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Volunteer in Guatemala Orphanage

Do you have a passion for children? Would you like to care for underprivileged children while you immerse yourself in Guatemala’s Mayan influenced culture? Do you wish to travel and explore Guatemala while changing lives in impoverished communities? If the answer to these questions is yes, then this orphanage volunteer project in Guatemala is for you!

Guatemala is gorgeous country known to many for its numerous Mayan ruins and gorgeous nature. The influences and the history of the Spanish are seen in many colonial buildings in

cities like Antigua and Quetzaltenango and the country is a world-class travel destination in Central America.

Unfortunately, poverty, abuse and alcoholism have left many children in Guatemala without families, depriving them of the parental love and care they need. There are a few orphanages trying their best to stop this problem by offering a safe environment where the kids can grow up and get an education, but they are chronically underfunded and undermanned, leaving them in desperate need of volunteers like you.

By signing up to volunteer in a Guatemalan orphanage it will be an opportunity for you to change these children’s circumstances by providing love and care and nurturing them through both work and play. Your assistance helps keep these children off the street and provides them with a happy and productive childhood.

Do you want to fulfill your love and passion for kids, changing their lives in the process? Then contact IFRE today to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer Responsibilities & Impact

As a volunteer in orphanage projects in Guatemala you will typically teach English (4-5 hours a day) either at the orphanage or the day school the children attend. You will assist with day-to-day skills such as dressing properly, personal hygiene and travelling to school safely. In addition, you will be required to organize games, art lessons, singing, dancing as well as other creative, educational and fun extracurricular activities for the children.

You may also be asked to sometimes assist in the care of the children who cannot yet attend school as well as lend a hand with food preparation, kitchen work and garden maintenance.

Your support will yield long-term results for the children in the orphanages. Since many are understaffed you will provide much-needed relief to the local workers, allowing them to care for and support even more children. By sharing love and hope with the kids you will inspire and change the lives of many children in Guatemala.

Skills and Qualifications:

You do not need any specific skills or qualifications to join IFRE's volunteer orphanage project in Guatemala. However, you will be expected to be flexible and patient, as well as possess a passion and love for orphans. While Spanish is preferred it is not required, and we offer Spanish lessons while you volunteer if you’d like to brush up on your skills.

Each day working with the orphans will inspire you and provide you with tons of fun and exciting new experiences, changing your life as well as that of the orphans.

When you arrive in Guatemala, our local staff will pick you at the airport and drop you off at your accommodation. The next morning, our local staff will give you an orientation about the country, safety, the project, rules and regulations, etc.

After orientation, you will be taken to your respective project and be introduced to local staff and children. Usually, there is nota fixed daily schedule as work will vary day by day depending on the needs of the orphanage. However, here is sample of what to expect for your daily schedule:

First Day: On your first day of volunteering in Guatemala orphanage project, your in-country coordinator will accompany you to your placement and introduce you to the local staff you will be working with as well as the children.

Weekdays: Your work with the orphans begins on the second day, and this is what a typical day will look like:

7.00 to 7.30 AM: Get ready for a wholesome local breakfast that you will share with your host family.

7.45 AM: Following breakfast, it is time to head out and make positive change in the community. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that you are working at.

12.00 PM: It is lunchtime and you may choose to share a local Guatemalan meal with your host family or stay at your placement and eat with the children.

3.00 PM: Work at the placement usually ends at this time. You are free to travel home, prepare for the next day, do some shopping or head out for coffee in the local shopping center.

6.45 PM: Time to get home for a family dinner. This is your opportunity to learn more about Guatemala and share your experiences with your host family.

Volunteering in Guatemala Orphanage: Dates and Fees

Program Dates

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.

Our Fees

Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fee (US$)

Weeks Orphanage Projects
  1 Week

  2 Weeks   $240
  3 Weeks   $360
  4 Weeks   $480
  5 Weeks   $600
  6 Weeks   $720
  7 Weeks   $840
  8 Weeks   $960
  9 Weeks   $1,080
  10 Weeks   $1,200
  11 Weeks   $1,320
  12 Weeks   $1,440

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day »

Airport Pick up and Transfer to Xela from Guatemala City- $40 to $80 (depending on type of accommodation)

How your fee is allocated?

Spanish Classes: (Monday-Friday) 2 hours a day: $50/ week

Program Fees Cover:

  • Accommodation (host family)
  • Food (local food 3 times a day)
  • Program Orientation
  • In-country support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The volunteering programs in Xela, Guatemala fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Accommodation and Meal

While volunteering in Guatemala orphanage, you will stay with a loving, friendly and respectable family within the community. They will provide you with three delicious meals a day and ensure that you are safe and comfortable in their home. The home has modern facilities including fans and televisions and western-style toilets. This arrangement gives you the chance to immerse yourself in Guatemalan culture and learn about their customs.

Learn more about your amazing host families in Xela, Guatemala

Free Time and Weekend Exploration

Are you worried if you will have enough time to explore and travel while volunteering in Guatemala? Then worry no more, as you will work an average of 4-5 hours a day leaving you plenty of time during the week to check out the local area. In addition, you will have two full days every weekend to go on longer trips across the country.

Read more about some of the exciting destinations you can visit while volunteering in Xela, Guatemala

Safety and in Country Support

Your safety is our primary goal, and here at IFRE we take significant steps to ensure that you always feel safe and comfortable during your volunteer project. We will support you in taking the necessary precautions before travelling and during the project we will have an in-country coordinator assigned to you to assist you at any time should a problem arise.

Learn more about our commitment to your safety in Xela, Guatemala.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer in Guatemala Orphanage: FAQS

Arrival and departure

To join our orphanage volunteer program in Guatemala, you should arrive at Aurora International Airport, Xela, Guatemala one day prior to the start of the project. Please provide us with your flight details and we will make sure that one of our representatives is waiting for you at the airport to take you to your accommodation.

Please be aware that departure services to the airport at the conclusion of your project are not included, but this is easy to arrange with the help of your in-country coordinator or host family.


You will need to get a tourist visa to join our volunteer projects in Guatemala. You should try to get this done well in advance to avoid any complications. However, A Guatemalan visa is not required for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK for a stay of up to 90 days, although you will need a passport with at least 6 months validity. Please visit the Guatemalan Immigration website and for more detailed information.


Prior to departure you should consult with your doctor regarding vaccines. You can also find the information on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada or in Travelers' Health United Kingdom. You should take all the recommended and required vaccines before traveling to Guatemala. Some of the required vaccines are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

For Further readings:
Volunteer Health and Safety
Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Any important information about orphanage volunteering in Guatemala?

We currently work with an orphanage in Guatemala that only accepts female volunteers because they only host girls and some of those girls are there with their babies.

It is important to explain that some of the teenagers in this orphanage have babies already. What’s more, normally this orphanage requires that volunteers bring a plan and materials to organize educational and/or recreational activities with the girls, i.e.: junk jewelry, coloring books, manual arts, handicrafts, English teaching, etc.

We work with another orphanage project in this Guatemala volunteer program that is open to accept both male and female volunteers, but is located a 30-minute ride by public bus from our office and host families. Most of the activities there take place in the kindergarten and the elementary school they run for their kids.

Occasionally in both orphanages, volunteers may be required to perform activities that are not directly related to the kids or babies like cleaning, painting, cooking, office work, etc.

Conversational Spanish is not mandatory but is certainly a huge benefit in communicating with the children and staff.

Modest clothing is required while working in the orphanage.

Why Volunteer in Guatemala Orphanage?

Volunteering with orphans in Guatemala is a greatly rewarding way to make a difference while also experiencing one of the most amazing countries in Latin America.

Join hands with orphanages in their struggle for caring for distraught children

While participating in volunteer work in a Guatemalan orphanage, you will also get to help and assist the local orphanages to reach out to more orphans. You will care for children which will give them an opportunity to experience a better childhood and a promising future.

Contribute your time and effort in providing a safe environment for orphaned kids

Participating in this orphanage project is an opportunity for you to give these children a safe upbringing. Your skills will help these children to thrive and prosper with dignity and confidence.

Help and get involved in daily activities in the orphanages

Taking part in this Guatemala orphanage program you will get an opportunity to guide, support, and mentor children from various backgrounds. The orphanages are generally underfunded, and therefore your involvement will not only be appreciated and valued but will help in decreasing the burden of these orphanages as well.

Build long lasting friendly relationships with children

Volunteering in this Guatemala Orphanage Program is an opportunity for you to build a long-lasting relationships based on love and trust. Your love and care for the children will make up for what they are missing from their parents, building life-long connections.

Make them learn new life skills and help change their lives

While working in this Guatemala volunteer program for orphanages you will be conducting various creative activities and programs for these orphaned kids. You will organize games, music, art, and painting for them, and your efforts will brighten their lives in the most rewarding and fun-filled way.

Other Volunteering Opportunities in Xela, Guatemala

You can help make a difference in Guatemala in many different ways. You can

Teach English,

Support street children in need,

Work in the medical sector,

Help empower girls and young women and much more.

Contact IFRE today to learn about how you can help!

Other Orphanage Volunteer Opportunities Worldwide

Many countries are sadly unable to provide the care and attention that orphans need on a daily basis. To help with this global problem, IFRE arranges orphanage programs worldwide. You can find some of our most popular orphanage programs listed below:

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

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