenango office, our staff will be visited every 2-4 weeks (if possible) and they are always welcome at the office. We recommend that interns stop by the office once a week, if they are staying/working in the local area, to give feedback on their home stay and project. Many minor issues can avoid escalation with a just little extra communication. Your project will have local staff members in addition to our in-country coordination staff. If your project is located a substantial distance from our offices, then our local staff communicates by either email and/or phone.
We are available for you at the local office via email and phone for your entire trip. It’s our job to make sure that you are safe and healthy.
You can earn academic credit for most internship projects in Guatemala. The best way to receive academic credit is by pre-arranging the project with your college/university. It is up to an intern to communicate with faculty/academic advisors regarding college credit for internship work PRIOR to applying to IFRE. Your college/university may require additional information prior to approval and may require students to submit pre/post research or other requirements.
Alternatively, you can earn academic credit through Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). SCCC offers college credit for a variety of international programs (study abroad, volunteer abroad, intern abroad, language studies and even cultural-exchanging home-stays). IFRE recommends contacting Professor Steve Tash (we can provide contact details) to further explore this option of receiving academic credit for your international internship. IFRE is not associated with SCCC and it is up to the intern to arrange to transfer SCCC course credit to their university/college of choice.
ROOM & FOOD
In Guatemala, all interns stay with well-screened host families. Our host families are socially respected and are well versed in the art of hosting international interns. Host families offer a safe home, private rooms (occasionally rooms will be shared with other same-gender interns) and shared bathroom facilities with running water and a “western” style toilet. Interns have the ability to do laundry at the house or the host family may offer to do it for you for a nominal extra fee. You receive three prepared meals per day. If you will be out of the house during lunch hour, you can request a lunch "to go" that you can take with you or eat out on your own. Host families provide typical meals that are traditional to Guatemala.
Throughout the internship project, our local staff stays in contact with interns either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. With longer placements, we visit our interns every two weeks (when possible) and interns are always welcome at the local office. If project placement is local, we request that interns stop by the office once a week to keep us posted on how they are doing with their home stay and project. If project placement is very far, then our local staff members maintain communication by either email and/or phone.
Interns have free time for the duration of their project, weekends and the Spanish language program. While IFRE does not arrange activities during this time off, our local staff, members and coordinators can provide priceless assistance in making appropriate arrangements for travel in Guatemala. It’s the time for self-discovery and learning. It’s time to explore this foreign culture and exotic land. It’s definitely time for a canopy tour in Guatemala! Our IFRE local coordinators/staff are available to give you free advice, travel tips and helps to book your travel.
Quetzaltenango free time will include architectural tours, parks and vistas. Espiritu Santo Cathedral: Consist of two structures. The "Espiritu Santo" parish's ancient facade (1535/1896) and to the back the "Diócesis de los Altos" (1899). The Municipal Theatre is a very important neoclassical work. The city’s main park (known as "Parque Central) is located in the center of the town is also center for cultural activities and entertainment. A beautiful vista is found at the Cerro del Baúl, where one can take in the sights of Quetzaltenango's valley, day or night (accessible by foot, car or taxi).
Free time in La Antigua can be filled with tours of historic buildings, monuments, fountains and ruins. The Spanish founded this city in the XVII Century and it follows traditional Spanish design of a Main Plaza surrounded by Government and Catholic Church buildings. Tourist must-sees include La Catedral, el Palacio de los Gobernadores, Convento de Capuchinas, Convento de Santa Clara, el Arco de Santa Catarina, Iglesia La Merced and the Handcrafts Market.