Street Children Project
Work with Street Children/Children At-Risk in Guatemala
Volunteer with deserving, yet underprivileged children of Guatemala!
- Assist in educational, recreational and health projects for the youth
- Support and motivate young minds for a better future
- Immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of Guatemala
- Volunteer abroad safely & affordably
In Latin America, hundreds of poor children live and sleep on the street. Street children in Guatemala and children at-risk projects focus on getting these children off the street and providing them with shelter, food, education and emotional support. There are many educational, recreational and health projects are ongoing to support these unfortunate children. IFRE places volunteers in Guatemala to help with this massive and ever-increasing social issue. We try to prohibit the numerous tragedies, resulting from a lack of a safe and positive home environment, which threaten children on the street: starvation, inhuman labor and the sex industry.
Volunteers willing and able to share necessary aid to Guatemala’s street children are very welcomed in these projects. These street children have needs beyond just support and attention. They learn a great deal from our volunteers in terms of real-world life skills, pertinent information regarding behavior, personal hygiene and English literacy. Volunteers are both a positive AND a motivating factor in these children's lives. Participants are often a driving force and shining example for these deprived children as they tackle the opportunity for a brighter future.
No specific qualifications are required to join the street children's project in Guatemala. However, interested individuals should have a passion and eagerness to help less fortunate children, as well as have a strong personality to deal with these children's unfortunate situations and demeanors. While Spanish is preferred, it is not required.
Volunteers with skills and/or a background in child psychology and Spanish fluency have an amazing advantage – ensuring the highest level of contribution and effective interaction. While these skills are welcomed, they are not required of volunteers wanting to participate in this particular project.
Volunteers in our Guatemala street children/children at-risk projects help in the following ways: teaching English, supervising/creating games, assisting with creativity-based activities (painting, art classes, etc.) and homework, as well as acting as special companions to the children. Volunteers may also be asked to assist in daily routines within the designated center, possibly including cooking, cleaning, routine maintenance, laundry, etc.
In Guatemala, all volunteers stay with well-screened host families. Our host families are socially respected and are well versed in the art of hosting international volunteers. Host families offer a safe home, private rooms (occasionally rooms will be shared with other same-gender volunteers) and shared bathroom facilities with running water and a “western” style toilet. Volunteers 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 volunteer project, our local staff stays in contact with volunteers either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. With longer placements, we visit our volunteers every two weeks (when possible) and volunteers are always welcome at the local office. If project placement is local, we request that volunteers 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.
Please provide a typical day schedule for this project.
Volunteers begin their day at 7 am with breakfast served by their host family and travel by bus to their project around 8 am. Between 8-12 volunteers will work with the children and return to their host family for lunch.
The remainder of the day is yours to do with as you please. For those who opt for the Spanish class, that is generally held in the afternoon around 3 pm. Dinner is traditionally served by the host families between 7-8 pm.
Where do I stay? How far is the project from the accommodation? How do I commute?
Volunteers stay at a nice Guatemalan host family. Your host family is located near to our office.
Everyday you take a public bus for 15 minutes and then walk 8 minutes more to reach to project. The round trip bus ticket for this costs about $0.35 cents of USA dollar per day per person.
What kind of activities volunteers do in the project?
This Project takes place in an organization that helps street children and prevents others from fleeing their homes and becoming "street children." This organization helps those kids in different ways:
- Running a school where the kids have formal education.
- Providing snacks and lunch to the kids.
- Providing an educational and recreational environment for those kids.
- In this project volunteers are needed and welcomed to help in tasks directly and indirectly involved with the kids. Below there is a description of the direct and indirect tasks volunteers can perform in this project.
IN THE MORNINGS (8:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Unlike, a school or orphanage the volunteer’s activities are not well organized in this project. It is important volunteers are proactive, patient and flexible. The project is underfunded and operating on limited resources. This project is ideal for volunteers looking to make a difference in the lives of children.
- Tasks directly involved with the kids like teaching, playing and sports.
- Assisting the teachers in the classrooms with creative activities such as creating art projects and handicrafts. It is greatly appreciated if volunteers can supply paper, markers, fabric or other items that may be used in art projects.
- Tasks not directly involved with the kids: helping in the kitchen and helping in the office.
IN THE AFTERNOONS (Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm (This is optional and may not available all the time )
On these days, volunteers will work with children 6-14 years old who attend elementary school in the mornings. Volunteers may engage children in a game of cards, chess, football, dance classes or handicrafts.
Please be aware that this placement not only involves working directly with the children in the program but also consists of administrative tasks critical in the success of the organization. Flexibility and being proactive are key aspects to having a successful experience.
Where are the projects located?
This project is located in the surrounding area of Quetzaltenango City.
What are the requirements to join the program?
Just being interested in working with kids flexible, tolerant and open minded.
Do we get hands on experience at this project?
Yes, volunteers can participate directly in the project.
How many hours a day do we need to work?
At least 4 hours per day.
Is street children project available all-round the year? If not, when does it close for how long?
It starts from the second week of January and ends in the second or third week of October. This project works with the same schedule of local schools in Guatemala.
Any important information you want to share about this project.
In this project a conversational Spanish is not mandatory but makes a significant difference. While working in the orphanage project wearing shorts or miniskirts (for females) is not allowed.